Presented by the movement center and Swami Chetanananda


The Self is not perceived by the physical eye
But by the mind;
It is not something with form or properties.
Those who identify with the physical body
Find it difficult to see the Self.
Turn your attention from the visible and
Intensify your awareness of the invisible.
As long as the mind dwells on the visible world,
It will see both pain and pleasure.
But the invisible world holds
Neither pain nor pleasure.


Once you attain perfect inner peace, there is
No need to travel anywhere.
No need to see anything.
No need for pilgrimages to holy places.
All can be seen within.

Coming and going are simply the mind’s delusions.
True peace, true liberation is attained
When the one Self in all is seen.
This is liberation from bondage,
This is desirelessness.
If you are looking for the object held in
Your hand,
Look in your hand—not elsewhere!
So with all things:
Test them within.


The search for truth,
Where the subtle merges with the gross,
Requires subtle discrimination.
The seat of such discrimination is in
The sky of the heart.
When the kundalini rises
To this place in the head,
Then the breath is single
And the universe is in one’s Self.

All is in the Self—creation, dissolution,
All forms, all events.
And all are seen in the One.
To see separateness is hell;
To see unity is liberation.
Absolute love and devotion are liberation
And complete, endless peace is the goal—
Yogananda, Paramananda, the highest bliss!

The ocean is greater than all the rivers;
It has no limits,
And its water cannot be measured.
It is not possible to cultivate love and
Devotion by giving up the cycle
Of wordly existence.
Instead, remain in the world and attain liberation
By being “this thing” and doing “that thing.”

Desire is worldly existence! Samsara!
Desirelessness is liberation!
Eternal bliss, the joy of being and knowledge,
The Self, God, the One—
All are the same.
The highest state is boundless peace.
Liberation is eternal bliss.
Love and devotion are the state of


When you raise desire to its highest level (that is, if you focus desire on the Divine), then you automatically cultivate love and devotion and subsequently gain release from the pain and suffering of the cycles of birth, death and rebirth. It is a conscious process. When your energy is scattered about in the form of many different desires, little can be accomplished. Weave together all these small, petty desires and bind them into one very high, powerful desire to see God. This convergence of energy requires that you be filled with love and devotion. Then that love and devotion will slowly reveal to you the vision of the Lord. Love and devotion are totally important.

The most important thing in spiritual growth is the connection between you and the Divine. It is never one thing or the other, it is always what is in the middle. That is true one hundred percent of the time. If you ask is it this or is it that, is it samsara or is it liberation, the answer is always: “Neither.” It is what is in the middle.


A person who knows the Self has no mind—
Seeing all things equally;
Being beyond the three states of
Sleep, dream and deep sleep;
Experiencing neither sunrise nor sunset.

The soot-covered glass chimney of a lamp
Reflects light poorly and
Must be kept clean.
Likewise, removing the soot of ignorance
From the mind allows it to clearly reflect
The light of the Self within.


According to the Upanishads, the three states are waking, dream and deep sleep. Yet in this sutra Nityananda lists sleep as the first state. The reference is to being asleep to the soul. That is, we may be constitutionally awake, but if we are not aware of our real Self, we

in the Katha Upanishad: “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.”

In the state of “no-mind,” sensations, ideas and time have ceased. The jnani is described in the Bhagavad Gita as having his mind dead to the touch of the external and alive to the bliss of the eternal Absolute. To see all things equally is to see the Self in all things and

 all things within the Self; to be able to see the common factor, the soul or essence, through the multiplicity of forms:


The recollected mind is awake
In the knowledge of the Atman,
Which is dark night to the ignorant.
The ignorant are awake in their sense-life
Which they think is day-light;
To the seer it is darkness.

Being always “awake in the knowledge of the Atman,” the jnani is not affected by the phenomenal sunrise and sunset.


Freedom from doubt is the path to
One-pointedness of mind.
The intelligence of doubters dwindles
Because wherever they look,
They see only doubt. After all,
We are each subject to our own nature;
There is no reason to find qualities
Not there!

Just as you cannot see your reflection in
Agitated water,
Fickle-minded people cannot see their
Real nature.
Those with steady minds, however,
See the One, the Indivisible,
Everywhere they look.
They see themselves in others.

Through red glasses,
Things appear red—not green!
We each see according to our thinking.


Perfect concentration is the means by which
The higher mind increases its power
Of understanding.
It is a path to liberation,
A path to the highest.

Perfect concentration is a means to steady the
Breath of Life—
For when it is steady, the mind becomes steady.
When the vital breath turns upward,
Divine wisdom enters every nerve and
Peace is the result.

Then, nature and the subtle are separate.
Then, the higher mind can experience yoga-power,
Peace, forgiveness and contentment.
By practicing perfect concentration,
You find the whole world within.
The mind so steadied enjoys eternal bliss!

The Self is beyond all karma.
True karma is work done
Without attachment to its fruits.
True karma is work done in the
Knowledge of the Self,
Actionless and passionless.
There is no sin without the sense of doing.


As camphor is consumed in fire,
So the mind must be consumed in the Self.

The moment camphor catches fire,
It is transformed
And burns itself out of existence, leaving no trace.

When the mind merges in the Self,
No trace of ego remains.


It is the mind that observes the vow of silence—
Not the tongue.
Whatever is done when intelligence and wisdom
Are united in the Self is not karma.
Silence is native to the mind—
Not the tongue.
Spiritual practice, the pursuit of an ideal,
Is achieved through silence.

A yogi unites intelligence and wisdom,
Placing the mind in and under the control of
The higher mind.
The three primary channels through which
Conscious creative energy circulates
In the subtle body are
The ida, the pingala, and the sushumna.
Sushumna is the seat of kundalini.
The discipline of silence is really the
The sahasrara chakra at the top of the head,
The junction of the three channels.


Quieting the mind is not the real silence. Real silence consists of stilling all thought and immersing the mind in Self-knowledge. Concentrating the mind in the sushumna, at the meeting place of the ida and pingala nadis, is the correct practice of silence. It is only through such silence that one can practice yoga and obtain results.

These sutras were selected from The Sky of the Heart: Jewels of Wisdom from Nityananda, published by Rudra Press, the publishing division of The Movement Center. The accompanying commentaries are by Swami Chetanananda.