“What brings happiness to our lives that makes the soul sing so that any deed turns into a bright moment and takes us straight to freedom?
Or what is that sometimes oppresses us and we can’t take a step forward, when every new day is a disaster and makes us believe that the world is our enemy?”
What are these two different emotional states that people experience in various periods of life? One moment we can feel euphoria of every action and the desire for new achievements, when it seems that all the doors are open and there are no barriers. Another moment we can feel a severe loss of energy and dissatisfaction with ourselves and the world, as if there is nothing but obstacles around, and everything goes against our own efforts and desires.
In Yoga, there is the concept of Rita or the universal law of Harmony and life, “dance”, “some higher cosmic law”. When we act according to it, the entire universe acts in unison with us. Every desire is fulfilled at the moment when it brings maximum positive results. Every act raises us to a new evolutionary stage of development, and leads to the expansion of freedom. We express our will, and the universe does not create obstacles, opening the way to a harmonious and happy life.
When we are in tune with Rita, the whole universe opens its arms, we are protected from suffering, diseases and troubles. We are in a dance with the world and always on the crest of the “wave of pleasure”. This is the state when you live and want to live. Every new day is not a torment, but an opportunity for creative realization, an opportunity to express ourselves and our freedom, every day is relevant!
The opposite state of mind is called Anrita. In this state, we do not go with the flow of life, but on the contrary, we struggle with it, we push too hard. We do not use the right opportunities at the right time for self-realisation, and we act inappropriately. Therefore, we jump through hoops without getting what we want. We do not feel life, the world, the universe, we do not feel the moment, we go round in circles when it is time to take the next step.
When we are tuned in Rita, we don’t have to worry anymore. We do what we think is necessary, we are happy as children playing their game, and everything supports us and breathes life. The whole world, like a caring mother, protects and supports us when we need it, or creates obstacles if it is dangerous for us to go somewhere, and does it very unobtrusively and carefully. After all, the universe hurts us only when we have gone a long way from the law of harmony, when we live in Anrita and do not want to hear about any danger or self-destruction.
What does yoga recommend so we could learn to live in Rita and reduce the state of Anrita in our life?
We are all interconnected in this world. From a small bug to a human. If we understand these relationships and learn to use them for good, then we grow and reach a happier level of being. If we thoughtlessly do only what is beneficial to us, in the future we will reap the benefits of our actions. Therefore, it is recommended to reflect more often on the First principle of Yoga, the principle of kindness towards the whole world.
The First Principle states that we must do our best not to harm any living being unless it is necessary. If there is no way to avoid harm, then we must follow our duty.
After all, what goes around, comes around, and we will bear the fruit of our actions sooner or later.
It is important to understand that the First principle implies that we don’t harm other living beings not only by action, but also by inaction in certain situations. For example, if a schoolboy is cheating on his papers to get high marks, instead of working hard for it, then helping him will be a disservice, while inaction and refusal to help will force him to think for himself and evolve in the future.
We can cause harm not only by lying, but also by telling the truth, which could be devastating for other living beings. For example, we think someone is clumsy and we honestly tell them about it, instead of encouraging them to open up. As a result of our “truth”, the person will get uptight and become even less confident.
We can have real effects on a physical level, not only by doing evil deeds, but also through evil words, thoughts and intentions
Next, we need to make sure that the Second principle of Yoga is observed and remembered:
We should focus our Energy and Consciousness only on what leads us to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves in our work, study, leisure or practice. Before we get involved in any activity, we should ask ourselves whether it leads to our goal. If not, it should be discarded as misleading and unnecessary.
We do our best to achieve what we want, but in a way that benefits us and the people around us. At the same time, we remember that we can not always control all the events of our life in advance.
If we look around, we see that there are millions of people and each of them is an entire, independent universe with its own vision of life: small children, old people, plants and animals. All of them exist in our world regardless of how much power and ability they have.
Sometimes people can’t relax, they do something and they have a lot of thoughts about their plans for the next day, or about the outcome of some meetings, and so on. There are some parts of our lives that we can influence, and something is completely out of our control. This is when we should let go of the situation and trust the universe. Otherwise, we will always feel tense, look over the shoulder, and life will turn not into a game and joy, but into hard labor and suffering.
Those who are full of courage and determination to get rid of suffering in their life and want to help others to do the same, need to take into account the Third principle of Yoga:
We should strive to help all living beings overcome their suffering, if they are willing to do so and if we are able to help them. In this way, the suffering within us will be eliminated. No one and nothing has the right to impose suffering on us!
“Everyone is happy, or no one is happy”” V. Zaporozhtsev
If we live in harmony with the world, expand our freedom and the freedom of other people, the quality of our life gradually improves. If we live in disharmony with the universe, reduce our freedom and the freedom of others the quality and duration of our life gradually decreases and sooner or later these will be reduced so much that life will seem like hell, and we will prefer to rather die than constantly suffer.
By eliminating suffering on the outside, we eliminate it on the inside, and vice versa.
The third principle of Yoga teaches us not only not to cause harm to living beings, but also not to be inactive when seeing other people’s suffering. We must help those who ask for help and those who are determined to get rid of their suffering, if we can.
We live in one world, although each one of us has its own separate universe, but sooner or later our universes may intersect. A good example is all the wars, mass diseases, and catastrophes. We can be very happy, not suffer ourselves and mind our own business, effectively achieving our goals, but if everyone around us is suffering, then we and our loved ones will unwittingly see other people’s suffering and get involved in it. Therefore, the Third principle of Yoga says that if suffering remains in the external or internal Universe, then happiness will not last long. And we are on the path to ending suffering.
Thus, Yoga is the implementation of the law of Rita into our life.
If we plan and live our lives in harmony, understanding cause-and-effect relationships, understanding the structure of the world and our commonality with everything around, if we are kind, logical, consistent, then all our actions will bring us joy, and our life will become an exciting adventure, a dance with the universe.
Practice yoga and be happy!
Author: M. Saraswati-Bhavani
Editorial: Kerigona, Myrrh
Translators: Elena Samma, Tatiana Sugrue, Nat Satcitananda