There is an old adage that says your mother knows everything about you—whatever you are thinking and feeling—and don’t have to be told – isn’t necessarily a good statement to buy into. I had to convince my mom deeply for my new transformation now.
When I was around 15, I told my mom I need a fancy hippie haircut she agreed, she knew that was my age talking.
When I had my first Crush, she listened to my silly stories along with my friends
When I got my first tattoo, she was equally thrilled and asked me what made me chose that pattern?
When I told her I tasted my first drink, she gave that ‘curious George gaze’ and asked about my experience!
But Now When I told her I want to do Meditation and understand Spiritualism, She is totally appalled… I had to spend one long night to explain why and what made me fall for it….
Does she really think I am not ready for it? Or she relates meditation to a life of Ascetism and thinks I will totally refrain myself from the material world?
I don’t know if this is true for everyone who wants get into spiritualism/self realization.
Somehow Maharishi Patanjali, a mystic Yogi foresaw this around 400-500 CE.
It is unbelievable, this timeless book starts with an incomplete sentence …
“atha yoga anushashanam”
Which literally means “And, Now it’s time for the practice of Yoga” ….
“Yes you have done most of what is to be experienced in life and NOW it is time for you to focus on YOGA” is one way of interpreting it.
Isn’t it amazing to start a legendary book with this kind of an opening line some 2000 years back?
The brevity of the sentence and choice of words, has innumerous meanings pinned into it.
When I first started reading the Sutras, I didn’t take this verse that seriously. But after spending more time on it, I am totally enamored with this simple verse. It is a very powerful sutra, NOW – is bringing oneself to the present moment, there is no age for ‘now’, not the past which is gone nor the future which is yet to happen. Stay in the present moment and that is where lies the solution, power of soul, power to understand and the power to be. There are lot of books written on the “power of now” but unfortunately all of us are hooked either in the past or plan/panic about the future falling into the trap of misery. To practice the concept of Now is not simple either. One has to be extremely disciplined, focused, an astute student, with a sense of adventure and should be able to immerse oneself into its mysteries.
I believe in
“Start where you are, Use what you have. Do what you can. If you never try you will never know”
Before you start any journey, it is customary to clear the mind of all distracting thoughts, to calm the breath and to purify the heart and look for a path. There are different tracks defined/followed by many enlightened souls around the world but everyone’s ultimate goal is the same. I simply wanted to lay my own path and begin with universally renowned great work “YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI MAHARISHI” or Yoga Darsanam.
Yoga is widespread and are beyond one’s religious faith and belief and so are Yoga sutras.
Sutras (Aphorisms), is a genre of Ancient Indian literary composition, a condensed text like a theorem with unfathomable values woven around it.
While no one knows exactly who Patanjali was or if he was even a one person or a group of people, the Yoga Sutras have come to be accepted as one of the most important yoga philosophy texts in the world
It is more like a student’s class notes. So reading without commentary or explanation makes it very difficult to follow. At the same time, detailed explanation may not exactly reflects author’s thoughts, it is definitely adulterated with perception of the interpreter. Also, Translation from Sanskrit can only be closest but not exactly the same.
This Gospel of Yoga has 196 sutras, with powerful hidden meaning —Yoga is an esoteric, secret, occult science, which means that it doesn’t reveal itself at first glance. Its teachings are veiled in symbols, codes and poetry and presented as sutras — threads, which weave themselves into and out of plain view.
I am still not sure if ‘teachings’ is a right word to use here. Unlike other philosophies that are based on theory, yoga is rooted in one’s own practice and involvement. Yoga is to be considered is like consuming food. As it enters the body it assimilates and becomes part of us. You can spend years explaining about different types of food, analyzing its nutrients and describing it. But you’ll never be able to relish it unless you taste it. Likewise, you can only attain the state of yoga through your own practice and living through it.
Yoga Sutras insightful observations about one’s mind, controlling & keeping it still had been possible in ancient times. Attaining the same in the modern world is a big question to be analyzed.
Also, In Modern days there are lot of misconceptions about yoga. It is just not twisting the body in the name of Asanas (Yoga Postures) to improve strength & flexibility.
Infact Patanjali refers to Asana in only one sutra and mentions it should be steady (balance) & comfortable. Seeking this equilibrium is what it is all is about! The Yoga Sutras do not mention a single asana by name, merely specifying only the characteristics of a good asana .
But Asana is just third of 8 limbs (Ashtanga), and to reach higher goals of Yoga – Mastery of mind and deeper connection to the inner self is the key.
Ashtanga – The eight limbs in order are yama (Codes of Social Conduct), niyama (Self -observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (realization of true self).
Meditation and mindfulness are buzzwords these days for good reason. Yogis have been practicing dhyana (meditation) for millennia. It is a vigorous search for the true identity of “me”, not a psychic jugglery nor a technique to simply sit idle and relax.
But if you have no interest to hunt about “Creation/Me” you can still meditate with a good guided practice just to quiet your mind and call that “Me time”.
The true meaning of Yoga is the union of body, mind, soul, and spirit. The Yoga Sutras are a practical guide to help us comprehend about this union.
My mom and my friends do ask me what is that I gain out reading and practicing it. I don’t know I can’t explain, makes me feel extremely good and happy. I also understand that its part of my metamorphosis. My evolution.
Not everyone of us want to sit under Bodhi tree to get enlightened and become a Guru. Nor read the gospel of yoga to withdraw from responsibilities and escape from the world, but bring various aspects in a manner that yields inner harmony. We are all entitled to a happy and a peaceful living, of course happiness definition varies for everyone – at 15, I thought happiness is in my hippie style, at this age I believe it is in quiet slow living. And I don’t want to plan or think about what is in store for tomorrow.
Today, I am accepting this change in me and also try to appreciate the “RULE OF NOW” to inevitably transform my mundane everyday life into an enlightened living.
Mom – Do I make sense NOW? If not, just trust me and I will make you proud as always.
6 Comments Add yours
Well written Lavan. Relates to even my thinking needs a lot more maturity. Great reading.
Thanks for reading Nisha !
Well done Lavan. You bring different perspective to every topic that you choose and it’s very commendable. I myself is a strong believer of yoga and meditation simply to keep myself calm and focused on the priorities of my life rather than getting restless and worried about the constant craziness that happens in our life. And it helps to great deal. I should explore more on the spirituality side. Maybe soon! Enjoyed reading this as always 👍
Thanks Shobs ! As always your feedback is encouraging ! Thanks for reading 🙏
Enjoyed reading this!! You are an inspiration!