Search This Blog

Monday, September 25, 2006

Finding Inner Peace: Yoga Techniques (1)

The definition and purpose of yoga is to calm the mind to create inner harmony; yoga is peace. Although yoga is often associated with the body, the purpose of yoga is more intrinsically related to the mind. Yoga is practiced to create peace of mind.

However, a state of calmness and peace is our natural state. Essentially, anything we do takes us out of our natural state of being. We are the masters of our mind and body, so there is no need to do anything in order to attain a state of peace, including the practice of yoga. So then why do we need to do all these practices to obtain our original state of peace?

Being is our natural state and doing is an unnatural state, like a dream. We have incorrectly identified ourselves with doing rather than being. With that being the case, how can ‘doing’ something now assist us in ‘being.’

To further understand how doing assists in being, let us explore the example of detergent. Detergent is used to take stains and dirt off of fabric. However, detergent itself is a type of dirt/stain. The advantage of this ‘dirt’ is that it takes away all the other dirt and then dissolves itself without damaging it. In the same way, yoga practice can remove the obstacles that keep us from being and assist us in going back to our natural state.

As we continue to stay busy by our constant state of ‘doing,’ we become tied down by all of our responsibilities, forgetting our natural state. The following story told by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati, a great spiritual scholar and teacher, further exemplifies this concept.

In the deserts of Rajasthan, a caravan with several camels was moving from one place to another. The caravan stopped at a water hole for the night. Everybody was relaxing and the person in charge of the camels came to the head of the group and pleaded, “Sir, I have made a grave mistake.” The Master asked, “What happened?” “I forgot to pick up some of the ropes to tie the camels with.” The master reprimanded him for his negligence, but then said, “OK, we shall arrange for new ones tomorrow. But for today, just tie them without ropes.”

“But, sir, how do I tie them without ropes?” he asked. The master replied, “You know there are no ropes but the camels do not! So, they think that you are tying them as you normally do. So go to them and pretend to tie them up.” The fellow could not believe it but the master went with him and in front of every camel, he acted as though he was tying the rope. As the camel saw the action of being tied, he settled down on the ground.

The next morning the camel person came running out to the master and said, “I think there is something wrong with the camels! They didn’t get up when I went to them and tried to take them away. They must have some type of health problems.”

The master asked him, “Did you untie them?” The fellow was confused, “But, we didn’t tie them.” The master explained that the camels thought they were tied, so that notion needs to be removed. The master went to the camels and pretended to untie them and the camels jumped to their feet!

Like the tied camels, we live in an illusion of being busy and having to do so much. We have to perform some practices to come out of this illusion.

It would be nice if we could just hear that we must keep our minds peaceful and it magically happens, but for most of us, we must practice techniques to make us peaceful. Unless we are “Uttama Sadhakas”, or pure seekers, we must practice yoga to return to a state of being. Uttama Sadhakas are the few people who, when they hear that they have to keep their minds at peace, they are not attached to anything and can remain this way forever.

- to be continued...



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes if the truth be known, in some moments I can reveal that I acquiesce in with you, but you may be making allowance for other options.
to the article there is still a without question as you did in the decrease issue of this beg center theme for windows vista ?
I noticed the axiom you procure not used. Or you partake of the dreary methods of inspiriting of the resource. I take a week and do necheg