For those who are not born in the state of Yoga (itaresam), it is necessary to cultivate faith (sraddha), which leads to energy or conviction (virya) to be able to create a wonderful life by remembering (smrtti) the goal (samadhi), resulting in the clearest wisdom (prajna).
PRACTICAL LIVING The previous sutra spoke about those people who are born in a state of clarity and understanding. There are very few of those people. This sutra, on the other hand, presents a solution for the rest of us. This sutra describes some pre-requisites which are essential for success in undertakings in any area of life:
– Sraddha (faith, confidence, belief, trust): a deep, positive, unshakeable conviction that allows us to maintain focus and commitment towards our goal (whatever will bring us to a happier place).
– Virya (energy, vitality, vigor, courage): the enthusiasm that comes as a result of trusting ourselves and life. It is the physical and mental strength required to keep on going, to keep us motivated even when we are hitting a bumo on the road.
– Smrtti (memory): remembering the future is called ‘bhavana’ in yoga. Bhavana is the ability to visualize the most amazing future – one filled with love, peace, confidence and a deep sense of gratitude. ‘Remembering’ the future is essential to keep our confidence and energy up.
– Samadhi (goal, complete absorption): our goal is what we visualize our lives being like. Does it involve loving myself exactly how I am? Does it involve being surrounded by wonderful friends and family? Does it involve dedicating my time to something pleasureful and meaningful? A wonderful activity to figure this out is a vision board: sit with a large sheet of cardboard and old magazines, markers and crayons and create your amazing life on that board. Have faith and let go of fear.
– Prajna (wisdom, higher knowledge): achieving our goals and gradually finding inner peace and love takes us to a place of more awareness and clarity.
We need to visualize the goal in order to get the energy to make the action. What do I visualize as being the best life I could possibly imagine (letting go of fears)? What would this life look like? Can we devote sometime during our day to visualize the most magnificent, pleasurable and meaningful life? The more we are able to “remember” this vision, the more confidence and energy we get, making it more likely that we will move towards this vision and create this spectacular life! As seen in previous sutras, this process also requires action or practice (abhyasa) and letting go or detachment.
Ultimately, the aim of Yoga is to:
- reach your goals
- refine your goals (clarify values)
IN TEH YOGA WORLD In its deepest form, Yoga offers the most valuable things – the eternal and highest happiness and peace for which every human being is striving for. The concepts of faith (sraddha), energy (virya) and smrti-samadhi (remembering the goal) are all intertwined. The more faith we have in ourselves and life, trusting that everything will be okay, the more energy we have to focus on those things that we have control over. That trust asks us to let go of those things that we have no control over of, allowing life to show us the way whenever we have this attachment to needing to know everything. Remembering our goal allows us to keep ourselves energized and our trust intact by reminding ourselves that we are gradually moving towards the goal. The trust also reminds us to let go of the attachment to the goal itself and keep the focus on the present action, on the ride as opposed to the destination.
In summary, to experience inner peace and enjoy life, we need:
- effort or practice (abhyasa)
- let go, detach or create space (vairagya)
- faith, trust, belief, confidence (sraddha)
We need these 3 to get out of fear. Later in the second chapter we will learn that fear keeps us from letting go and prevents us from feeling this inner faith and confidence in who we are. The wonderful journey of Yoga is one of cultivating more inner confidence, which creates vitality and a love for life, leading us to become deeply involved with this amazing opportunity called LIFE!
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON The first translation to the word sraddha is often “faith”. I love that word, and I love this wonderful woman named Faith. She is my gringo mother, and this is a coincidence that I am mentioning her just after I mentioned her dear husband. I will never forget the first time I met Faith. She picked me up at the airport and welcomed me to sunny California with a warm, full, loving hug. I remember the moment of the hug very well. It was very special and instantly made me feel part of the family. Faith, you gave all of yourself from the moment you met me. You welcomed me into your home, family and life like few people do. This requires a lot of faith ;). You have taught me, just by being who you are, the art of giving. You are one of the most thoughtful and giving people I know, and for that I am deeply grateful for. I could not have even visualized a more amazing Gringo Mother! Thank you for everything! I love you very much! And your “Hola. Como estas? Bien, muy bien.” on the phone always brings a smile to my face :). Gracias, muchas gracias!
Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!
Thanks and we will look how to get closer and closer to our goals next week!