“Yoga has a definite Goal.” Srivatsa Ramaswami
Despite our best efforts it is difficult to arrive at any real completion and a feeling of total satisfaction. We pursue our desires but still remain
unsatisfied. This impels us to try and change our situation in an attempt
to feel happy. Srivatsa Ramaswami pointed out that we generally try to
change our location, vocation or partner in our pursuit of satisfaction.
It seems that whatever we try, the state of complete satisfaction and
happiness eludes us.
After lifetimes of attempt we may arrive at a state where we feel ‘enough is enough’, there must be another way. Even Prince Siddartha (the future Buddha) could not find satisfaction in the worldly life although he was
afforded all the opportunities of a royal prince. At this point the teaching of Yoga can begin to appear meaningful.
The Samkhya Karika observes that our normal efforts to find a
satisfactory solution to our problems are neither certain nor final. It then proposes a method that will bring complete freedom. Karika 68 states the conclusion; “After obtaining separation from the body and after the
cessation of Nature, Spirit acquires the salvation that is both certain and
Experience (bhoga) and liberation (yoga) are the two objectives of Purusa according to Yoga and Samkhya. When the possibilities of bhoga are
exhausted we may be ready to turn to yoga.
Having realised that all worldly and other worldly pursuits and
accomplishments are unsatisfactory and do not lead to a final conclusion, then liberation through Yoga becomes meaningful.
Yoga Sutras Chapter 1 v.15 says that “When the mind loses all desire for
objects seen or described in the scriptures it acquires a state of utter
desirelessness which is called detachment.” The evident and revealed
means to happiness are seen as faulty and any desire associated with
these is abandoned. Buddha echoes this state in the Dhammapada; “He
wants nothing from this world and nothing from the next. He is free.”
In the concluding section of Srivatsa Ramaswami’s book Yoga for the
Three Stages of Life p.244-245 the efforts of the Yogi come to a final
conclusion. “….he is not born again, never born again. When the citta
remains in the state of nirodha continually, this is called kaivalya, or
aloneness, or freedom.”
The last verse of the Yoga Sutra tells us that after having provided
experience and liberation the gunas have no further purpose to fulfil and resolve into their causal substance. Purusa then remains alone
established in its own Self.
There is a word in the Yoga Sutra commentary that expresses the state of completion, Charitarthata – complete attainment of the desired object.When the mind acquires Viveka or discriminative enlightenment its
tendency to activity ceases. By this knowledge the inclination to
experiences which keeps the mind alive or in an active state is burnt out completely. Its other name is Charitarthata or complete attainment of the desired object. Experience and liberation are the two objectives of
Purusa. With the acquisition of discriminative enlightenment, the
objectives are fulfilled. Until such knowledge is acquired inclination to
activity does not cease and the mind continues in accordance with the natural law. Commentary on YS 1:19 Swami Hariharananda
“The Goal of Yoga is clear. Make the mind Satvic and realise the true nature of the Self.” Srivatsa Ramaswami