543Foundation of Yoga - Swami Sivananda
- Jul 2, 2007FOUNDATION OF YOGA
Develop virtues like generosity, forgiveness and love. Mere Yogic
Kriyas alone will not help you much. Do self-analysis daily and
eradicate your faults and evil, slavish habits. Rectify your defects
such as selfishness, pride, jealousy and hatred. You must cultivate a
compassionate and loving heart first. At all times you must share
what you have with others and practice selfless service. Then only
will you get purity of heart.
Yoga is unity, identity, homogeneity, oneness and sameness with God.
Many aspirants neglect these preliminaries and jump, out of
curiosity, to Yogic Kriyas for getting psychic powers. It is really a
serious blunder. They will have a hopeless downfall. Therefore, be
careful. Mere Yogic Kriyas cannot bring about the desired results.
The purification of the heart is of paramount importance. The
aspirant must free himself from lust, anger, greed, jealousy, hatred,
egoism, vanity, attachment, pride and delusion. This is more
difficult than control of breath or the practice of Yoga Asanas.
Virtuous qualities such as mercy, tolerance, adaptability, courage,
patience, balance state of mind and cosmic love should be assiduously
cultivated. Sages have always laid great stress on selfless service,
generous charity, purity and simple living.
With firm faith, application, perseverance, careful attention to even
small details, and fortitude in trials, you must set foot and proceed
on the path of Sadhana.
Yoga is not hidden in caves, not sequestered in thick Himalayan
forests. It is not in taking mountain herbs. God is not a coward to
run away from towns, cities and villages. Practice Yoga in your own
home. When the desire to practice Yoga comes, it means that
liberation is near at hand. Now, take the plunge.
It is a blessing to be a Yogi. Practice Yoga and preach. Hatha Yoga
ensures good physical and mental health. You must utilize this to the
best advantage by deep meditation on the Atman or inner Self. Self-
realization should be your goal. This should be achieved by the
constant remembrance of God, by righteousness, by a life of virtue
and by the practice of Yoga.
Becoming a Yogi does not involve the abandonment of anyone or neglect
of any duties. It means switching over from a life of purpose-
lessness to the path of God. It entails a change of your attitude
towards life and in the methods pursued for liberating yourself. True
and lasting renunciation is, after all, a matter of the attitude of
There is only one institution for you which can train you to evolve
into a full-bloom Yogi, and that is where Providence has placed you-
your own home. Mind is indeed the cause of bondage and liberation; a
restless mind will find rest nowhere except in its own annihilation.
The mind should be attacked on all sides with every possible type of
weapon-with the repetition of God's Name, study of religious
scriptures, devotion, practice of silence, service. Pranayama, Japa,
prayer, Kirtan and meditation. All these should be combined.
Do not look upon Yoga as something beyond you or as calling for any
extraordinary efforts. You can remain in your station of life, carry
on your work and at the same time embark on the Yogic path. Do Japa,
prayer, Kirtan, meditation and Asanas regularly.
Any effort in the direction of Yoga never goes in vain. You will
realize thereby the fruits of even a little Yogic practice.
Yes, there is a popular notion that Yoga is only for the
intelligentsia. It is not so. Yoga is for all. Everyone can and
should practice Yoga from his own station in life.
I can impart to your noble self training in one of the most ancient
Hindu medicine - the great miracle panacea for all ills-Yoga. Become
a Yogi from this moment.
The aim and end of Yoga is Self-realization. Yogic methods should not
be applied for mere material gains.
Yoga does not consist in just reading books and discussion at a club
table. It consists in practicing what you already know.
Every activity - from the rearing of children to the management of
the home - can be readily converted into Yoga. Kindly study the first
six chapters of the Gita again and again. Merely running away from
crowds is not a sign of Yoga. The performance of all actions as an
instrument in His hands, and with the consciousness that this world
is pervaded by Him, the Supreme Spirit, is called Yoga.