The Hidden Powers in Humans
Humans are the most highly evolved of all living beings, and thus have the unique intellectual capacity to resolve the problems and overcome the difficulties that confront them within their environment and their destiny. Therefore, they are the only creatures on earth that are in a position to comprehend the course of events and their inter-relationship, and to feel sympathy and understanding for others. However, innately, there also exists an even more wonderful and miraculous potential, the existence of which is hidden from most of us. As we begin to activate this inner energy source we can utilise these dormant powers for our own well-being and for the blessing of the whole world.
Through Yoga we are able to awaken these inner power centres and make them accessible. With the help of these dormant energies it is possible for us to achieve what we so dearly desire; a purposeful existence living in peace, harmony and happiness. Through these power centres we get in touch with the spiritual powers in the cosmos and recognise our original nature, our true Self.
Yoga means “union”. Yoga teaches us to live in unity and harmony, with tolerance and respect for all living beings in the natural world. Yoga Masters throughout the whole world endeavour to create unity amongst all humans, which is a prerequisite for world peace.
Yoga is more than just a system of physical exercises - it is a science of body, mind, consciousness and soul. It is the source of all wisdom and all religions. Yoga makes it possible for every human to discover the real purpose of life and their own true nature. Those who have recognised and experienced their own inner truth will never again wage war or use force against others.
Yoga leads us to an understanding of our oneness with all living beings and the whole of creation. We learn that every injury we inflict on another inevitably comes back to us; that every positive action and every positive thought brings happiness to others as well as to ourselves.
Here I would particularly like to mention the harmful influence and devastating effect exerted on our consciousness by the media through the portrayal of violence, murder and malice. Newspapers, magazines, television and cinemas constantly bombard us with pictures of crimes, violence and bloodshed. At all hours of the day television depicts how humans torture, injure and kill others. For the sake of our children such films must be strongly condemned. We need to provide a better example for our children, as the youth of today are the world of tomorrow.
All living beings on this planet are of divine origin, and therefore each form of life should be shown great respect. This is why, in Yoga, we are not only against the killing of humans but also the killing and consumption of animals.
My divine Master, Srī Mahāprabhujī said:
“Love each and every living being at least as much as you love yourself.”
Just as Mahāprabhujī protected and loved all creatures, so also did the holy saints of different religions, such as St. Francis of Assisi, Buddha, Srī Devapurījī and Swāmī Vivekānanda. The commandment “Thou shall not kill” includes all of God’s creatures, not just humans.
The writer and humanist, Leo Tolstoy, prophesied:
“As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will also be battlefields.”
World Peace can only be realised when humans come to understand this connection and stop inflicting pain and death upon countless innocent animals.
The mightiest power in humans is the power of thought. It is time for us to finally learn to employ our intellectual energy for the benefit of the world, rather than being the cause of its destruction. The path of Yoga helps us to unearth the valuable treasury of knowledge buried within us and put it to good use. Through this each one of us is able to contribute something worthwhile to the planet and its recovery, and shape the future so that we humans can continue to live on this earth.
Srī Mahāprabhujī impressed on the minds of his disciples that:
“Complete Self-Realisation occurs only through love.”
Unfortunately, nationalism and intolerance continue to spread throughout the world today. Peaceful co-existence will only be realised when the different religions of this globe exhibit tolerance, and show respect equally to all other peoples and nations.
In reality there is only:
• one religion: Humanity
• one nation: Mankind and
• one God: the Universal God
The aim of my life is to serve people through Yoga. My mission is to reawaken within humans the belief in God, and respect and love for His creation. This includes all living beings. I have dedicated my life to this task.
In an endeavour to make the ancient, traditional science of Yoga available to people of all ages in this modern world, I developed a systematic method of practice from the authentic traditions of Yoga. As it can be fully integrated into our daily life it has become known as:
The System “Yoga in Daily Life”
The physical and breathing exercises of Yoga , which help us to achieve and maintain health and promote long life, are only a very small part of this comprehensive system. This book deals specifically with the spiritual aspects of Yoga, the goal of which is God-Realisation - union of the individual consciousness with the divine consciousness.
In its original sense Yoga means the all-pervading, eternally awake consciousness that keeps the entire Cosmos in balance. Yoga is as old as the Universe itself and represents the principles of truth, love and consciousness, forming the “building plan” of the whole Universe.
In the Bhagavad Gītā, one of the authentic sources of Yoga, Lord Krishna says to his disciple Arjuna (4/1):
“I will now reveal to you the knowledge of Yoga which I previously gave to the Sun God.”
The knowledge given to the Sun God is the light of Yoga – meaning consciousness and life. And when the first ray of the sun shone on the planet it brought with it consciousness and life.
To realise Yoga means to achieve Self-Realisation, which is identical to God-Realisation. Realisation of, and union with, God is to experience oneself as a part of God. With this realisation the individual soul (Jīvātmā) is united with the Self (Ātmā), which is its origin; and as the Ātmā is part of the Supreme Self (Paramātmā) they are therefore in essence the same. And so, at the end, the “little i of the ego” dissolves in the Divine Self, just like a raindrop in the ocean.
The path that leads us to the experience and realisation of this oneness is also called “Yoga”. In this sense Yoga is described as a scientific system of physical, breathing, concentration and meditation practices, as well as ethical rules for living. These practices and principles were revealed and transmitted by God to the sages and seers (Rishis) of India in their meditations many thousands of years ago.
In view of the varying predispositions and interests of people, the Rishis outlined four main Yoga paths:
- Bhakti Yoga - Bhakti Yogis offer their love and devotion to that form of God worshipped by them.
- Karma Yoga - Karma Yogis worship God through their selfless service for all living beings.
- Rāja Yoga - Rāja Yogis awaken the supreme consciousness within through discipline and meditation.
- Gyāna Yoga - Gyāna Yogis strive for knowledge of the impersonal divine principle.
These four spiritual paths are inextricably linked to one another and lead to the same goal - to Self-Knowledge and God-Realisation, to union with the cosmic consciousness.
The Indian Rishis who possessed insight into the past, present and future, predicted that Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion to God, would be especially important for the people of Kali Yuga, the age we are currently living in. The spiritual development of Bhakti Yogis takes place in a very natural way, just like a child who has complete trust in its parents to provide for it, love it and give it protection.
The System “Yoga in Daily Life” shows us how to connect Bhakti Yoga with the other three Yoga paths in our everyday life, within the family and the workplace.
We are able to achieve the goal of Self-Realisation through our sincere devotion to God, by developing unconditional love for all living beings, by offering practical and selfless help to all of those in need, by constant spiritual practice, purification of our consciousness and self-mastery.
May this book show the way to the Supreme Consciousness for all spiritual seekers.
Mahāmandaleshwar Paramhans Swāmī Maheshwarānanda
Vienna, August 2001