The most important thing is to know one’s Self as Will, which is the highest aim of the Yogi. We are covered with many psychological layers; much like the layers with which we protect ourselves against the elements on a cold winter’s day, and in order to live comfortably in society often adopt the maxim, ‘when in Rome, do what the Romans do’; so as not to ruffle the feathers of those around us. Many are unaware that their responses are guided by want and a desire to remain within life’s comfort zones, and do what is expected rather than what they truly believe.
The yogi Ramana Maharshi awoke to the true nature of the Self at the early age of sixteen, when he suddenly developed an intense fear of death, which prompted an imaginative exercise in which he visualised his own death and dissolution. This exercise led to the discovery of his ‘Self’ as different from the lower physical and the hidden persuaders that constituted his being.
The Sanskrit word for corpse is ‘Sava’ and hence Savasana, the relaxation pose, is ideal for practising the more advanced exercise of ‘letting go and letting God’ and discovering the original light and intelligence that lies deep within. The words Corpse Posture can be alarming for the novice, hence it is more usual to use the term, the pose of complete relaxation.
Ramana Maharshi‘s teachings are simple and direct and he recommended that to attain natural happiness one must know one’s Self and adopt a method of Self enquiry and ask oneself ‘Who am I’. During life we adopt many ways of dealing with problems and there are many inner voices, or impulses urging courses of action; these impromptu impulses often evoking responses that belong to another time and place. These robotic responses are less than human as they are not taken in the light of consciousness, but mechanical and predictable, which makes such beings subject to control from the outside.
The Yogi who works to achieve union with his true Self, who by means of Asana tries to regulate and organise the scattered energies within his own body and then discover the underlying rhythm, and harmony of life, by the correct use of Pranayama, is more likely to reach beyond the veils that obscure the light and intelligence within.
Light and Consciousness are words we use to represent that level of initiative, which will still remain after all else has been eliminated. It is the level that underlies the fog of delusion which obscures the true Self. It is by learning to meditate, that we learn to step back and take control, before precipitous action.
The Will is far removed from inertia and half awake responses, but is Conscious initiated responses in each ‘Here and Now’. This requires continuous Self remembrance and learning to ‘Let’ from the very centre of your being. High aims indeed, but that is Yoga; Union with the creative source that lies within.