Could it be that in the midst of this hurly burly 21st century that it supplies an oasis of peace and quietude which is more and more difficult to find in this modem age ? Yoga teaches that this peace and quietude is within and when contacted is the real Self of man revealing itself.
The yogic methods help us to become aware of this quietness so that even in the midst of affairs it can be felt within oneself.
The pupil in Yoga is encouraged to look within, and not without, for his satisfaction in life and in order that he may find time for meditation and quiet reflection in his daily life, the Teacher advises him to order his external activities accordingly. This means that certain things are discouraged and some activities have to be minimised in order that the seeds of yogic wisdom may germinate.
We are given the great sentences ‘That Thou Art’, ‘Consciousness is Brahman,’ ‘I am Brahman’ and ‘This Self is Brahman’ to meditate upon and in the holy tradition great emphasis is laid on hearing the truth (shravana), brooding on the truth (manana) and absorption (nidhidysana).
It is said that everything we see or hear influences our mind, therefore if we are trying to awaken our higher mind and quieten our lower mind so that our buddhi or intuitive faculty may come into play, it will not be helpful to spend overdue time in activities which do not feed our higher mind but cater only to our lower desires. Such activities would include watching gangster films on television or gossiping aimlessly.
By living consciously we can minimise the coarsening influences on the mind so that it may become refined and be able to appreciate the more rarified atmosphere of sattva which is expressed as peace, light and harmony. Aids to this are listening to higher types of music and appreciation of painting and poetry.
The radiations which come from this are subtle and in turn have an uplifting effect on the mind.
One might ask whether the life of withdrawal, contemplation and meditation is of any value to a practical active life. In fact it is of the highest value as it is only when we have contacted another sphere in our meditation and lost our limitations of body and mind in the meditation that we can begin to act in a satisfactory way and in a way which will be of help to society in general.
The Saints do receive guidance in their activities in the world and are not living for themselves alone but are carrying out the will of the Lord.