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It is not easy for the western mind—accustomed to its Spinoza, Schopenhauer, Sartre, Hegel, Nietzsche, and so on— to determine whether yoga is, or is not a philosophy.

Yoga is philosophy, because there is no doubt that, with a deep love and great reverence for the Truth, the ancient seers developed one of the most extraordinary philosophies that mankind has ever known, But, at the same time, yoga is not a philosophy, in the sense that there are no topics for debate or discussion and no engagement in long intellectual speculations. Yoga is not a question of information but of transformation. It is not to be practiced, but to be lived.

As a consequence, the aim of yoga lies not in increasing the volume of our “much—informed ignorance”, but in changing our life. Yoga creates a space within us for Pure Consciousness to be able to flow through every expression, movement, glance, thought, emotion and word.

To inquire into the origins of yoga, it is indispensible to refer to the sacred scriptures of Hinduism.

Yoga is not an invention. It was not constructed by the limited and imperfect mind of a human being, but arose from revelation. Due to their purity, the sages of antiquity could easily access higher and subtler levels of consciousness, until they directly perceived that plane which is called veda or “wisdom”. The original Vedas are Shabda—brahman, that is, the Truth that exists eternally as a sound vibration at a certain dimension of consciousness. The enlightened sages, called Rishis or “seers”, knew how to channel this transcendental, eternal wisdom, and so they served as veritable bridges between humanity and the Divine, between the human being and the Transcendental, by orally transmitting the major portion of that wisdom.

Swami Ramakrishnananda

Founder of the Vishwa Dharma Mandalam

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