Essence of Yoga
The Ultimate Truth is so simple, It, in and of itself, can never be known, communicated through language, nor be written about. It cannot be found in any book, nor be gained through any effort, nor be given to you by some higher force. It is never different from you and nothing outside of yourself to be gained. It is your own essential nature, the innermost essence of your being. At best, ideas and concepts regarding its nature can only point one’s Awareness (Cit) towards its Existence (Sat), upon which recognizing, one can then abide in the Natural State of Joy (Ānanda) which the words Truth, Reality, or God are only synonyms indicating the living experience of That which Is. This Awareness (Cit) of one’s own Being (Sat) and the resultant Joy (Ānanda) that intensifies each moment one abides as one’s own Self is not limited in any way, nor bound by nature’s forces. It simply Is. One without a second. Complete in and of itself, relying on no other thing for its existence.
Why and how we are unaware of this Pure and Unchanging State of Blissful Being (Sat-Cit-Ānanda), but rather aware of the limited experiences of pleasure and pain, due to our perception of the transitory phenomenon that constitutes our day to day life, is the focus of Spirituality. No matter what form it takes, the Spiritual Life encourages each individual to discover for themselves, directly, the answers to the fundamental questions of existence. How has this world come into being and become the limited experience of duality; giving rise to separation, multiplicity and suffering? Why did this separation occur in the first place? What am I to do to return to or regain my Natural State of Oneness, and when and where should I do it? And perhaps most importantly, discovering the answer to the question, Who is experiencing this separation, in the first place? Precisely because those who have attempted to answer these questions on our behalf, have never unanimously come to a conclusive agreement with one another, indicates to the discerning that there is in fact no answers that are applicable to everyone all of the time. This is not to say that the answers do not exist, per se, but rather that each attempt is based upon the level of realization of the Supreme Truth by the various philosophers, prophets and sages that gave answers on our behalf to these deep questions; and possibly, more so, upon the audience their answers were addressed to. These “answers” variously became philosophies, religions, cosmologies, metaphysical doctrines and so forth, some even degrading into dogma over time, with no one opinion regarding the nature of our world, the Universe and Creation completely identical with one another. However, though the answers differ as to the nature of the dualistic creation, how it came into being, what one need do in order to transcend it, and why (or even if) it was ever created, the actual condition of the Truth is agreed upon by those established in It. These great Sages and Saints, whom through direct experience, have come to abide as that Truth unanimously conclude that Truth is the One Reality, Free from Limitations, Unchanging, Self-Effulgent, one’s own Natural State.
The Sages conclude that creation theories, and the methods of emancipation will always differ based on the level of Self-Awareness that each individual Truth seeker is at any given time. None are better or worse, higher or lower than another. No one worldview or one methodology will work for everyone all of the time. Self-Realization cannot have a blue print or a map that is capable of working for everyone all of the time. As such, the why and how questions, which address the creation theories, and the what, when and where questions that address the methods of liberation, are subsidiary to the more important and practical question, that is actually within our capacity to answer, namely “Who is experiencing this creation?” The inescapable answer all must admit is “I am.” Upon which one must then understand who they actually are, an answer incapable of being answered until one realizes the very source of the feeling of “I-ness” Rather than relying upon a philosophy of creation that we ourselves have no direct experience of or relying upon a method that we are uncertain of because we also have no direct experience of its goal, the Sages advise that the one thing that we all can verify through our direct experience is that we Exist (Sat). Becoming Aware (Cit) of the source of this Existence ( Sat) is the essence of all forms of Spirituality and a Universal experience available to all that are ready and willing to live in Truth. This Absolute State of Self-Awareness is available all of the time, in all places, and it requires only a steady and determined attention upon the source of the “I” feeling. By questioning oneself in the form of “Who Am I?”, and resting upon the feeling of “I”, the Awareness (Cit) of Existence (Sat) reveals itself. This is the only “effort” that is to be made. Because God is One, so too, the “effort” that we must make to realize God is also only One. We need not do many things. The many, is an attribute of the dualistic world which appears as multiplicity. The moment we choose to believe that we need to do different things, or make multiple types of effort to realize the Truth we unknowingly delude ourselves and forget to keep our Awareness (Cit) upon the Source of our Existence (Sat). Truth is simple, so too the “effort” to know Truth also is simple. This utter simplicity baffles the mind which is accustomed to and conditioned by the objective dualistic world, and again and again one forgets the Natural State, choosing instead to believe that one need do many things to reach God. This is only a self-imposed illusion that one should attempt to break by repeatedly reflecting upon the source of the “I” feeling, which in time will prove to be the substratum of all experience. This revelation brings in its wake the Natural Joy and Happiness (Ānanda) of Being (Sat) Aware (Cit) of our own True State, which is the essence of Spiritual Life.