Preface to Yoga: The Path to Eternity by Swami Rajarshi Muni
The value of any spiritual discipline can be measured by the degree to which it is capable of transforming not only one’s way of life but also one’s personality. In the current century, humanity pursues the physical sciences so as to master matter, but only the future will reveal whether we become matter’s master or slaves to technological convenience. Perhaps we will end up becoming more technologically sophisticated, but lacking the personal inner resources necessary to actualize our inherent divinity.
Today, as much as ever, we stand in need of spiritual discipline that can enable us to understand and harmoniously master the workings of the human psyche. Yoga is such a system. Developed by the ancient sages, even today it provides a cogent means for sincere spiritual seekers to transcend all temporal limitations and become established in our own blissful inner nature.
In the present day nearly everyone, in the West as well as in the East, is familiar at least with word “Yoga” if not with meaning. Despite the fact that world market is flooded with works on the subject, with new books comings out every year, there are very few contemporary authors who have explained the term as it really is.
The tragicomic result of this trend is the prevalent popular misconception of Yoga as consisting only of physical exercises, mental concentration techniques, energy mastery exercises, and other similar methods. Such techniques are effective in their own way, for promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being, but they are not the Yoga referred to in the classical texts; only preliminary preparation for the practice of Yoga.
At present the only way of proving or disproving the statements made by sages and Yogis of yore is to experiment with the methods they taught. Any genuine seeker will then realize through their own inner experience the validity of the ancient teachings. The nature of Yogic practice is such that any genuine aspirant who desires higher states of consciousness, should only proceed under the guidance of an experienced Guru if they wish to surmount the obstacles that arise in the early stages of yoga training.