Thu Jan 29th, 2015 06:00Am Manhattan, NYC
What is Yoga?
“Yoga is to realize the Truth.
It is to realize the True Self.”
-Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa,
The Universal Gospel Of Yoga
The Purpose of Yoga
“The purpose of Yoga is very clear from its beginning.
Our True Self is the Pure Existence called Atman,
and the purpose of Yoga is to ‘realize It’ and ‘live It.’ ”
-Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa,
Teachings on the MAHAYOGI YOGA MISSION web-site
“Hear the words of Truth, reflect upon them, and meditate.”
-Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
It is said that when we practice Yoga, it is important to go through the three processes mentioned above. Have you ever thought about why this is significant or why this is so?
“Hear the words of Truth, the words of the Awakened Ones, think through them thoroughly and then meditate.” This teaching alone represents two of the three components of kriya yoga, the daily practice that practitioners of Yoga must carry out. It also encompasses two of the five niyama (observances) from ashtanga yoga (The Eight Limbs of Yoga).
The teachings of Yoga are for those who are seeking Truth, and their purpose is that of Self-Realization. As practitioners of Yoga, we treasure each word of Truth and, with the aim of realizing the Truth, dedicate ourselves to fully understanding the depth of meaning behind the words, intuiting their very essence. Understanding of the Truth does not come merely by reading or hearing the words of Truth, no matter how much we might hear or how many times we may read.
We should think thoroughly about why it is important for the practitioner to go through these processes and why it is important for us to understand deeply for ourselves rather than just remaining on the surface of the words, understanding them simply ‘through much hearing’ as mentioned in the sutra below.
“This true Self cannot be attained through doctrines, nor through intelligence,
nor through much hearing.
It can be attained only by one whom this Self chooses and
[to whom] this Self reveals Its own nature.”
-Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1-2-23
Translated by Sanatana
During the summer of 2012, for the three months that Shri Mahayogi was in NY, a group of disciples and students in Kyoto, Japan came together and dedicated themselves to studying the yama (abstinence) and niyama. Each disciple chose one yama or one niyama to explore deeply. They were to think thoroughly about it, including throughout their daily activities, meditate on it and later present what they had come to understand about it to the rest of the group in order to study the subject together. One disciple, Satya, chose to study svadyaya, the study of sacred scriptures. Recently, the notes she took about what she learned from this program and her experience after three years were posted on MYM of Kyoto’s blog. The following are the translations of her notes:
• First of all, reading sacred scriptures is completely different from regular reading.
• On reading books = books are for activating the mind, causing it to move.
• On reading sacred scripture = these books are for restraining the activity of the mind.
• We must NOT interpret the meaning in our own way or to please the ego. → Cultivate the ability to listen. Acceptance with humbleness, without protesting, is important.
How to read the sacred scriptures–
• How much and how in depth you relate yourself to the teaching is essential.
• Trying to feel and understand the teachings through sensing and experiencing the depth of their meaning is important.
• It is possible to meet one’s Ishta (one’s personal ideal saint) !!!
It seems that it happens as a result of studying sacred scriptures.
After sharing these notes, Satya wrote that she realized that now, three years later, she has verified it to be true, “you can meet your Ishta.”
The third issue of Pranavadipa will be released in 10 days!
For those who hunger for Truth, this has been a powerful way to stay connected to the teachings of Shri Mahayogi and His energetic presence that can be found within them. It is as if we are receiving the spiritual food we need to sustain us for one month. How have you been relating the teachings to yourself and to your daily life? Exquisite food has such a wonderful and enticing aroma! However, unless we take it into our mouths and chew, swallow and digest it, we never get to taste how truly delicious it is, nor can we experience the sustenance that it brings us. It sits outside of us, only pleasing us with its sweet aroma.
Don’t you yearn to partake in and enjoy this splendid feast with all of your senses?!