Sunday, 7 August 2011

Practical steps to spirituality - Part 8

Shastras give four spiritual disciplines (yogas) to help you reach your ultimate desitnation, that of knowing who you really are. These yogas help you to destroy your vasanas which manifest as thoughts and desires. The union of the individual self with the supreme self is called yoga.

Your realize that you are not your body, mind, intellect. Due to a false identification with these equipments, you have imagined yourself to be in bondage, in samsara, you get affected by all the ups and downs of life. The four yogas will help remove this bondage and you will become eternally free. The four yogas are: hatha yoga (path of compulsion), karma yoga (path of action), bhakti yoga (path of devotion) and gnana yoga (path of knowledge).

A human being is a sum total of his emotional, intellectual, active and indolent nature. The different disciplines cater to the different natures of human beings. One who is predominantly emotional takes to bhakti yoga, one who is predominantly intellectual takes to gnana yoga, one who is both emotional and intellectual takes to karma yoga and one who has none of the above, no goal in life and is lazy and indolent will have to start with hatha yoga (a course of physical disciplines).

The human mind is full of selfish thoughts and desires. These yogas will help you to reduce such desires. By pitching higher goals in life the mind loses its grip over its selfish nature and the desires finally drop off. One who was an extrovert now becomes an introvert and his mind is now ready for meditation. In meditation he realizes who he really is after all!
To be continued ...

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