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The process of Yoga

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The process of Yoga by Atman Nityananda

Yoga is the union of the individual Soul with God but it is also the process through which we realize the identity of our Soul or Self (Atman), with the universal Soul or Brahman.

The whole process of yoga is a preparation of the Mind or internal instrument – named Antahkarana – which is fourfold: manas (mind), buddhi (intellect), ahamkara (ego) and chitta (subconscious mind), in order to be capable for deep meditation and samadhi.

Yoga in reality begins from meditation and is completed in Nirvikalpa samadhi. All other practices like asanas, pranayama, Japa mantra, kirtan, devotional rituals, reflection, study, control of senses and mind, development and practice of viveka and vairagya is a preparation for meditation.

All these practices purify the Antahkarana (the fourfold mind) and make the mind and intellect capable for deep meditation or Self-enquiry and samadhi.

Thus yoga is possible when we are able to meditate.

Meditation is possible when the mind is serene, introverted, steady and one-pointed. 

The mind cannot be introverted and one-pointed as long as is impure; viz. as long as the chitta is full of samskaras and vasanas, rajas and tamas and as long we cannot stop the creation of samskaras and vasanas in the chitta (subconscious mind).
Thus the purification of the mind includes the elimination of the stored in the chitta desires, egoic tendencies and impressions (samskaras and vasanas in Sanskrit) and the stoping of creating of new ones.

In order to stop the creation of newsamskaras and vasanas we must succeed in pratyahara with the help of Viveka (discerment), Vichara (self-enquiry) and Vairagya (dispassion, detachment), control of mind and senses, self-awareness, the attitude of witnessing and not identification with thoughts and emotions. 

We can eliminate the already stored in the chitta samskaras and vasanas, the rajas and tamas gunas by regular systematic sadhana which includes practices like japa nama, repetition of mantras, devotional hymns, kirtan, prayer, pranayama, self-enquiry, auto-observation, reflectionmeditation, and other purificatory practices like EFT,  ReikiBach’s remedies, etc.

These two processes, i.e., the elimination of the stored in chitta samskaras and the stoping of creating new ones will lead to the purification of chitta and will transform the extroverted and distracted mind into a yogic mind; viz. a mind which is indrawn, introspective, detached, dispassionate, steady and one-pointed. This mind is capable to concentrate and meditate without distraction and effort in our center of existence, our essence or true Self (Atman).

When we have managed to cultivate the yogic mind we reach at the culmination of the yogic process which is profound Meditation and Samadhi. We spent most of our time in meditation and samadhi until finally in profound Nirvikalpa samadhi we realize clearly our true nature Atman or Brahman and the ego dissolves completely root and branches forever. Our mind becomes luminous and transparent as Consciousnesss itself.

This is the final goal of yoga and our destination. By realizing fully and establishing ourselves to our true Self we live the Oneness of Being, free from  suffering, birth and death and we experience effortlessly the peace, bliss and freedom eternal!