Introduction by Yogacharya Prakash Shankar Vyas (Guruji)
– PART ONE
The poet Saint Kabir Das was born in Varanasi. He was against superstition, and orthodox beliefs, and through his words and verses he used to criticise both Hindus and Muslims. He created uproar in society. People would say that he was a social rebel and an enemy of the people. But Kabir Das would make it clear that it was not a question of criticism, but that there was a misunderstanding. He would say that his duty was to bring people on a path that was right and true.
In the course of history saints have come to bring people from the darkness and to give them light. They act as guides on the path of truth. They come to tell people to live simple and good lives. They do this by giving an example through their own lives, and they are always against wrong-doing and speak out against it.
It is never the case that everyone will listen and follow, but sometimes it happens that when a saint has left the world people recognise for the first time how very special he was and emulate the principles and teachings in their own lives. This happened with Jesus. He was tortured and nailed on the cross, and it was only after his time on earth was over that people started to understand what kind of a person he was. Then Christianity started.
At the present time also, many people are losing their way, and that is why proper guidance is important. In the answers given here on Kriya Yoga, there is no question of criticism. If people want to come, they can come. If not, there is no obligation.
Yoga is a science. A science is very exact, and it can be proved. The original Kriya Yoga is scientific, because we can understand and explain every part of the practice – what we are doing and why, which airs are moving in the body, and see what is happening as a result. And naturally for the spiritual path in Kriya Yoga, you need a living Guru.
Guruji has found that some people who find their way to him are disillusioned and disappointed with past experiences with a guru and they are afraid to put their trust in a guru again and feel the need for a great deal of reassurance and explanation in order to make a fresh start. Or they want Guruji to prove himself to them in some way.
Patanjali mentions nine obstacles in the yoga path in his yoga sutras. One of these is saṁśaya. In The Heart of Yoga, Desikachar writes that saṁśaya is, ‘a regular and persistent feeling of uncertainty, as for example, when we are in the middle of doing something and suddenly ask, “How shall I go on? Is it worth it even for another day? Perhaps I should look for another teacher. Perhaps I should try another way altogether.” This kind of doubt undermines our progress in yoga.’