Yoga Basics

Inner Journey: Four Stages of Sadhana

This article elaborates on the four stages of sadhana (practice).  What makes one seek something permanent, something subtler than the world we know or something deeply profound and mysterious? Most seekers want to have freedom from suffering. This suffering may be of physical, social, mental...

Understanding ignorance, death, meditation and samadhi

This article explains the difference between ignorance, death, meditation and samadhi. "If you understand only these issues — ignorance, death, meditation, and samadhi — everything will be revealed to you. No book can go beyond this." Swami Rama in Path of Fire and Light 2,...

Adhikara: Am I qualified for Liberation?

This article is a summary of Yoga Vasishtha Section 1: Dealing with Dispassion. It expounds on the qualities of a sincere seeker. Are you an adhikari? The Yoga Vasishtha, a Vedantic text, is part of the celebrated Indian epic Ramayana.  The Ramayana tells the tale of Lord Rama, rightful heir...

Four Forms of Grace leading to Moksha

Summary Yoga Vasishtha Section 2: Dealing with the Behaviour of a Seeker. The Yoga Vasishtha is part of the great Indian epic Ramayana. The Ramayana tells the tale of Lord Rama, rightful heir to the throne of Ayodhya, who is forced in to a fourteen year exile in the jungles. The simple and short...

What is Yoga? Part 1

Birth of a child and Yoga are both spontaneous states of wonder

The answer to the oft asked question"What is Yoga?". The answer one often hears is: Yoga means union. This is merely a translation from the original Sanskrit. The Definition of Yoga If I ask you what the meaning of sweet is, would you say the meaning of sweet is mitha, süß, doux?...

What is Yoga? Part 2

Yoga is compared with the different disciplines of Psychology, Art, Science, Education and Philosophy. How do we get to know ourselves? One of the ways is comparison.  We will use this method to understand more about Yoga. We will try to drawn parallels between Yoga and disciplines we know...

What is a Swami? What is Sannyasa? What is renunciation?

Swami means Master, that is, one who is "Ma" Master over "Swa" or the Self. While this really is the fundamental idea, the word swami has many layers of meanings. What is sannyasa or renunciation? To understand who or what a swami is, we must first understand sannyasa. The...

Traditional vs Non-traditional Yoga

Having come out of its shroud of mystery and conquered the world, Yoga is returning to traditional values. Some of us like to believe that the times in ancient India were ideal spiritual times and everyone was holy. Quite to the contrary, Yoga and deep spiritual insights were on the margin of...

Benefits of Yoga

Some therapeutic benefits of Yoga are enumerated and the "real benefit" is explained. Most people start practicing Yoga because they are stressed out and/or sick. And Yoga, they have been told, is "good for you". Well, the "good reasons" for practicing Yoga are...

Marga: The Four Paths of Yoga

The different Paths of Yoga are identified and explained briefly. Different Paths for different personalities Consider a lamp shop. There are different lampshades but the Light is the same. The essential Truth remains the same, but our personalities are like the different lampshades, that adorn...