What is the goal of yoga?

September 6, 2019 |

Read Time: 3 minutes

The word ‘yoga’ simply means ‘to join’. Yoga is the union of the Jeevatma with the Paramatma. The goal of yoga is Self Realisation. Yoga is about seeking one’s true Self and becoming completely free from desires and worldly attachments. Yoga , as given in our scriptures, is a spiritual journey seeking the goal of breaking free from the endless cycle of death and rebirth. Most importantly, Yoga is the goal as well as the tool to achieve this goal.

We are all caught in the web of worldly attachments and keep swinging between momentary happiness and despair – Sukha and Dukha. Each one of us is seeking to be in an eternal state of happiness. We all want to avoid Dukha or sadness. The ultimate goal of yoga is to reach us to this state of bliss or peace . The yogic path makes us realise that if we are caught in the trap of worldly attachments, we cannot escape unhappiness and we keep getting caught deeper and deeper into this deceitful life.

Yoga seeks to eliminate the sadness by removing the veil of ignorance and wrong knowledge which is the cause of our attachment to the material world. Yoga propels one towards our true Self who is beyond success and failure, pain and pleasure, happiness and sadness. Yoga results in the knowledge to discriminate our worldly and true self and realising the true Self by using this discriminatory knowledge.

Yoga is a science of mind which seeks to bring the all-powerful mind to calm down, and then realise its true potential and move towards the real purpose in life which is Self Realisation. Yoga enables one to bring down misapprehension, delusion and inertia so as to bring in complete clarity of mind and awareness of each moment. Being in such a state ensures that we are living in the present and not caught in the past or future. Our actions are grounded in the present without being shadowed by our past deeds or hopes of the future.

Yoga enables achieving what was beyond our reach and consolidating what has been achieved by us at every stage in our life. The Yama and Niyama of yoga refine our behaviour towards others and our own self. The practice of Asanas seek to remove blockages at body level so that mind is not bogged down to pains, aches and illness. Pranayama extends our breath to ensure that prana converges inside our body and all the impurities are completely removed from our body and mind. Pratyahara seeks to bring the senses under the control of the mind. And then the three Angas of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi seek to turn this controlled mind inward towards the Supreme Being who is eternally in a state of bliss.

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Founder, Managing Trustee and Sr. Yoga Teacher SKWC

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India