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The Purpose of Yoga - Peacefully Co-existing with Others

Yoga has always contained ethical guidelines and methods for people to co-exist in harmony. The Yamas and Niyamas have changed a little over time, but the guidelines are there to keep humankind in place.

How often do you hear the following statements? "Relationships are not what they used to be." "Dating is different nowadays." "Nobody wants to make a commitment any more."

Consider these words, "Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers." Does it sound like a 21st century problem? Guess who said those words? The answer is Socrates!

People have not really changed much over that past 2,000 years. The birth place of Yoga is India, which was, and is, heavily populated with people. It is said that in ancient times, the soil of the Indus River Valley was rich and produced heavily.

Yet, you must realize that crowds of people who live in the cities tend to be stressed. Stress is not something new to humankind and Yoga is the best answer for a holistic approach to life. Cities, all around the world, and in general, have stressed populations in comparison to the countryside.

Mohandas Gandhi once said, "Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being."

His words are true, but what is the Yogic formula for peaceful co-existence? The following are some of Yoga's solutions for peaceful co-existence between all people and all societies.

Rules: Since the beginning, man has needed them. Every culture has them, because ethical guidelines for all, do establish mutual respect within families, organizations, and governments. The Yamas and Niyamas do not conflict with any religion or government.

Communication: When you combine mutual respect with communication, you display loving kindness. This has always been in short supply. Karma Yoga teaches you to give, but respect, courtesy, and showing appreciation to others, cost you nothing.

All you have to invest is time and take action. The positive results of your efforts will come back thousands of times. Every time mankind has "peace talks," a little progress is made.

Tolerance: Unfortunately, there has always been a shortage of tolerance. Human beings have made a habit of killing the Enlightened, the Prophets, and the Saints. Use your best judgment and listen to your heart.

Except for self-defense - you know in your heart intolerance, and killing, for any reason, are morally wrong. Think upon this: If a Holy Man tells you to oppress or kill the innocent, he is not a Holy Man.

God does not discriminate, and God loves you, so do not listen to anyone who tells you to commit crimes "In the Name of God."

Forgive: Start with forgiving yourself first. This is a very big step, but forgive others next; otherwise, you will become a prisoner to hate - and worse.

Pray: Talk to God and you will not be disappointed. Open your heart and your mind to God in prayer and meditation. Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of devotion to God, which is no small matter.

Since the beginning, ancient man has struggled to define the creator of the universe. Thousands of years later, mankind is still struggling to define the creator of the universe. We have only our collective intelligence to define such power, so we are "handicapped."

Yet, all religions and Yoga, teach us to peacefully co-exist with others.

Copyright 2007 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

About the Author

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org


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