Yoga is indeed much more than just esoteric gymnastics or a means of attaining beauty and health. It is a holistic system that encompasses not only the body, but also the mind and spirit. Through the practice of yoga, we can cultivate a deeper connection with ourselves and with the world around us.
Meditation is a fundamental aspect of yoga, and it is through meditation that we can access deeper levels of awareness and understanding. While books and teachers can provide us with guidance and instruction, the true essence of meditation can only be experienced through consistent practice. As we continue to meditate, we develop a greater sense of inner peace and clarity, allowing us to connect more deeply with our true selves.
Achieving expertise in yoga requires dedication and perseverance, as with any other skill or discipline. Through a daily practice, we can gradually awaken and train our awareness, moving closer to the essence of our being. This journey may be challenging at times, but it is also deeply rewarding, as we discover new levels of self-awareness, strength, and compassion.
Ultimately, the practice of yoga can help us to live more fully and authentically, connecting us with the essence of our being and the world around us. Whether we are teachers or students, beginners or experts, the journey of yoga is one of continual growth and transformation.
Painting of the Goddess Saraswati by Raja Ravi Varma, 1896.
Saraswati is a revered goddess in Hinduism, known for her association with knowledge, music, art, wisdom, and learning. She is particularly popular among children who are initiated into the process of learning in temples, where they receive books, pencils, pens, and other learning equipment as blessings from the goddess.
The name Saraswati is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘Sara’ and ‘Sva’, which can be translated as ‘Essence’ and ‘Self’ respectively. Thus, the name Saraswati signifies ‘She who helps to realise the essence of Self’, which is a knowledge that purifies and enlightens.
As the goddess of learning, Saraswati is depicted holding a veena (a musical instrument), a book, and a rosary. She is often shown sitting on a lotus, symbolizing her connection with spiritual growth and enlightenment.