The Yogic Way of Life

From Teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Volume III

Whichever way of life we adopt for ourselves, we expect some outcome from it. Whether it is a moral lifestyle, a religious way of life or even if we want to live like a vagabond, everybody, if he is intelligent, has to understand why he chooses that particular way of life for himself.

In this context, I would like to say that many people in the East and West have adopted a new way of life called the yogic life. This, of course, needs explanation and clarification. It does not mean that when we choose the yogic way of life, we adopt a new religion, or that we become a puritan overnight, or change our external lifestyle, and so forth.

Why would we want to adopt a particular way of life? Is it because we accept it as a needed change for ourselves, or as a religious way, or do we believe that by adopting that way of life we will be able to express our awareness much better?

Sometimes we reflect during the serious moments of our life and we begin to findout our relationship with time, space and creation. This, of course, I think animals don’t do. Then we try to discover if there is a greater and higher consciousness within us which we have to realize and express.

The style of life which we have adopted so far does not seem to be helpful in discovering this deeper and basic consciousness that I am talking about. It comes to every individual as a realization, but that realization alone is not enough – one needs to have some deeper experience. To have that experience, one must adjust many items that relate to one’s life, and it is in this context that the yogic way of life has to be understood.

—27 August 1982, Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA