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August 8: Spiritual Life - What is the Goal?
Does all spiritual paths lead to the same place?
Is there a final goal and perfection of spiritual life?
We have all come upon various paths, philosophies, processes and belief systems that aim to bring spiritual growth. When one begins to take an interest in spiritual life, it can be difficult to get a comprehensive picture of all the different spiritual or religious paths one can choose from:
Buddhism, Kundalini yoga, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Bhakti yoga, and more.
Depending on their heart’s desire, people choose different paths that give different results. For many people, spiritual life is only associated with hatha yoga and vegetarian food for a healthy body and mind. For others, it's all about being a force for good by helping other people, society and nature. Others seek liberation from all suffering in nirvana or salvation. Still others seek the absolute truth by studying who we really are, the meaning of life, and where true happiness can be found. Some are meditating on their own existence in the heart, and others are seeking a way to God.
Host of the webinars
Balakhilya is traveling all over the world giving lectures on the wisdom of yoga - the science of living, loving, and being happy in this world. With great insight and humility, he works relentlessly to spread ancient teachings that we all can apply to our everyday life.
I approached this holistic yoga philosophy in an indirect way. I became interested in Hatha Yoga (physical yoga) as a way to improve my surfing, which at that time (1969) was my whole life. The benefits were immediately obvious, and I began to look deeper into the topic. By reading, I began practicing simple meditation, eating vegetarian food, and spending more and more time in deeper contemplation of the meaning of my life. I had always been a traveler, but now I started on an inner journey. Along the way, my world - both the outer and the inner - became ever more peaceful and serene.
In 1971, I was so lucky (without coincidence, I am sure) to get in touch with my spiritual teachers. Under their expertise and guidance, I received and began to follow the ancient science called Bhakti Yoga which I continue to do to this day.
And what a beautiful and satisfying journey it has been! So I really hope that you can have the same opportunity and blessing that I have had, undeserving as I am.
Yoga is the oldest system for physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. The various yoga systems have techniques and practices ranging from physical positions (asanas) to the deepest stages of meditation. The ancient yoga wisdom has been studied and praised for thousands of years for its clarity, insight and depth of spiritual knowledge. It not only contains the foundation of the system of physical yoga, it is the universal guide for anyone who wants to live a fearless, more meaningful and joyful life. When we face our own challenges and problems, big and small, the eternal truths of the yoga wisdom are as relevant today as they were 5,000 years ago - and lead us from confusion to clarity.
The Bhagavad-gita (Song of the Supreme Soul) is one of the most authoritative yoga scriptures. It contains not only the foundation of the entire yoga system, but the most essential and valuable lessons as we go through this life. The perfect instruction from the Bhagavad-gita has been passed on to guide everyone on the path to self-realization, true happiness and deep understanding of the absolute truth. The Bhagavad-gita has inspired some of the world's greatest thinkers, including Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Dr. Albert Schweizer, Henry David Thoreau and Herman Hesse.
“When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of external tragedies and if they have left no visible or invisible effect on me, I owe it to the teaching of the Bhagavad-gita."
"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial."
Henry David Thoreau
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