Namaste. So today we’d like to talk a little bit about what is the actual goal of all yoga processes because of a lack of understanding, and people like to talk about yoga… primarily is just the Hatha Yoga system. And they like to advertise the idea that there are different types of practices or different application of asana, how it’s performed, and they want to create some uniqueness by putting labels on it. But in the real yoga system all forms of asana just constitute one eighth of what is the yoga practice; one part, one eighth. There are eight principal divisions within the yoga system. This is speaking about Astanga Yoga; but there are other forms of yoga sometimes referred to as Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga, which is the philosophical study of yogic truth. You have Karma Yoga, which is action in the service of the Supreme and of others. You have Kundalini Yoga, you have Bhakti Yoga, and many other variants. But if a person actually has a complete understanding they will see that the yoga system is actually one.
We can compare this to a mountain. Particularly like a volcanic mountain where there are no mountain ranges, just a single mountain. And around this very large mountain there may be different villages where people are living and they may come to a monthly market place that may be held in a certain area. And two people may meet and begin talking and one will say, “Where do you live?”
And the other person will go, “I live in such-and-such a village and it is near a mountain, at the foot of a mountain.”
And the other person will go, “Oh yes. I also come from a village that’s at a foot of a mountain. What is your mountain?”
And he said, “My mountain, when you look, it is a giant, steep rock face and it is very craggy beyond that and very steep, rocks everywhere.”
And the other man goes, “Oh, my mountain is covered with a bamboo forest up to a certain level and beyond that there are great trees.”
Then they meet a third person that says, “Oh I also live by a mountain and there is a waterfall, beautiful waterfall and it’s a very… gently rolling hills at the foot of this mountain.”
And they’re all going, “Oh! I’d like to visit your mountain some day and also see it.”
And what they are not understanding is that a person that has ascended to the very top of this mountain will see on different sides or different parts of the mountain there are different views with different landscapes. And the people from a lower position, when they look up, they are thinking, “Oh, this is one mountain,” and somebody else is looking from another angle and thinking, “Oh, it is another mountain.”
So when we discuss or talk about the goal of all yoga processes we are discussing from a top-down view.