Preparing the Mind

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Yoga means karma yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga and jnana yoga, and each yoga has something to complete in your life.

Bhakti yoga channels your emotions. It should be practised before raja yoga or with raja yoga. Karma yoga helps you to balance the impurities and distractions of the mind. If you practise the yogas systematically, then you will never come across the problems created by the mind and emotions in your practices of meditation.

We face the mind in meditation because we have not treated the mind through bhakti yoga and karma yoga. In yoga, meditation is considered to be the highest point, but still I think, in modern countries, meditation is overemphasized and incorrectly emphasized. Meditation is a very high stage and therefore it needs a lot of preparation. If you do not practise the other forms of yoga, then you will have to face difficulties in meditation.

Karma yoga and bhakti yoga

Karma yoga is the philosophy of your relationship with life. What is your relationship with everything around you and what should be your attitude to your work, family, children, problems, enemies and everything else? And how should you react in success and failure, love and hatred, victory and defeat? This is very important. Karma yoga is the philosophy which fixesyour relationship with everything else in the world in such a way that nothing disturbs your mind, at any time, no matter what has happened to you.

In the same way, bhakti yoga is so important that without it, you cannot properly balance your emotions. Therefore, we have to findout whom to love, who can accept all our love and would not react in a bad manner, and at the same time, it would not be boring. Most problems which we people suffer from today are the problems caused by love or the absence of love.

It is necessary to train your emotions, as you train your mind. Untrained mind, untrained emotions and untrained drivers make accidents. Therefore, in bhakti yoga the emotions are channelled to a divinity, in the form of god, in the form of deva, in the form of guru.

When you have practised karma yoga and bhakti yoga, and you practise raja yoga, or you may say yoga, the mind automatically becomes quiet. Because you do not practise bhakti yoga and karma yoga, in meditation there are emotional and mental problems, so, you must say, ’Okay, let them come’. Don’t stop them, because stopping them will be the greatest disaster.

—19 September 1982, Sansicario, Italy