The process of yoga is to lose false identification with the sense of ‘I’ as we experience it, or ‘asmita’, as Patanjali calls it. There are 5 things which stop us from seeing the truth. These are fear, hatred, our desires, our sense of pride, ego, and ignorance about what is true. Until this is realised we are ignorant. We are ignorant until we realise how these 5 keep us in constant unhappiness.
What is the true path to liberation and being happy? All of us think that we are interested in getting the latest model of phone or car and that this will make us happy. But that happiness lasts a very short time and then again, we are unhappy. Just reflect. There is no limit to all the things that we want. Desire is insatiable, unable to fulfil itself. So, a lot of people spend their whole life pursuing their desires but never find lasting happiness. This is in the teachings of Patanjali, the father of yoga. We spend our whole life running after this and running after that. We have to see this is not the path and realise it, not as a philosophy but as an actual realisation.
We are not able to have a happy life because we are not able to see things as they are. We see things from a distorted perception. Just like the blinders they put on a horse so it doesn’t react. The horse only sees from the front. We get this kind of perception which is a coloured perception. If I’m wearing brown glasses I see everything brown. With this perception I can never find the truth and be happy. Only when I realise I’m wearing glasses then I put them away. Then I can see the true colours. When I realise what is not true, I can begin to walk the true path towards happiness.
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre
Yoga Master Teacher Sharat Arora
Article derived from Introductory 5 Day Yoga Course in Beijing, Day 4 June 2016.