Yoga Retreat
Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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Chapter - 7

Miscellaneous Spiritual Aids 

Inspiring Stories 

Human behavior like musk deer 
In the higher Himalayas we have a type of deer that produces a sweet smelling musk in its navel as it grows into adulthood. This deer as it grows starts becoming aware of a sweet smell. It is not aware of the source of this smell. It goes from place to place sniffing trying to find out from where the smell is coming. The smell comes from its own navel but unaware of this it keeps searching for it outside of itself. We human beings are like this deer. We seek love, joy, wisdom outside in relationships and objects not aware that we are ourselves the very source of that love and joy, that somewhere deep within us lies an infinite source of peace and love and wisdom. 

Why religions are dogmatic 
Once six blind men went to see an elephant. One of them spreading his hand on the body of the elephant came to the conclusion that an elephant is like a wall. The other one holding the tail thought the elephant to be like a rope. The third one with his hands on the legs thought the elephant to be like a pillar. Similarly other three each holding a different part of the body of the elephant took it to be like something else. What each one of them understood was not wrong but the elephant is something much more than what they thought. Similarly each religion looks into Truth from one angle and thinks that is the whole truth. Each religion must learn to open up to the ideas of the others and view the truth from other perspectives as well. Hindu religion categorically asserts that all religions are equally true. It respects and accepts differing view points. Some religions on the other hand dogmatically asserts that they are true and others are false or satanic. These religions and their followers are blind. They are in a belief system. They have no experience of truth. Religious truths should be experienced and not just believed. 

One desire leads to other 
Once in a man because of domestic difficulties strong dispassion arose in his mind and he left the family, wife and children became a monk to seek the higher purpose of life in the solitude of the mountains caves. He meditated daily and in due time became pretty established in inner peace and wisdom. Thinking that he is now enlightened he decided to settle down near a village and propagate his wisdom. The villagers welcomed him and decided to bring him food and meet his other genuine needs. Every day a village woman came and kept his food in the hut where he stayed. One day as he was meditating he heard some noises with which he was not familiar. A voice within said doesn't matter continue meditation, but curiosity 

 

   
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