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Aims of Yoga

Aims of YOGA

Although information about the universe is ever increasing, the human mind is never satisfied; it always yearns for more knowledge. However, as Kant, the great eighteenth century Perssian philosopher noted, the intellect ultimately comes to a point beyond which it cannot penetrate.

The intellect cannot answer such questions as :
  • What is the purpose of life?,
  • Who am I?,
  • Where will I go?,
  • Is physical death the end of everything?,

It can be seen as foolish to search for truth with an instrument as limited as the intellect, to attempt to measure the unknown depth of eternal questions with a finite instrument.

There are people known as saints or seers who can see the past, present and future. They have the ability to gather the dissipated rays of the mind. The answer to transcendental questions come to these people from the limitless source of wisdom gained during the hours of silent meditation.

The seers and saints who have discovered the truth declared that this truth will take away all of the miseries and pain of life. They have realized their essential nature, which is eternally pure and perfect.

The founders of all religion ‘saw’ God; they saw through their own souls. What they saw, they reported and taught techniques to reach this state of experiences. Transcending the intellect gives the yogi, saint or seer the highest mystical experience or ‘samadhi’. Many religious teachers of today, on the other hand, seem busier with preaching than with practicing. Many people blindly follow religious leaders without knowing the purpose of life and are satisfied with mere ritual and tradition.

Each person needs to experience the truth within him/himself; only then will doubts and miseries vanish. Yoga gives practical and scientific techniques for finding and experiencing the truth in religion. As every science has its own method of investigation, so also the science of yoga has its own method. Yoga says that the truth can be experienced only when one transcends the senses and when the mind and intellect cease to function.

A yoga teacher does not stop to prove theories, nor argue with the class. A true teacher teaches with the authority of personal experience. This authority, in turn, is based on guidance received from his/her own teacher and from the scriptures. The teacher knows that much of the teaching is but the planting of seeds. For every idea the student understands, there will be a hundred that will come into the conscious mind only when the time is ready, when sufficient purity, strength and clarity of mind have been achieved.

The aim of all yoga practice is to achieve truth, wherein the individual soul identifies itself with the Supreme Spirit, or God. Beyond the ever - changing consciousness of mind and intellect, there is a changeless, formless Spirit which is unaffected by anything, and which is veiled in the individual according to his/her stage of evolution.

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