There are different phases and types of Yoga. For those of you in `Rio Linda` by definition yoga means Union, there is Jnana Yoga the Yoga of Knowledge or Wisdom. This is the most difficult path, requiring strength of will and intellect, Hathayoga the bodily activity for perfection of the body. In the practice of Hathayoga, some think that they are practicing yoga. The practice of Hathayoga imparts physical benefits no doubt, but it does not provide any lead in the finding of the soul within the body nor does it make the mind still.
Again, one cannot enter the spiritual realm if the mind is not made still. For this the practice of Rajayoga is essential. karma Yoga the Yoga of action to act selflessly without thought of gain or reward. Bhakti Yoga a state of pure Love of God, but unless you find the Infinite, Salvation, Illumination and Liberation, you have not. So always remember when you hear anybody discussing yoga. Yoga means “Union,” not just bodily yoga – Hatha Yoga or those various aspects – they are only stepping stones towards the highest yoga, Raja Yoga/Kriya Yoga, the Yoga of Salvation, Raja Yoga, in which the Union between our consciousness and God’s Consciousness consciously takes place. That’s the highest goal of yoga, or that’s the goal which we want.
One does not get a high technique like Kriya Yoga at the beginning of one’s journey, but at the end. The results will come. Once the mind is in control, we start to meditate and then the benefits come. The Lord has no favorites. To him who loves God, to him He surrenders. But He cannot be known except
through communion. No matter how many good works you do; no matter how
much service you render to humanity; no matter how vast your philanthropies –
they are not enough. To know God, direct communion through meditation is necessary.
How does Illumination, Self-Realization, or Liberation come? One day in meditation a huge cosmic flash of light will enter into you and at that moment reactivate the thirty thousand billion brains, not cells but brains in your body and you will have regained cosmic conscious. That is when you have that great cosmic energy at the base of the spine raise the kundalini upward. This great force takes you into ecstasy. All darkness and the accumulated karma of countless incarnations in your subconscious mind are destroyed in one second by that cosmic light.
Therefore, how much light you have within you now from meditating will determine which place you are going to go in the astral plane when you leave your body. That is for those who are advancing spiritually, the other ones are going to be asleep in a coma state, a deep sleep and will not know it. When it’s your time, then un-looked for, from behind the clouds of drudgery of routinely meditating, suddenly there comes an aurora of bliss that bursts upon your consciousness surpassing all expectations. The light of indescribable joy clearing away the shadows of all questions in your consciousness.
And so, how do we attain that, how do we take the preliminary steps? Well first, people who think that you can sit down and that’s all that’s necessary to realize God, they are mistaken. Action is necessary. As the Masters and all the scriptures say, “Meditation, plus activity is necessary.” And the action, to be sure it is not binding you to the body, or to this worldly existence, the action must be unattached. That has to sink in. Now how’re you going to do that? How’re you going to be sure of that? Very easy, in a very easy way. Whatever action you do, do it to please God; that’s the safest way. Whether it is plowing a field or working, or whatever it is; do it to please God. Even if, if it’s action you do not like; do it to please God. So that’s the first step.
And the next step, of course, is meditation, because God is Spirit, and must be known through Spirit. And meditation means contact through the concentration of God. So don’t, don’t think that sitting down and meditating in a haphazard way, or anything less than a scientific way, will take you into the Presence of God. It will not. But right meditation will; that meditation in which you use your concentration to get into the Presence of God. That’s the second step.
And the third step is yoga practice. Because not many people, or the majority of people, at least, can have a tranquil mind which is so important to practice yoga, or to do anything that is leading toward the Soul. If the lake of your mind is restless, you cannot approach the Presence of God. That’s why the Master was always saying, “The lake of the mind must be still.” Analyze yourselves, introspect yourselves, and you’ll find in your daily work there’s restlessness there, do something about it. Take your yoga into your daily activity, practice it. We have many meditations and techniques which help the devotee to attain tranquility of mind. That’s why you practice yoga, for that purpose.
Of course, yoga means “union,” but you cannot attain union without tranquility of mind. So, we must realize that, that yoga practice will give you tranquility of mind which is so important to realize what one thing? “Yes,” you say, “the Presence of God.” That’s right. Yes, but in that Presence of God, when you feel that, there’s no separation between you and your Father.
Is there any separation between us here in the ordinary sense of the word? You see me, I see you. We’re in each other’s presence. So, if you can do that with your Father, and attain that tranquility of mind, and then you will attain His Presence, and there will be no separation. But, if your mind, my mind, is restless now, and moving back and forth, and I can’t even see you. So, it’s the same with the Father. Attain that tranquility of mind by the practice of yoga and then you can meditate on God and attain His Presence. Yoga is the first step. One of the greatest actions is the practice of scientific yoga, which means “union with God.”
Yoga means union – union with Spirit within. Yoga means to yoke; to yoke your consciousness to that from which it has come – God’s Consciousness. But, it has been attached to, first the Physical, then the Electronic, then the Causal Body. We have to unloose that attachment, so to speak, so that we can realize our oneness with God. That’s what yoga will do. Not just Hatha Yoga or yoga – the various forms of yoga – but what I like to call “Salvation Yoga,” Raja Yoga, which gives you oneness with the Presence of God within. That will give you Salvation. You may develop a wonderful body through Hatha Yoga, but unless you follow through and know the Electronic Body behind the Physical Body, and then the Causal Body, and finally the Free Soul, you will not be saved, even though you practiced Hatha Yoga a million years. So, let us understand that yoga, real yoga, is that which gives us Salvation – gives us union with the Infinite.
And so, let us never forget, as you’ll find all the saints point out, that God’s Love is Supreme. The Feeling Aspect of Consciousness, which God exercises in everything He has done, and is doing, and which, because we are made in His Image He has placed in our hearts, in a Natural condition. We do not have to go and find it; we just have to uncover it, so to speak. It is there, waiting for us. From the spiritual teachings of the SRF.