Jewels of Wisdom from H.H.Shri Kumarswamiji’s book, ‘DIMENSIONS OF YOGA’.
1. The practice of yoga is purification of the body and mind. Almost all the systems of Indian philosophy insist on the practice of yoga as the necessary practical side of the philosophy of life.
2. Yoga is a system of physical, mental and spiritual training. It originated in India thousands of years ago. It is neither a cult nor a creed but it is a method of self-realization which starts with the purification of the body and ends with the unfoldment of the spirit. A yogi is neither a priest nor an oracle, but a man who has attained spiritual illumination. He can be a Hindu, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Hebrew, a Muslim or he may belong to no religion.
3. Yoga pays particular care and attention to the purification of the body. It is often asked why yoga bestows so much attention on the body, when its aim is the spiritual union with the Divine. Yoga regards the body as a vehicle through which the spirit manifests itself. Just as a violinist takes care of his violin without which he would not be able to express his art, so a yogi takes care of his body as the only instrument through which he can express the spiritual powers.
4. We pay a dear price for having forgotten that we are an integral part of nature. In spite of all our inventions and achievements in the field of mechanics, we are not mere machines. If we are really anxious to keep physically fit and mentally alert, we should begin to re-educate ourselves in the ways of living as taught by yoga.
5. Yoga is a discipline which teaches man to transform passion into peace and to raise it to a higher level where it is freed from the limitations of the senses. This represents the fullness of life which is harmony without discord, freedom without bond, reality without illusion, satisfaction without striving and love without longing.
6. Yoga helps to develop the profound and vital methods of psychological self-discipline so that the mental life of man may express the spiritual truth through the expansion of its own richness and complexity.
7. Yoga is transformation, transformation of the human nature into the divine nature.
8. The transformation of the body, life and mind is effected through Grace, through the inflow of the spiritual power. The main function of Grace or the uplifting and elevating force is to manifest the pure psychic nature and to reveal all the psychic forces that compose the constitution of man. This transforming process under the impress of the dynamic Divine goes up to the vital and psychical level and energizes even the cells and nerve centres of the body removing old age and disease.
9. Yoga aims at re-creating the world. The main objective of yoga is not to accept the world as it is, but to change it, to mould it in the pattern of the divine Reality.
10. Yoga teaches man the art of living in tune with the Infinite by satisfying his eternal craving to be infinite in all dimensions of his being. Besides science and philosophy, yoga is necessary because it plays an important role in the life of man by awaking the dormant faculty of intuition, by kindling faith in the higher values of life, by enabling the individual to realize the hidden possibilities of existence here and now, and by arousing in him universal love, fellow-feeling and sympathy.
11. Yoga is harmony between word and deed, between contemplation and action.
12. Seek not the Self in the man-made temples, churches or mosques, but see it in the grandeur of the universe, in the solitude of thy heart, in the nature’s features of exquisite beauty. See it in the blazing sun, in the blue sky, in the murmuring river, in the majestic mountain, in the blooming flower, in the burning fire. Tune your mind with nature’s rhythmic music to stimulate the inner music of your soul which is infinitely superior to the music of the spheres. The inner self is the sweet musician deftly weaving the discords into the great masterpiece of the universe. Learn to hear the voice of silence, the soundless sound. The voice of silence is the voice of the inner self. There is no music grander than the music of silent communion with the inner self.
13. I urge upon you to observe silence at least one day a week. It is very helpful for introspection. Man must turn away from the world of noise into the inward stillness, into the interior silence, to become aware of the Reality which transcends time and space.
14. Yoga welcomes the complete spiritualization of life not by neglecting its natural expression but by finding out its spiritual source and origin.
15. Yoga is neither magic nor witchcraft, neither mesmerism nor hypnotism. But it is a sustained and all-comprehending effort at spiritual self-evolution, at self-knowledge or the knowledge of the self working in and through all the seven levels of consciousness ranging from the material to the spiritual. In yoga, matter is not an illusion, but it is a footstool for ascending to the spiritual heights where matter and spirit are the first and the last terms of life.
Teach yourself to meditate by taking Shri Kumarswamiji’s guidance:
16. Relax your body, sit comfortably in the lotus pose, or any other comfortable posture, keep your spine erect and your chest a little spread out. Throw the weight of your whole body to the ground. Concentrate on your breath and breathe deeply. Exhale fully and inhale deeply a few times. Let the mind follow the breath and listen to its sound. If you listen attentively, you will be able to hear SOHUM. SO when the breath flows in, HUM when the breath flows out. It may be difficult to hear it in the beginning, but as the attention gets drawn inward, you will hear the breath repeating it. You need not repeat it yourselves. Just listen and you will be able to hear a humming musical note within you. This is part of cosmic vibration. By concentrating on this inner vibration you will be in tune with the cosmic sound. Then you will be able to feel peace and bliss. By remaining in this state you can send out peace vibrations that travel abroad and influence other minds. In this state of silence you will forget all differences and become one with all life.
This article ‘Jewels of Wisdom’ is compiled from H.H.Mahatapasvi Shri Kumarswamiji’s book,’Dimensions of Yoga’ by Lakshmi from Zagreb, Croatia.