Yoga is not confined to any Religious practice. Then what? We humans have aspirations ( note the word aspiration ) desires, wants. And we have conditioned ourselves with many paraphernalia.
Some of these are by the nature of the body and others what we condition mentally.
Body is inside mind!
The basic concept in yoga is that Body is inside our Mind
And controlling the mind helps in better living. How to control the mind? Two steps are recommended for this:
- Practice (Sadhana)
- Dispassion (Vairagya ) Mind is connected to our breath
What is spirituality and its need?
We have seen that control of the mind enables is done by breath. How this is related to spirituality?
All that is promoting individual and social well-being can broadly be taken as Spirituality.
We have to understand Everything here is connected with everything
Let us take a long breath in and breathe out. Relax totally before broaching the subject of Spirituality.
This is the way that we can focus our minds. Incoming, breath energizes and out-going breath relaxes. In a world taunted by innumerable problems, we ordinary mortals, fail to understand the importance of Spirituality. If there is anything that is of utmost importance certainly it is Spirituality and holistic living in a proper perspective.
There are layers to our existence. What are they? As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar teaches us in accordance with Patanjali Yoga Sutra, it is different parts of our Personality. It is made up of seven layers:
- Environment and Physical body
- Our breath
- Our Mind
The study of these sheaths will throw light on various aspects of our life. How we interact with others and handle situations that arise. It is the most scientific study of the human psyche and existence.
Spirituality and yoga
Environment and Physical body
First, let us consider the physical aspects. The environment is very essential. Unless it is clean and conducive to good health, it is impossible to go any further. As far as the body is concerned we need nutritious food in proper quantity. Also, work rest, as well as sleep, is essential. Yoga also gives various asanas (bodily postures ) to enable the body. While other forms of exercises are there, yoga asana is unique. That is because yoga makes it holistic. It takes into account so many factors, based on yoga philosophy.
Breath and Prana
Control of breath has tremendous effects on our body and mind. Pranayama is the technique to control of Prana Sakthi (energy). Through the air, this prana Sakthi is drawn into our system and directing to our Nadis in sufficient quantity and quality. Prana is the subtlest energy that pervades the universe.
Mind or Manas in Sanskrit
“In the yogic understanding, there are 16 dimensions to the human mind.” Sadhguru
Normally we understand thoughts as Mind. It keeps swinging from the past and future. But when you focus on the present the mind stops, because it has no existence in the present. That is why it is called the present (a gift.) Living in the Present Moment
Intellect or the logical faculty
Intelligence is the discriminative faculty or the logical part of the psyche. It is with the help Buddhi (intelligence) we are able to make sense of our sense impressions. It is a common experience that we are able to differentiate so many objects and classify them.
Memory or Chittha is memory
Chittha is memory stored in the ego consciousness. It is the storehouse from where intellect and mind draw their resources. According to transmigratory theory, the ego collects these impressions with its onward journey. How to erase these impressions?
Ego simply means I consciousness
We have direct experience of the I. In the darkest and in the remote parts also the I is there. We may not be aware, but it is first thing that arises in the consciousness. Without it, there is no speech or action. It is the eye that identifies itself with the body and other faculties.
Self or God
The universal consciousness which permeates the entire creation. IT is the ultimate TRUTH. Those enlightened Masters see it as the eternal and transcendental reality.
Spirituality and Guru
There were many enlightened Masters and Gurus in the past, present and future. They revered and whole creation rejoices in their presence. They are compassionate and by very nature bring peace and harmony. Guiding followers in the path of love and coexistence, they are capable of bringing transformation in them.
Spirituality is scientific and also transcends it.
Though common misunderstanding is that spirituality is not scientific, it is proven that the methods taught by Masters are scientific. Notwithstanding the fact that it is scientific, Spiritual Masters have shown their super ability to work miracles.
Summing up Spirituality is conducive to healthy harmonious living. There are seven layers to our personality.
Yoga teaches us the methods following which we can live happily conduct ourselves and live hppily.
Enlightened Masters are compassionate and guide us in the path of love peaceful coexistence.