This morning, a quote from the Bhagavad Gita (trans. Barbara Stoller Miller):
When ignorance is destroyed
by knowledge of the self,
then, like the sun, knowledge
illuminates ultimate reality.
What is the “self” that Krishna here is talking about to Arjuna? It can’t be fully explained. Simply put, it is the undivided Self, the Self that is connected to all reality, that breaks through illusion by fully realizing its inherent and intimate connection with the Divine.
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There are many paths to the Divine, each working for a different person. In India there are many kinds of yoga, or disciplines, for reaching that place of union. Jnana is knowledge, and jnana yogis, like the famed teacher Shakaracarya, seek union with the Divine through a combined rigorous practice of knowledge and experience, study and meditation, scholarship and devotion – continually seeking the true Self, always asking, “who am I, really?” This realization and illumination of the true Self is easier to talk about, but much more difficult to do.
But the do-ing part is the important part. And that’s where sadhana comes in. Our daily practices support that unfolding, that exploration, that deepening into realization of oneness with Maa, our Divine Mother, Kali, or whatever face you put on Her. The practice is both the journey and the destination, for through our practice, we briefly touch on moments of bliss and connection. So whether your path is jnana (knowledge), bhakti (devotion), kriya (action), raja (physical) or otherwise, East or West or anywhere in between, know that consistent practice will support your path in a deep and meaningful way.
I applaud your hard work on this ninth day of the Sadhana Challenge! My own practice shifted somewhat this week, and I’ve begun to include gentle Tai Chi and Qigong to open my spine. The blog itself has become part of my sadhana, too. Linking in to all of you is such a gift!
May you all realize your oneness with Her, and may you all have peace and happiness.
Saa’ham. Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.