Counter anxiety by spirituality

by Chaitanya CharanJune 7, 2015

Talk at Urban Yoga, Melbourne

Lecture Podcast:

Thank you all of you for coming here today. I thank all the organisers for giving this opportunity to speak something on this topic of anxiety epidemic.

Martin Luther King about a century ago, half century or so he said – “we live in an age of guided missiles and misguided men”. He said that our technological power has out run our spiritual power. The means by which we live have out distant the purpose for which we live and once particular way in which this guiding of the external world has contrasted with the misguiding/misfiring of the inner world is symptomized in anxiety. Now there are three levels, I am not going to all them but anxiety is one kind of mental health problem. Not necessarily psychiatric although it can have psychiatric connotations where people have anxiety disorders but generically anxieties there. Beyond that there are various as I say psychiatric problems of which anxiety is one. And beyond that is when this goes to great extreme and then people feel so depressed, so frustrated, that often they end their own lives and they even commit suicide.

I’ll come to anxiety back but suicide is extreme expression of the same problem and the WHO states that on an average 1million people commit suicide every year. That means it is about 1 suicide for every 40 sec. So that means since the time we started this talk, about 5-10 people have already committed suicide. so that so many and actually speaking 1 million figure is just the recorded number of suicide, the reported number of suicides and this figure 1 million is much more than the total no of people who are killed by others either in war or in murderous crimes. That means more than the number of people who are killed by others, are the people who are killing themselves. It is quite a shocking statistics and in the last century among all the industries that have experienced high growth, softwarers, service industry. Earlier we had agricultural economy, then we had industry based economy and now largely it is a service based economy. There are various companies that offer product that is services offered through them. Now service sector has grown a lot but among the various industries that have grown the one of fastest growing industries is the pharmaceutical industry and even within the pharmaceutical specifically is the psychiatric drug industry and one out of every three drugs in America, as well as the overall western world and increasing, I come from India, even in India especially in the Metropolitan cities the maximum medicines that are taken are antidepressants or other kind of medications for anxiety disorders for other mental problems. Interestingly researchers, there are books for stopping anxiety epidemics and researchers have found that its quite often that in a developed world more people suffer from anxiety than in the developing world where actual people have more reasons for anxiety over their basic needs, where people don’t get the basic necessities, food, clothing, shelter, medication an these are uncertain *** but there is more anxiety in the developed world and as I said in India and in third world also, so people who come from the third world, there will be countries to develop countries, even there the anxiety level shoots up and even in the developing countries there are metropolises where the anxiety levels are much more. So the anxieties can of course in each specific individual have various causes. But in same time one curious factor that causes anxieties. So there were researchers who did surveys and they found that if they took an Indian and American and they asked them to the same task. Purchase new jeans and they asked both of them to do the same task and at the end like that they asked number of people and number of tasks and overall the Americans felt that they have taken more decisions while purchasing the jeans than the Indians. On an average, people of developed world felt that they were taking double the number of decisions as compared to people in the developing world. Now what do we mean by decisions in this context? Decisions mean that – ‘if I have to purchase something. Where should I purchase it from? If I purchase it from this shop it’ll make this kind of statement about who I am. If I purchase it from this shop, this colour this material, this brand. So every small activity when we live in a very status driven world, then every activity is not just a activity, It becomes a statement about who I am and when every single activity becomes a statement about who I am. Then each activity becomes much more consequential, much greater source of anxiety than it means to me. So anxiety can be caused by a over work for our mental machinery. Our mind is also like a machine and it can process only so much information, take so many decisions. So there are, there are unavoidable causes of anxiety. So when the economy has some destruction, when some relative have some disease or we ourselves get some disease. There are many sources of unavoidable anxieties. But apart from those unavoidable anxieties, there are anxieties that will often end up either consciously or unconsciously inviting by the weight that we attach to every single activity. So overall, all of us we have apart from our cross-physical needs we also have a sense of… We have somewhere from which we get a sense of identity, somewhere where we get a sense of shelter and protection and somewhere where we get a sense of pleasure. For example, who am I? I may think I’m an Australian I’m a professional I’m a this I’m that. We all have a sense of identity and then when I we have some problems, we have some worries, we try to get shelter where I can get relieve. And overall we want to enjoy life so we look for pleasure.

Now imagine a boat in an ocean. The ocean is going to have waves and because of those waves the boat is always going to rock. Some amount of shake in the boat is unavoidable. Now the more stormy the ocean the more violent the waves the greater will be the shaking in the boat. So if the boat is to be stable, if it is attached to an anchor if it is attached to something stronger and stabler, something weightier than it’s size then the amount of shaking that will happen will decrease. But if the boat is on its own in the vast ocean it will just helplessly shake. So to a large extent life and the world will live in it is like an ocean. Like in the ocean there are waves which move up and down. Similarly in life we will have binaries. Sometimes things will work out the way we want, sometimes things will not work out the way we want. Sometimes people will respect us sometimes people will disrespect us. Sometimes we are too hot sometimes we are too cold. Sometimes we’ll feel healthy sometimes we’ll not feel healthy. These are the waves and these naturally create a certain amount of uncertainty and anxiety. To the extent we have some anger, some place of certainty, some area where we can calm ourselves to the extent anxieties will affect will be less. To the extent we don’t have such shelter we do not have any aspect of life which is unchanging, to the extent anxiety is bound to increase.

Going back to earlier point I made about people in the developed world attaching more and more weight to every single thing that they do. Nowadays lot of people talk about personality. Oh you should have a very engaging and attractive personality. Interestingly if you look at etymology the word personality came into the English lexicon in the 19th century and the reason for that was, of course people when concerned about the way they presented themselves, the way they looked, the way they acted, what others thought about them. That’s natural human concern. But the shift from a focus on the person to the personality.  By focus on person means who we are. Focus on personality means who we appear to be. How we look so how we are perceived. That shift from person to personality led to a huge amount of over reliance on externals. Not just in terms of how I appear. See there are three different stages. First is OK I am a person but I am concerned of what others think of me. So that is person and that is personality. But beyond that what other think of me if that becomes the primary barometer of I measuring who I am then every single thing about ourselves becomes source of anxiety. How I dress, how I walk, what product I purchase, what gadget I use. Every single thing becomes a source of great anxiety because we feel lot lies on whether I make right choice or not. There is a saying that “we won’t worry so much about what others think about us if we knew how little others thought about us”. We worry a lot! oh! what will this person think about us what will this person think about me. If we look at our lives how much do we really think about others on there own terms? We have our own anxiety our own problems our own aspirations and we live in our own world. People don’t have all that much time to think about others and they get some impressions that’s it. But we worry much more what others think about us than what others actually think about us and that burden of external expectations in terms of worrying about others perception about us that causes great anxiety.

One of the main reasons as I started by saying we are in the age of guided missiles and misguided men. so Martin Luther came at time of****. The point is that one of the ways we are misguided is when our sense of identity comes from externals rather than from internals. When we let who I am be defined by the world rather than by our own values by our own abilities and our aspirations of who we want to be. That time we sentence ourselves to anxiety because people’s perceptions are just not in our control. The Bhagavad Gita is a ancient yoga text and it gives many penetrating psychological insides. One of the things it says in 16th chapter 11th verse

cintām aparimeyāḿca

pralayāntām upāśritāh


etāvad iti niścitāh

Chinta means anxiety. Anxiety becomes immeasurable aparimeyāḿca and pralayāntām upāśritāh and it goes on till the moment of dead. for whom? kāmopabhoga-paramā etāvad iti niścitāh for a person who thinks that external objects are source of my pleasure not only my source of pleasure they are the very purpose of my life. That there is no purpose to life apart from attaining external objects and enjoying those objects, attaining them controlling them and enjoying them. When we wed our sense of identity then our need for shelter and our search for pleasure. These three are different grades. They all go deeper. At all times we are looking for some pleasure. We may watch tv we may surf on net we may play some games. That’s what we do for pleasure. At a deeper level we also need shelter. When we feel stressed anxiety we need someone something to shelter us to comfort us and beyond that at a deeper level who am I? Our sense of identity is extremely subtle in the the sense that who we think of ourselves to be if it is wedded to much with externals and if I think that say I am a business person and they call me ***. Then who am I? My sense identity can be striped away from me if it is wedded to externals. Like in onion we peel out the layers of the onion and just go on peeling peeling. Spirituality is about peeling away the non essentials so that we focus on the essentials. What it means by non essentials and essentials is that there is a core to our person hood. That core is spiritual at our center at our very core we are indestructible beings. We have physical bodies but we are not these physical bodies.

If you look at it in a scientific point of view the hand is more or less made of the same components as this. Ultimately it’s made up of atoms and molecules. Atoms and molecules don’t have consciousness. They don’t feel. They don’t perceive. They don’t experience. They don’t have emotions. If these are made of atoms and molecules and this hand is made of atoms and molecules, my whole body is made up of atoms and molecules then where does our sense of conscious come from? Even the brain is made up of atoms and molecules only. So when the brain is active essentially what is happening is electric current is passing through the brain cells. When electric current passed through a television set it doesn’t get consciousness. On seeing a television program I may laugh or crying but the television set won’t laugh or cry. It doesn’t experience anything. So the experiencer is non physical. Atoms and molecules are not the source of consciousness.

There is irreducible, infinitesimal spark of consciousness within us and that the Bhagavad Gita calls it as the atma. It is the self or consciousness. Now that is spiritual. And the point of the relevance point of the spiritual identity of this concept of soul as is called sometimes the atma, is that, that is indestructible. Nothing in this world can attack us, can damage that.

Suppose we are in a city and suddenly there is a huge fire in the city. We will get anxiety you know will this fire, well get burned in this fire. But if we’re are in aircraft above that city. When we see the fire we’ll be concerned. Oh there so much destruction happening so much loss is happening. We’ll be concerned but we won’t be disturbed. Because that fire is not a direct threat to us. We are in an aircraft we are unburned we are safe. so to be concerned and not disturbed that is essential for dealing with many source of anxiety. We can’t wish away anxiety because there are uncertainties there are problems. We do need to deal with them. But when we understand our spiritual identity then it is like we are lifted from the middle of a burning city in aircraft above and that itself gives a great sense of relief, a great sense of inner security. And inner security helps us to deal with outter anxiety.

As I said the body will be shaken but if the boat is anchored to something stronger, heavier, weightier then it will not be shaken so much. We are in the world so in that sense we have to function we have to deal with the binaries of the world. There will be waves but if our sense of identity is anchored to an understanding of our spiritual side that at my core I’m spiritual I’m indestructible. I am particle of consciousness who is beyond that. Then we get a sense of certainty which helps us to deal with outter uncertainly. The Bhagavad Gita as I said Is a yoga text and yoga is essentially experiencing. It is not dormatic it is not asking us to believe ***. It asks us to explore. In Bhagavad Gita which I put earlier as I said *** That we can ourselves experience so what I said that about we at our core not being physical but being indestructible souls. This is not just a theoretical proposition the Bhagavad Gita offers us the methodology of Yoga by which we can gradually gain realisation of soul.

When we practice yoga, yoga is not just about physical postures, yes they are one aspect of yoga and they help in keeping the body fit and they may also help to some extent to keep the mind calm. But the postures are just a stepping stone for something higher. Like there are postures in various fields say in cricket when a batsman is batting a batsman has a particular posture. Some have legs wide spread, some may have legs close by, some may be making bat raise, some making their bat on the ground. The purpose of the posture is to do something after the posture. The batsman is not made to stay life long on that posture. The posture is meant that eventually when the ball comes the batsman has to hit the ball. Similarly the yoga positions, the bodily postures are meant for launching our consciousness to the spiritual level. They are the launching pads by which we can raise our consciousness up.

In yoga text it is described that one of the the most easy and effective ways by which we can raise our consciousness upwards is through spiritual sound. What do I mean by spiritual sound? Sounds which is connected with a spiritual dimension of our life and sounds which had the power to lift us in spiritual life.We know that even from experience sounds has the power to change our moods. When we are depressed or a lonely feeling and we have some very nice music our mood may get transformed or may get lifted. This is simple way of understanding at our practical level that sound has mood altering effects. But yoga text describes sound has, special sound especially has much more potency much more power. Spiritual sound is embodied in mantras. There are various mantras and the word mantras itself in Sanskrit means that sound which delivers the mind ‘manastrayate’.

So going back to the earlier examples of say a city in fire and a helicopter comes and air lifts the person then the person is airlifted and the anxiety will decrease substantially. so the spiritual sound, the sound of mantras is a means to airlift our consciousness, to raise our consciousness. What we’ve been doing earlier in this kirtan, music was going on, spiritual music that is also one form of yoga, mantra yoga infact this is the heart of yoga. As I said sit in the yogic postures so that we can launch our consciousness of spiritual level. But the power of mantra is such that, mantras can raise our spiritual consciousness even without the Yogic postures. If one can sit in yogic postures that’s good but that’s not necessary. Mantras, when we recite those mantras. The mantra if we absorb our consciousness in the mantra then our consciousness gets lifted up. And that lifting up of consciousness to a large extent decreases our anxiety.

I talked about identity shelter and pleasure. When all these three are sort in externals they make our anxiety manifold. Then I talked about how our sense of identity can come from our spiritual side by understanding our spiritual identity and that not just intellectually understanding but experiencially realising can be done through the chanting of mantras.

Going to the next two things, shelter and pleasure. When we talk about shelter, what that means is say it’s very cold outside and when we come to a room which is having a heater. We feel sheltered from the cold weather. Similarly all of us when we face problems in our lives we all seek shelter in something. Now what that may be will, some people may think that oh I’ll just turn on the television and forget the world or start watching the games and forget the world or someone just drink and just down your anxiety in the drink. There may be different ways in which we may seek shelter when we face anxieties. Quite often we seek shelter in something which offers some shelter but eventually it increases anxiety.

Suppose somebody is very frustrated and very irritated and the person decides to watch some sports and in that sports say the favorite team losses the match. Then the result is that I started watching that sport to distress myself but then instead of distressing, instead of becoming free from stress I ended up distressing myself. I became more distressed I became more unhappy. So quite often it’s been found that when we seek shelter in external sources of pleasure, for example people watch tv, surf the net. You see on tv what is primarily shown? there are many things shown on tv but what is most glamorized what is most attractively presented is usually the commercials. And what do the commercials do? They actually increase our desires. One of my friends in advertising industry, he told that when he got into advertising career his trainers told that our slogan is that -“Before hearing about product people may not even feel the need for something but after hearing about it they should feel that I cannot even live without it”. So an expert advertiser is the one who can sell an air-conditioning to an Eskimo. So quite often when we seek shelter from our problems in externals those externals themselves become further sources of anxiety. Instead the yoga traditions say that when there is outter uncertainty is going back to ocean metaphor.

An ocean if I see ok this part of the ocean is stormy so that part of the ocean looks very calm. So let me go there and get calm over there. Yes it may be relatively calmer as compared to here but no where in the ocean is there going to be complete calm. Similarly when we face one external anxiety and try to find shelter in some other external is just like moving from one part of the ocean to another part of the ocean. Sometimes we may get some relief but that part of the ocean is equally prone to being shaken by waves. So again if we seek shelter within… So shelter within means that we at our core are religious and we all long for love. We all want relationships and the yoga text describes that we are individual units of consciousness and there is a supreme consciousness, infinite consciousness. And there is a bond of love between the two. And that bond of love when it is revived then we experience the greatest shelter because in that love there is certainty, there is safety because the infinite consciousness. When our finite consciousness lives with the infinite consciousness then there in we get the best shelter.

At one level if I just raise myself from a adversity struck area, fire prone area to aircraft. But in that aircraft if there is a friend whom I love, a friend whom I trust, then the relief that we get is much more so the mantras don’t just raise our consciousness to spiritual level but they also unite our consciousness with infinite consciousness. We at our present level may not be able to perceive the infinite consciousness. We may not be able to perceive actually what is happening but the experience which we get by the practice mantra yoga will point in that direction. So for example if a child or a small baby is sleeping and its very cold at night so now when he’s trembling and mother sees it and puts a blanket on the child. The child has not woken up also, child is not consciously aware there is a mother and she has put the blanket and that’s why I am feeling so warm, so comfortable, so safe. So consciously baby is not aware of that. But at subconscious level the warmth of the blanket gives the sense of security, it gives a sense of comfort. So similarly we at our stage cannot perceive the infinite consciousness. But when we practice mantra yoga, when we recite these mantras then we will experience our sense of shelter, of safety of comfort that goes beyond what we can experience just by trying to give us pep talk.. everything will be alright, cool down, calm down, everything will be alright. It sometimes can help. But when we connect with our infinite consciousness we can get far greater sense of shelter and in that because the union of infinite and finite consciousness is not just source of shelter is a source of also a great pleasure. In fact whatever pleasure we find in the various externals we may seek pleasure that pleasure is only like a drop within ocean of happiness if we connect with the infinite happiness. And the most effective way to deal with anxiety. Yes there are practical problems they need practical solutions and the yoga text don’t deny the need for practical solutions but often life determines our problems but we determine their size. Life determines the problems but by how much we dwell on the problem. We can make that problem bigger and bigger and bigger so that it dominates us mentally. But if we have some alternative focus for our thought and we have means by which we can redirect our thoughts from the things that are causing the anxiety to some other thing which can give us security which can give us pleasure which can stabilise us. Which means if the boat is getting rocked by the waves if there is a firm object like an anchor and there is means by which we can link the boat to the anchor. Then the boat can become still.

So yoga provides us the both. The mantra is the means by which we raise our consciousness and the mantra also unites us with infinite consciousness.. links us in love with infinite consciousness. And thus by turning inwards we can deal with anxiety in a most efficient way. Whatever problems are there we have to deal with them but our concern will not be disturbed by them. We’ll be concerned because we want to resolve them properly but disturbed means our own sense of identity our own sense of self worth shake, that will not happen when we are able to turn inwards and not just in conceptual or sentimental sense but in experiencial sense where we can have means. So the mantra is a sound by which we can turn inwards and get relief from anxiety.

So I’ll summarize, I started about talking how the anxiety epidemic is paradoxical because people who have reason to be anxious because of their basic needs not being filled, they are not as anxious as people who have their basic needs fulfilled. This is so alarming that people are ending their own lives because of their mental health issues and in huge quantities. And we discussed that one of the major causes of anxiety specially in the paradox of more the developed world as compared to developing world is that because they are making more choices and they have to think more about every single activity they do and that happens because people’s sense of identity is wedded to externals. We discussed the difference between person and personality. The 20th and 21st century cultures they reduce the person to the personality. Who you are doesn’t matter as what you appear to be and because of that every small thing becomes a very weighty thing and it drains our mental energy and causes anxiety. So if we turn inwards just like a boat when it is anchored and stabler so like that if we can find an anchor for ourselves we can get relieved from anxiety and we discussed that anchor is already there because we at are core, our essential identity is spiritual. Consciousness doesn’t come from unconscious matter it comes from the atma, the irreducible particle of consciousness soul. We can experiencial realise this by the sound of mantras which will airlift our consciousness on material to spiritual level and beyond that not only yoga gives us more evolved sense of identity but also offeres us more evolved sources of shelter and pleasure. It connects the finite consciousness and infinite consciousness and there by it provides us a reliable source of inner source of relief from anxiety.

Thank you very much. Are there any questions? any comments?

Q1) If this spiritual core is different from the body made up of atoms and molecules why does it identify with these. In Bhagavad Gita in 13th chapter 22 verse in is stated *** it says that purusha the consciousness prakruti stohi becomes situated in matter because of *** because of the desire to enjoy material things. So a simple example to understand this. Say somebody sits in a room and turns on the television. On television say some game is going on. now say an Indian comes to America and say in India there is only conception of cricket there is no conception of baseball much. But Indian goes in America sees everyone watching baseball and starts getting caught in the game. Now although that person is completely different from the screen and whatever is happening on the ground somewhere. To the extent the person seeks pleasure in watching that sport to that extent the person is subjected to the emotions associated with it. So if you’re favorite team wins there will be happiness if you’re favorite team loses there will be distress or if somebody goes into theatre and starts watching a movie. To the extent the person identifies himself to the characters in the movie and gets emotionally engrossed in the movie to that extent the person is subject to emotions. So now if somebody in the movie theatre itself there might be some ticket checkers or some other people. Now they have seen the movie many times. Whatever happens in the movie they are not emotionally involved in it. So people are watching the show and they are watching the show of emotion in people’s faces. What happens here is because they are not emotionally involved. Why? because they are not seeking pleasure in that. So then they are not affected. To the extent we seek pleasure at a physical level to that extent we get caught in all the emotions that come up because of the uncertainties that there are at physical level. The soul is distinct from this body made up of atoms and molecules but the soul desires to enjoy through this body and just as the person watching the movie identifies with that and then undergoes a panaroma of emotions there. Similarly we undergo a panaroma of emotions. And the just as the person watching a movie has a full life separate from the movie. Now the person has family relatives loved ones and various activities the whole life separate from the movies. Similarly for the particle of consciousness there is a life different from body. But to the extent this person gets caught in the movie to that extent the person may even forget everything else. So similarly to the extent we get caught in seeking pleasure to the physical level to that extent we will wed ourselves to anxiety. Another example to illustrate this. Say you have got a new car. Now you are driving the car very happily and then somebody comes and hits the bumper in the car. You’ll be in great anxiety.. now there is a scratch on the bumper, what has happened. On the other hand you had a car and you sold the car and then you are going in new car and then you see the old car somebody else is driving. And if somebody else hits the bumper of that car.. it’s not your car anymore. You won’t be so affected by it. Why? Because we are not emotionally invested in that old car. We are emotionally invested in the new car. So to the extent our emotion are caught in something to that extent we undergo a whole series of ups and downs associated with it. So the whole art of yoga is not that we reject everything material but we see the material in the light of spiritual. That means yes I have to act in the world so I have to function and do this. The Bhagavad Gita is the text spoken to a state leader and the Bhagavad Gita did not tell the state leader that we should reject everything but the Bhagavad Gita told to get a higher perspective so that in the world’s ups and downs you won’t go up and down. So if we have a higher connections in our consciousness then that brings stability and thats how the ups and downs of the physical dimension won’t affect us. The souls desire for pleasure if it is fulfilled at spiritual level then soul won’t seek it in chemicals, atoms and molecules but if the soul doesn’t do that then the soul gets caught. And then we subject ourselves to various emotion which commit anxieties.

Q2) If we have problems then we become too indifferent to then not caring about them at all and the other extreme could be that we get completely burdened by it. How to maintain a balance between them?

In general the tendency of the mind is to oscillate towards extremes. We make something as extremely important as all important. And then is one extreme of the pendulum and there other is that we just reject it and of no use at all. But these are the extremes of the mind are what creates situations which multiply our anxieties. Because when we live in the world we have to deal with worldly situations. if I have to artificially become indifferent to them imagine they don’t matter to me.  When the consequences come I will have to deal with it. So going back to the boats example the boat is in the ocean and the boat has to move in a particular direction. So if the person in the boat says, I don’t care what kind of waves are going to come then there can be disastrous accidents. But the same time if the person is constantly looking at the waves and not thinking about where I am suppose to go and how I am suppose to get there and gets completely consumed by the waves that are coming that the person may be so paralysed by fear or frenzied by fear. Paralysed means not able to do anything and frenzied means doing things thoughtlessly. Either way person can increase danger. So if the person in that boat has the sense of purpose and as I said there connection with the anchor with which the boat will be stable. So then the person came move onwards. So what brings about the balance on the path of yoga is the sense of purposefullness. What is this purposefullness? In the yoga text it is described that people can have three different attitudes towards the world. one is to romanticize the world. Romantisize the world means to think that oh if this things work out if I adjust this if I adjust that then everything will be enjoyable. I’ll be in paradise. To have a very romantisize idea of the world that everything will be enjoyable here that there will be no problems at all.. no. Actually at the start of the scientific age the famous essay written. He said that “we are on the verge of such scientific development that in 20 years down the line, machines will be doing all the work that we are doing and the biggest that the people will have is what to do with all the time that they have”. That’s what he was thinking a 100-150 years ago but you know this is the romanticised way of looking at the world that all our problems will be solved. That is unrealistic but the other extreme where we demonize the world. Everything else is temporary nothing matters, I don’t care for everything, I don’t care for anything at all. But the yoga text tells us that the balanced attitude is to utilise the world. Neither romanticise or demonize it but utilise it. That means we have certain talents we have certain values we have certain aspirations and we can actualise them in the world. If we just reject the world then how are we going to grow how are we going to develop ourselves. So the purpose of distancing ourselves as I said raising ourselves from a fire prone area, the purpose of that is to deal with that situations with the fire in more effective way. So the whole purpose of yoga tradition is not to reject the world but to engage in the world in more efficaciously, in a way *** when we reduce ourselves to physical creatures then we consider ourselves that we subject ourselves so much anxiety and we think of our externals that my dress is not right my hair is not right my car is not right that my gadget is not right then I am moving. That is extreme. But in balanced self that in art of yoga we have physical side we have spiritual side. So one extreme is to just get caught completely in the physical and the other extreme is to focus only on spiritual and neglect the physical. Both are extreme. In Bhagavad Gita chapter *** be regulated in both. so we connect with our spiritual side so that we can effectively utilise our physical side and the whole purpose of yoga is so that we become who we are meant to be. Now we have tremendous potential not just spiritual potential but even physical or material potential. So we grow both ways. At a spiritual level as our consciousness evolves were get more and more certainty and security within. But even externally we are able to do justice to our talents. We are able to actualise our dreams because when we are calmer we can take more intelligent decisions and we can utilise our talents better. So yoga text are the balance between the two. The key to the balance is having a sense of purpose. The purpose is that we are meant to develop ourselves. Now what we are presently is the creation’s gift to us but what we become is our gift to the creation and we are meant to become better and better. Yoga helps us in all round development. thank you very much to your kind attention.

Thank you.




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Chaitanya Charan

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