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Eternal Law

yoga sAdhanA

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venkatesh.jpg

shrI venkateshvara

ananyAsh chintayanto mAM ye janAH paryupAsate
teSAM nityAbhiyuktAnAM yoga kSemaM vahAmyaham

To those who honor me and set their minds on me to the exclusion of all else, to those ever integrated persons I bring fruition of their yogic endeavors.

yogaH karmasu kaushalam, or yoga is skill in executing karma or skill in performing works or actions. So says Shri kRSNa in bhagavad gItA. By skillfully performing karma, we can restore and maintain balance to personality. This was the basis for my statement in Personality Problems that one can restore and maintain balance in personality through yoga and achieve personal growth.

A balanced personality is a personality that is integrated, or collected, and whole. It is by integration of one's personality that one can break the link with suffering and pain (dukha saMyoga viyogaM) as bhagavad gItA puts it) which is the goal of yoga. An integrated person is stable and steady. A stable and steady personality is attained by yoga, for as yoga sutra says - yogaH chitta vRtti nirodha - yoga is cessation of the movement of consciousness or stabilization of consciousness. Hence yoga sAdhanA or the practice of yoga.

Yoga comes in various shapes and forms. But all forms of yoga have the same goal, growth of personality and growth of a person's potential as shown in figure 9 below. It is usual to start with haTha yoga and this is the most popular form of yoga. And there are several versions of haTha yoga. It is best to choose a version that suits one's taste and personality. But no matter which version is adopted, it is best to step into rAja yoga or ashTANga yoga (yoga of eight limbs) after some time. Meditation or dhyAna is the seventh limb of this yoga. Yoga sutra of pataNjali is a good source on raja yoga. For some, jNAna yoga or buddhi yoga is the right approach. bhagavad gItA is a good source on this yoga. Some other sources are ganesha gitA, brahma sutras, avadhut gitA, yoga vAshiSThya and aSTAvakra gitA. No matter, what version of yoga one pursues, its fruition is as described below:

sarva bhutastaM AtmAnaM sarva bhutAni cha Atmani
ikSate yoga yuktAtmA sarvatra sam darshana

A person who has integrated his personality with yoga sees all beings in himself and sees himself in all beings; so says bhagavad gItA. As we can see from figure 9 below, that as X continues to progress in yoga, his personality continues to grow and eventually it will contain all the beings in the universe.

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Figure 9. Growth results from good karma. We acquire skill to properly execute karma with yoga.

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