Many ask me whether pranayama ... postpones old age. Why worry about it? Death is certain. Let it come when it comes. Just keep working. The soul has no age. It doesn't die. Only the body decays. And yet, we must never forget the body, since it is the garden we must cherish and cultivate.
In Savasana or in meditation, the light of the eyes is drawn towards the lotus of the heart, so that the seat of the intelligence of the head is brought into contact with the seat of the intelligence of the heart, which is called the mind. Thus one passes from the individualistic state of consciousness to the universal state of consciousness. It is the merging of the intellect of the brain with the intellect of the soul.
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You know the known, so go a little into the unknown. The mind that is caught up in the known - extended a little beyond reason. The moment you go beyond , you move in the soul. Releasing the bondage of your mind to extend further, reach the unknown a little more. The further you go, you realize that the known is limited and the unknown is vast.
He who has learnt to control his tongue has attained self-control in a great measure. When such a person speaks he will be heard with respect and attention. His words will be remembered, for they will be good and true. When one who is established in truth prays with a pure heart, then things he really needs come to him when they are really needed: he does not have to run after them. The man firmly established in truth gets the fruit of his actions without apparently doing anything. God, the source of all truth, supplies his needs and looks after his welfare.
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The practice of yogasana for the sake of health, to keep fit, or to maintain flexibility is the external practice of yoga. While this is a legitimate place to begin, it is not the end Even in simple asanas, one is experiencing the three levels of quest: the external quest, which brings firmness of the body; the internal quest, which brings steadiness of intelligence; and the innermost quest, which brings benevolence of spirit.
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Whenever asana is done mechanically from the front brain, the action is felt only on the peripheral body, and there is no inner sensation, there is no luminous inner light. If the asana is done with continual reference to the back of the brain, there is a reaction to each action, and there is sensitivity. Then life is not only dynamic, but it is also electrified with life force.
Think light! Try to impart a feeling of lightness to the body. Think light. This can be achieved by mentally extending yourself outwards from the centre of the body, i.e., think tall. Think not just of raising your arms but of extending them outwards and when you are holding them still, think again of reaching still further away from your body. Do not think of yourself as a small compressed suffering thing. Think of yourself as graceful and expanding - no matter how unlikely it may seem at the time.
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Faith, courage, and intelligent and uninterrupted awareness - these qualities are to be present whether one is wide awake, half asleep, or in deep slumber. An individual who lives like this performs his daily actions with a mind free from selfishness. This is poise in action. And this poise leads to that serenity which is in the truest sense a healthy mind in a healthy body.
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Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self realization. Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day to day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions.
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You must do the asana with your soul. How can you do an asana with your soul? We can only do it with the organ of the body that is closest to the soul - the heart. So a virtuous asana is done from the heart and not from the head. Then you are not just doing it, but you are in it. Many people try to think their way into an asana, but you must instead feel your way into it through love and devotion
Yoga is as old and traditional as civilization, yet it persists in modern society as a means to achieving essential vitality. But yoga demands that we develop not only strength in body but attention and awareness in mind.The yogi knows that the physical body is not only the temple for our soul but the means by which we embark on the inward journey toward the core.
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You must purge yourself before finding faults in others. When you see a mistake in somebody else, try to find if you are making the same mistake. This is the way to take judgment and to turn it into improvement. Do not look at others' bodies with envy or with superiority. All people are born with different constitutions. Never compare with others. Each one's capacities are a function of his or her internal strength. Know your capacities and continually improve upon them.
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You have to create love and affection for your body, for what it can do for you. Love must be incarnated in the smallest pore of the skin, the smallest cell of the body to make them intelligent so they can collaborate with all the other ones, in the big republic of the body. This love must radiate from you to others.
One has to see oneself through one's actions, works, and mind. Knowing the Self by the self is not as easy as writing that line. A #"Ž yogi sees things in every movement he makes, maybe when practicing, maybe when teaching, or maybe when talking to people. You should have courage in your convictions and pursue what is dear to you all these years.
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When you cannot hold the body still, you cannot hold the brain still. If you do not know the silence of the body, you cannot understand the silence of the mind. Action and silence have to go together. If there is action, there must also be silence. If there is silence, there can be conscious action and not just motion.
I also say with backbends, you have to be cautiously bold. Not carelessly bold. You have to descend to the dictation of the spine. You cannot command from the brain to do the poses. As you play with a child, guarding the child from injuries, similarly you have to play in backbends, guarding your spine.
Death is unimportant to a yogi; he does not mind when he is going to die. What happens after death is immaterial to him. He is only concerned with life-with how he can use his life for the betterment of humanity. Having undergone various types of pain in his life and having acquired a certain mastery over pain, he develops compassion to help society and maintains himself in purity and holiness. The yogi has no interest beyond that.
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As long as you do not feel the serenity in the body, in each and every joint, there is no chance for emancipation. You are in bondage. So while you are sweating and aching, let your heart be light and let it fill your body with gladness. You are not only becoming free, but you are also being free. What is not to be glad about? The pain is temporary. The freedom is permanent.
You must continue to go back to the beginning, to the foundation, and question the foundation. Even once you've reached Samadhi you must go back so you can create it at will. Samadhi is the beginning of spiritual growth, not the end. You must always be questioning. Enlightenment comes as an accident at first, then you have to learn to recreate it.
For me there were only two ways on the precipice - either I have to fall in or I have to fall out, to accept or say good-bye. The moment I crossed the precipice, it no longer was a discipline - it became a passion, an urge to pursue. Then I experienced freedom. Freedom comes when the discipline revolutionizes the discipline as a passion for the art.
You must fill every inch of your body with the asana from your chest and arms and legs to the tips of your fingers and toes so that the asana radiates from the core of your body and fills the entire diameter and circumference of your limbs. You must feel your intelligence, your awareness, and your consciousness in every inch of your body.
I am old, and death inevitably approaches. But both birth and death are beyond the will of a human being. They are not my domain. I do not think about it. Yoga has taught me to think of only working to live a useful life...I will never stop learning, and it have tried to share some lessons with you. I do pray that my ending will be your beginning. The great rewards and the countless blessings of a life spent following the Inward Journey await you.
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