Love?

The minds that haven’t realize unconditional desireless dispassionate love or compassion of selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, would keep hurting oneself and others, whether wittingly or unwittingly, even when everyone thinks and believes that one loves oneself/others and others love oneself, or everyone desires/hopes for a loving community where everyone would be loving and kind to one another.

The ‘problems’ that people relate to ‘insufficient of love/touch/hug’, or ‘loveless’, or ‘unloved’, or ‘loneliness’ has nothing to do with the absence/non-existence/insufficiency of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’.

It’s whether the mind realizing unconditional desireless dispassionate love or compassion, beyond quality of names and forms, of selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness, free from desire and passion, free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, or not.

‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’ present/exist only in duality or separateness under the veil of ignorance. They don’t mean anything and don’t exist in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness.

The presence/existence/acknowledgement of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’ without realizing unconditional love or compassion of selflessness/oneness/non-separateness doesn’t guarantee that one doesn’t hurt oneself or others out of ungratified desires/expectations, dissatisfaction, disappointment, defensiveness, offensiveness, pride, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, hurt, guilt, regret, grief, sorrow, fear and worry deriving from ignorance and egoism of attachment, identification, desire of craving and aversion, expectation, judgment/action/reaction based on certain worldly social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking/belief/values/practice.

Even without the presence/existence/acknowledgement of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’, but one doesn’t hurt oneself and others if the mind realizes selfless/nameless/formless/attributeless/desireless unconditional love or compassion, being free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance – Egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

Neither there is the idea/identification/acknowledgement/presence/existence/attribute of ‘I am compassionate’, or ‘I love you unconditionally’, or ‘I love all compassionately’, or ‘Developing a compassionate community’, or ‘I am being kind and compassionate towards myself’ in oneness/non-separateness/selflessness.

‘Building/developing a loving community’ is unnecessary when the minds are free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance, realizing compassion of selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, where none would hurt oneself or others, where there’s absence of the desire to give love and receive love, to attain/feel love, goodness, righteousness, positiveness and meaningfulness, to avoid lovelessness, badness, wrongfulness, negativeness and meaninglessness.

Just like drugs/medicines are useless/needless if there’s absence of sickness/injury. But still, some people hang onto drugs/medicines using them as a pleasurable enjoyment.

Desireless and dispassion leads to the realization of selfless compassion is LIBERATION in yoga/Buddhism, but it would be perceived by most passionate minds that are under the influence of ignorance and egoism as ‘lovelessness’, or ‘meaninglessness’, or ‘joylessness’, or ‘selfishness’, or ‘inhuman’, or ‘wrong and negative’. And hence, the idea of “Everyone needs love/Everyone needs to love one another/Everyone needs to give love and receive love/Without love, life is meaningless” is widely propagated in the world and empowering the passionate desire for love in everyone that directly/indirectly bring along the consequences of all kinds of suffering/’problems of humanity’ deriving from ungratified desires (lack of love, loveless, not enough love, unloved, not the love the way that it should be). That’s their freedom of thinking, belief, action and reaction. Out of love towards what they love, people would hurt anyone/anything that would hurt what they love. Out of desire/aspiration/intention/expectation for achieving/building/developing a world that they desire, that complies to their certain ideal of a world of ‘all good/positive/happiness and nothing bad/negative/unhappiness’, people would strive to achieve what they want to achieve and eliminate any obstructions/obstacles in their way to achieve their ‘desire’, at all costs.

The sun doesn’t think and feel ‘I love you’ or ‘I am compassionate’ and hence it gives light and heat and energy to the world ceaselessly.

The immune system in the body doesn’t think and feel ‘I love you’ or ‘I am compassionate’ and hence it protects the physical body from potential health risks until it breaks down.

The heart and the lungs don’t think and feel ‘I love you’ or ‘I am compassionate’ and hence they keep working all day all night giving life to and maintaining life of this physical body until they ceased functioning.

The plants don’t think and feel ‘I love you’ or ‘I am compassionate’ and hence they turn into food or nutrients or energy for the physical body to consume to be surviving.

‘Bondage of desire and passionate love’ is being perceived as something ‘meaningful, right, good and positive’ while ‘Liberation of desireless and dispassion’ is being perceived as something ‘meaningless, wrong, bad and negative’ for the worldly minded society, including many ‘yoga enthusiasts’.

Opening the mind by freeing the mind from being conditioned by certain worldly social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking/belief/values/practice to allow the mind to inquire the truth of everything, to see the root cause of all kinds of suffering or ‘problems of humanity’ – Ignorance and the consequences of ignorance, is what yoga and meditation practice is about.

There’s nothing wrong with the idea of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’ existing in the world, and there’s nothing wrong either without any of these ideas present/existing under the manifestation of compassion, or selfless unconditional love.

If the mind insists on thinking and believing that “Without the idea/presence/existence/acknowledgement/propagation of ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’, ‘We love each other’, ‘Developing a loving community’, or ‘I love myself’ in the world in life, it would be so bad, wrong, negative, terrible, sad, piteous, meaningless and joyless,” then this mind is being ignorant towards itself is being conditioned by worldly social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking/belief/values/practice, even if one has been ‘learning’/’studying’/’practicing’/’teaching’ yoga for some time or a long time.

“We need to give and show love to people and tell people ‘I love you’ so that they’ll know they are loved (by others/by so many people), so that they will feel love and have love, so that we can build/develop a loving community that love one another.” That’s widely propagated in the world, for the sake of love.

In yoga or Buddhism, that’s not freedom at all.

In yoga, the greatest gift is giving dhamma/wisdom that allow people to reflect/inquire the truth of everything and realize selflessness and compassion, be free from ignorance and egoism, be free from the suffering from endless passionate desire for love, or craving/longing for love and clinging onto love.

Do not blind-believing, blind-following, blind-practicing, blind-propagating, or blind-agreeing/disagreeing.

Be opened. Inquire. Reflect. Contemplate. Realize.

Realize unconditional selfless intentionless desireless dispassionate compassion.

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Practitioner / Adhikari vs follower / disciple / worshiper / admirer / supporter

Those who truly want to practice yoga to free the mind from ignorance to know thyself, they need to know how to free the mind from the egoistic tendency of unwittingly becoming a passionate follower/disciple/worshiper/admirer/supporter.

Be a dispassionate ‘practitioner’ or ‘Adhikari‘ of the teachings of yoga, inquiring the truth of everything, including whatever the teachers/gurus/scriptures teach, attaining self-realization via self-effort and self-inquiry, and not to be a passionate ‘follower’, ‘disciple’, ‘worshiper’, ‘admirer’, or ‘supporter’ towards the teacher/guru/yogi/saint/sage, or the scriptures/teachings of yoga, or the stories of many great minds/teachers/gurus/yogis/saints/sages.

By following, or becoming a disciple of, or worshiping, or admiring, or supporting the teacher/guru/yogi/saint/sage, or the scriptures/teachings of yoga, or the stories of many great minds/teachers/gurus/yogis/saints/sages, and awaiting/requesting/expecting ‘answers’, or ‘blessings’, or ‘miracles’, or ‘transcendental experiences’ from the teacher/guru/yogi/saint/sage or from ‘God’, doesn’t free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. There’s attachment that gives rise to the sense of separateness/duality between ‘I’ and ‘the teacher’, or ‘the guru’, or ‘the teachings’, or ‘the practice’, or ‘the experience’, or ‘the fruit of practice’.

Practically practicing the teachings of yoga in NOW, this very existence of the mind functioning perceiving a life existence of names and forms of cause and effect/impermanence/selflessness, of disciplining the mind, quieting the mind, purifying the mind, freeing the mind from egoistic worldly/spiritual attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation, refraining the mind from going out through the sense organs chasing after the objects of the senses, renouncing worldly egoistic passions/desires/objects/activities/social interactions and connections, silencing the modification of the mind, and upon the annihilation of the veil of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness completely, and knowing thyself – Selflessness/egolessness/’I’lessness, or YOGA of oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness, deathlessness, beginninglessness, endlessness, there’s no separateness of ‘practitioner/action of practice/fruit of the practice’ or between ‘I’ and what is not ‘I’ or ‘the perceiver and the perceived’ to be found in the selfless, nameless, formless, attributeless, birthless, deathless, beginningless, endless universal consciousness (Atman).

This is nothing to do with the worldly attachment/passionate love and ‘heroic’ ambition/aspiration of the egoistic thinking minds desire to be ‘saving the world’ by making/changing/influencing the world to be ‘a better place than what it is’, but just do one’s best focusing on freeing one’s mind from ignorance to attain self-realization, is the greatest and most efficient way to contribute to ‘a world free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance’, selflessly, desirelessly and intentionlessly, being free from disturbs, disappointment, dissatisfaction, hurts, offensiveness, anger, hatred, aggressiveness or violence to fight against what the mind dislikes and disagrees with, that the mind thinks and believes as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘hurtful’, ‘negative’, ‘unjust’, ‘disappointing’ or ‘meaningless’.

Real teacher or guru doesn’t attract/recruit/accumulate ‘followers’, ‘disciples’, ‘worshipers’, ‘admirers’, or ‘supporters’. They are just being what they are, just like the sun, the air, the water, the earth and the space. They don’t even have any intention/aspiration/desire to be ‘teaching’/’sharing’/’helping’/’uplifting’ anyone, not to say to be ‘saving the world’ to make/change/influence the world to be ‘a place different from what it is’.

“He is extremely humble. He appears to be quite an ordinary man. He never advertises that he is a Sat-Guru or a knower of Brahman. He never says, “I am an illumined sage. I am an Avatara. I will give Mukti for many persons. I possess many Siddhis.” He is perfectly desireless. He has no craving for money or name and fame. He has no desire to establish cult or Ashram. He simply works for solidarity of the world and elevates people. He says, “I have neither followers nor disciples, neither possession nor Mutts of my own.” He has no attachment to any person or any object. He never tries to establish cult or Ashram. He is absolutely free from ‘I-ness’ or ‘mine-ness’. He never allows those around him to tell people that he got Siddhis, that he is a great Mahatma. He does not like to come in the lime-light of publicity. He always hides himself. If he becomes famous in a place, he leaves the place at once. If a man says, “I am a Mahatma, I am a realised soul, I am a Sat-Guru,” if his disciples advertise that their teacher is a Sat-Guru with many Siddhis, that he has exhibited many Siddhis, know that this man is an empty vessel that makes much noise. The Sruti emphatically declares “He who says ‘I know Brahman‘ does not know Brahman, he who says ‘I do not know Brahman‘ knows Brahman.” This world abounds with psuedo-Gurus. Beware of such persons. They exploit the innocent and credulous and throw them in the dark abyss. They will mislead people. It is like a blind man leading the blind. Siddhis keep a man far from God and God-realisation. Do not be carried away by the Siddhis of a man.” – Swami Sivananda

 

Jnana is the greatest purifier. There is no salvation without knowledge. Knowledge of Atman destroys ignorance, pain, sorrow and stops the wheel of births and deaths.

Attain this knowledge through Satsanga, service of the Guru, study of Vedantic books, hearing of Srutis, reflection and constant meditation.

Sorrow is for one who has the notion of self in the body, not for the sage who identifies himself with the all-blissful Atman.” – Swami Sivananda

 

“Neither charity, nor sacrifice, nor fame, nor fasting, nor begetting a good son, nor control of breath, nor victory over the enemy, nor the society of friends, nor Siddhis like Anima can stand in comparison with realisation of the Self.

You may cross the sea by walking or float in the air or support on hands the great mountain Maha Meru or drink poison like milk or eat fire like fried grains or fly in the sky or stand on fire or break iron or get wealth by the power of magic ointment. Yet can all these give you liberation?

You can become a king or Indra or a Sannyasin. You can stun others by Mantra-sakti or aim accurately or know the past, present and the future.

You can reduce anger by destroying lust or eradicating greed. Yet can all these help you in the attainment of liberation?

You might have conquered pride, delusion and envy. You might have dwelt in Brahma-loka or Vaikuntha-loka or Kailasa. Yet can all these stand in comparison with liberation? He is fit for liberation who regards all these as nothing.

You took bath in the Ganga, you did all the sixteen kinds of charity. You did crores of Japa. What is the use of all these things if you do not attain Self-realisation?

Can you acquire eternal bliss and supreme peace from the attainment of vast erudition or from possession of immense wealth or from the enjoyment of beautiful young ladies? No. The supreme undying bliss can be obtained only by realisation of the Self.

Who is wife? Who is son? Who are you? Wherefrom did you come? How wonderful is this Samsara? How are you related to one another? Think deeply on these matters.

Who are you? Who am I? Wherefrom have we come? Who is mother? Who is father? Think deeply on all these. Leave off this world which is a dream and seek the eternal.

Vairagya is the rein by which the uncontrollable mind is restrained. Ripe Vairagya is intense attachment to Atman bliss and strong dispassion for anything other than Atman.

If one considers even the position and happiness of Brahma as the dung of a cow, then only he has developed a real lasting Vairagya. Temporary fleeting dispassion is not Vairagya. It will not help the aspirant in the attainment of Self-realisation.

It is common to have dispassion for some particular objects by some cause or other. But by having dispassion for all objects at all times, one will get knowledge of the Self. You may get Atma-Jnana soon by the grace of the Guru, by devotion to him, and by practice of what he instructs.” – Swami Sivananda

 

“Life is short and fleeting like that drop of water on the lotus leaf. This mundane life is filled with egoism, delusion and diseases. When will you be free from all these? The deer falls a prey to the sense of sound; the elephant to that of touch; the moth to that of form; the fish to that of taste; and the bee to that of smell. But man falls a prey to all these five senses. Therefore how difficult it is for man to free itself from the clutches of these five senses and obtain liberation? When wells and ponds are full in rainy season, the water is muddy and not fit for drinking. In summer the water gets decreased and is sweet. So also when the mind is filled with Vasanas, it is clouded with Tamoguna. When it is free from sensual desires by the practice of dispassion it is filled with pure Sattva.” – Swami Sivananda

Admirable leader?

It’s common for most minds being unwittingly attracted to and generate admiration towards others with certain qualities of names and forms that one desires, likes and agrees with, that inspires oneself in certain ways, that appears to be admirable and inspirational for oneself. Most minds also want to equip oneself with certain qualities of names and forms to be able to inspire others, that would attract admiration from others.

For the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism, there’s neither admiration towards any qualities of names and forms that appear to be higher quality, superior, admirable or attractive, nor there’s longing to be attracting admiration from others by possessing certain qualities of names and forms that appear to be higher quality, superior, admirable or attractive. Though without any intention, or expectation, or longing to make oneself being admirable or inspirational to attract any admiration from others, or to inspire anyone, one allows others to perceive and react towards oneself the way that they perceive and react.

Many people would think and believe and promote that if someone wants to be doing something in this world to make the world ‘a better place’, one should do one’s best to be a highly admirable/inspirational person who can inspire and be admired by as many people as possible, in order to become ‘an admirable leader’ to be propagating one’s vision to ‘attract’/’recruit’/’leading’ many people to also ‘follow’/’adopt’/’practice’/’perform action according to’ one’s vision to make the world ‘a better place’. As most people would be ‘blindly’ listening to and following those whom they admired or attracted to very much, regardless of whether it’s something true, or not true.

In the path of yoga and Buddhism, it’s not like that at all. In any circumstances, none should be encouraged to ‘admire’ anyone, to ‘follow’/’adopt’/’practice’/’perform action according to’ any teachings or visions from anyone who portrays certain qualities of names and forms that the mind desires, likes, and agrees with, that the mind admires or falls in love with, but everyone must investigate and inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings of yoga and Buddhism, to attain self-realization, to free the mind from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance.

If the minds are free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance through self-inquiry and self-realization by disciplining/purifying/silencing one’s mind, then there’s no need of anybody to be setting an intention/aspiration to be ‘an admirable leader’ to be attracting/recruiting/leading many others to ‘follow’/’adopt’/’practice’/’perform action according to’ a particular vision of making the world to be in a particular way that one desires, that one thinks and believes is ‘the way to a better world’, but without the need to be following any leaders, everyone who is free from ignorance will naturally stop generating unnecessary ‘problems’ or ‘unrest’ into the world, to be performing action, to live life, act and react selflessly in this world out of wisdom and compassion, without any intention, or aspiration, or desire, or ambition to make the world to be in any particular way, but allowing the world to be what it is, while accommodating and respecting everyone being what they are, having their own different ways of life/thinking/belief/practice/action/reaction.

It’s never about training or being ‘a leader with admirable charisma/quality’ that would be ‘attracting’/’recruiting’/’leading’ many other people to be ‘following’/’adopting’/’practicing’/’performing action according to’ certain egoistic thinking and beliefs or visions about ‘how the world should be like’ and leading other people to be making the world to be ‘the way that the mind thinks and believes how it should be’, where there are many different egoistic thinking and beliefs or visions existing in the world that desire ‘a world’ that are very different from one another, where all kinds of corruptions, conflicts, clashes, discrimination, hatred, oppression, intrusion, violence and unrest exist due to different leaders desire/aspire to make the world to be the way that they think and believe how it should be, to be ‘a world’ that they desire.

“Even if all the leaders are taken out of the world now, the world will run on smoothly, probably more smoothly. Even if all the people retire into the forest, the world will go on.” – Swami Sivananda

“Do not hoard disciples. Do not build ashrams.” – Swami Sivananda

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was never a ‘leader’ ‘leading’ a group of ‘followers’ who ‘followed’ his path, teachings, or disciplines. He taught, “Inquire the truth of everything. Discipline one’s mind. Purify one’s mind. Silent one’s mind. Liberate one’s mind from attachment. When there’s attachment towards ‘this worldly life existence’, one is not a ‘practitioner’. Do not blind-believing, blind-following, blind-preaching, blind-practicing, blind-agreeing/disagreeing.”

Without ‘leader’, what is ‘follower’ or ‘disciple’, and vice versa?

Approaching a teacher asking to be accepted as student of yoga

Traditionally, when someone is interested in finding a teacher to learn, study and practice yoga and meditation under the guidance of this person (the teacher), one needs to approach the teacher humbly asking to be accepted as a student of yoga under this teacher, serving the teacher without asking/expecting “What am I getting from learning yoga under you?” or “What can you (the teacher) give me in return for offering fees/donations to you to be learning and practicing yoga from you and serving you?”

The teacher will then observe and test this person to see whether this person is fit to be a student of yoga. Once the person is accepted to be a student of yoga, this person will live closely to the teacher for many years, where in the first few years are merely doing some random ‘work/service’ in daily life, such like housekeeping/cooking/gardening/cleaning/washing serving the teacher (very important/efficient initial purification to eliminate worldly habits of egoism and impurities) before being initiated into the practice. There’s high degree of segregation/non-physical contact among the teacher and the student. It’s not like nowadays, most people are looking forward to be touching and hugging as the way to show friendliness, love and care.

The teacher doesn’t advertise/boast about “I am a certified/qualified/experienced/internationally recognized/affiliated yoga teacher” and “What kind of benefits/certification/qualification/result/achievement you will get if you attend my classes/courses learning yoga from me.” but instead, “It’s a hard-work. There will be lots of unpleasantness/pain and hardships/obstacles that you need to deal with by yourself. You have to walk the path alone by yourself. You need to be determined, persevered and vigilant to discipline your own mind until you attain self-realization.” And the students of yoga will be determined to finish their learning under the teacher no matter how much difficulties and obstacles arise during the physical/mental/emotional purification process, while developing discipline and independence in their own practice, as one day, they will have to leave the teacher, or the teacher will leave.

It’s not about to be ‘qualified’ as ‘yoga teachers/masters’, be ‘affiliated’ with ‘yoga alliance’ to be ‘conducting yoga classes’ to teach ‘yoga classes’ or ‘conducting yoga courses’ to be ‘training yoga teachers to teach yoga or conduct yoga classes/yoga courses to other people’. As a ‘yogi’ who knows yoga doesn’t need to be ‘trained’ to be ‘qualified’ to be ‘certified yoga teacher’ and ‘affiliated with’ such and such ‘yoga organization/alliance’ to be ‘recognized/authorized’ to teach yoga to anyone. It’s neither about ‘correct/proper physical alignments’, ‘teaching techniques’, ‘effects/benefits of the yoga practice’, ‘healing’, ‘connecting’, ‘sharing’, ‘hugging’ and ‘touching’.

Nowadays, this tradition is no longer be seen/practiced/appreciated. One of the reason would be the existence of ‘sincere teacher of yoga’ and ‘sincere student of yoga’ is very rare now.

In this modern commercialized world of ‘higher education and higher quality of life with worldly social values and practice’, the ‘yoga teachers’ have to ‘advertise’ or ‘boast’ about their ‘certification/qualification/recognition/affiliation/experiences/achievements’ and ‘to be presenting’ something ‘unique, enjoyable, innovative and attractive’ to attract people to be interested to come to attend the ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ conducted by them, while gratifying the people’s desire of craving and aversion, by giving them what they want/like and don’t give them what they don’t want/like, to make them feel treasured, appreciated, valued, pampered, satisfied and empowered. Both the teacher and the students also want to develop and maintain an inter-dependent ‘connection/relationship’ where the students ceaselessly need to receive attention, love, care, support, acknowledgement, advice or feedback from the teacher, while the teacher wants to ‘be close’ to the students, ‘be there’ for the students, ‘be connecting’ with the students, or ‘be loved/needed/glorified/supported/respected’ by the students.

Because most egoistic impure minds are being conditioned deeply by the worldly thinking behavior pattern, almost all of the ‘yoga enthusiasts’ or the ‘prospect/potential students/clients’ of the ‘yoga school/yoga studio/yoga centre’ will have some kind of ‘request’ or ‘expectation’ towards the ‘yoga school’, ‘yoga studio’, ‘yoga center’, ‘yoga classes’, ‘yoga courses’ or ‘yoga teachers’ to meet up their ‘requests’ and ‘expectation’ in terms of the ‘quality’ of the ‘professional profile/image’, ‘qualification’, ‘certification’, ‘recognition’, ‘affiliation’, ‘organization’, ‘experience’, ‘achievement’, or ‘result orientation’, and above all, “How much and what do I get from paying this amount of ‘fees’/’donation’ to the ‘yoga school’/’yoga studio’/’yoga centre’/’yoga teacher’ for attending the ‘yoga classes’/’yoga courses’.”

Many of the untrained worldly egoistic impure minds will have doubt/insecurity towards their own ‘determination’ being determined by whether they will like/enjoy ‘the teacher’s over-all presentation/image/charm/professionalism/credibility/teaching style’ or ‘the classes’ or ‘the practice’, or not, where they are unsure/unwilling to pay fees in advance which might be ‘non-refundable’ if they want to ‘give up’ when they experience discomfort or difficulty, or when they ‘don’t like/enjoy’ the ‘teacher/classes/practice’, while the truth of the purification process deriving from performing ‘serious/intense/persevered yoga and meditation practice to eliminate ignorance/egoism/impurities/restlessness’ is inevitably ‘unpleasant’ and ‘painful’ physically/mentally/emotionally for all egoistic impure minds. Even before the students come to the ‘yoga school/yoga studio/yoga centre’ to begin learning and practicing yoga under the teacher, the test/obstacle derived from the purification process already started. All kinds of obstacles manifest in the form of physical/mental/emotional discomfort and doubt.

Unfortunately, there are quite many stories of ‘impure yoga teachers’ existing in the world ‘taking advantage’ of the attention/love seeking ‘yoga students’, where people looking forward to be ‘touched’, creating many forms of ‘corruption’, and then there are ‘impure yoga students’ who didn’t get what they like and want from the teachers and they criticized and bitched about the teachers with the intention to hurt/damage the teacher’s reputation, that makes it even harder and more challenging for ‘yoga enthusiasts’ to ‘surrender’ all doubts/insecurity, to be opened to approach a teacher to ask to be accepted as ‘student of yoga’ and to ‘serve’ the teacher without attachment, identification and expectation, to be effectively purifying and eliminating egoism and impurities, to free the mind from restlessness and the veil of ignorance.

There’s neither right nor wrong, neither good nor bad. It’s just how things are in this world.

Anyway, ‘sincere teachers of yoga’ and ‘sincere students of yoga’ will meet each other in due time and due cause. There’s no ‘attachment’, ‘identification’ or ‘expectation’ towards each other. The students/practitioners ‘serve’ the teacher humbly for years, surrendering the ego and worldly passionate desire/ambition/thinking/belief/social behavior pattern, and developing self-discipline. After learning/receiving the teachings from the teachers, the students retreat into seclusion and solitude, working diligently and independently towards purifying and silencing the modification of the mind, to perform self-inquiry upon the truth of everything, to attain self-realization and total annihilation of the mind or the mind perception of an impermanent and selfless worldly life existence of countless ‘births’ and ‘deaths’ of names and forms (thoughts/feelings/emotions/relationships) arising and passing away, of ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

“You are left alone now.” – Swami Sivananda

The yoga class

Teaching yoga or practicing yoga is nothing to do with money, ‘fees’, or ‘donation’. No one can sell or buy yoga, or peace, or compassion, or wisdom, or liberation from suffering with any amount of money, or ‘fees’, or ‘donation’.

Meanwhile, running ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ that involve a lot of expenses/maintenance/labour/management/coordination requires money in the form of ‘fees’ or ‘donation’ for it to be happening. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if the money received is in the form of ‘donation’, it means ‘non-commercialized yoga’ or ‘authentic yoga’, or if the money received is in the form of ‘fees’, it means ‘commercialized yoga’ or ‘inauthentic yoga’. Such a simple understanding, but due to ignorance, many minds/people do not understand this.

Yoga classes/courses based on ‘donation’ without requesting a specific fees are not necessarily pure and authentic, or it’s being free from any form of ‘corruptions’. While yoga classes/courses required specific amount of fees are not necessarily impure, inauthentic, or corrupted.

People would perceive ‘yoga classes’ based on ‘donation’ or ‘small amount of fees’ that they think is ‘appropriate’ or ‘acceptable’ as ‘authentic yoga’ conducted by ‘compassionate’ yoga teachers, while ‘yoga classes’ required ‘certain amount of fees’ that they think is ‘inappropriate’ or ‘unacceptable’ as ‘inauthentic yoga’ conducted by ‘money minded’ yoga teachers.

Yoga students come to the yoga teacher to study yoga and seek guidance from the teacher and they give some fees/money to the teacher to support the teacher’s living is nothing to do with ‘commercial’ or ‘inauthenticity’. It’s like grown up working children give their parents some money regularly to support their parents’ living, there’s nothing wrong and nothing commercial. It’s a form of love, kindness, generosity, sharing, gratitude and gratefulness, even though the parents bring up the children out of love, without expecting anything in return. If the children grown up and are working, but only want to keep all that they earn for themselves, for they own living enjoyments and social expenses, and they refuse to support their own parents’ living, or those who are grown up but are lazy to work or spent all their earned money on non-essential things and enjoyments, couldn’t support their own living and need to depend on other people’s charity for living, not to say to support their parents’ living, then that is something ‘absurd’.

Many people who only want to pay very little ‘fees’ to attend ‘yoga classes’ or who prefer to attend ‘free yoga classes based on donation’ would think and expect that ‘yoga teachers’ should all be beggars to beg for donation, food, clothing and shelter on the street while giving ‘yoga classes’ for free or on donation basis. This type of ‘yoga classes’ is most probably unwittingly empowering ‘ignorance’ and supporting ‘corruption’, supporting people who would spend money generously on their personal worldly indulgence/enjoyment/social life activities, but would think and believe that it’s ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’ to pay certain amount of fees to attend ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’.

There are some people who already have a good financial support for their living, where they don’t need to depend on receiving any ‘fees’ or ‘donation’ from teaching or running ‘yoga classes’ as a form of charity coming from them to other people. That’s very good, but not many people are having such financial-free living condition. Many people need to somehow ‘make a living’ to support themselves and also maybe some other people under their care. If the basic living necessity is not available, people need to be spending time and energy to ‘make a living’ in order to ‘survive’, not to say to have the spare money, time and energy to ‘organize’ charity yoga classes for people who want to enjoy cheap or free yoga classes.

Meanwhile, there are those who think and believe that they are ‘highly spiritual beings’, would perceive receiving ‘money’ in the form of ‘fees’ for conducting ‘yoga classes’ or ‘yoga courses’ as a form of ‘evilness’, ‘wrongfulness’, ‘impurity’, ‘corruption’, ‘greed’, ‘down fall’, or ‘non-spiritual’, that ‘yoga classes’ or ‘spiritual activities’ shouldn’t be ‘tainted’ by ‘money’ or ‘fees’. They don’t mind receiving ‘donations’ from anyone, but they don’t want to get involved in ‘money matters’ personally. They don’t want to be physically touching any money or keeping any money under their names, or keeping any money close to their body or their ‘spiritual practice space’, but they need some other people who look after them to handle the money in the form of ‘donation’ that support their living and all kind of expenses.

Many good people who try to be good and do good and work very hard to make an honest living in this world are not exempted from the suffering of poverty or hunger/thirst and exploitation by others. People want to enjoy cheap goods, enjoyments, conveniences and services, and that’s how all kinds of exploitation started in this world of commercialism.

People who are busy in life need the existence of the convenience and service of shops/eateries, which rely on the people who devote their time, effort, attention and money into running shops/eateries to provide the convenience and service to the people while taking the risk of running business. The existence of shops/eateries also need to depend on other people who work or run business that provide everything from farming and harvesting to transportation and providing all kinds of shop, kitchen and dining equipment, that allow the shops to put goods on their shelves for people to buy and allow the eateries to put meals on the table for the people to consume. Even though it’s a business or work involved with money transactions, but still it’s a form of ‘convenience and service’ that benefits many people. If nobody interested in taking the risk of running a business and devoting their time, energy and money into starting a shop/eatery, or if nobody is involving in farming/harvesting/transportation/providing shop, kitchen and dining equipment, or food production is not available due to any natural/technical cause, people won’t be able to enjoy such convenience and service. It doesn’t mean that any form of ‘business’ involved with money transaction is ‘non-giving to the society’ or ‘non-compassionate’.

Compassionate actions are not necessarily have to be free from any involvement with ‘money’. Even when there are some good and kind people want to help other unfortunate people in this world, they also need to gather money in the form of donation/contribution/funding from somewhere in order to help other people. Selfless actions are also not necessarily have to be free from the involvement of ‘money’, it’s about non-attachment and non-identification towards one’s actions and the fruit of the actions. It doesn’t mean that when people are working and getting some monthly salary for living, or people who run business and getting some yearly profits for living, that their action of contributing their time, energy, attention, knowledge, skill or talent into their work or business is nothing to do with ‘selfless service’. If everyone doesn’t work or run any business, this society that builds on social economy that provides all kind of conveniences and services will collapse.

Any kinds of work, or duty and responsibility towards oneself and others, or business, can turn into a form of selfless service even when there are involvement of ‘money’, if people know what is performing actions without egoism. Volunteering work doesn’t necessarily means ‘selfless service’ when it’s done with attachment and identification. Non-expectation also doesn’t mean that ‘not receiving anything in return’. As all actions will bring the fruit of actions as it is, whether people have expectation, or not. Those who are free from expectation, they allow the fruit of actions to be what it is, it’s not about ‘I don’t want any fruit of actions after I performed actions’. That is ignorant understanding influenced by egoism of ‘I want to give without getting anything in return as it’s not selfless service anymore if I am getting something in return’.

People don’t really need to attend any ‘yoga classes’, or ‘yoga courses’, or ‘yoga retreats’ to be learning and practicing yoga, or to be peaceful, compassionate, wise, forgiving and be able to let go what the world categorize as ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, or ‘hurtful’. People can be attending many yoga classes and yoga courses regularly for many years, or teaching yoga for a long time, but still, the mind is not free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, still being determined by worldly idea, thinking, belief and practice, and are under the influence of the desire of craving and aversion towards dualities and qualities of names and forms very much, as the mind still couldn’t go beyond the mind perception of the duality of ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘positive and negative’ and ‘happiness and unhappiness, and hence, unwittingly chasing after what the mind categorizes as ‘goodness’, ‘rightfulness’, ‘positiveness’ and ‘happiness’, while rejecting what the mind categorizes as ‘badness’, ‘wrongfulness’, negativeness’ and ‘unhappiness’. The mind couldn’t see things as they are, or allow everything to be what they are, as they are. That’s nothing wrong, as the mind misunderstood the teaching of yoga about ‘positive thinking’. Many yoga enthusiasts, including ‘yoga teachers’, think and believe that it’s about influencing/making/changing everything to become ‘positive’ or ‘good’. But actually it’s merely about when the mind is over-powered by ‘negative thinking’, then the mind can cultivate positive thinking to counter negative thinking, and when the mind is free from negative thinking, there’s no need of positive thinking, as everything is just what they are, neither positive nor negative, neither good nor bad.

Although there’s nothing wrong with sincerely looking for a teacher to learn and practice yoga, to seek guidance of how to free the mind from ignorance and its by-products of egoism, impurities and restlessness – the root cause of suffering.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to think, believe, behave, act and react.

Contemplate on this, and be free.