09 Jul Hansaji on ‘Difficulties in the Study of Yoga’ at the Satsang
The topic for the English Satsang on Sunday, 7th July, 2013 was ‘Difficulties in the Study of Yoga’
Following is the transcript of the speech made by Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.
Listen to the Audio:
“When we talk of difficulties, understand that life is nothing but a struggle. Difficulties come at every level… at the physical level, we may have a fall or fracture, at the mental level, we may lack understanding and clarity of what we are required to do. It is very important to be clear of what we should do and why. The purpose should be understood. We should keep aside some time to bring in this understanding. Bring in clarity on the plan and the means to execute the plan. Thinking and action should be parallel to each other. We cannot only think all the time and do no work, or work without thinking; both have to done simultaneously.
There is a story of devils who came together for a meeting to discuss how to make the smart humans weak. Brainstorming lead to suggestions to incorporating anger, lust, etc in humans but these suggestions were shot down. Finally they decided to add “thinking” as a weakness for humans which would lead to inaction. The point is, there is no end to thinking.
There is a famous story of Indian healers (Vaid) who were thinking of what to eat for lunch one day and all suggestions were discarded at some premise or the other… finally with a lot of thinking to no avail, they ended up only eating bitter neem leaves.
Our thoughts need to be given a correct direction and it must be based on action. According to the Bhagvad Gita, we should begin with small actions first and then one action will lead to another, which will gradually lead to clarity in mind and help us to prioritize.
Learn from the past, do not brood on the past, learn and move on. Think about now and the near future. It will help to have lesser hurdles and our energies will be positively channelized. The Yoga Sutras list the obstacles that one can encounter in the path of yoga – disease, doubt, a pleasure seeking mind, laziness, dullness, believing in the wrong things in life for example a teenager believes that he can drive when he cannot.
There is a story where a foreigner visits a Guru and demands to achieve Samadhi state. The Guru distracts him and asks him to go grocery shopping, then to cut vegetables, cooking, eating, etc. The man still demands to learn Samadhi. The Guru then advised him to polish a piece of brick till it shines like a mirror and he is able to see his face in it. The man says that it is impossible. The Guru replies that similarly, it is impossible for you to attain Samadhi.
A Canadian student at The Yoga Institute was advised to sit in Sukhasana and make the mind peaceful. A simple form of meditation was taught to her and though it was difficult for her to sit in the posture, she worked very hard and kept practicing. In the end she was successful while at the Institute. But on her return to her country, she could not practice the same due to her responsibilities at home and at her work place, which lead to depression. The point is to practice a balanced state of mind at all times and not merely practice techniques. Perform all your duties without fail and do them well; have faith and you will realize that this indeed is bliss.”