The Yoga Tutor

Breaking The Chains of Desire

[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 316 ]

How to banish this insidious desire? A practical exercise for eliminating this mental state, the one that hinders health, happiness and ultimate evolution, is to actively concentration upon a mental state that is free of greed.

Begin your day by thinking of the reason that you are performing the tasks before you (or your daily work). Always try to find a higher, elevating reason -- for instance; the joy of serving others, or the benefit of serving mankind. If the only real honest reason that you can come up with for engaging in an endeavour or for performing a task is money or material gain (i.e., I have to pay my mortgage!), then it is high time that you start exploring ways to satisfy that 'need' which will also yield other, loftier, more wide-reaching benefits as well.

Analyse yourself and see if you look with envy at those who have what you don't have. I know that this is a mirror that most people would prefer not to look into.

The Fruits of Aparigraha

- Yoga Sutras
Translation: Non-possessiveness being confirmed, there arises knowledge of the how and wherefore of existence.

When one eradicates desire, thereby perfecting the mind in a state of non-possessiveness, then one becomes directly able to see the cause and effect relationships because they have become fully detached from them. This, to a large extent, frees one from the habit of identifying themselves with their 'impermanent' body and 'unreal' or 'contrived personality' -- or that self they have come to identify with through a life of satisfying wants, desires, and perceived needs.

A natural result of this releasing of one's identification with the 'unreal self' is a gradual shift to a higher vehicle of awareness. The practice of aparigraha then, taken to perfection, gives the yogi a form of clairvoyance, allowing him or her to better understand the 'why and how' of existence.

On a practical level, fear, hate, jealousy, attachment, disappointment, worry and sadness are eventually abolished through the practice of aparigraha. Practising non-possessiveness also helps in the practise of the other yamas and niyamas, namely ahimsa, satya, and asteya.

Through aparigraha the yogi makes his/her life very simple and pure—his/her mind is liberated from the suffering produced by the absence or loss of external objects. A piece of contemporary wisdom proclaims "When you have lost all that can be lost, then nothing else remains but the ultimate essence of the Self." The yogis call this the state of pure existence...


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.

"The Science of Yoga is a course worthy of

leather binding and an honored place in the
finest libraries in the world 
... It is indeed a masterful work."


Dr. John Michael Christian


Learn More About
The Science of Yoga Course

Yoga Affiliate Program
Free Yoga Lessons
Get Your Free Copy
Yoga in India
The Yoga Masters Course