One day I looked at my photo. It was me as a kid, eating ice cream, in shorts, on a sunny day, by the sea. I knew it was me, but it was not me anymore. My body had changed. I am taller, bigger, and many more “-ers” than that pic. So, who am I? According to my understanding of the yoga philosophy, we are more than a body; as a matter of fact, we are not the body. As I was able to reflect on this, I was able to put perspective on so many other aspects of life in this quizzical world.
My perception of the world changed as I learned, and later understood, there are only 3 types of eternal energies, which ever existed, and will ever exist. These are God (insert definition?), the soul (also misunderstood), and the material world (maya). I had so many “misconceptions” of each.
Intuitively we understand God as the source of all. God is known by many names, infinite forms, some personal, some as an energy (impersonal). God, a very loaded word, is ever infinite, increasing, always present Bliss, and full of knowledge (satchitanand). The world is “simply” an inert, physical manifestation of God. The individual souls are an infinitesimal part of God, most of us, affected by the world…almost unable to escape from it.
I, not my hand, or brain, or eyes, but my individual soul who has searched for God since eternity. I have hankered to return to Him/Her/Them desperately, because God is part of who I really am, most importantly, I am part of who God is… with the understanding that is God is Love. Everything else is fear (absence of Love). In everything I do, I am looking for Love. Logically, I only look for LOVE in this world (through our 5 material senses). I only get material satisfaction, temporary happiness (so clear, so many times, and I have the scars to prove it!) And, yoga, for millennia, has taught that we all share this endless stubbornness in common.
Thus, understanding that my body, my intellect, or my mind are just material (maya), pushes me to understand that I am not material, and I am a little bit of God. And Goad is love, and I am REALLY made out to be only of LOVE. Deep inside, I am craving to return to my nature, to the ocean of Love. I also have to understand, that all, every single one – yes even “that one”, the murderer, the one that insults or hurts us; everyone, and every being is part of God. The implications of that are gigantic! It changed the way I look at relationships, the way I relate to my work and the people I work with. It changes the way I eat, the respect each being deserves. It changes the way I look at the purpose of my life…
So, when I hear “namaste”, I know, I am greeting the soul, that piece of love in the other. I am acknowledging and remembering my own nature. When I do yoga, I remember, I turn my soul’s eyes, wide open (kinda, I try unsuccessfully most times) towards God, Love, away from maya. However, now I know my hand or feet, or my brain is not who I am. I am that drop, in mist, traveling in the clouds, moving through rain, streams, waterfalls, rivers, inevitably heading back to the Ocean of Love. And so are you.