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Introduction to the Philosophy of Yoga

Introduction to the Philosophy of Yoga

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Published by: guru_scribd on Feb 15, 2010
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 y SSwwaammiiiisshhnnaannaannaa
The Divine Life Society 
Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, India
Internet Edition: For free distribution only 
Website: www.swami-krishnananda.org
The outlook of one’s life depends upon one’s conception of reality. The structure of theuniverse decides our relationship with things. What is known as a vision of life is just theattitude which the individual is constrained to develop in regard to the atmosphere of the universe. Such an exalted conception of the totality of experience may be designatedas the philosophy of life. It is, thus, philosophy which determines human conduct andenterprises of every kind in the social field as well as in one’s own person. Not merely this; the psychological pattern of the apparatus of perception and inference and the likeis also conditioned by the relationship that obtains between the universe and theindividual. As such, it can be safely said that psychology and ethics are rooted inmetaphysics.It is often held that the programme of human life may be carried on with an amount of success without straining one’s consciousness to the distant depths of the structure of the universe. People mostly prefer to live on the surface and move with the current of the river, with the least effort involved in the vocations of their personal and socialexistence. But, it is not difficult to notice that a sort of merely getting on with lifethrough the vicissitudes of history is not only soul-less in its effect, by which the spirit of existence gets converted into a lifeless skeleton, but life, in the end, whetherpsychological, social or physical, would be impracticable if action is not fixed upon itsproper relation with the environment of the entire pattern of life. Even as the workingarrangement and the day-to-day performance of administration is based on aGovernmental Constitution, along the lines of which contemplated programmes arecarried on smoothly, life’s enterprise would not be a possibility if the same is not rootedin a standard picture of the whole pattern of existence which directs and determines thenature as well as the details of activity. Hence it is necessary to bestow a further thoughton the facile formula of the commonplace of mankind that one can go on with the urgesof life always in the direction in which the winds of the world blow, because without astable ideology and a lofty idealism, no movement is conceivable. If this is the aim behind all enterprises and programmes, no worthwhile action of any kind would bepossible without it, even in contemplation.It is not that the activities of life are to be psychological meditations in an academicsense, or in the way in which people wrongly try to understand philosophy. Often, theerroneous notion goes that philosophy is an abstract thought process which idealises lifeinto an ethereal and, perhaps, an unknown something, while life is concrete andsubstantial. It is surprising that the world of matter should be taken as a solid substance while the ideas are regarded as airy nothings, even in the light of the astoundingdiscoveries of modern researches in the field of science, which have swept off matterfrom the region of solidity, and matter appears to be evaporating into an undividedcontinuum of what is sometimes called a space-time extension, transcending the notionsof a three-dimensional distance and a time process divided into the partiteness of past,present and future. There is something more about this interesting discovery. If thecontinuum mentioned is indivisible by the very nature of its impartite and non-durational structure, naturally it would follow that the individual observer of thingscannot stand outside the continuum. The consequences of this deduction are, again,startling, while being obvious. The observing individual merges, as it were, into the vast
 An Introduction to the Philosophy of Yoga by Swami Krishnananda2

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