The aspirant undertakes certain self disciplines when following the spiritual path of Yoga. These are essential for everyone who wishes to apply themselves to the art of living with spiritual values replacing the material ones that dominate at present.
Classical yogic disciplines have remained unchanged for centuries. Although they can be adopted and also adapted by people of any culture or religion, the fundamental principles do not alter. Many aspects are incorporated in the lives of people of every nation and culture.
Indians and Hindus in particular, are fortunate to have the essentials imbued in the home life from infancy and their earliest education. Individuals in western countries must seek out information about this method that is most importantly a universal teaching outside any religion.
The spiritual quest in exploring and elevating individual consciousness and expanding it to full potential of human intelligence, culminates in the state of awareness known as Samadhi.
It begins with our familiarity with the 3rd dimensional world around us that gradually extends to the unseen and less known spheres of life including human consciousness.
Following integration of our personality to the extent there is no internal warring between our physical, emotional and mental nature allows us to experience more awareness of the subtler spheres both of human nature and of the total natural environment in which we play a part. We are only fully satisfied when we are aware of our own small role in the universal scheme. This can only be experienced directly as we discover ourselves to exist as sparks of the Creative Essence or great Life Source we call God.
Such spiritual realization comes to us each differently and in degrees but the highest is a dramatic and intense consciousness that is of life changing quality and magnitude, that is called in Yoga terms, Samadhi. The factor that is common to all who expand to embrace life and in so doing diminish the sense of personal ego are rewarded with a conscious identification with the greatness, the power, the beauty and the Oneness of all life – the great universal ocean of energy we understand as the Absolute Reality.
Here we lose our sense of importance as an individual by surrendering to the magnitude and yet receive encouragement of our own power and importance simultaneously. Some describe themselves as a droplet in the universal ocean, others as a spark of the divine fire; others find perfect release in a freedom beyond material imagination. In whatever way we ultimately come to know the supreme spiritual truths it is certain that we must genuinely experience an expansion of our own consciousness that is rewarding and enriching. We can anticipate positive results to follow in our character, our health, our extended abilities, sensitivities, our understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of life.
When the practical yogic disciplines are sincerely practised as part of our spiritual Sadhana, it may be described that a more loving self begins to shine through the personality. As the great Law of Nature decrees that each of us grows through our own efforts, we are encouraged to apply ourselves to what we understand of the Yogic philosophy and practices that we may come to benefit as those exponents before us have done – having found that human consciousness can grow and experience new and exciting spheres of exploration.