Yoga speaks to the complex relationship between me (the eternal spiritual being residing within the body) and my mind. Alcohol and drugs increase the control the mind has over me and shackles me to material existence. To experience self-realization, God-realization, and to taste perfect happiness one needs to live a temperate life, a life of moderation and self-restraint. By surrendering to the constant demands and desires of the mind and the senses we commit ourselves to a life where unhappiness, loneliness and emptiness will be our companions. The yoga process offers a complete awakening, boundless joy, and the experience of deep spiritual love. So how is this achieved? The key is the meditation upon spiritual or transcendental sound, particularly kirtan.
I promised some verses from the Bhagavad-gita to contemplate upon:
2.64 One who can control his senses by practicing the regulated principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord and thus become free from all attachment and aversion.
2.65 For one who is so situated in the Divine consciousness, the threefold miseries of material existence exist no longer; in such a happy state, one’s intelligence soon becomes steady.
2.66 One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?
2.67 As a boat on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even one of the senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man’s intelligence.
2.68 Therefore, O mighty-armed, one whose senses are restrained from their objects is certainly of steady intelligence.
2.69 What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.
2.70 A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires—that enter like rivers into the ocean which is ever being filled but is always still—can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.
2.71 A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego—he alone can attain real peace.
2.72 That is the way of the spiritual and godly life, after attaining which a man is not bewildered. Being so situated, even at the hour of death, one can enter into the kingdom of God.