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Our world is multifaceted. For some it is full of suffering, for others it is filled with happiness, joy and love. Different people perceive the same event ambiguously. Where do sufferings come from in our world? How to eliminate suffering in the outer and inner universe and fill life with joy?
In the two previous articles, we talked about the basic principles of Yoga that help us in our practice and personal life. Let’s recall the main points. Yoga is a system of self-knowledge and cognition of the universe, which is based on two principles: The Principle of Kindness and The Principle of Efficiency. The main method in Yoga is The Harmony Method: a combination of where you need to force yourself and where you need to allow yourself. The main goal of Yoga is absolute, unconditional freedom from all restrictions.
The Principle of Kindness (Ahimsa): we try our best not to harm any living being unless it is necessary. If this is not possible, we should follow our duty.
The Principle of Efficiency or Logic ( Brahmacarya ): we do our best not to waste our energy and time, we try to achieve our goals in work, study, leisure or yoga. Anything that takes us away from our tasks must be mercilessly discarded.
If we practice yoga by classical methods we should follow the first two principles of Yoga. If the practitioner chooses the path of quick methods, they must follow the third principle. Failure to follow the third principle will lead us to a miserable outcome. The three principles are the three pillars that make up the essence of Yoga.
What does the third principle of Yoga tell us? Why is it not mentioned in the definition of Yoga? Who is it necessary for? What is suffering and how can it be eliminated?
The Principle of Non-Suffering encourages us to do our best to help all living beings in overcoming suffering by all means, if we are able to help them, and if they express their will. At the same time, we will make every effort to eliminate the suffering within us. No one and nothing has the right to impose suffering on us!
It is worth emphasizing a very important component of the principles of Yoga, which many people forget.
Only the acceptance and application of the two principles of Yoga in our life, that is, the willingness to follow the classic route indefinitely and without any expectations, allows us to move on to the third principle. Only this attitude will guide us quickly and safely.
Where does the pain come from in fast methods?
Classical methods imply a slow and thorough cleaning of all our structures. These are safe methods because the “dirt” that we have gained in many lives falls off us in small grains, gradually and relatively painlessly. Fast methods seem to extract impurities in big chunks, which have been part of us for so long. This type of cleaning is extremely uncomfortable. Failure to observe the three principles when practicing fast methods will cause a lot of pain. In the end, we will only increase the suffering, not eliminate it. Fast methods also multiply all the qualities that we have, including the negative ones. We will suffer even more if we are not prepared to give them up.
Non-suffering is the principle of an active position in life!
The Principle of Kindness tells us not to harm, The Principle of Efficiency — not to waste our energy and time. The Principle of Non-Suffering encourages us to spend energy helping other living beings. However, we should help only if we were asked for help and if we can help. Otherwise, we will violate the first two principles: we will impose help, violating freedom and by wasting our energy, we will exhaust ourselves.
Suffering is pleasure that we divide in two parts and pit them against each other. What does it mean?
Yoga says that all pleasure is within us. There is no energy of pain at all. There is a mechanism for the collision of conflicting desires of our structures. For example, the physical body wants to rest, but the desire to make money makes it move. The result is pain. Over a long period of time, a huge number of such contradictions can accumulate.
How to get rid of suffering?
First of all, we should observe the three principles of Yoga. Regular practice of various types of Yoga will help increase our sensitivity, and we can immediately pay attention to the slightest discomfort in the body, without leading to a serious problem. The same applies to communication: we can quickly determine whether we can help a particular person and how to do it.
How can we help others?
There is no simple answer to this question. By and large, there is nothing we can do to help. Everyone forms their own life by their own actions. The only thing we can do is become a mediator between knowledge about our nature and those people who want to receive this knowledge. We can give a chance to gain knowledge of Yoga by inspiring an exemplary life. Only in this way will we help to dispel ignorance and to get rid of suffering.
“There is no use whatsoever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb himself.” A. Carnegie
What do we need to remember?
The Universe is super kind, it contains the principle of helping all living beings. Each obstacle guides us in the best way, providing an opportunity to become stronger, happier, freer and gives a chance to work through the seeds of Karma with the least suffering.
Everyone has the right to ask not to be drawn into suffering. The main thing is to do it kindly, not by demand or order. Others are free to suffer as much as they like. If we cannot help or the person does not accept our help, we try to take the conversation in a positive direction or stop communication.
Do not get involved in suffering, but help. If there is anything we can do to help, we should help instead of just being empathetic. Being compassionate can be more vitality consuming than real help. Many people think that just listening is helpful. However, we should be careful as there could be a need to complain and seek for our emotional response behind this. Such people will refuse any offer of help, and have plenty of excuses why you cannot help them. What should we do? Listen to the problem, offer help, and if they refuse to accept any help, step back and change the subject, or stop communicating for a while. Again, we should do this with kindness!
Every living being has infinite potential. Each person can help themselves by rolling up their sleeves and starting to work. Everyone is able to live from a position of strength and don’t expect outside help. If a problem arises, then in the universe there is a possibility to solve it. The most important thing is to do something.
We should accept it and do not let it blind us! There is a certain trick of our mind when we exclude suffering from our life, simply by turning a blind eye to it. It’s much easier not to get involved or to pretend the pain does not exist. But sooner or later we have to give up this illusion. Constant denial only increases the tension. Suffering exists in our world. It cannot be denied. It is necessary to accept its existence and do everything possible to help others and ourselves to eliminate pain and find harmony.
I want to give up suffering! I can give up suffering! I will help others to give up suffering!
All suffering in our universe is natural. There is only one way we can eliminate them — by eliminating ignorance about our true nature. Yoga offers a large set of tools for knowing ourselves and the world around us. The very first thing we have to do is understand, accept and observe the principles of Yoga ourselves.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the three principles of Yoga, every time we think about them, we can discover something new. If we are confused, lost orientation in life, if it seems that we are at a dead end, we should try to start with the principles of Yoga. We should implement them in any situation, think about them, and meditate. Then, very smoothly and gradually, the three principles of Yoga will become three pillars, thanks to which harmony and happiness will come to our relationship with ourselves and the world around us!
Eliminate ignorance and be happy!
Article author: Mirra
Edition: Eva Rami, Olga Belous, M.Sarasvati-Bhavani
Curator of the project: Kerigona
Translated: Larisa Skibina, Nat Satcitananda, Tatiana Sugrue