The quest for Self-Realization

Or the eternal question: “who am I?” We all want to know who we are truly, what is our goal in life, what is the purpose of the things we are doing? We are taught from a young age to learn and experience things through others. We need to succeed at school, in our work, in our family and we can do all those things, we can go through life with little awareness of who we are deeply. We hear stories about one successful CEO well married, with beautiful intelligent children living his life for a retreat in the mountains. Or others very wealthy, owning a lot of valuables and yet they never seem to have enough, they never feel happy enough. Often it’s our neighbor or a family member who’s being bitter, mean and aggressive to everybody even himself. We need to let go. Nature continues to taunt through life, with afflictions and uncertainties, those who have no discrimination power and awareness. Renunciation is the practice of detachment from desires. (Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali 1.15) We need to learn how to be detached from objects, and then we can remain unmoved by temptation. It is willpower to develop indifference to all types of attachment. Once the senses have been silenced, the mind moves towards Soul Realization.

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Obstacles to healthy life and self realization are diseases, indolence of body and mind, doubt or skepticism, carelessness, laziness, failing to avoid desires and their gratification, delusion and missing the point, not being able to concentrate on what is undertaken and to gain ground, and inability to maintain concentration and steadiness in practice once attained. They are further aggravated through sorrows, anxiety or frustration, unsteadiness of the body, and labored or irregular breathing. Often we meet people who have giving up, caught in the web of pleasures and comforts forgetting on how to look after themselves, neglecting their sadhana (practice).

The way you practice yoga reflexes the way you behave in your life. Are you dedicated? Can you wake up every morning and practice? When you are practicing, are you focused, where is your dishti (gazing point)? Are you breathing correctly with ujjayi breath (victorious breath or sea sound breathing), to allow the distribution of the prana flow throughout the system? Are you pushing yourself further in the posture, beyond your limitations, your fears or expectations? Are you lying to yourself and to others, pretending to do or to be? If you truly, honestly practice Ashtanga yoga it will help you to get to Self-Realization. When we have overcome our intellectual and emotional defects, nature’s gifts readily serve us for realization of the soul. All sorrows and hatred are washed away, and everlasting unalloyed peace comes to the seeker.