Right education is so important for our younger generations because they are our future leaders of the world. If they have the correct understanding and thinking, if they are selfless and wise, then there will be positive changes in the world later, individually, socially, environmentally or politically, and so on.
But unfortunately, lots of selfish and ignorant political influenced people have taken advantage of the school education and social media network to manipulate and corrupt the minds of these young people, implanting corrupted information, thinking and belief, selfishness, pride, discrimination, racism, anger, hatred and untruthfulness into these naive young minds, to achieve certain political agenda. Swami Sivananda advised - Do not read newspapers and magazines, as most of these public medias especially in the present time are under the selfish influence of many selfish greedy beings in the world to manipulate the community of the world to be in certain way that is favorable to achieve their selfish agenda, either based on particular political, religious or commercial value. In the present time, not just that newspapers and magazines are full of selfish influences, but even the school education in some countries are no longer what it supposed to be, but are functioning under the great influence of particular political and religious body, that doesn't help the world to be free from discrimination, prejudice, racism and hatred.
Yoga teachings and its practice is a form of universal education for all beings, physically and mentally. It's the correct education that would benefit the entire world unconditionally, regardless of all the different qualities of name and form that everyone possess and don't possess. It depends very much on the teacher's intention and his or her understanding towards yoga, practicing yoga and teaching yoga, whether it's aiming for self-realization to know thyself, to be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering, or not.
As yoga teachers, we need to be able to disseminate the real teachings of yoga, which is based on the elimination of ignorance, egoism and impurities, self-inquiry towards the truth of everything, to realize selflessness and compassion. It requires the quality of openness, truthfulness, dispassion, discrimination of real and unreal, self-control, discipline, right conduct, equanimity, humility, right thinking and right effort.
In order to disseminate the teachings of yoga and its practice, we should be able to practice what we teach, and teach what we realized from practicing the teachings through direct experience, and not just preaching what we have heard from our Guru, or what we have read from books, but without direct practice and understanding in ourselves.
We ourselves need to be open to inquire the truth of everything and have the correct understanding, self-control, dispassion, discrimination of real and unreal, equanimity, humility, right conduct, right thinking and right effort. Then only we can guide the students and encourage them to inquire the truth of everything and practice what is taught in the Scripture.
We need to know the teaching of Vedanta - the yoga philosophy, and practice it by hard sincerely in everyday life. Then only we can disseminate the teachings to the people who want to learn from us, who want to know about yoga and its teachings and meanings.
We need to have very strong faith in the Scripture of this ancient teaching of self-realization. We need to be humble and confident towards the teachings and our own practice too, then only we can guide the students to be humble and confident towards the teachings and their practice.
Having pride and arrogance in us by attaching onto the name and form of being a yoga teacher will not help the students to be free from ignorance and egoism, to attain self-realization towards selflessness and compassion.
We need to have certain degrees of understanding in the Vedanta, then only we can share this knowledge with all the people who wish to know the real meaning of yoga and its practice.
We need to be humble, free from pride and arrogance. We need to be unattached towards all our action, practice, duty and responsibility, and renouncing the results or outcomes of our action and practice - the fruit of actions, such as the achievements of the students, praise and criticism, and be free from all kinds of expectation.
We need to know how to purify our own self (the mind), our thoughts, actions and speech, before we can guide the students to do so. Purification of the mind is the constant practice throughout the entire life existence every moment.
We need to eradicate lustful and evil thoughts, minimize our desires of craving and aversion, be able to confront with our own feelings and emotions without judgment, and eliminate the ego. Then only we can guide the students to do the same and help them in their daily practice.
We should be truthful and selfless in our everyday life, not just having an image of a yoga teacher in front of the students preaching truthfulness and selflessness, but then being untruthful and egoistic outside the classes. Then only the students can respect and practice the teachings of yoga that we deliver to them.
If we ourselves do not practice and inquire the truth of what the Scripture said or what our Guru taught us, then what are we teaching to the students in the yoga class actually?
Merely be able to perform many yoga asana postures and teaching others to do many yoga asana postures, but without practice Vedanta in everyday life, will not help ourselves and anyone else to come out from misery or suffering and to attain unconditional peace.
Some people complain that they are still very unhappy and didn't get any correct understanding about yoga after attending yoga classes for some time. Although they had been benefited from the yoga asana exercises to improve their physical strength and flexibility, fitness level and physical health condition, but they have no correct understanding towards the teachings of Vedanta, and hence, they don't know how to deal with difficulties, mental and emotional problems in life. Some even turned to alcohol and drugs to make themselves feel better by the end of the day, to get by everyday, by attaining the momentary numbness or excitement from the effect of the alcohol and drugs, to escape from their problems for a few moments.
After the effect of the alcohol and drugs fades away, they continue feeling dissatisfied, disappointed, depressed and unhappy with themselves, their lives, and other people and happenings in the world.
Some people are deeply unhappy and angry with the world and their lives. It's not their fault and there's nothing wrong. It's just that they don't know or don't understand what is going on in their minds. Many young people growing up being 'educated' to be angry, discriminating and hating towards certain things. Unless these minds be initiated to inquire into the truth of everything, and be free from the influence of particular selfish beings that has been manipulating them to think in certain way and to believe in certain things. Otherwise, the world will continue to be full of discrimination, prejudice and hatred. Some people are not interested in promoting peace and harmony among all beings, but only interested in hoarding and protecting their power and wealth.
By practicing the teachings of Vedanta in everyday life can help many people to free themselves (their minds) from the cause of misery, suffering, anger, disappointment, hurts, frustration and unhappiness, by knowing what is going on in their minds.
No doubt that after performing a well-paced and well-balanced yoga asana session completed with a final relaxation will induce a certain degrees of clarity, peacefulness or calmness into our minds and re-energizing the bodily system, and the body and the mind will feel good and fresh momentarily. But if without practicing the teachings of Vedanta in our daily lives, we will still be caught in worldly attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion and expectation deriving from egoism and ignorance.
Our emotion is going up and down all the time, or the mind is in a state of restlessness being determined or influenced by the different desirable and undesirable experiences that we encounter every moments in life, of what the mind perceives through the senses.
We might still be unwittingly generating lots of evil and negative thoughts, performing ignorant actions and speaking ignorant speech out of ignorance.
This will continue to create further tension and negativity into our mind and the bodily system, as we continue getting caught up in the daily ups and downs in life, even though we have gained some benefits from doing the yoga asana and relaxation practice, and all these effects of the yoga asana and relaxation practice are impermanent.
When we go to a traditional yoga class, sometimes the teacher does not teach any yoga asana practice at all, but only giving discourse on the teachings of Vedanta or the mind purification techniques to the students which will benefit them in life. People who really want to practice yoga should make an effort to practice the teachings of Vedanta in their everyday life.
After some time, the students would realize that they have becoming happier, being more patient, wise and compassionate when dealing with the challenges in their everyday lives. They are more loving and kind when being with their family and friends. Their family and friends might also notice the changes in them and be influenced by their cheerfulness, tolerance, wisdom and compassion.
This is what we call the yoga practice or the right education.
It allows the people to know and change themselves, to have a little or significant positive changes in their thoughts, actions and speech. It removes their suffering deriving from ignorance, and bring peace and harmony into their lives. They know how to accept themselves as they are and accept everyone and everything as they are, even though nothing is perfect. They become selfless and understanding human beings full of compassion and have self-control all the time.
Everyone takes their own time to evolve. It doesn't matter slow or fast, but at least it is moving towards positive evolution.
There are some good and real yoga teachers out there. They know what they are doing and are propagating the real meaning of yoga to many people in the world, and helping the world to be a better and happier place for everyone to live in, to be sharing this space in the universe, selflessly.
I am thankful for them being in the world. I pay respect and bow to these great teachers.
May all beings attain true happiness and true freedom.