Q&A with Paramahamsa Niranjanananda
Question: For nine years I have been practising yoga with intensity, but I am still caught by passions and attachments to the pleasures of life, and this makes me suffer because I would like to feel myself more detached from this. What can I do to proceed with serenity on the path?
Answer: Firstly, stop feeling guilty about the whole thing. There is a statement in the Upanishads which says that God created this world, and his presence can be felt everywhere in the world. For those who live in the world he has created pleasure. These pleasures may give happiness or they may culminate in pain, but nevertheless they are pleasures for the senses and the mind.
Those who live in the world interact with the pleasures. Therefore, with clarity of mind and detachment, continue to experience pleasures, and continue to evolve. Two concepts are given here, the first is about continuation of enjoyment and the second is about detachment.
Now, from the question it seems that although the questioner has been practising yoga for nine years or more he, or she, has not come to terms with himself/herself. There is a split between the understanding of yoga and the involvement with life in the world. My request to you is that you do not look to yoga merely in the form of practice, but as a life process.
If you are able to see yoga as a life process, then every action will become a part of Karma Yoga, every understanding will be part of Gyana Yoga, every effort that you make will be a part of Raja yoga and every experience a part of Dhyana Yoga. So it is with this understanding that you must try to include yoga in your life. No doubt there are attractions and repulsions in life which give pleasure and pain, but do not allow yourself to be pushed down by them. rather, try to be the master of your pleasure and pain and have greater understanding and better alignment with yourself. Instead of struggling, flow. I think this will help.