When we get this message that ‘I’m hungry spiritually’, we misinterpret that and think, “Oh, I need some more things. I need to go somewhere, I need to do this pleasure, I need to do that pleasure.” When we become followers of, believers in, practitioners of the yoga system, we begin to interpret the message as it is correctly. When I feel that depression, or that emptiness, or that loneliness, or that craving deep inside, I know what it is. I don’t think, “Oh, I need to find a relationship,” or, “I need to get a job,” or, “I need to win the lottery,” I know I need some spiritual happiness. I am spiritually deprived, I am spiritually empty and so therefore I know where to look, I know where to look to solve the problem.
And as we do this, God Himself, our ever well wisher and caretaker, knows this. In the yoga teachings we learn that the Lord is expanded as an incarnation, known as the Paramatma, in our hearts. There is an expansion of God in our hearts and He knows every desire, every need that we have. He directs our wanderings. He says, “I have been directing the wanderings of the soul since time immemorial.” We have been in this material world since time immemorial, and as we have desired this and that, He has directed us. But he’s always trying to put in a little message, “But it won’t make you happy, don’t go there, it’s not going to work.” But, again, as we become more and more immune to the message, we don’t hear that, we just go and do what we want to do. But when we begin this yoga practice, these yoga paths, our awareness becomes more and more keen, sharp. We begin to hear the voice inside, have the intellectual understanding, “Ah hah!” and then we know where to go, it’s being guided from within.
We’re not saying that in our less than perfect states of consciousness we’ll hear the message correctly, so that’s why in the yoga systems there are 3 avenues of direction in our life. One is from the revealed scriptures, scriptures that are true bona fide scriptures, unaltered, uncontaminated, not made modern to suit our desires. I mean as they are. That is why we speak, in the beginning especially, that this Vedic knowledge that we’re following has come down purely, it hasn’t been changed, it hasn’t been altered. This revealed scripture is one source of information about what we need to do in our life.
The Second source is the bona fide spiritual teacher, that person who actually has this perfect realization. He is in yoga, in union with the Supreme Lord. His will and the Supreme Lord’s will are dovetailed, they’re non-different and therefore He can guide us correctly.
And finally; the Lord in the heart who is always with us. We change bodies every lifetime, but the Lord goes with us, He never abandons us, He never leaves us, He goes with us. We take another birth; He’s there. In the body of a snake, He’s right there. In the body of a worm, He’s right there. In the body of a human, He’s right there. Demigod, He’s right there. He never leaves us, a constant companion; He is always trying to help us. We’re the enjoying bird in the tree of life, trying to enjoy the fruits, “Oh, this, this, or this,” and He is observing and giving a little bit of information, “Oh, do this.”
When we practice yoga, we begin to develop inner hearing, we begin to hear this, we begin to actually understand the truth as it is presented, “Ah hah, now that rings a bell!”
What I didn’t understand before, what I didn’t care about before, I didn’t want to hear this kind of stuff, “Who cares? I don’t have time for that stuff. I’m not interested,” but later I become interested. Now it is very important, it’s interesting, I need to know this, and it becomes very valuable to me. Now I become more and more a student of yoga, and when I hear these teachings, I have the desire to apply these teachings. This is progress; this is evolution of the soul in its consciousness.