What is Vedanta Yoga?

What is Vedanta Yoga?

cape cod yoga retreatBy Faye Martins

Vedanta Yoga is one aspect of Yogic practice that is promulgated by the ancient Himalayan masters. Vedanta is the process of engaging in self-inquiry and exploration, in order to become immersed and merged in the Divine within our own beings. The term, “Vendanta” means the attainment of the end goal of the Vedas. The Vedas are ancient Indian scriptural texts that form much of the basis of Hinduism. The other two streams of the meditative path of the Himalayan masters are the practices of Hatha and Tantra Yoga. Through the practice of Hatha Yoga, a practitioner prepares his or her body and mind for the awakening of the divine Kundalini Shakti energy. The awakening of the Kundalini Shakti energy is part of the tantric path of the practice of Yoga training.

Enlightened Yoga teachers warn us that in order to be able to make consistent and successful progress through self-inquiry and contemplation, it is necessary that the body and mind be reasonably peaceful and stable. This is especially true with our minds. If the mind is unstable and our emotional states are fluctuating dramatically, it is much more difficult to penetrate the veils of Maya, or illusion, and see into the depths of our own hearts. Understanding the Divinity that resides within and around us is ultimately the fruit of a successful Yoga practice of inner exploration. Otherwise, the practice of self-inquiry will only lead to more anxiety, frustration, and despair.

Through the ages, Himalayan sages have recommended the practice of Vedantic meditation, in addition to a regular practice of asanas and other Yogic techniques, such as chanting and pranayama. The combination of these three aspects of Yoga training will stabilize the mind, strengthen the body, and nourish the awakened Kundalini Shakti energy. One of the main inquiries of Vedantic meditation is the contemplation of who we are in our essence.

It is said that eventually, after much ardent practice, a practitioner may be fortunate enough to have an inner vision of the blue pearl that is situated in the field of the third eye. This blue pearl is not bigger than a mustard seed, and it is where the most subtle aspect of the mind resides. In fact, it is reputed to be beyond space, causality, and time. In essence, it is the gateway to Brahman or the absolute divine energy that underlies all of reality. As a yogi or yogini merges into the blue pearl, great knowledge and bliss arise. This is truly the fruit of a successful, Vendanta Yoga practice.

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