Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Insights & Inspirations (Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 2) — From Purpose To Meaning

May 19, 2018

From Purpose To Meaning

  Swami Venkatesananda    Why do people practice yoga at all? Obviously the motivation is varied: health, vitality, therapy, relaxation, weight-reduction, mind development, supernatural powers, kundalini awakening, equanimity or balance state of mind, problems related to interpersonal relationship and generally, unhappiness and sorrow. At the very outset the serious student of yoga discovers that it is a waste of time blaming all of these on 'others''. Whatever their source may be, they are experienced by oneself, within oneself.

       The Yogi is not keen to analyze these physiological, psychological, social or spiritual problems, to find why they are there or what their purpose may be. He is interested to find out what they are. Obviously this can only be discovered by oneself. 'Others' views are their views, their opinions. Opinions differ, indicating that perhaps no one opinion represents the whole truth, not even one's own!

      Hence, even the sort of answer that presents itself to the inquiring intelligence is not accepted as truth, for it gives rise to the question, ‘Who is the inquirer?' Surely this question cannot be answered verbally or conceptually. That would still maintain the internal division between the observer and the observed, questioner and the quest. The quest has, therefore got to culminate in Self-knowledge, an indescribable experience (the word 'experience' is used for want of any better word!). In that, the 'what' is realized, the truth is realized, and all problems are dissolved (not merely solved).

      This is not the 'end' of yoga, it has no beginning and therefore no end. Life takes on a different quality. It is divine life. The relationship of one who has Self-knowledge is love, for his vision is limitless, having seen all points of view to be limitations. He is truly a blessing.




      Why does God have to work — through us, etc.?

      When one looks at the world and the way everything in nature is 'working' one begins to ask questions. Two types of answers emerge: the materialistic ('each man works for himself') and the altruistic ('each one works for others'). But they are not satisfying in the face of the inevitable destruction of everything. Then one looks at life again and discovers the third answer: ‘It is the nature of everything to be active — and it is God's nature which works through all names and forms.'

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