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The Message of the Yoga Way

Book  stop.gif (845 bytes)  Weekly Message Archive


In this new feature of our website, we present every week a new selection of the teachings of Vedanta, taken from a variety of sources lectures and writings of Swami Adiswarananda, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Literature, and other spiritual texts.










The Yoga way tells us that the ills of life are not created by an extracosmic God, by the outside world, by fate, luck, or chance. According to Yoga, there are five causes of suffering: ignorance (avidya), ego (asmita), attachment (raga), aversion (devasha), and clinging to life (avhinivesha). Yoga philosophy maintains that reality has two components: Self (Purusha) and the world of matter (prakriti). Ignorance causes the Self to forget its real nature. This brings in its wake an exaggerated ego-consciousness and a deluded individuality that create attachments, aversions, and clinging to life. The root cause of suffering is the apparent embodiment of the ever free Self and the Self getting lost in the world of matter. The world of matter, which includes the body and mind, is material and has no consciousness of its own. The consciousness of our body and mind is the borrowed consciousness of the Self. The problem of suffering is essentially spiritual and requires a spiritual solution, which is direct perception of our divine Self.

The Yoga system tells us that the natural tendency of the human mind is toward Self-realization. The master urge of a human individual is not sex-gratification or acquisition of power or wealth but desire for unbounded joy, unrestricted awareness, and eternal life. All our struggles and toils are a search for the fulfillment of this desire, which is attained when we get established in the Self.

The journey to Self-realization is essentially an inward journey through the layers of our mind, through the wilderness of temptations, desires, attachments, and delusions. According to the way of Yoga, the Self is like the bottom of a lake, which is the mind. The waters of the lake are constantly agitated, creating various waves. We do not perceive the bottom because of the waves. The tendency of the lake is to return to tranquility, but it remains agitated due to the impurities and distractions of the mind in the forms of desire for sense pleasure, attachment to the results of action, and accumulated bad habits and tendencies, created by ignorance, delusion, and spiritual blackout.

(To be continued)

Book  stop.gif (845 bytes) Weekly Message Archive