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Advanced Yoga Practices
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 252 - Self-Pacing, Surrender and Enlightenment (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"
Is it not possible to get the liberation within one's present life? Because Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that any amount of sin is pardonable if one is surrendered to Him. What exactly is total surrender to God? Please explain.
A: Thank you for writing and sharing.
In AYP we look at yoga from the point of view of the nervous system being purified and opened. The condition of the neuro-biology is related to mind, body and karma. All of these are involved. Yoga helps the nervous system to purify and open in a natural way, which it wants to do. Then karma (samskara - latent impressions) is dissolved and the quality of mind and body are improved at the same time. It is all tied together like that -- all are aspects of the same thing, the condition of our nervous system.
Self-pacing in practices is an important part of this, because each person has a unique capacity for purification. Self-pacing is for determining how much practice is enough, and how much is too much. So we find our own balance in practices with self-pacing. Very important, and it is discussed in the AYP lessons a lot. The limits have to do with our capacity to "conduct" divine energy. The more the obstructions are removed in our nervous system, the more we can conduct divine energy. When the energy moving inside becomes ecstatic, we call it "ecstatic conductivity." That is the safe and enjoyable rise of kundalini. It is a gradual process of inner cleansing, leading to steadily more inner realization, ecstatic bliss and divine love pouring out. That is what yoga is for.
The concept of "sin" is a human invention, and often used by organized religion to subjugate followers. See lesson #132 on that. I am not for the concept of sin, which can hold people back from pursuing their divine destiny. Obstructions can be removed in the nervous system, and, yes, it can all be done in one lifetime. Even if not, huge progress can be accomplished with daily yoga practices, so the next life will be much closer to enlightenment than this one (see lesson #74). It is up to each person. In the Gita, Krishna says even a little yoga removes many lifetimes of karma. It is true. If we open the door of our nervous system just a little with a few months of daily deep meditation, the divine light will come streaming in. It is definitely worth doing. In the Gita, Krishna encourages us to get on with it, yes? Surrendering to Him (or whoever/whatever our chosen ideal is) is to undertake the daily disciplines of yoga. Then our heart overflows more each day with love and surrender to God in and around us.
Total surrender to God is to become the divine, which is our essential nature. It is a gradual development. It does not happen in one day. It goes by degrees. First we surrender to the ideal of becoming more -- maybe just to the question, "Who am I, and why am I here?" With this thread of surrender we can be inspired to begin daily practice of meditation. Then, with some inner silence coming up, we can surrender to adding pranayama. Then this can lead to other practices, etc. At some point the divine ecstasy rises in us, and then we become sold out to the ecstatic energies visibly transforming us from within. Total surrender comes step by step with our advancing experiences. To have advancing experiences we need to be doing daily practices. So surrender and daily practice go hand in hand. This is why desire becoming devotion to an ideal is discussed from the beginning in the AYP lessons. We cultivate direct experience every step along the way, and surrender comes along with it through the connectedness of yoga. See lesson #149 on how the different aspects of yoga connect through our nervous system. Eventually our experience rises to the level of unshakable inner silence, ecstatic bliss and outpouring divine love. By then we have become that which we have been surrendering to. Total surrender is enlightenment. It is immutable, beyond all affirmations and strategies of the mind. Total surrender is a heart constantly overflowing with divine love.
I wish you all success on your chosen spiritual path. Enjoy!
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed discussion on the relationship of surrender and enlightenment, see the AYP Bhakti and Karma Yoga book. For detailed instructions on building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the Eight Limbs of Yoga Book. Also see AYP Plus.
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