Yoga comes and yoga goes. To be alert is to recognise both. In the hours of darkness, caught in the world of action and the whirlpool of samskaras, or the subtle impressions created on the mind screen through our actions, it is necessary to be a karma yogi and perform all actions with detachment, surrendering the fruits of the action.
At such times one must be aware that we do tapasya. Sometimes tapasya is performed as an action, to purify the modifications of the mind, to negate the impact of particular karmas. But mostly, tapasya, performed with your very life and living itself, creates the necessary discrimination and stillness of mind to be able to evolve spiritually. When the time for the joy of yoga is there again, we have been freed a round of past karmas and we are not overwhelmed by our samskaras, so then we are able to receive again. When one is completely pure in words, action and behaviour, yoga descends and the Truth manifests at that time. The Truth is received through a person, through nature, through all of living. This is Grace.
At a time when one is receiving the Truth, there is no other. One spontaneously gives it to another when they stand in front of you. The essence of revelation of Truth lies in this process.
The external guru awakens the guru within. When learning is not individualised, it is the highest form in which learning can be received. If the process of learning causes one to focus on the person of the teacher and not what is taught, this learning will pass. This is the tradition of the Himalayan sages. See not the form, nor be limited by the medium, when Truth is spoken, the one who speaks is the Self of All, beyond time, the elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Space) and the attributes (Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas) – recognise that Truth. Do not seek to recognise the form of the one who speaks it, for then you will not recognise it when it comes to you again. Know that Guru who resides within you. Surrender to that Truth. This is the teachings of the siddha guru parampara.
Where there is confusion, doubt, conflict, the lower self reigns and only relative truth can be perceived, Absolute Truth is not known. When the Truth manifests, there are no questions and no answers. This is satsangha. Here the Higher Self reigns Supreme. The Higher Self is seen through purified vision; not by the senses, nor the mind, not even the heart, nor yet the breath, but known through the essence of the life-force, whose fountainhead is the energy that manifests to reveal the Unknown, the Unknowable. Worship that Self Supreme.
In yoga shastras, gyana or knowledge and atmabodh or self-realisation is acquired through yoga. In the Yoga Shastras, samadhi is categorised as the 8th limb of yoga but we should remember that it is the ultimate aim, and it is a separate state by itself. Kaivalya is the aim of yoga, the end of suffering. Birth, death and all states of suffering are because of avidya, ignorance.
When the mind is related to the senses, it becomes the perpetrator of joys and sorrows. When the mind is related to Atman, it is freed of illusion and delusion, the darkness of ignorance is shed and one returns to that state of being which is our essential nature: without question, without conflict, without doubt. This indeed is yoga.