AYP Home

Public Home  |  Plus Home  |  Main Lessons  |  Tantra Lessons  |  Public Forum  |  Plus Forum  |  Books-eBooks-AudioBooks

Topic Paths | Site Search | Training-Retreats | Testimonials | AYP Survey | Interviews | Illustrations/Videos | Downloads | Contact


Help Yourself
And Others


What's New on
AYP Plus?

AYP Retreats
Worldwide Listing

AYP Teacher Training

Local Contacts
Meditation Groups,
Training & Retreats

Key L

Start Lessons Here

Desire - Bhakti

Deep Meditation


Spinal Breathing



Sambhavi Mudra

Asanas - Postures


Yoni Mudra

Uddiyana - Nauli

Navi Kriya

Kechari Mudra

Chin Pump

Eight Limbs of Yoga

Samyama & Siddhi

Spinal Bastrika

Heart Breathing

Yoga Nidra
Cosmic Samyama

Mantra Enhancements

Solar Centering



Vajroli Mudra

Whole Body Mudra

Yogic Diet






Nectar Cycle

Kundalini Assistance

Sensitivity Issues

Spirits & Entities



End of Suffering

Karma Yoga

Dare to Dream

Evolution of Action

Prayer & Healing

Yoga for Children


Summary of Practices

Time Management

Modifications to
Baseline System





More Resources

AYP Plus

Public Forum

Plus Forum

AYP Survey

audioicon1.jpg (812 bytes)
AYP on Radio & TV

Yoga FAQ

Sanskrit Glossary

AYP Books & Audio


AYP Books Flyer

Extended Booklist


Press Releases

Articles & Media


Website Statistics

AYP-Related Websites

Social Networks


Advanced Yoga Practices
Main Lessons

Previous  |  Next

Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 240 - Regarding One's Highest Ideal  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:56pm

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: Should one practise yoga only if the desire is for enlightenment? Enlightenment is definitely a difficult thing to understand for a layman in wordily life. Maybe more understanding about it and the desire to achieve it will develop as the yoga practices go on. But anyone will want to live a life with a healthy body and peaceful mind. Can they practise yoga if they have no desire of getting 'enlightened?'

A student will want to overcome the pressures of daily commitments successfully and progress in his academics, and his immediate concern is not enlightenment -- he may not even be aware that such a thing exists. Can't he use yoga just to help him develop a sound body and mind?

Can one have their highest ideal as a happy life with healthy body and peaceful mind, instead of enlightenment? Can one practise yoga just for this, setting it as their highest ideal, not resisting the devotion for enlightenment though, if and when it develops?

A: Yes, any reason (ideal) for doing practices is a good reason. The result will be the same -- purification and opening of the nervous system, and there are many practical benefits that come from that. All that is necessary is a desire to advance toward something we believe yoga can help with. Then daily practices can be sustained.

With practices such as deep meditation and spinal breathing pranayama, the nervous system opens to the light within, and the desires gradually becomes colored by that. Then bhakti evolves naturally toward a more divine longing. It is not something we can invent. It happens as we become a purer vehicle for the bliss that resides within us. 

We start where we are, with whatever our aspirations may be, and go from there. As you point out, there are plenty of reasons to do yoga besides an ultimate objective of enlightenment. Saints, in fact, don't aim for enlightenment at all. They constantly crave union with their Divine Beloved! The student craves a diploma, and the rest of us crave good health and success in our daily endeavors. All of these are good reasons to do yoga practices. 

Everyone has their own ideal that can be used as inspiration for yoga. As the ideal is fulfilled, enlightenment is the by-product. We don't even have to know what enlightenment is. With practices it will come - more and more inner peace, creativity and happiness.

The guru is in you.

Related Lessons Topic Path

Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum

Note: For detailed instructions on employing desire and action on our spiritual path, see the AYP Bhakti and Karma Yoga book, and AYP Plus.

Previous  |  Next


News and
Events Near


Direct Download

eBooks - PDF, EPUB

FREE eBooks with
MP3 AudioBooks

SAVE  with Bundled
Multi-Title Downloads

AYP Book Translations

Preview AYP Books

(PDF Books Flyer)

Easy Lessons

Advanced Yoga Practices Book

Adventure Novel

Enlightenment Series

Deep Meditation Book

Spinal Breathing Pranayama Book

Tantra Book

Asanas, Mudras & Bandhas Book

Samyama Book

Diet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli Book

Self-Inquiry Book

Bhakti and Karma Yoga Book

Eight Limbs of Yoga Book

Eight Limbs of Yoga Book

Questions & Answers





      © 2003-present    (see copyright notice)

Public Home | Plus Home | Main Lessons | Tantra Lessons | Topic Paths | Interviews | Videos | Site Search | Links Section | Testimonials | AYP Survey | Books | Downloads | Contact