Balancing the Opposites

From Rikhiapeeth Satsangs 1 by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

The pursuit of sensory objects is the pursuit of pleasure, or bhoga. When you pursue pleasure, you experience imbalances in life. This happens 365 days a year. Throughout life the association of the senses with sense objects remains. When this association persists, negative factors influence the psychological body so that you are subject to diseases.

The nature of prakriti

Life is full of happiness and unhappiness, and changes come about in the human body with the onset of these states. The cardiogram, the brain waves and the blood pressure display changes depending on the state of joy and sorrow. However, if you practise yoga, balance is attained. It is not possible to withdraw from the world of senses. You have to stay within their influence, it is your compulsion and you are helpless against them. Everyone has to stay in this world of happiness, unhappiness, passion, anger, envy and delusion. It is the nature of prakriti. Death is a reality and life is a reality. It is impossible to experience total fulfilment in this lifetime for it is not the nature of prakriti. If you were to experience nothing but happiness from birth to death, you would go mad. Unhappiness comes to balance out happiness, and happiness comes to balance out unhappiness.

Yoga for positive thinking

Just as the day dawns to balance the night and the night sets in to balance the day, in the same way you need yoga to smooth out the imbalances created in the body by the pursuit of pleasure. In the state of society today, people complain about everything all the time, whether in newspapers, television or conversations. No one is happy with anything. This is how life is perceived.

However, your perception of life should be such that you develop a sattwic state of mind. This is necessary not just for the individual, but for society, the family and the nation. If, with the practice of yoga, you are able to change the direction of your mind, it is possible that a positive thinking pattern will emerge from within.

—2005, Rikhiapeeth, India