True Yoga’s Aim

The legacy of yogic knowledge in India is ancient and extensive. Most Westerners assume that yoga means practicing various physical exercises that, if taken to extremes, twist the body into grotesque postures. This discipline is called Hatha yoga and is just one of yoga’s eight divisions.

Since the search of the knower is not an exclusively Indian project, neither is Yoga. It’s aim is to systematically uncover the silent witness inside us, a possibility open to anyone at any time.

If we want a more literal idea of what yoga amounts to, we must turn to the whole problem called identification, for this is what will be solved when union has been achieved.

Because identification is built into the mind, one cannot abolish it. Rather, the yogi solves problems of identification by turning it on its head. Instead of identifying with things, a person who practices yoga–primarily through meditation–begins to identify more and more with the silent witness inside.

Once the goal is reached, the separation between body and mind is healed, allowing the person to enter a higher state of functioning, both physically and mentally.

Adapted from Unconditional Life: Discovering the Power to Fulfill Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra (A Bantam Book, 1991).

68 comments

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago

Thanks

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for the information.

Mahealani Ka'imiloa

Will you please be so kind as to go to the above, "Overcome a Subtle Aspect of Identification?" Not that my response to the above is so fascinating, but rather a very humble and honest tale of mine, that seems so apropos to that which you all are discussing in here. Thank you!

Namaste,
Mahealani

Gerald M.
Past Member 4 years ago

Hmmmmmm....Now this is an especially interesting one.
Now I can understand my yogic daughter a little bit more.!!

Lynn C.
Lynn C.4 years ago

Thanks Deepak and thanks for your comments, Gaby D. I liked you response to Craig.

heather g.
heather g.4 years ago

It must be very frustrating to not have an open mind - always judging others who are always the ones in the wrong. It is so foreign to me.

A W.
Angela Weber4 years ago

Thank you for the post.

myra d.
myra d.4 years ago

I've been taking a gentle yoga class at my local gym for the past couple of years. Those poses aren't easy but I'm keeping on keeping on. Really hoping that it will enhance my physical health. Who knew that breathing could be an issue????

Gaby D.
Gaby D.4 years ago

continued....
To Graig: Hey Graig, your comment made me chuckle.....you wrote: "My mind hurts after reading Chopra. "Union", "search of the knower," "silent witness," "identification," "separation between mind and body," "higher state of functioning," etc. He lives in a world he has made up." Graig, without knowing it, you hit the nail right on the head there! We all do! Live in a world we made up - think about it.....I suppose you have been raised in a predominantly Christian culture.....so how do these words sound to you? "Search for God within your heart", your inner soul,let Jesus into your heart, identification with the temporary body or your eternal soul, the stillness of prayer practice, etc. etc. These are words that you will hear on any given Sunday in any church of Christian denomination. You see? Most of all I liked your first few words, that your mind hurts when you read Chopra.......haha.....exactly! Spot on again! ...the mind generally has a hard time understanding the stuff that is the 'soul's territory'! I hope your headache is a bit better now. Take care and to all a grand Indian Summer Day! Namaste.

Gaby D.
Gaby D.4 years ago

Goodmorning Deepak and Soular Energy Forum Friends, and to Graig a warm welcome! Yoga : a word that has taken on so many meanings to as many people. As yoga has become more popular in the West, even an 'in' thing to do......it has been given a variety of meanings. Mostly focused on the purely 'physical' part of the exercise. This past Sunday I had some time to read, and finally got to a book on Kundalini Yoga, by an authentic Indian Practicionar and Teacher. He set out to explain that you can't leave God out of Yoga. To practice Kundalini Yoga you really have to 'live according to the laws' of God.
I was surprised to find that these laws were strict and quite similar to the laws found in various other 'roads' to God, in Christianity and even Islam. It was an interesting read.
Not my cuppa tea, by all means, a bit too strict for me.
Yet, I have always understood that it is about more than just stretching the body this way and the other. The same can be said about Tai Chi, Qi Gong and several other religious, physical practices .....they are quite meditative and bring you closer to that 'stillness' within. To your soul if you will.......I find that a Tai Chi session accomplishes the same sort of stillness that Yoga does, and I like to do my exercising before I meditate.
To Graig: Hey Graig, your comment made me chuckle.....you wrote: "My mind hurts after reading Chopra. "Union", "search of the knower," "silent witness," "identification," "separation between mind and body