On the 19th July, IYA team including Prof Kambhampati Subrahmanyam, Sri DR Kaarthikeyan and Ravi Tumuluri visited Rajarajeshwari Temple and paid their respects to Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Puri Mahaswamiji, the present pontiff of Sri Kailash Ashrama Mahasamshtana. Sri Sri Sri Tiruchi Swamigal was the…
by Atmayoga Guru Dr. Samprasad Vinod, Life Member
It is a commonly held belief that Yoga is only about physical exercise in the form of Asanas that sometimes appear like series of weird contortions of the body like an acrobat. Yoga is also misconstrued as mere breathing exercises in the form of Pranayma, for better health and treatment of various diseases. But Yoga is not confined to its physical aspect, which in reality is less important aspect than its all-pervasive, life encompassing effects, along with complete inner transformation. It is also not about wearing saffron attire and making tall claims about its effectiveness. It is an ‘ideal lifestyle’ that incorporates all aspects of individual life in particular and collective life in general. It helps us widen the scope of perception of reality.
Bhagwan Patanjali describes ‘Ashtangyoga’ – Yoga with eight limbs. Those limbs are – Yama, Niyama, Pranayama, Pratyahar, Dharana, Dhyan and Samadhi. Yama includes five principles – Ahimsa – (Non-violence), Truthfulness (Satya), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (being in unison with the Brahma) and Aparigraha (freedom from excessive hoarding). If we study and understand these principles well, our outlook towards life undergoes radical transformation. Change in the outlook automatically reflects in our physical actions, thinking, emotions and intellectual performance. Let us briefly look into the first two Yamas – Ahimsa and Satya.
Ahimsa does not mean refrainment from violence, but deep understanding of the source of violence within us, which automatically leads to complete freedom from Himsa (violence). Understanding Himsa implies reaching at its core and discover its deeper meaning. Going to its roots by closely following the underlying process that results into violence, leaving a deep impact on one’s life. In the process, one develops deep insight, which in turn helps us unearth its source. The process eventually culminates into true Non-violence that gets readily incorporated into our daily living.
Ahimsa paves way to express itself as love for all without attachment and expectation. It serves as a trigger to complete inner metamorphosis, which is essential for leading a highly welcome and truly meaningful life. Genuine love embraces whole universe and therefore never fails or lets you down. It leads to deep compassion for all without any expectation. It expresses itself in a very natural and beautiful manner. Yoga Vidya must therefore be studied in-depth in order to develop such Love. Even a small glimpse of such Divine Love helps us develop great drive to discover its full potential to solve many of our day-to-day problems with ease and efficiency.
Like Ahimsa, we need to understand the deeper meaning of Satya (Truth), which is far from just speaking truth. It is about understanding and accepting the fact that everything in the universe exists because it is ‘worth’ its existence. However, we are not adequately equipped to assess the worth of anything that exists in its entirety. All integral parts of the existence around us comprising various objects, persons, flora, fauna, and insects exist because they deserve their existence. We may or may not like few things or they may not be beneficial to us. But that does not mean they should not exist. Nothing in this universe depends on what we want or do not want. We must therefore understand this very clearly and readily accept it as well and learn to respect, and live up to this reality. For letting the All – Pervasive Universal Truth become deeply ingrained into the very fabric of our life, we need to see, perceive, and understand reality as it actually exists, without any distortions according to individual likes, dislikes whims and idiosyncrasies. Wholehearted acceptance of the essential reality of life and living up to such reality with great reverence for the whole existence, means putting सत्य into practice.
We must realize and accept the fact that we are bound to be surrounded by both good and bad people. When we learn to live with it, it becomes easy to accept people as they are. Acceptance has magical effects. If we accept the good and bad qualities in us, we can go beyond duality or transcend it. Once we do that, true goodness begins to emanate from us, which is beyond conventional good and bad. Acceptance resolves the conflict between good and bad forever and helps us develop good rapport with others.
The crooked robber Valya turned himself into a sage Valmiki only because the renowned seer Narada Muni wholeheartedly accepted him as he was and blessed him with Mantra. We may not be able to awaken Valmiki within others, we can definitely try to awaken Valmiki within us. If we can do that, it would be a great achievement. It would result into more cordial and effective relation with people around us, which will make our life far more worthwhile and fulfilling. Consequently, we will be free of unnecessary comparisons and begin to enjoy life better. Then, the beauty of rose and magnolia will generate same response of appreciation in us. We will enjoy them equally well without wasting our precious time in superfluous debates deciding which one is better. Instead, we will enjoy their individual beauty as it is, without indulging into any assessment.
It is in our true interest to understand the innermost core of YogaVidya, to lead a happy and meaningful life with profound insight!!