In October 2021, Ananda offered Living the Yoga Sutras, a six-week online program with Nayaswami Gyandev and Nayaswami Diksha.
More than 100 people from around the world participated in the course and together we created a strong positive wave of consciousness. The program helped all of us gain a higher understanding and deepen our spiritual practices. This training was supported and guided by Swami Kriyananda’s book, Demystifying Patanjali.
Highlights from the Yoga Sutras
Get out of the ego and unite with God
Yogananda’s way to get out of the ego was to concentrate on the positive:
- Visualize vastness and infinity
- Offer the fruits of all one’s actions, as Krishna taught, to God
- Feel in everything we do that God is acting through us
In countless ways, Yogananda taught the importance of rising above the ego and how to do so. All of these ways can work and people have found God through them.
How to Deepen Meditation — Yogananda’s Recommendation
As your body is the little body, so God’s body is space, and if you want to feel Him you must feel space in the body and all space beyond it.
When you are sitting very still, after your last deliberate exhalation, gaze through infinite space, to the left; to the right; before you; behind you; and above. Visualize yourself seated bodiless, suspended in vast space. Then only, begin your meditation practice.
How to become aware of the true Self
Yogananda gave us this helpful example:
If at this moment you could completely calm your body, your thoughts, and your emotions, you would instantly become aware of your true Self, the soul, and of your great body of the universe, throbbing with the joy of God.
The joy of God is inside of us, yet we cannot feel it. Why not? Yogananda explained that we are intoxicated with ego feeling (chitta). The screen of feelings arising from the ego (ahankara or body-consciousness) hides God’s joy. We can remove the screen through meditation and behold the joy of God.
Our real nature is calmness
We have put on a mask of restlessness – the agitated state of our consciousness resulting from the stimuli of feelings. We are not that mask; we are pure, calm Spirit.
We need to take off the mask of feelings to begin to remember who we are and discover our true Self: the blessed soul, a reflection of Spirit.
All the goodness and purity of God are within us. We cannot fathom the real nature of those who know God, because they are depthless. The teaching of being united with God and thereby nonattached to everything else is Yoga. Meditation is the doorway to rising in freedom and beginning to know our true Self.
How to be a channel of Higher Consciousness
Yogananda explained that Spirit is the infinite reservoir of wisdom. Each human life is a channel through which that divine wisdom is steadily flowing. Some channels are wide and others are narrow. The larger the channel, the greater the flow of God-power.
We are unique channels, for it lies within our power to make ourselves narrower or wider. We have been given freedom of will and the power of choice. Some choke the channel of their lives with the mud of accumulated ignorance, never allowing themselves to be cleansed by divine wisdom. The ocean of truth attempts fruitlessly to flood in greater volume through such narrow openings.
There are others who keep on digging, widening, and deepening the channels of their lives by self-discipline and knowledge, thus inviting an ever-larger volume of God-wisdom to pass through.
The Soul – from charcoal to diamond
Yogananda described the ordinary man as a charcoal soul, who only absorbs the light of the sun into himself—but as a charcoal soul begins to meditate, the high pressure of meditation changes him into a diamond soul, who not only absorbs the light of the sun but also reflects back that light.
As a diamond soul reflects back the light of the spirit, he becomes resplendent and helps to uplift others too.
Meditating on the Yoga Sutras
By meditating on one sutra at a time, we can deepen our understanding and experience the truth of it. Here is a guided meditation on Sutra 3:16.
Listen to Meditation on Changelessness
Swami Kriyananda’s Immortality Affirmation
I am a child of eternity! I am ageless. I am deathless.
I am the changeless Spirit at the heart of all mutation!
Listen to Swami Kriyanda’s song Rise in Freedom
Nothing on earth can hold me,
rise oh my soul in freedom.
Rise oh my soul in freedom,
nothing to fear anymore.
Click here to view upcoming online programs with Nayaswami Gyandev and Nayaswami Diksha.