By Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati
The millennia-old yogic tradition is based on yogis helping yogis. While Western yoga is focused mainly on entry level practices (poses, breathing practices and chanting), there’s help every step of the way. Even if you’re doing it yourself by working through a yoga book, DVD or website, you’re getting a boost from the writer of the books and cards and the makers of the DVD and websites. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
As your yoga progresses into the subtleties, into the more powerful realms of inner exploration, the help you get also becomes more subtle and more powerful. Yoga calls this k.rpa or anugraha, Divine Grace. Your interiorization moves through stages of contemplation (dharana) and meditation (dhyana), culminating in profound and deep experiences of inner absorption (samadhi).
Practitioners of Svaroopa® yoga’s core opening poses already know the early levels of samadhi, found so easily in the seated poses and twists, and especially in your many Shavasanas. To excavate more deeply within, all the way to your inner Divinity, you have to sit up. All your spinal release has prepared you for an easy seated pose, so the meditative energy (Kundalini) can climb your spine.
Divine Grace is the power of revelation, described in the “Siva Sutras:
Yo’vipastho jna-hetushcha — “Siva Sutras 3.29
Only a yogi with mastery over the wheel of energy is capable to enlighten others
This sutra is saying that there are yogis who are capable of giving enlightenment to others! What kind of amazing gift is that? Personally, this is what got me into yoga and kept me so focused for so long. Having met such a yogi, my own Guru, I knew I was being given a gift beyond comparison — Grace. I wanted it. I knew yoga’s promise was true because I tasted it again and again; samadhi is a taste of enlightenment. I dedicated my life to finding all that yoga promises.
Yoga leaves no stone unturned. If yoga left stones unturned, the crawly critters in the hidden corners of your mind and emotions would keep you from knowing your own Self. You must unmask your inner demons, but you don’t have to do it alone. You will outgrow your fears and obsessions; this is yoga’s promise. This is due to the power of Grace.
Svaroopa® yoga is the yoga of Grace. For me, it is the yoga of Grace because I got it from my Guru. For you, it is the yoga of Grace because it jump-starts your inner evolution, the discovery of your own svaroopa — your own Divine Beingness, your Self.
Excerpted from Swami Nirmalananda’s Contemplation Article, June 2012