is about being happy in life and being happy about ourselves at the
present moment NOW, not about wishing tomorrow will be better, or a
happier next life, or migrating to a place free from suffering or unhappiness called 'Heaven'. It's unconditional contentment and peace beyond happy and positive feelings that are selfless and impermanent. There's no attachment and identification, or desire of craving and aversion towards the manifestation of pleasant and unpleasant thoughts/feelings/sensations, or the perception of agreeable and disagreeable names and forms being perceived through the senses, or the desirable and undesirable life experiences, conditions and situations in the world. This unconditional contentment and peace is always there as it is, never increase no decrease, upon the annihilation of ignorance and egoism.
Yoga is a basic way of life that leads us to become a happier person upon liberation from ignorance and egoism, and seeing the truth of things as it is, being undetermined or undisturbed by all kinds of names and forms or experiences that are selfless and impermanent.
Life is just being what it is. It has no intention to make us happy or unhappy. Being happy or unhappy about life, doesn't change life being what it is, and it's constantly changing selflessly. Easy life or difficult life, we can choose to live life happily or sadly. It is all up to ourselves.
We are conditioned by the law of nature, or cause and effect, but we can set ourselves free from feeling unhappy, and transcend suffering through the practice of Yoga and other teachings such as Buddhism.
Suffering is a state of the mind. We cannot change the state of decay and mortality of the limited physical body, or control the world to be what we like it to be, but we can change the state of our mind and have control of how we think, feel, behave, act and react.
There are similarities in Yoga and Buddhism, and their goal is the same, which is about self-awareness, self-inquiry and self-realization, or enlightenment.
is just the name and form is generating the differences, but within all the saints and
sages are the same selfless consciousness, same wisdom and compassion.
In all living beings, regardless of the different qualities of names and forms in everyone, we all are the same consciousness, selfless, nameless, formless, attributeless. We all are the same when we feel happy or sad. We might speak different languages from one another and have different cultural way of living, thinking, belief, values and practice, but we all have the same feelings, expressions and reactions when we have hunger, thirst, anger, hatred, jealousy, hurt, disappointment, fear, greed, passion, pain, tiredness, craving, aversion and attachment.
We are not different from all the peaceful saints and sages when all the impurities are purified and the veil of ignorance and egoism is eradicated from our mind, what left is only unlimited wisdom and selfless compassion of the selfless consciousness (the higher self). At the moment, when our mind is still functioning under the influence of impurities (ignorance and egoism), we are still the same selfless consciousness but it's hidden under the veil of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness (the lower self). The selfless consciousness is still the same consciousness regardless of whether there is the presence or absence of the veil of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness in the mind. It is uncontaminated and unchanged by the purity or impurity in the function of the thinking mind, the different states of the mind, or the good and bad condition of the physical body.
The consciousness before the mind purification process and after the mind purification process is the same one. The difference is just whether the selfless consciousness is being veiled or unveiled under the presence and absence of restlessness, impurities, ignorance and egoism.
That’s why on the outside of our physical and mental appearance, we have
different looks, personalities, thinking, beliefs and behaviors, speaking different
languages, and have different likes and dislikes, but inside us, how the bodily systems work, and how
the mind, the senses, the ego and the intellect work, are the same, no differences
at all, unless if there's some dysfunction in certain functions of the physical body, or there's the presence or absence of ignorance, egoism and impurities in the thinking faculty.
In the teachings of Yoga and Buddhism, all living beings are entitled to be liberated from ignorance, be free from suffering or unhappiness, and all are equal.
The only thing that stops us from being liberated, is the impurities and restlessness deriving from the ignorance and egoism in the mind.
Only a calm and peaceful mind can lead us to enlightenment or liberation. Due to ignorance, we are always trapped in fears and worries, and we are disturbed, restless, and not at peace. Without a calm and peaceful mind, we find it so difficult to get a glimpse of wisdom, or the Truth of names and forms. And so, we continue being trapped in fears and worries.
But it is not hopeless.
The practice of Yoga can help us to come out from this whirlpool of ignorance, through the practice of restraints (Yama), observances (Niyama), steady posture (Asana), control of the breath (Pranayama), withdrawal of the senses from the objects (Pratyahara), concentration (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana), and silence - the annihilation of the restless modification of the mind (Samadhi).
Yama and Niyama are the foundation for all other practices. They are – truthfulness – non telling lies (Satyam), non-injury (Ahimsa), non-stealing (Asteya), chaste – celibacy/controlling of sexual desire (Brahmacharya), non-covertness – non accepting bribe or gift (Aparigraha), cleanliness of body and mind – internal and external purity (Saucha), contentment (Santosha), austerity (Tapas), self-study (Swadhyaya) and surrendering the ego (Ishwara Pranidhana).
In short, they are the disciplines for mind purification and to develop self-control and will power to keep practicing until the practice comes to an end upon self-realization.
Without self-control, just by eating vegetarian food especially if we are chasing after the taste of the dishes (due to the salt, sugar, and flavoring that are added to the dishes) and to satisfy the craving for meat by eating the fake meat with the similar texture and taste of real meat, are not the true practice of Ahimsa and desire-less because we eat with the craving for particular food choice and taste, as well as if we have no control over our thoughts, actions and speech.
Of course, there is nothing wrong to enjoy eating the food that we prefer, and appreciate the taste of it.
We need to be able to check our out going thoughts, actions and speech so that we won’t intentionally hurt other people physically or mentally, is the real practice of Ahimsa, even though how everyone reacts towards other people's thinking, actions and speech is everyone's own responsibility, and along with the control over the craving towards all the sensual pleasurable enjoyments, is the real practice of desire-less.
Yoga is the wisdom of life and the compassion of existence.
Yoga is realizing selflessness and compassion that leads towards unconditional love and peace.
In the end, there's nothing wrong or bad with the perception of unhappiness, as upon the realization of selflessness, there's no 'I' existing to be attaching towards or identifying with the impermanent states of happiness or unhappiness. One won't be performing actions out of unhappiness that would hurt oneself and others. It's only when the mind is under the influence of ignorance, one could be constantly hurting oneself and others out of unhappiness, unwittingly. All is impermanent.