Sage Yogaswami was a Self-Realized mystic of the highest order. Born in 1872 in Maviddapuram, a village near Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka, he met Satguru Chellappan at Nallur Temple at age thirty-five. Transformed by their first encounter, lifted into infinite and ineffable light, he renounced all worldly ambition to follow the sannyasin's life. Under his satguru's care, Yogaswami immersed himself in rigorous spiritual disciplines. When Chellappan attained parinirvana in 1915, Yogaswami made his home under an olive tree in Columbuthurai, meditating for four nights and days, then moving about for a few days before starting the cycle again. Gradually, thousands of people-farmers, businessmen, statesmen, youth and elders, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims-learned of his communion with God and found their way to his unadorned thatched hut. His inner guidance could be summarized in two words: Sivathondu and Sivadhyanam, service to God and contemplation on Siva within. The excerpts at right are from Words of Our Master and Natchintanai.


Father and mother are Siva. Dear brothers and sisters are Siva. Matchless wife is Siva. Precious children are Siva. Rulers and kings are Siva. All the Gods are Siva. The whole universe is Siva; and He who has taken charge of me is also Siva.

God is always with you-and that is the greatest news I have for you.

The Great God Siva is the nondual Reality. I glory in contemplating that He and I are inseparably linked in Oneness. Meditate that you and He are in unison, then all your acts will pulsate as His acts.

He who sparkles in your eyes, who lights the heavens and hides in the souls of creatures is God, your Self.

As air in your breath, the salt in the sea, though you cannot see Him, Siva is everywhere.

One God; one religion; one man!

He rejoices with the learned and the untutored. Hidden mysteries He makes known. His forehead glows with the luminous eye. He who is the universal God is my Lord, too, and they are Gods who experience this truth in life. Siva is His name. And lovely Sri Lanka enjoys His presence.

Believe in God. Believe in Him with perfect trust. Consider Him as sweeter than the sweetest of earthly joys. Reflect on His glory night and day and at all times. Ultimately it will be seen that Siva is All in all.

Be calm. Even if God appears, offer Him a seat, and be calm.

Siva lives in the midst of fire. Does He prevent it from burning? He lives in the midst of tigers and thieves? Does He ever get angry? You must live like that in this world. If you realize this, you will let everything well enough alone.

Why do you run about in search for God? He is right there, within you. As one thinks, so one becomes. Therefore, practice the meditation "I am He."

We are That. We do not become That. Never forget the feet of the Satguru. Guru and disciple are not separate entities. All are That.

All religious sages attempted to speak of Ultimate Reality, but it is beyond words. It is speechless silence, mounam. All words and sounds rest in silence. All works rest in silence. Everything rests in the perfection of silence.

Who orders the sun to rise? Who makes the pure moon crawl across the sky? Who prompts the eyes to see? Who inspires the wise to praise? Who brings the flowers to bloom? Ponder deeply, and you will know for sure that Siva's Will reigns supreme.

Those who know the Lord, devoid of attributes and features, to be both knower and the known and that which pervades all, yet stands as One, in this great world will not be born again.

You should always tread the path prescribed by your religion, and live in changeless, quiet contemplation. Whatever you see, see as Siva, and do not be distressed.

Cast but a glance of sweet grace upon me, O Master of the Vedas! Unite me to Thy holy feet, O King! O Father, Life of lives! O Great Ascetic, who the cosmic dance performs!

Yea! We are the servitors of Lord Siva. We lack nothing. Our duty is to serve the Lord. It is the fundamental goal of our life in this world. The moon fulfills the will of Siva. The sun and other planets also carry out His bidding. In everything do we see the will of Siva at work. Not an atom moves but by His will-nothing gained and nothing lost.


Into the world you came empty-handed. Likewise, empty-handed will you leave when the call comes. If you aspire for liberation in this birth, make your mind a cremation ground and burn to ashes the flaming desires that arise therein.

Wisdom dawns in those who do service. Silence descends on those who do service. Bounty flows from those who do service. Songs arise in those who do service.

Everything will turn out successfully when the mind is not agitated. Whatever work you have to do, do it well. That in itself is yoga.

Greater than life itself is good conduct. Nonkilling, nonstealing, never coveting or slandering others, truthfulness and humility-these are the characteristics of a virtuous life.

The turtle lays a thousand eggs and remains silent. The hen lays just one egg and cackles endlessly. Be like the turtle, not like the hen.

As indigestion makes one sluggish, too much book learning will blind you from your Self. Make the prana to rise. Enough reading!

You must meditate in the morning and evening and at night before you go to bed. Just pronounce the name Siva, and sit quietly for about two minutes. You will find everything in your life falling into place and your prayers answered.

You must sit in meditation in the morning and in the evening. You will then get better understanding. The God within you will guide you. Take long walks and see for yourself how people live.

See everything as Siva. Do everything as service to Lord Siva. Don't identify with yourself.

If we remove the darkness that is in us, we can see that God is. There is one thing that Siva cannot do. He cannot separate Himself from the soul.

You are not insentient matter. You are consciousness. Fire cannot burn you. Wind cannot wither you. Earth and its canopy cannot harm you. You are immortal and everlasting. Satguru is your guide. Be a witness.

The heart must be pure. There is nothing more to say.

Follow the precepts of the seers and the utterances of the four saints. Worship your ancestral satgurus. Walk in the footsteps of the great masters. Love all as you love yourself. Heaven is within you.

Only one task to do here-find out who you are. How can you find out who you are? Dive into silence and see.

As waves arise in the ocean, so waves of thought arise in the mind. Yoga is to control thoughts as they arise. It is not a simple thing to control the mind. It cannot be done in a day or a year.

That falsehood, killing and meanness be abhorred and shunned. That the Saiva faith may flourish and truth abound and thrive. That the conviction that Siva is may glow within our minds. That through the labor of our hands, His feet we may adore. That everything we have to do be well and truly done. That more and more true devotees may multiply and spread. That we may honor and respect all women as our mother. With melting hearts that softer grow and ever offer praise, Namasivaya, let us chant throughout our span of days.

Now I have done everything, talked to everyone I had to-I'm free to go.


The voice of God is everywhere. His body dwells in all things. Yet, until the delusion of separateness leaves you, you will naturally see good and evil, right and wrong.

Those that see the world as His temple, they shall realize that All is Truth.

That the world may rejoice and your mind be filled with joy, remember my potent utterance: The world is one, and God is One.

Do not allow the world to dictate your happiness. Find joy within yourself by having love in your heart.

Two European ladies came to me. They had been in India to see Mahatma Gandhi. They wanted a message from me. I asked them what Gandhi had told them. The Mahatma had said, "One God, one world." I told them to go as I could not think of a better message.

Do not exhaust yourself trying to change the world. Change yourself, and your world will transform accordingly.

You cannot stop a hurricane by cursing the sky. Similarly, you won't overcome desire by fighting it. Learn to be still.

As you would not bark back at a dog, do not waste your time arguing with foolish people.

Don't wander about, saying, "Don't drink! Don't commit adultery! Don't do this and don't do that!" Let God look after those things. Who can improve the world?

This world is a training college. Some are in kindergarten. Some are in the B.A. class.

If the chimney is black with smoke, you cannot see the light. Similarly, maya obscures atma. Live unshaken in the realization that "All that I see is myself."

Honor your parents. Respect your elders. Love all as yourself. There is order in the universe. The thief and troublemaker are part of this order.

Hinduism has everything; it includes all-bhakti, jnana-all ways.

My Guru Chellappan used to say that there is not one thing that is evil. When Siva is everywhere, how can there be a place for evil? There are changes; they sometimes appear evil. Everything is at work. Only God knows what He is about.

I can tell you that there is no imperfection. God, the Infinite, overwhelms the finite universe. What a rare and beautiful world!

The railway engine pulls many coaches. Can it do so if it runs off the track? No. Great people have shown the path. We must follow it.

If you are a king, will you have contentment? If you are a beggar, will you have contentment? Whatever your walk in life may be, you will only have contentment through knowing your Self by yourself.

In my kingdom there is no day or night, no good or evil, no you or I, no today or tomorrow, no big or small. If you also want to enjoy this bliss, you must set forth on the path with all your heart.

The whole world is in me. The whole world is traveling in me-the sun is there; the moon is there; Mount Everest is there. Everything is there.

It is Sivabhakti, devotion to God, alone that makes a man blessed. Everything else is useless. Therefore, without a break practice Sivadhyana, meditation on Siva. Don't be afraid of anything. No matter how often you fail, do not lose courage. Do not put on any outward show. Become strong within yourself. True religion is a solitary state that conforms to no pattern. Body, soul, possessions-surrender all these to God. Thereafter, give up everything that worries you and see that all is He and He alone.