Friday, June 10, 2011

What is true Yoga? Is it Divorced from Life?

Here is a great article by Sri Aurobindo spurning the popular belief that Spirituality is divorced from Practical day-to-day life.

Here is an excerpt:

Yoga is communion with God for knowledge, for love or for work. The Yogin puts himself into direct relation with that which is omniscient and omnipotent within man and without him. He is in tune with the infinite, he becomes a channel for the strength of God to pour itself out upon the world whether through calm benevolence or active beneficence. 
When a man rises by putting from him the slough of self and lives for others and in the joys and sorrows of others; 
- when he works perfectly and with love and zeal, but casts away the anxiety for results and is neither eager for victory nor afraid of defeat; 
- when he devotes all his works to God and lays every thought, word and deed as an offering on the divine altar; 
- when he gets rid of fear and hatred, repulsion and disgust and attachment, and works like the forces of Nature, unhasting, unresting, inevitably, perfectly
- when he rises above the thought that he is the body or the heart or the mind or the sum of these and finds his own and true self; 
- when he becomes aware of his immortality and the unreality of death; 
- when he experiences the advent of knowledge and feels himself passive and the divine force working unresisted through his mind, his speech, his senses and all his organs; 
- when having thus abandoned whatever he is, does or has to the Lord of all, the Lover and Helper of mankind, he dwells permanently in Him and becomes incapable of grief, disquiet or false excitement, - 
That is Yoga. 
Pranayam and Asanas, concentration, worship, ceremonies, religious practice are not themselves Yoga but only a means towards Yoga. Nor is Yoga a difficult or dangerous path, it is safe and easy to all who take refuge with the Inner Guide and Teacher. All men are potentially capable of it, for there is no man who has not strength or faith or love developed or latent in his nature, and any one of these is a sufficient staff for the Yogin. All cannot, indeed, reach in a single life the highest in this path, but all can go forward; and in proportion as a man advances he gets peace, strength and joy. And even a little of this dharma delivers man or nation out of great fear. 
It is an error, we repeat, to think that spirituality is a thing divorced from life.

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