Finding The Peace Within With Yoga

  • 22 Jun 2020

Humans often make their lives complicated for no reason, and are left looking for peace in life. 

Yoga is touted as a way where one can restore peace and harmony and life. 

During a virtual class conducted in conjunction with the International Yoga Day, on June 21, my yoga master S.K Durai from Sakthi School of Yoga, shared some important messages during his satsang (preaching) session on how we can attain peace and happiness in our lives through being conscious and aware of our surroundings. 

"It is the key ingredients which will help us achieve superhuman quality and help steer us towards Godhood," he said. 

In his opening speech, he picked a verse of the Yoga Sutra of Pathanjali: "Shraddha Virya Smrti Samadhi Prajna", which translates into "For those (who are willing to follow the path of prescribed effort), this Asamprajnata Samadhi is attained through faith (shraddha), energy (virya), memory (smriti), contemplation (samadhi) and discernment (prajna)."

Now, let's scrutinise the message behind every word in the verse: 

1. Shraddha (faith)

Having faith or trust is very important in attaining self-realization through the path of yoga. By putting whole trust and devotion into yoga practice or the yoga lifestyle we choose, we are fully committing ourselves to become one with God.
2. Virya (energy)

Virya or energy is the courage and will to follow the path of yoga or a positive lifestyle that will lead us to a better life quality. This determination will bring us back to the right path when the mind is distracted by the sensual objects. By following the right path with consciousness, one can achieve calmness and perfection in his or her "search". 

3. Smriti (memory)

Smriti is memory and it is about feeding the mind with positive and good memory. Any experience or activity that we go through are considered memories, so it is important to seed awareness in every action to make the memory worthwhile. By turning each action into a positive memory, we are left with nothing but happiness, and a complete feeling of satisfaction and peace.
4. Samadhi (contemplation)

Samadhi can be divided into, ‘sama’ which means equal and ‘adhi’ which means attention. Samadhi in this verse means the mind has attained a state where it is not distracted by thoughts or senses. By training the mind to be focused on something and stay free of distraction, one can reach the state of samadhi. In this state, the mind is free of polarity and conflicts. A clear mind, which is conflict-free, is the fundamental component for peace and happiness.

5. Prajna (wisdom)

Lastly, prajna is a state which will lead us to the ultimate achievement, or the ultimate samadhi. Attaining prajna can make our judgment sharper and our decisions, free from doubt. And this will lead to confidence in ourselves, which, in turn, will strengthen  will power.

Clearly, every word and verse in Yoga Sutras of Pathanjali carries in-depth meaning and message. By reading these scriptures, we will be able to decode the complexity in humankind and lead a mindful life.

Nizha Periaswamy is a yoga instructor and freelance writer.

Photo source: Freepik

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