Yoga, God, and Gurus: an Important Perspective
The last podcast about God was philosophical, so in this podcast Abbot George will go into the practical side.
It is the goal of every sentient being to evolve and attain union with God. Evolution takes place naturally as we move up the ladder from birth to birth until the level in reached in which we take charge and engage in the much more rapid process of self-evolution.
Yoga is the means of self-evolution that culminates in conscious and perfect union with God. So we need to consider God in that perspective.
The Yoga Darshan or Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the prime authority on yoga. Patanjali was a Nath Yogi in the spiritual lineage of Gorakhnath, the greatest yogi in Indian history. Abbot George discusses Patanjali’s words on God and yoga found in the first section, the Samadhi Pada of the Yoga Sutras.
Most importantly, Abbot George talks about the proper understanding of what a guru is and is not.
Plain Talk About God
Abbot George discusses who God is, and what man is, and the importance of making God an immediate reality in our daily lives. Abbot George bases his talk on Paramhansa Yogananda’s valuable book, The Science of Religion. Here Yogananda says:
“We should take religion and God out of the sphere of belief into that of daily life. If we do not emphasize the necessity of God in every aspect of our lives and the need of religion in every minute of our existence, then God and religion drop out of our intimate daily consideration and become only a one-day-in-a-week affair.”
Abbot George illustrates his points with examples drawn from his experiences in India, where the ideal is to live daily in the presence of God.
Beyond Theory and Belief to Actual Experience
In this podcast, Abbot George Burke speaks of the necessity of experience in spiritual life, and the fact that too often mere theory is offered as a substitute.
The talk is from a satsang in which he comments on the preface to Raja Yoga, Swami Vivekananda’s analysis of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. He gives living examples of those who miss the mark, and those who get it right.
Memories of Swami Sivananda
During his first trip to India in 1962 Abbot George Burke was blessed to spend time with the great Swami Sivananda at his ashram in Rishikesh. In this two-part podcast Abbot George shares his memories of this saint with visitors to our ashram.
In the first podcast, Abbot George recalls his first meetings with Swami Sivananda, and the saint’s invitation to dine with him on a lunch of “plain boiled rice.”
Among the many saints that Abbot George met in India, he described Sivananda as “beyond description or classification. He loved and we loved in return.”
In this second podcast Abbot George relates how Sivananda shared this love through his wisdom and humor, and tells Sivananda’s one prescription for successful sadhana.
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