Path of Progression

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

In the mental dimension of yoga, the systems lead you to the state of meditation. Meditation is complete absorption in experience. When that meditation experience happens, that absorption, then you are ready for the spiritual aspect of yoga. Until now you only had to play with your mind. When dhyana, absorption, has happened, then you come to the spiritual dimension of yoga. By the time you come to dhyana, your mental attitude and awareness has become much more positive, your stressors have been managed much more efficiently and there is more peace and harmony.

You are more in control of your sensorial and mental behaviours. You are on a good path and spiritual realization becomes a living experience, not just fantasy or imagination. According to Sri Swamiji, the goal of human life is to cultivate spiritual awareness, not God realization. That spiritual awareness is the awareness of the positives.

In the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita (2:54), Arjuna asks Krishna, ‘How does an enlightened being live in this world? What does he eat? What does he think? What does he drink? How does he live?’ Krishna says to Arjuna, ‘Just like you and me and everyone else. They may be enlightened, but as long as they are in this world they have to live according to the rules and laws of the world, the senses, the body, nature and everything. They will feel hungry. They will feel sleepy. They will feel everything that a normal human being experiences. The only difference is that they will be seeing the luminosity in everything, while others see darkness everywhere’.

It is a simple statement. The enlightened being will see luminosity everywhere, while all others see darkness everywhere. This luminosity can mean hope, positivity, optimism, inner strength.

The Progressive Yoga Vidya Training takes us from one experience of yoga to another to another to another. That is known as swadhyaya. The Upanishads define dharma stating that one of the pillars of dharma, the righteous living, is swadhyaya. Swadhyaya generally means self-study. The Upanishad further says, that yoga is swadhyaya, self-study. People think of self-study or study as reading books, scriptures, increasing the knowledge bank. Swadhyaya is knowing oneself and yoga is swadhyaya. Every practice of yoga, every step of yoga is swadhyaya. It allows you to discover a new side of yourself every time. From the upanishadic perspective, yoga is one component of dharma, as it allows you to realize yourself, discover another aspect, another side of yourself. Progressive yoga is exploring the sequence by which you can go through the sadhana defined by yoga.

October 2019, Progressive Yoga Vidya Training, Ganga Darshan