Continuing with the series “My Life’s Compass” we explore a little deeper into the proposal by that yoga system that it is through restraint and control of the mind, senses, and desires, that one gains true freedom and is able to overcome selfishness, greed, and apathy, which the environmental scientist Gus Speth says is the root cause of all the environmental problems.
Some of the Vedic verses I quoted:
But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Supreme. – Bhagavad-gita 2.64
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 person who strives to satisfy such desires. – Bhagavad-gita 2.70
Fearlessness; purification of one’s existence; cultivation of spiritual knowledge; charity; self-control; performance of sacrifice; study of the Vedas; austerity; simplicity; nonviolence; truthfulness; freedom from anger; renunciation; tranquillity; aversion to faultfinding; compassion for all living entities; freedom from covetousness; gentleness; modesty; steady determination; vigor; forgiveness; fortitude; cleanliness; and freedom from envy and from the passion for honor — these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature. – Bhagavad-gita 16.1-3
And the following verses on Yama & Niyam from the Yoga-sutra
2.29 Control of the senses (yama), observance of rules (niyama), bodily postures (asana), regulation of the breath (pranayama), the withdrawal of the mind from sense objects (pratyahara), focusing the mind on a chosen object (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and complete absorption in trance (samadhi) are the eight limbs of yoga.
2.30 Non-violence, truthfulness, not stealing, celibacy and freedom from possessiveness make up the yamas.
2.31 These laws are universal and must be practiced without consideration of time, place, birth or circumstances. Together they constitute the “great vow” of life.
2.32 The niyamas (observances) are internal and external purity, contentment, acceptance of austerity, the recitation of sacred mantras and study of Vedic texts, and complete devotion and surrender to the Supreme.
Kirtan is to the cover “What a Beautiful Name It Is”

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