The Discovery of Yoga
As we read in the previous chapter, Brahma had left Shiva with an important question to ponder upon:
“The mind can be deluded by perceptions or can be enlightened by truth?
And the choice that one makes between delusion and the truth is a key determinant of how their lives shape up”
This questions aroused Shiva’s curiosity to search for his own answers.
Shiva found he himself was deluded and unable to see the truth. He himself saw tremendous sorrow and grief in the world, which were naturally just perceptions created by his mind. He wondered, “How can I control my mind? How can I see the truth?”
After dwelling on these questions for several years, Shiva finally arrived at his answer.
With Yoga Shiva could train his mind to stay focused and be able to see the truth. He could exercise his body so as to effectively utilize his energy and remain calm in all circumstances. Hence Shiva is known as Maha Yogi or the Ultimate Yogi.
When Shiva shared the secret of Yoga with his disciples, he shared a plethora of information. Some of the key messages he gave were:
We exist beyond our bodies. We are all made of Purusha and Prakriti. Purusha is stable, it does not take any form, Purusha is the self, which pervades the universe. Purusha is the Spirit, the pure egoless consciousness that exists beyond our senses and mind. Prakriti is your body and mind, and the suffering that you experience is due to your Prakriti.
We take birth again and again only because of our karma or our actions. Our actions create reactions which we must experience, if not in this lifetime then the next one.
Yoga helps you bridge the connection between you and your Purusha.
As the message that Shiva communicates with us in this story is very strong, I wish to spend more time to help you ponder on the same. We were faced with an interesting question in the last chapter.
“The mind can be deluded by perceptions or can be enlightened by truth. But how should one make that choice?”
Now Shiva in this story offers an explanation on how we should go about our search of the truth.
Shiva explains that we exist beyond our bodies (as Purusha), and we can experience it through practicing Yoga, as it allows us to experience our Purusha. He also shows how Karma plays an important part in our rebirth and recreation.
Shiva enlightens us that currently we all are deluded by our perceptions, and the world that we see is a mere perception (which also implies that the world shall change as soon as our perception changes).
Shiva also says that we must be aware of our actions. And we should be ready for the reactions that may occur as a result of our actions.
I shall leave you with these three learning’s today. They are all substantial learning’s in their essence, they teach us some very important things about ourselves and the world around us. We shall ponder on these factors more as the chapter’s progress.
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Dr. Nilima Chitgopekar
The Shiva Experience