The way to unshakable happiness, the ability to joyfully accept any situation in life and the freedom to be not afraid of death are the great fruits of the practice of Yoga. Such a mastery over the experience of life and death is only possible for those who are willing and able to understand and practice the deeper and hidden realities of Yoga.
The practice of bodily contortions resembling those of a circus acrobat or meditating under a tree, waiting for the fruit of ‘enlightenment’ to fall into one’s lap is considered Yoga by most people. But it can be safely said that people who engage in these types of practices, while developing a great looking body or a relatively calm and concentrated mind, fall by the wayside in the path of Yoga for Yoga is neither fitness training nor meditation.
Yoga does not exist in some abstract , fanciful realm-it exists here, within our hearts and in our minds.An artist or musician in rapture while composing a new work, an ecstatic crowd of people loving a great concert, a rally car driver on the edge of concentration and effort, a small boned martial artist smashing with his fragile head a huge block of ice, a couple having pure, loving thoughts towards each other, basking in the warm sunshine of each others’ love-a terrorist and a soldier, both willing to put their lives on the line for what they believe in-all these and many others are unknowingly practicing some of the basic tenets of yoga most effectively. How is that? Because they are either in total concentration or having an open, fearless heart. These are the fundamental requisites of Yoga.
In the above examples the people are not consciously practicing authentic Yoga, they are engaged in the practice and perfection of some specific quality of Yoga. When this art of Yoga, whose practice is like walking on the razor’s edge, is correctly practiced then the human psyche and body undergo a fundamental change. From Tantra to Hatha and other forms of Yoga, the very objective of all the authentic Yoga is to unite and join the limited consciousness of a human with the unlimited consciousness of the Universe.
To lose the sense of self within the sense of All this I am. And even though this might seem the absolute and ideal objective, the practice of authentic Yoga leads to transformations on a daily basis, each transformation a step on the wondrous path towards the greatest liberation, the freedom from liberation itself.
When the mind and the senses are effortlessly controlled, the coils of mortality are discarded, the bounds of time and space become inconsequential in the light of a consciousness that knows no other. This is Yoga. And if all these stupendous experiences are not achieved, at the very least we become happy people, desiring to make others happy. That in itself is the greatest gift that we can give to an increasingly unhappy world.
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