An Introduction To Yoga

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In this first discourse we shall concern ourselves with the
gaining of a general idea of the subject of Yoga, seeking its
place in nature, its own character, its object in human
evolution.

An Introduction To Yoga

Let us, first of all, ask ourselves, looking at the world around
us, what it is that the history of the world signifies. When we
read history, what does the history tell us? It seems to be a
moving panorama of people and events, but it is really only a
dance of shadows; the people are shadows, not realities, the
kings and statesmen, the ministers and armies; and the eventsÄ
the battles and revolutions, the rises and falls of states Äare
the most shadowlike dance of all. Even if the historian tries to
go deeper, if he deals with economic conditions, with social
organisations, with the study of the tendencies of the currents
of thought, even then he is in the midst of shadows, the illusory
shadows cast by unseen realities. This world is full of forms
that are illusory, and the values are all wrong, the proportions
are out of focus. The things which a man of the world thinks
valuable, a spiritual man must cast aside as worthless.

The diamonds of the world, with their glare and glitter in the rays
of the outside sun, are mere fragments of broken glass to the man
of knowledge. The crown of the king, the sceptre of the emperor,
the triumph of earthly power, are less than nothing to the man
who has had one glimpse of the majesty of the Self. What is,
then, real? What is truly valuable? Our answer will be very
different from the answer given by the man of the world.

“The universe exists for the sake of the Self.” Not for what the
outer world can give, not for control over the objects of desire,
not for the sake even of beauty or pleasure, does the Great
Architect plan and build His worlds. He has filled them with
objects, beautiful and pleasure-giving.

An Introduction To Yoga

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