This is the book or manual of Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which mesmerized me. Being raised a Catholic, and I am not bashing Catholicism, I grew into fear. Fear of mistakes, sins, and an afterlife that I could not be sure I would enjoy. Living the ten commandments allows me to be good to others but that goodness did not seem to allow me to love myself.
“The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are a collection of 196 Sanskrit sutras (aphorisms) on the theory and practice of yoga. The Yoga Sutras were compiled sometime between 500 BCE and 400 CE by the sage Patanjali in India who synthesized and organized knowledge about yoga from much older traditions.” The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali – Wikipedia
Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras, offered me a mystical inner practice leading to meditation and spiritual freedom. Of course I have a long way to go but I turned from fear and helplessness to an active participant of my present life; understanding that I am a part of a divinity. This belief makes me think, “yea, I play a part in my life and I am a good person.” Positive reinforcement instead of negative. Having read more than one writing on the Sutras, I believe Pandit Tigunait’s writings brought clarity and wisdom to my yoga practice and my life. I felt as if the Sutras were speaking directly to me and I began to experience tranquility in my inner life.
I have spent years asking celestial beings and God, whom I know as Jesus, to grant me miracles, guide my track, and forgive my sins. I found myself drowning in guilt. I remember my mom saying with regards to Catholic teachings, “I never thought it was fair that I could be good all my life and do one bad thing and go to hell yet someone could be bad all their life and say they are sorry on their death bed and go straight to heaven.” Pretty daunting.
The ultimate goal of yoga, as I understand it, is in sutra 1:2, “gaining complete mastery over the roaming tendencies of the mind.” My mind at the start of this path was all over the place! Grasping for some purpose and reason for me living. Practice, relaxation, breath, meditation. This seems like what the doctor really ordered when she prescribed anti-anxiety pills. After four months in a blissful fog, I thought to instead give yoga a try.
“Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD, is a modern-day master and living link in the unbroken Himalayan Tradition. He is the successor to Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayas, and the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute.” https://www.himalayaninstitute.org/presenter/pandit-rajmani-tigunait/
I am currently studying at the Himalayan Institute in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. The Himalayan Institute is a retreat you must experience. My studies are online and I anxiously, no, I calmly anticipate the day I can return to this institute of wisdom.
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