What is Yoga?
One day three blind men encountered an elephant. Upon touching the elephant’s tail, the first blind man exclaimed “Well I say, an elephant is exactly just like a rope!” The second blind man, bumping into the elephant’s side, said “No sir, you are wrong: An elephant is exactly like a wall.” Then the third, having grasped the elephant’s trunk, declared “You are both mistaken. The elephant is exactly like a snake!”
Although each of the blind men thought they understood what the elephant was (and were each partly correct from their own perspective), none truly could grasp the whole vision.
People practice Yoga for different reasons and approach it in different ways, and so consequently for them yoga represents different things. Some want a strong, flexible and healthy body, whilst others want to experience a state of relaxation, develop the power of their mental concentration or cure themselves of various diseases. Yoga is all of these things and yet it is more, for they all represent only aspects of what yoga can offer.
Yoga offers us a path for deep introspection, it teaches us that we are intimately connected to the entire Universe, that there is a Unity which exists in us and outside of us only we are not aware of it. Analogically, we are like the wave on an ocean who believes it is isolated and separate, yet in reality it is intrinsically connected to the infinite ocean of life. Yoga helps us lift the veil of this cosmic illusion to discover who we truly are and what we can become. It contains the methods for becoming fully aware of the aspects of being human, the hidden potentialities within ourselves, for surpassing the limitations of the ego and the deepening the self-knowledge.
Yoga leads to bliss (SAMADHI). Experiencing this bliss means to be in state of completion.
SAMADHI is the highest state of expanded consciousness and ultimate goal in YOGA, leading eventually to the state of spiritual enlightenment and total wisdom.
MUKTI or ultimate spiritual freedom does not mean deliverance from the manifested world, but a close and permanent identity with the Supreme Consciousness, which is the true nature of one’s own self. Ultimate freedom is therefore possible only by realizing one’s own identity with the Universe. This ultimate spiritual state is not to be attained after death or in another dimension of Reality, but HERE and NOW.
“Only liberation in this life (JIVAMUKTI) is authentic liberation” – SPANDA PRADIPIKA.
Excerpt from Tara Centre Blog http://www.tarayogacentre.co.uk/