In the beginning of my yoga journey, I learnt about the different regulations and rules around sense control and austerities that come with the yoga practice. It was little overwhelming and I felt I wouldn’t experience the happiness I needed if I had to stop drinking, smoking, eating meat and so on. That seems like a total bummer and life would become boring! Who would want that?
However, as I continued on my yoga journey I discovered that yoga is not about being on a bummer. It is not about missing out on happiness or just being zen all day, it is so much more!
If you had an old, dried up rose in your hand and I offer you a beautiful, fresh rose with amazing aroma. What would you do? Of course, you would throw away the old rose and openly receive the new one.
Similarly, when we take to yoga and meditation practices, we begin to experience a greater happiness. A greater happiness than what we were experiencing previously in our life. It then sets the bar higher for the happiness we experience. So things that we used to think gave us happiness before, now don’t seem that attractive. The lower taste fades away the more we gain the higher taste through our practices. We let go of the old rose as we catch hold of the new rose.
Why do we experience a higher happiness?
Pre-yoga days, I tried to be happy through so many things – friendships, alcohol, travelling, work, sport etc, but none of them were completely satisfying me. I still felt lonely and empty.
It is through yoga and meditation that happiness is found within me. Not external to me, but deep inside at the soul level. Meditation, particularly mantra meditation, nourishes the soul’s inner most needs and is completely satisfying. Mantras are of the same nature as the soul and connect us with the Divine.
It is from this deep connection that we become motivated to help others in seva (selfless service), to help them reconnect within and find an ocean of happiness.
From this journey so far, my previous bad habits, which I thought were my happiness and so hard to give up, easily dropped away. Naturally and easily without any force at all. Yoga is not a bummer, it gives life a purpose and ultimately a deep lasting happiness that sure beats anything offered in this world.
In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has achieved this enjoys the self with himself in due course of time.