Atman at Rishikesh (Munikireti) in the cutier (room) of Swami Sivananda, which is located next to the banks of the River Ganges. The vibrations of Sivananda and the waters of Ganga are powerful purificators of our mind and heart
The foundation of spiritual life is right knowledge and understanding, right associations and relations, devotion and constant diligent practice!
Right knowledge can be found in the sacred texts and the words and books of great masters. Study of spiritual literature (Svadhyaya) is one of the most important practices.
Understanding is developed by reflecting, contemplating and practicing what you have heard and read.
Right association, is association (Satsang) with sages, with sattvic persons and what is sattva en general: sattva books, music, food, impressions, places, colors,, thoughts, nature etc. What is ever available, free and easy to do in order to increase sattva an eliminate rajas and tamas and dissolve the egoic tendencies is japa nama; the repetition of God's names.
Right relation is to relate with sattvic persons and relate with everything in a sattvic way.
Devotion means to dedicate our body, energy, our heart and mind to the realization of Truth.
Diligent constant practice (sadhana) means that everything in our life is related to Self-realization, that everything we do is connected somehow with some aspect of our sadhana. That we do every day, morning and evening a series of certain spiritual practices and we practice every moment of the day some aspect of our practice as well. For example self-awareness and self-observation, dispassion, japa mantra, control of senses, pratyahara, concentration etc. We can do (and we must do) these practices in our morning and evening sessions but also during all day.
Of course it is impossible to accomplish all these from the very beginning of our spiritual journey, but we must succeed to this little by little. We must cultivate gradually these attitudes and principles and live in accordance with them.
There are no half measures in spirituality. We cannot transform our lower nature if we are not willing to discipline ourselves and practice diligently. Our lower self will resist and react to this process of transformation. There is inertia as well. Thus we must be attentive, proactive and cautious in order overcome all difficulties and march steadily towards freedom.
It is important also, to cultivate an open, flexible mind, utilize a lot the common sense as well as to learn to adjust and adapt to all circumstances and cultivate discernment, dispassion, detachment, acceptance, patience, perseverance, tenacity and will-power. These qualities together with devotion and regular diligent practice are the corner stone to realize God consciousness in this very life, and live the peace, bliss and freedom eternal!
Om Tat Sat