Some Light on Yoga Practice (Part I) by Swami Krishnananda

Baba Times Digest© | 16 March 2014 19:58 EST | New York Edition

Some Light on Yoga Practice (Part I)

Divine Life Society Publication: Chapter 6 The Essence of the Aitareya and Taittiriya Upanishads by Swami Krishnananda

 “Yoga is union with the ultimate state of things, not with things as they appear.”

Why are we so far away from the Absolute?

The Supreme Being, or Absolute, is transcendent to our level. The greater the externalization, manifestation outwardly towards objects in space and time, the greater is the loss of selfhood. In all attachments to objects of sense there is transference of self to the object, so that we lose ourselves first in order that we may love the object. The greater also is the loss in the quality of happiness. So it is the Self that is the source of bliss, not any object or any kind of external movement towards an object. But the more we gravitate towards externality, the more is the extent or the measure of the loss of selfhood in us. Thus, we have descended too far.

On one side is the objective world, on the other side the individuals, and in the center we have got the controlling divinities called Devatas, so that we, the subjects, look upon the object outside through space and time as if it is bifurcated from us, with no connection at all between one and the other.

From the causal condition we have come to the intellectual, from the intellectual to the mental, from the mental to the vital, and from the vital we have come to the physical level. These are the five koshas. We can imagine how far we have descended. So there is no wonder that we are unhappy, and that the so-called happiness of sense contact is not divine happiness. Even that little fraction of so-called happiness of sense contact is due to the presence of the Absolute, by way of reflection and distortion. This is also the nature of happiness, and this also gives a clue as to how we can reach the Absolute. This method is called yoga.

The practice of yoga is the art of contacting the Absolute

We know we contact an object, but the Absolute is not an object at all. It is the Self, it is the internal being of everything. How can we contact our own consciousness? But this is what is meant by Yoga—union of the individual with the Absolute. We can unite ourself with our own inner being by gradually lessening the degree and the intensity of externality of consciousness and by moving inward gradually. It is self-control, ultimately, which is called yoga—self-restraint which includes the restraint of the operation of the sense organs, the restraint of the mind, the restraint of the intellect, and the restraint of the impulse to externalize consciousness in any manner whatsoever. The urge of the consciousness to manifest itself in an external form is contrary to yoga.

How to practice yoga

The senses have to be rooted in the mind. The mind has to be centered in the intellect. The intellect has to be fixed in the Cosmic Intellect, and the Cosmic Intellect has to be united with the Peaceful Being. This is how we have to control the mind.

The restraint of the mind and the senses is not an easy. We practice the traditional routines of stopping the breath, not thinking of objects, sometimes not thinking anything at all, and then keeping quiet in a blank state of mind, under the impression that we are practicing yoga. To control mind, intense philosophical analysis is necessary together with other accessories such as living in an atmosphere which is conducive to this practice and study of scriptures and books which will fill the mind with ideas that are elevating in their nature and of the nature of the practice of yoga. Living in the service of a Guru is a great help in this direction. Finally, a very correct grasp of the meaning of self-control is necessary. Since the Absolute is everywhere and all pervading, and its realization in our own experience is the aim of this practice, withdrawal of the mind from objects implies some subtle technique which is commensurate with, or not in contradistinction with, the presence of the omnipresent Absolute.

Sometimes doubts arise in the mind. “From what am I withdrawing the mind? If Brahman is everywhere, if the Absolute is everything, whatever I think in the mind is the Absolute only. So what is it that I am withdrawing myself from? (To be Continued..)

Excerpts from:

Some Light on Yoga Practice – Chapter 6 The Essence of the Aitareya and Taittiriya Upanishads by Swami Krishnananda

If you would like to purchase the print edition or audio CD, visit:
The Divine Life Society E-Bookstore

If you would like to contribute to the dissemination of spiritual knowledge please contact the General Secretary at:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



SEND FEED BACK ON THIS ARTICLE >>> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Email to BT Digest Editor