An Introduction to Yoga by Annie Besant

By Annie Besant

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It is the same as with the "Sermon on the Mount" in Christian countries, but there the practical common sense of the people bows to it and--ignores it. No nation tries to live by the "Sermon on the Mount " It is not meant for ordinary men and women, but for the saint. For all those who are on the Path of Forthgoing, desire is necessary for progress. What is the Path of Nivritti? It is the Path of Return. There desire must cease; and the Self-determined will must take its place. The last object of desire in a person commencing the Path of Return is the desire to work with the Will of the Supreme; he harmonises his will with the Supreme Will, renounces all separate desires, and thus works to turn the wheel of life as long as such turning is needed by the law of Life.

He learned his lesson. Never in another life will that man be induced to put forth efforts for the toy of wealth. Love of fame, love of power, stimulate men to most strenuous effort. But when they are grasped and held in the hand, weariness is the result. The mighty statesman, the leader of the nation, the man idolised by millions--follow him home, and there you will see the weariness of power, the satiety that cloys passion. Does then God mock us with all the objects? No. The object has been to bring out the power of the Self to develop the capacity latent in man, and in the development of human faculty, the result of the great lila may be seen.

By slowly and gradually drawing ourselves away from outer objects through the more potent attraction of the Self. The Self is ever attracted to the Self. That attraction alone can turn these vehicles away from the alluring and repulsive objects that surround them; free from all raga, no more establishing relations with objects, the separated Self finds himself liberated and free, and union with the one Self becomes the sole object of desire. But not instantly, by one supreme effort, by one endeavour, can this great quality of dispassion become the characteristic of the man bent on Yoga.

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