Great truths are universally relevant, and consequently defy every narrowing attempt at definition. Take, as the sublime example, love – God Himself – or, at a more prosaic level, such seemingly mechanical functions of Nature as gravity and electromagnetism.
Such a truth – and in fact one closely related to love – is yoga. Yoga, a Sanskrit word, means union….The union implied here is an eternal truth. It is not something to be achieved by artifice, such as couples uniting in wedlock or nations uniting on the strength of peace treaties. Indeed, unless such outward unions are based on a recognition of deeper, already existing bonds, they will be short-lived. True union can only be recognized; it cannot be created….
The different paths of yoga all have this total union for their goal. They differ only in the matter of emphasis.
— Swami Kriyananda
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The Hindu Way of Awakening
There are two aspects to Hinduism, as there are to every religion. One is outward and concerns ritual worship, traditions, and patterns of social behavior. The other is inward. This other is essential in both senses of the word: It contains the essence of that religion; it is, moreover, essential that this essence be understood for Hinduism really to be understood at all. This second, this essential aspect of the Hindu religion concerns the individual’s relationship to God, and to higher truth.
The purpose of this book, then, is primarily to clarify certain deep teachings that lie, like the ocean, beneath the bewildering profusion of surface waves.