Life always moves towards perfection. Just like how water flows down and fire goes up, the nature of life is to move towards perfection, to move towards something bigger and something higher.
Often people say that the mind is wavering, but the mind is not wavering. The mind is the wave. It is moving towards something. It is moving towards a higher joy.
If you get a little joy, you want some more joy. This is because the mind always moves towards something bigger and something higher.
Right from school days, what is it that you want? You want to get a higher grade. Which student does not want to get a higher grade? Which artist does not want to perform better? Which scientist does not want to reach the peak? Which engineer does not want to build something beautiful? So wanting perfection is in the nature of human beings. The mind wants to move towards something higher, and the way to achieve it is Yoga.
Yoga Helps You Get Out Of Misery
If you are miserable, yoga helps you get out of your misery. If you are very restless or unhappy, yoga brings you that equanimity. It first relives you from misery and then brings you equanimity.
Yoga also helps you attain skills that you do not have. The word for qualification in Sanskrit is Yogyata, which means that which has come out of yoga. It is action that brings you happiness or sorrow. And if you are skillful in action, then your action will only bring you happiness, or less misery. So with yoga, one attains
- Relief from sorrow
- Skill in action.
Yoga Helps You Expand Your Vision
There is a fourth step to Yoga, which is to take you to the ultimate knowledge.
Our misery is when we don’t open our eyes and see the vastness of the life. Misery means short vision. Yoga is expanding your vision – taking your eyes to the higher truth. If your mind is filled with fog, then your perception of life is very foggy. If your mind is filled with anger, you will find that everybody is mocking you. You will find that everybody is against you.
You project yourself to people, situations, and the world around you. That is what you do. All the time we are projecting ourselves. Seldom are we able to see the reality the way it is. That is why Yoga is important.
Again, yoga is not just doing some exercises. Yoga has been mistaken as just asanas. It is not. It is the expansion of consciousness. It is an emotional integration, a spiritual elevation with a touch of mysticism, which gives you a glimpse of something which is beyond all imagination. It is the connection to what we are.
If you look at a baby, a baby does all the Yoga postures. But not only that, the attitude of a baby, the way it breathes, its perceptual ability or sharpness, and its ability to stay in the present moment (all the qualities of a Yogi), a baby expresses.
So, Yoga should not be limited or misunderstood as just some exercise. It is a holistic development, expression and connection of human life.
Yoga Brings You Peace
Yoga is a complete science. It unites body, mind, spirit and the universe. Yoga brings that much needed and longed for peace and ecstasy in every individual. Not only that, it also makes such a difference in one’s behavioral pattern, thought pattern, and one’s attitude. For a sane life these days, yoga is almost indispensable. If you want to be sane, sensitive, sensible, strong and intuitive, you have to follow Yoga.
The above text is an excerpt of one of the Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living discourses.