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imageSwami Sivamurti - Nobility

Your self is noble and great. You inherit truth and purity. You have within you infinite capacities. You have just to assert who you are.

Swami Satyananda

Nobility arises from the effort we are making to develop high moral principles and an integrated personality. A noble person is one who is able to forgive and forget past misdeeds. A noble person has superiority of mind and a high moral character. He is dignified and refined in his bearing.

Superiority of mind means possessing the qualities that every race, creed and religion considers good and noble. Sacrificing one’s own interests in the interest of others is an act of nobility.

Being noble and true in motive, thought, word and deed, we set an example for others. When we are living these qualities there also comes a responsibility, for one becomes an example for others to emulate. Nobility involves making every effort to bring sadhana into daily life. Our sadhana should not be only asana, pranayama and mantra. Effort should be made to learn from all life’s experiences and to spiritualize every moment of our life.

Swami Satyananda told us to spiritualize one’s life, two things are important: One is to maintain awareness on our thoughts, words, and actions.

The second is that whatever action we perform should take us closer to ourselves and not away from ourselves. An ego-orientated action or selfish action takes us away from ourselves. Whereas noble thoughts, words and deeds bring us closer to ourselves and spiritualize our life. In this way every single activity of the day can become part of our spiritual sadhana.

Nobility is striving for excellence in everything we do. Swami Niranjan stresses the importance of excellence. If we can’t manage to be excellent in everything, we can make at least the effort, to be excellent in one particular field.

A noble person can admit to making mistakes and express themselves in a simple and honest way. Many people find it difficult to apologize if they have done something incorrect or wrong. They prefer to ignore it, dismiss it or hope it will be forgotten in the course of time. However, nobility requires that we admit our faults. When we admit a mistake internally we do not justify our actions or excuse ourselves in any way. We just admit to ourselves what incorrect action we did. We own up to it. We do not try to hide from ourselves from what we have done. This relieves our conscience.

A noble person is one who treats all with equal care and respect and has time for all. When Swami Niranjan first came to Greece in 1978, we were a group of young people skipping and running down the street. There was one elderly man in the group who couldn’t move as fast as the rest of us.

Swamiji was trailing behind, assisting the elderly man. I still remember the gentleness, softness and support he was giving the man to make sure he felt part of the group and that he was not left behind. These are noble acts one sees when one has the opportunity to be in the presence of the guru. He is doing noble acts all the time, some we can see and others we cannot. Some are so subtle that they bypass us.

Nobility represents a high, good and refined character.

Swami Niranjanananda

An extract from Swami Sivananda’s 18 ITIES & the Practice of Pratyahara, Yoga Publications Trust Munger, 2013, pp.116-120. By Swami Sivamurti Saraswati.

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