|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 443 ]
In a pond with clouded or agitated water, we cannot see the bottom. But when the water is still and clear, we can. So as with the mind -- when agitated or clouded, we cannot see deep within. Therefore, clearness, calmness of mind and a relaxed state -- all of the things which we have endeavoured to cultivate thus far in our sadhana -- are a necessary foundation for svadhyaya.
From the study of scriptures, we move through various phases of personal integration of their teachings. Reflection -- which I.K. Taimni refers to as 'constant brooding over the deeper problems of the human condition', all of which has been studied from an intellectual perspective in books and from the lectures (satsanga) of one's teacher, is the next step.
I have been encouraging you almost right from the start of this yoga training program to create a regular daily habit of contemplation and reflection. This constant reflection invariably gives way to insight and understanding, which itself is the motivating force behind the desire for real solutions in life.
This 'brooding' and reflection upon the fundamental truths of life will eventually hold your attention more and more, which leads one into a state of absorption or meditation (in the simplest sense of the word), and an ever-growing desire to 'know'. This is what eventually liberates the spirit of the semi-conscious state and of its limited horizons. For the one whose single-minded efforts lead them deep enough into the inner search for truth, the ability eventually arises to gain all knowledge or understanding from within.
This is the highest significance of svadhyaya, whereby it becomes a purely internal process of discovery, in which all that is to be known can be known from within. Hence, the sadhak acquires the capacity to leave behind all external aids, such as books and teachings, and is able to find within his/her own mind everything that is needed in the spiritual quest...
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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