So there is the Hatha yoga system for the body, and again, addressing the mind in many ways.
There is a system known as Karma yoga. Karma means action. So you learn how to dovetail your actions with the Supreme will, with His system, learn how to act. From the action there will be fruits and you learn what to do with those fruits, «Do I keep them all for me? It’s mine.» That is the philosophy of the world, «Get it and keep it. Hold it tightly and get more. And that’s success: accumulate, accumulate!» That’s not success, that’s greed. That’s why we’re so unhappy, «Don’t touch it, it’s mine. Stay away! I’ve got a lot. I get body guards, big fences, dogs to keep everybody out so I can get more.» Miserable life. Miserable life. That’s not the yoga system.
You get it, you know where it came from. The Supreme Lord and His agents are so merciful. So I’ll take what I need and I’ll offer some to the Supreme Lord, give it back. That’s the system, that’s the teaching. Now I’m harmonizing. And in this way I move up in my consciousness. The greed, the lust are diminished.
But in our material life they’re increased more and more. So I commit crimes to get what I want. If I can’t get it legally, I get it illegally thinking that will satisfy me. But of course, it doesn’t. And the whole thing gets worse and worse. I’m wrenching out on my own to find happiness: removing obstacles, tearing things down, abandoning principles.
The yoga system is this is how it should be. This is right, this is wrong. Don’t do this, do this. This is good for you, the spirit soul. This is good for your body. This is good for your mind, these things are not. Live like this, don’t live like that. And you’ll be successful, you’ll be happy, you’ll be moving ahead in life.
But we’ve thrown all that away, «I’m the body, I’m going to make my body happy at all cost, it doesn’t matter what it takes.» And in our attempts to make our body happy, in our satisfying various sensual desires, we destroy the bodies, «Oh, intoxication. That’ll make me happy. More alcohol, more drugs, more cigarettes, more junk food. It’ll make me happy.» We destroy the body. It doesn’t make sense, but who has any sense? We create our own philosophy of life. The yoga system says: no, no, that’s wrong, don’t do that because it doesn’t work.
See, the yoga systems don’t deprive of pleasure, they make it possible for us to have pleasure. But in our non-yoga consciousness we see all of these perfect guidelines as obstacles to our enjoyment of life. We know better.
So the Vedas teach us how to live a complete life in harmony with God’s arrangement. We’re united with His system of physical health, united with His system of mental health, united with His system of environmental health, united with His system of relationship health, and most important, united with the system of true spiritual health. That’s the yoga system.
And the one yoga system that teaches all this in its entirety is the system of Bhakti yoga. Bhakti means devotion. And again, yoga means union with the Supreme Lord. So a bhakti yogi, the one who practices Bhakti yoga, performs his everyday life in a devotional attitude of harmony with the Supreme Lord and His plans. He does it with appreciation, with gratitude, with devotion. His heart is in a different place. His life is filled with excitement, «Yes, I can do this!» He’s very enthusiastic to hear all of this and apply it. He’s the one who’s smiling on the inside.
And the by-products are: his body’s in good shape, his mind’s in good shape, his relationships with others are in good shape, his connection with the environment is as it should be.
And his relationship with the Supreme Lord is ever increasing, getting better and better, closer and closer. So he lives like this his whole life from what time he starts till the end of his life.
And when the inevitable time comes to leave the body, no problem. He’s fully aware: I’m not my body, my body’s temporary. Of course, it comes to an end very quickly, there’re no surprises here. It’s like taking off an old worn-up piece of clothing. When you buy a shirt or a jacket, you don’t think it’s going to last forever. You know after some time it’ll wear out, you’ll throw it away; no surprises. So when the bhakti yogi’s body comes to its end – no surprise, move on, «I’m a spirit soul. I’m eternal. I don’t die.»
And if the Supreme Lord arranges for him to take on another body – ok, no problem, «Whatever, Your will be done. Just please arrange it so I can be conscious of all of this truth and I can continue to be of service to You.» Or the Supreme Lord arranges so he goes back to the spiritual world, he no longer takes another material birth, «Oh, thank You very much. I did not deserve it, I know that, but Your mercy is so great. Thank You.»
He’s peaceful all the way through it, no anxieties, no frustration, no fear. The unknown is not unknown, he knows what’s going on. He’s a yogi, his life has been that of becoming a yogi.
So don’t think yoga is just standing on your head and twisting, and turning touching your toes. No, yoga is a complete lifestyle in union with the entire plan of life as designed by the Perfect Creator. That’s what we all need it, everybody needs it. And it’s the only solution.
All these revolutions that are taking place now on the planet, they want a new system, they want to be free from this dictator or that dictator. And certainly, we can relate to that, I don’t blame you. But they don’t have the full picture it’s not going to help. You want to get rid of that big problem but then you’ll have all these other problems. Because there has to be yoga, union.
So that’s the message of the Vedas. The Vedas teach this truth. The Vedas teach that the purpose of the human form of life is this type of realization. When the soul gets a human form of life, this is the purpose of that birth.
People ask me frequently, «What is the aim in life? What is the purpose of life?» It’s a big question, especially when the body’s older. When you’re young, the purpose of life is to enjoy: the next party, the next girlfriend, the next phase of enjoyment whatever it is. But when you get old and you’ve already done all that, and that’s in the past, and the future is not looking so bright, you start, «Oh, what’s the purpose of life?»
The purpose of the human form of life is spiritual realization. That’s the purpose, no other purpose. It’s not to get rich, it’s not to get famous, it’s not to go over the globe to the exotic places, it’s not to get the greatest education and to be the best athlete, or just to have the stable home life. It’s none of that. That’s not the purpose. And again, when you get older, you start realizing, «Ok, even if I have it, so what do I have?» The purpose is to reestablish our lost relationship with the Supreme Lord, come back into union with Him, the Lord’s will.
This is yoga, this is true yoga, the real meaning of yoga which is developing that loving relationship. We intuitively know we need a loving relationship. So we spend our whole life trying to find it: the right man, the right woman, having the kids, parental loving relationships. Because we know: I need this. And it’s like everybody, it’s not like one person figures this out. We all know this because it’s true, that’s what the soul needs. The soul needs love.
But the love that is missing is love with the Supreme Lord. And all of these loves in this life are temporary. They can only last as long as I stay in this body, and then it’s gone. We try to hold on but we can’t hold on, it’s gone. We’ve had our loving affaires in this body, in this lifetime, perhaps. And they’re so dear to us, and we’re trying to hold on to it. But we had those in another life, too. We had our previous loving relationships that were so dear to us and we tried to hold on to. They’re gone, we don’t remember them at all, but they were there. And then these, and they’ll be gone, and then more, and they’ll be gone.
There’s only one solution. The eternal soul needs an eternal loving relationship with the eternal Supreme Lord. And that is achieved by service, following His teachings, harmonizing with His system, cooperating instead of competing.
And this is the aim of the human form of life. This is the purpose. And if you’ve done this in your life, even to some degree, you feel like, «At least I did something.» But if we don’t do this, we leave this world feeling like, «I didn’t do anything. I just spun around a few times and did this, this, this, and now it’s gone.»
This is the teaching of the Vedas, this is yoga. So everyone can be a yogi, not just the young athletic person or the person who can twist and turn, and touch his toes. This is for every single person: young, old, any nationality, any status of life; it doesn’t matter because we’re all the same, we’re all spirit souls. We all need the same thing. The system is there, the guideline is there, the potential for harmony is there, and the result and peace are there for everyone.
So we encourage people to look at this style of life. Don’t miss it. Because if you miss it, you’ve missed it, and you’ve missed the most valuable thing.