How To Learn the Aim of Yoga

The aim of Yoga is to rest in true self.

In the third aphorism of 'Yogasutra,' Patanjali describes the aim as well as summary of his whole work.  He describes

        tada(by that) drashtuh(seer) svarupe(in true self) abasthanam(rests)

which means by practicing Yoga a seer rests in his true self. Let us see who is seer and how does he rests in true self.

  • Drashta(seer) - Seer is one who sees the sight of the world. Normally a seer sees the world, lives in it and enjoys it. To see the world and to enjoy it is a work of every worldly man. But one who wants to rise above all worldly activities and to realize the divine force working, has to do the opposite. He has to remove his mind and thoughts from all worldly activities and concentrate on his true self. There is an eternal relationship between seer and sight. When this relationship is cut off for a moment, seer realizes his true self. But why does Patanjali tells about true self and not about God? Let us see it below.
  • Svarup(true self) - True self is the true identity or true nature of a being or a thing. Sometimes we fail to see the true nature of a thing. A dust coated mirror doesn't show any image but when dust is wiped off of the mirror, it shows images again. An impure piece of gold can't glitter and we may consider it as valueless. But when a golsmith burns it, removes all impurities, it glitters again. Similarly a worldly man can't see true self. But by practicing Yoga he may remove all worldly thoughts from mind and can see or realize his true self. Thoughts are like dust or impurities on self. These impurities are smeared on self right from birth and in countless births. So man fails to know his true identity.

According to Patanjali, the end result of Yoga is the realization of true self and not anybody else like God. When gold is purified it becomes pure gold and doesn't become silver or platinum. Similarly when self is purified it becomes pure self. Religious people who propagate their God teach that by practicing Yoga; one may see God or enter into heaven. Patanjali has denied this hypothetical scenario. The Upanishads also teach that self (Atman) is everything and Atman is Brahman, the Supreme.


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