At the turn of the twentieth century a wise teacher from south India described the culmination of Yoga in a very alluring manner: "When mind, the bumble bee, sips the honey-like sweetness of one's own bliss, fluttering ceases and it is drawn into union."
This poetic description given by Narayana Guru echoes and elaborates the definition of Yoga given in one of the foundation texts of Yoga, the Bhagavad Gita (VI:23): "Yoga is disaffiliation from the context of suffering."
These definitions are not academic. They speak directly to our experience of life, which can range from being punctuated by suffering to being permeated by it. They also speak to our constant yearning and search for happiness.
Yoga originated as a natural response to this human condition. It is why it was developed, why its teachings have been followed, elaborated, and passed down from time immemorial to the present.
Yoga is the science of harmonious union with one's own self, the world, and the cosmic law that governs the entire universe, ranging from the cognizing of a sensation to the formation of a galaxy.
This commentary by Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati unlocks the secrets of this perennial wisdom and shows how pertinent and valuable the transforming path of Yoga is to our lives today.
A special appendix, "Letters to an Aspiring Yogi," offers a basic orientation and initiation into the practice of Yoga, which, as Guru Nitya makes clear, "Is a common path for all human beings, irrespective of their cultural, geographic, and religious affiliations."