Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Viveka means right understanding. Right understanding will create a positive result in the personality by providing a new dimension to one’s understanding and interaction with the world, the senses and objects. Proper application of viveka alters behaviour, desires and interaction.

Spirituality is an inner unfolding, it is not something which one attains from outside. Spirituality is a symptom of an integrated and awakened personality. Only when the personality is awake and balanced can spiritual awareness dawn.

In yoga, viveka is considered to be a faculty of higher vision. From ground level one can see the horizon only up to a certain distance. As one climbs a mountain one gets a wider view and a greater perspective. When one goes up in a helicopter or an aeroplane one can see much further still. Therefore, the higher up one goes, the broader the view becomes. The more one internalizes, the more one discovers oneself and the more one’s views about life change. Actions and performance change; behaviour, attitude and emotions all change.

Yoga has always considered the mind, body and spirit as an integrated unit. The body cannot survive without the mind. It cannot survive without the spirit. The mind cannot survive without the body, nor can it survive without the spirit. The individual spirit cannot survive without the mind or the body. This is the realization that one must attain: the unity and integrity of these three expressions of creation. The body is one expression, the mind is another expression and jivatma, or soul, is the third expression. When these three expressions are combined, that experience is known as life.

It is more than right knowledge, as it has been described in many books. Viveka is an awareness of every action, reaction, thought, desire, motivation and ambition. One is aware of one’s limitations and capabilities.