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Body - Mind - Heart - Spirit

What is Yoga? - By Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev


Yoga: An Inner Journey


There is a beautiful story about a caterpillar that lived much of its life believing that it had come into being only to eat and sleep and do what the rest of the caterpillars did. However it was unhappy. Somehow it sensed that its life had another dimension not yet experienced.

One day, driven by a strange longing, it decided to become still and silent. It hung from the branch of a tree, weaving a cocoon around itself. Inside the cocoon, although constrained and uncomfortable, it waited, sensing and aware. Its patience bore fruit, for when the cocoon burst open, it was no longer the lowly worm that went in, but a beautiful, resplendent, winged butterfly which dazzled the sky. It soared and flew, no longer limited to its worm-like existence, but free and unbounded. The caterpillar had been transformed into a thing of air and lightness, magic and beauty.


Once the transformation had taken place, it was impossible for the butterfly to return to being a worm. In the cocoon, the caterpillar had become one with its inner being and in this union it reached its ultimate nature. What happened in the cocoon can be described as yoga. Yoga is the path towards being boundless.


Yoga transforms and liberates human beings so that they can reach this unbounded state. Humans, unlike animals, are not merely existing. They are becoming. To evolve as a human being is to become aware of one’s limitations; to strive, with intense passion, towards the transcendence for which we all have the potential.


What is Yoga?


Yogic science not only provides knowledge about the underlying basis of metaphysical principles and ethical values, but it also provides the necessary tools to completely transform human nature. Its aim is to bring about perspectives beyond intellectual understanding, and to foster experiences that bring life into a new dimension of perception.


The emphasis of yoga therefore is not on the external and perceivable areas of endeavor, which lead to bondage and limitation, but on the inner and intangible fields, which lead to freedom and perfection. It involves the transformation of a limited being into an unbounded one.


Yoga is both a philosophy and a science. The philosophy and the science of yoga are not only intertwined and inseparable, they also reinforce each other. The philosophy emphasizes the existence of the Self within. The science is the method that verifies this doctrine by setting out certain kinds of discipline, certain techniques and practices that enable the emergence of the true being within us.


Yoga is the path towards the union of our bounded self with our ultimate nature. This union results in self-realization - Mukti or Nirvana. Through perfect yoga this freedom is attained. Yoga is not something one does; it is the medium of one becoming the crucible of self-transformation. It is not a practice, but a certain way to be.


Yoga deepens, broadens and strengthens the visionary power of the mind. It opens the door of that realm of sensing beyond the five senses.

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