Look No Further:True Yoga Revealed.

Via Vrindavan Raoon Sep 1, 2013

By: humanofuma
By: humanofuma

Everyday Bhagavad-Gita: True Yoga.

Verse 2.41: Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.

There are no shortage of ideas about yoga floating around the world today.

As yoga becomes more and more popular, it seems as though it’s also becoming increasingly difficult to understand what true yoga is all about.

It’s simple really. Yoga is a way of life. It’s not something you “do,” it’s how you live.

Since yoga is spiritual in its essence, the ultimate result of living a yogic lifestyle is to reconnect ourselves with the spiritual. What is spiritual? It is to realize that we ourselves are eternal spirit souls, that all other living entities are also eternal spirit souls, and that we are all connected by a common relationship; a relationship with the Divine, the Supreme, who different people call by various names.

For many of us, this is a lot to absorb all at once and so the yoga texts take it step by step.

The BodyFirst, the yoga texts start with the body. This makes sense since our bodies are what we have the most immediate experience with and with which we all too quickly and easily mistakenly identify ourselves. Yoga asanas, or postures, are there to help us experience the body. Think about it. How often during the day do you think about blinking, breathing, or even walking? We tend not to notice any particular part of our body unless we experience pain there, so by performing these various postures, we get to “experience” the body in the process of keeping it healthy.

For many, this is enough and they are happy to think that this is complete yoga. However, this is really just the beginning.

Once the body is regulated, it only makes sense that we try to control the wild and turbulent mind.

One of the most effective ways of taming the mind is through the practice of mantra meditation. In contrast to trying to empty the mind of all thoughts, which is near impossible to do, mantra meditation engages all the senses. Instead of trying to fight the senses to control the mind, the bhakti yogi uses them as tools.

Now we come to the purport of this week’s verse, which speaks of the intelligent. Did you know that the bhakti texts categorize the mind and intelligence as two different aspects?

In fact, there is a hierarchy. The intelligence is higher than the mind, which is higher than the senses. Higher than the intelligence is the soul. Are you noticing a pattern here? The first two steps involve our understanding the nature of the senses and the mind and then regulating them. And from here, we arrive at our intelligence which forces us to ask; what should we do with it?

We must purify it and one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by hearing from advanced bhakti practitioners and reading the bhakti texts.

Here Krishna, the ultimate yogi, is giving the characteristics of a person who has purified intelligence—they are resolute in purpose and their aim is one, i.e., they are focused. In addition, to help us diagnose ourselves, He also gives a description of those persons whose intelligence is not purified—they are irresolute and scattered.

image from BBT
image from BBT

But that isn’t all.

The aim and the purpose of such intelligent persons is also given. It’s not that we should be resolute about just anything and count this as the benchmark of our purified intelligence. Purified intelligence means our aim and focus in on living a yogic, or pure, lifestyle.

But, the most important first step on our journey to the heart of real yoga lies in beginning to understand and controlling our minds. This is exactly what Krishna will reveal in the verses to come. So stay tuned!

It could change your life and turn you into the focused and empowered individual you always dreamed you would be.

 

Like elephant bhakti on Facebook.

Editor: Thaddeus Haas

 

About Vrindavan Rao

Vrindavan Rao was born into the bhakti tradition and grew up enveloped in it. However, her personal discovery of the bhakti path began in 2004 when she had the opportunity to go to a Vedic College in Belgium and since that time she has embraced it completely. Her love for travel has given her the opportunity to study Vedic texts, such as the Bhagavad-gita, in places such as India, Canada, Belgium, Ukraine and the United States under the guidance of several advanced practitioners.

She especially loves the Gita and refers to it as her “Guidebook for Life” since it contains practical answers for complicated questions and is currently writing a daily blog on every verse of the Gita. In addition, you can keep track of all the happenings of Everyday Bhagavad-Gita on Facebook and via Twitter.

Her background is in science and she not only has a Bacherlor’s degree in Biochemistry, but also a Masters in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. In her free time she loves to write, read, give presentations, sing and work out.

481 views

4 Responses to “Look No Further:True Yoga Revealed.”

  1. galenpearl says:

    Yes, it's how you live. Especially in the US, we think of yoga as an exercise, and it is on one level. But that is only the very surface. I find that this is true for martial arts, too, which can be practiced as an exercise or a sport. But, like yoga, it is in essence a deep philosophical practice that becomes a way of life.

    • Vrindavan_Rao says:

      Great comparison to martial arts Galen! The practice of yoga is beautiful because there's something in it for everyone. But if we want to really get the maximum benefit, we really need to go deep. Beautiful reflection! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  2. I love your explanation of the hierarchy – so true and so necessary for us to understand if we wish to grow spiritually. Beautiful reflection, my friend!

    • Vrindavan_Rao says:

      Thank you so much Martha! Advanced practitioners of yoga often refer to it as the "yoga ladder". In this way we can grow gradually. The beauty of the Gita is that it gives the shortcut as well! So whether we want to go step by step or take the short cut – it's all there! :)

Leave a Reply