Yoga of Hatred versus Yoga of Love

Not untimely for our current global situation our humble Shalabhasana teaches us about the significance of the yoga of hatred (Krodha Yoga) and the yoga of love (Bhakti Yoga). Although sharing the same destination, they couldn’t be more different in regards to the type of passage that they provide. Both these yogas are the driving forces behind the main characters in India’s three great epics and tales, the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana, which although ancient stories contain characters all too similar to contemporary ones. For those of you who savor Indian myth, this is one of its spiciest legends and one of my favorites.

Natural and Spiritual Evolution

The currently predominant concept of Western Science regarding our evolution can be succinctly summarized in this way: We are individual flesh-robots powered by selfish genes that are trying to survive in a hostile or at least indifferent universe. We are pitched against similar bio mechanoids of the same and other species who are attempting to survive by outsmarting others in competing for limited resources. […]

Bhakti and the Tree of Eternal Life

When Paramahamsa Ramakrishna was asked how he attained samadhi his answer was, “Through total acceptance of the gift of samadhi from the Divine.” This is the most direct way! I am not saying other methods suggested should not be practiced, but they should be supplemented and crowned with this effort of Bhakti Yoga. […]

The Peak Experience in Yoga and Religion

Let me explain why I use spiritual expressions that border on the religious and why I say that the essence of all religions is the same as that of yoga. Within each being there is an eternal, sacred core; once this core has been seen, the individual can place itself in the service of humanity and all of creation. Mysticism is dedicated to the search for this core and its cultivation; upon finding it the mystic places themself in the service of all beings […]

The Yoga Sutra’s Role in the Yogic Tradition

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, although often the first text yogis look at, by itself constitutes only a small part of the yogic teachings. It must be studied in context with the Upanishads, the Gita, the Yoga Yajnavalkya, the Puranas, the Tantras, and the medieval siddha texts. The aggregate of these texts, and not the Yoga Sutra by itself, constitute authentic yogic teaching. […]

The End of the Guru, Part 1

A reader asked: “What are your thoughts on the need of a guru? Ramana Maharshi said that the guru and the self are the same so it seems that a guru could be unnecessary?” Nowadays a lot of people say that they teach in the Ramana Maharshi lineage. However, Ramana himself repeatedly observed, “I did not have a guru and I will not have disciples”. Although he himself is often cited as the sadguru (teachers teacher) he refused to be classified in this way.

As already hinted at in my previous post on “Personality Cults and Charlatans”, gurus are making poor headlines in recent years.

Pranayama versus Jnana Yoga

One of my readers posted the following question: Is it absolutely necessary to practice asana and pranayama to evolve to the highest human level or is it possible to do so by exclusively following the path of Jnana Yoga as taught by the likes of Ramana Maharshi or Nisargadatta Maharaj?
First I would like to point out that Ramana and Nisargadatta are in Western countries very differently portrayed than in India […]