Eight steps of Yoga
The ‘eight steps of the Yoga of Patanjali’ were known thousands years ago. However, up to now, their original esoteric meaning had not been unfolded. The Teachers were to reveal it only to the devoted pupils and that time has now come. The ‘eight steps of yoga’ show a progressive path towards perfection. Without having mastered one step, it is impossible to comprehend originally the following. It is, however, necessary to practice all steps, placing emphasis on the first ‘till all actions of developing yourself do not merge into a single infinite act of unification with the Supreme.
SATYA - Truth
The first step: YAMA
This stage could be regarded as that of self-restrain or yoga ethics. Yoga is the path leading to the union between ourselves and the Universe, between the spirit and soul, between the finite and the infinite. It is a path that lasts a whole life.
If you split yoga from life you will not be successful. This split comes from a misunderstanding about what yoga is. Yoga does not deny a life, it does not force a person to reject life, but it gives a new view of both the surrounding and yourself.
Although Yoga encompassed a vast array of exercises, its essence is that of seeing the Divine in everything that exists. To this purpose, it is necessary to free yourself from all illusions that disturb this process.
Prejudice has hypnotized us in childhood under the influence of an environment created by people who are fundamentally unhappy and ignorant.
If you do not want to end up being like them, you should seriously decide to embark on this path. Yoga’s ethics do not uphold the same values as social ethics. This is spiritual ethics and it supports spiritual development and it makes us conscious of ourselves not as social individuals, but as whole universes, as God’s infinite ocean. SAT CHIT ANANDA.
AHIMSA - Do not kill
The principle ‘do not kill’ is known to all and it is even persecuted by the law.
Ahimsa, however, does relate to murder. On the contrary, all Indian philosophers talk about the immortality of the soul: you are immortal and, therefore, no one can kill you nor can you kill others at the soul level. However, it only our body that is mortal, as all things on earth, this too is finite.
In childhood you had one body that changed in adulthood and will again become different as you grow old.
The esoteric law Ahimsa says that a human being kills himself at all times. You have a tendency towards violence, towards engaging in the continuous struggle amongst body, feelings and mind. This conflict is killing you, it eats you energy and your life. For instance, you wake up in the morning and your mind says: “You have to get up and go to work”. Your body, on the other hand, does not want it, it is passive. This is why, a conflict arises between them. In another occasion, maybe you are in love with somebody, but your mind forbids you to live it, tells you that this is not allowed, that it is not moral. Your feelings might want joy and fulfilment, but your body is sick and weak and again conflict arises! This makes you weak, irritable and violent against the world. The real reason is however in your own self: body, feeling and mind, as in the ancient myth “The swan, the crab and the fish”, pull in several opposite directions.
Yoga is, first of all, union of body, feelings and mind. This Oneness can only come, on the one hand from liberation and, on the other, from developing will power, seen as the ability to control the work of the body, of the emotions and of the mind and, also, of achieve independence from them.
Conflicts cannot be repressed. If you repress something in your being, you will not destroy it, but drive it into the subconscious. This will express itself from there, it will never give you rest. Let us see how the human brain is arranged. This consists of small cells, the neurons. When you perceive something new and learn about it, the neurons gather in groups by means of the communicating branches- the axons.
In the brain, there are sets of these groups devoted to storing information about people, work, home friends etc. By reference to one of these agglomerates, you may remember one of your friends or any event that happened in your life. If you develop your concentration, then you can recollect all events as realistically and vividly as if you had plunged into what has been part of you in the past.
The chains of neurons subsequently form larger agglomerates where unpleasant and pleasant, edifying and depressing, stupid and wise memories are stored. It should be clear by now that the brain is divided into several ‘compartments’ constantly fighting with each other, as for instance the ‘compartment’ responsible for morality and that responsible for the reflection of the man, who oppresses and terrorizes you.
You start to hate this person, but as a result, you destroy by power impulses the zone of the brain responsible for it. Memories, hatred, rage and other negative emotions are destructive.
You can hate this person even when he is not present, even when he has died, as the zone that reflected him has remained. The first thing to realize is that everything that you know about the world is in you, it is memory and, yet, this knowledge divides you, carries conflicts. Each part of the brain has certain energy, one part of a brain opposes another and, yet, you need to understand that all of it is you: all people and events, although they exist outside, for you they are part of your brain and, amongst them, there is a continuous internal dialogue. Various conflicts or idyllic situations can never occur again and, yet, they keep on repeating themselves in the imagination and this goes on endlessly.
Yoga, first of all, is not only the lack of oppression of one part over the other, but the union of all these parts into a whole.
There are three paths leading to this union.
Bhakti is the path of love towards everything external and internal that unites your fragments and eliminates all conflicts among them. Find within yourself the one who already loves the whole world, without expressing violence and without forcing yourselves to love.
Each part of the brain has a telepathic connection with the object it reflects. When you have negative thoughts about a person, you send negative emotions to him/ her. If that person has no negativity, then your emotions will find no match and will return to you. If you have managed to influence this person in a negative way and he or she is similar to you, conflict will arise when you meet or you, vibrating on a hostile impulse, become object of an attack of the negative emotions of the other.
When every spot in our brain is predisposed towards a specific flow of emotions, it is capable of attracting similar energy and information from the surroundings as well as from other people.
Magic is based on this.
People who are aware of this create within their being a part responsible for the reception of the highest emanations or, in other words: divine emotions, through the chanting of prayers and mantras, through faith and the offer of service to God, through higher emotions or, also, through receiving high knowledge with creative actions, philosophical thinking, development of intuition etc. This more advanced side takes control of the whole brain. The existing knowledge and methods of influences of yoga unite the brain in a single whole and, thus, the person gains a crystallized personality, individuality. The path to it crosses the threshold of the conflict between the internal and the external, in order to learn to live in harmony both with external and internal world.
OM SHAKTI, SHAKTI, SHAKTI.
SATYA - Truth
Satya is translated as ‘truth’. It does not simply mean only to tell the truth about some facts but, above all, to free oneself from fantasies.
A lot of people deceive themselves. The whole of society does so.
For instance, a person thinks that he has willpower but, in reality, he does not. He is driven by desires. Many people are unable to free themselves from simple habits, like smoking, idle talk etc. Sometimes a person, led by the fear of death, may beat one of the habits that may harm his health. This, however, it is not willpower, but desire to live.
In order to test your willpower, you should try to overcome at least one of your habits, even though as a human being you are totality made out of them.
Besides what has been said above, a human being falsely believes that he is whole. In reality, a person is made up of various personalities. Within a person exist simultaneously the good family man and the hangman, pity and cruelty, rationality and recklessness. As we have said, there are many different parts in the brain, and a person assigns a role to each one of them: family man, boss, lover, buddy etc.
A person shows as many personalities as there are spheres of being: one is not the same and not identical everywhere; one cannot be himself, one can simply be a ‘role’.
Even at this moment, as you are reading these words, you are assuming one of your most rational roles: the ‘learner’. Yet exactly this part should be integrated into a single whole.
If you think that you are whole, you are wrong: in you there are all sorts of people and they function as they like. Each of them takes power for five minutes and creates whatever they want in the kingdom of your essence.
That you have the same name all the time and, also, one body- although it changes continuously, to a greater or lesser degree, creates the illusion of a unity that, in reality, does not exist yet.
Each one of the parts of your brain has its qualities and its own abilities: one can be wise and, another effective in action. They are all necessary in life. The only drawback is that they are split.
These pieces are like servants, who occupy places where they should not be: the groom is in the kitchen, whilst the cook in the stable.
An important clue that will help you tidy up this mess is the ‘managing director’ or, in other words, the most intelligent part of your brain, equipped with methods for self-stabilization, to be more precise, with Yoga practices.
Most people present themselves as they like, as light souls, intelligent beings or as people with a developed consciousness.
In fact, all this is just wishful thinking, and does not correspond to reality.
Man is identified with his own body; he cannot feel that he is a soul; he can only imagine that he is a soul. Man may not be conscious of the processes controlling him, although he keeps on saying that he is a conscious being.
Creating constant nonsense, this person likes to think that he is reasonable; this satisfies him. Many people show pseudo-competence, when they are not competent at all. A lot of them have an answer for all occasions; they judge everything in the world, even things they do not know anything about. This is why Jesus said, “You are sons of deceit and daughters of lie.”
The mind is literally a canvass of lies, and this is a fact that can be understood only through constant and impartial self-observation.
If a person does not start telling the truth to himself, even his development becomes a big lie as everything else.
We are born in lies, we have been taught lies for too long and, now, the time has come for us to make a revision of all this.
Use any situation and thought to come to this realization and realise the whip of idle talk and inner dialogue. Our main goal is that of putting an end to all this.
ASTEYA - Do not steal
The esoteric meaning of Asteya is different from the simple ‘non appropration of a foreign object’, because the meaning of the words ‘I’, ‘not I’, ‘mine’ or ‘foreign’ are relative and ephemeral.
Asteya means: not to steal from our own selves. Each person constantly steals from him/herself.
If you look at your life and at the life of people around you, you will see that this is awfully primitive and monotonous.
People perform five types of actions: eat, sleep, work, fight and entertain themselves. However, a human comes into this world with endless possibilities. He can develop his talents, become ingenious, achieve anything he wants, reach beautiful worlds, become like Christ, Buddha or Zarathustra. Instead, he is chained to a family, his work, his small purposes and desires, worthy only of animals.
You are similar to the owner a great castle who huddles in the cellar. You can find an exit into beautiful halls, you can live at once in each room, but you are not even suspecting this. This castle is not a million in your pocket; millionaires often commit suicide: any riches surpass the maddest of dreams.
As an ant is incapable of understanding the life that humans lead, so you are unable to realize your infinite prospects and potential: they are boundless.
Man is a slave of the collective unconscious and blindly imitates the thoughts, desires and actions of the social circle he belongs to.
A person unconsciously either kills time or works as a donkey senselessly and for the only purpose of getting on with life somehow. Often, a person searches for what is inside in the outer world. He aspires to knowledge, happiness and authority, searches for love and God outside of himself, when all of it is within our being. Any power coming from the outside is unstable and has an end, whereas at the same time any knowledge obtained from books and unsupported by experience is dead and useless. External happiness is replaced by suffering and by the pain of loss. If you wish something, first of all feel the condition you wish to reach.
Imagine that your desire has been fulfilled and hold on to it, understand that you want to achieve these feelings, this emotion, although you already know about it, as it is in you.
Just visualize and experience what you have been wishing with greater intensity and, then, increase and cultivate this feeling in you: then you will be independent from the external. Before, in order to hold on to a feeling you needed a push from outside, someone's permission or someone's opinion. Now you are free. This feeling is simply a movement of energy in the body and it depends only from you.
Authority is will, knowledge, consciousness, happiness and love for the whole world.
Yoga is the development of the inner activity, the development of energy. Ordinary people are active externally and passive internally. Their feelings and reason are generated from the outside. It is necessary to learn to operate them meaningfully so as not to depend on the external world. You can rob yourselves by living in the constant expectation that something will happen, that someone will do something for you, that the prince or the wizard will come. This will never happen, everything is in you.
What you need is celebration. You wait for holidays or for a work permit so that you can celebrate; celebration also needs permission, food, drink, friends, praise and gifts. You can be in constant celebration, no matter what, without a reason, just having the feeling of this state, just feeling the movement of cosmic energy within: this energy always exists; it is here and simply waits for you to unleash it and fill yourselves up with it. This is true wealth.