It is natural for us to want to have a successful life. Intuitively, we sense that we can have a life of profound happiness, peace, love, and fulfillment. This is what we long for, what we dream of, and are always seeking to have. But very few of us actually experience this kind of life.
We work very hard to acquire and hold on to all the right ingredients for success, but somehow things never seem quite right. Even if we manage to obtain the beautiful house, ideal spouse, prestigious career, and so on, we do not feel the absolute joy and satisfaction we long for. On the contrary, we feel, in our heart of hearts, that something critical is out of order. It seems that no matter what we do – no matter how hard we work or how proficient we are managing our lives – there is always something vital missing. We are constantly endeavoring for success, but not truly feeling the inner satisfaction of being successful.
Because what is missing cannot be found where we are looking for it.
Generally, our standard for success in modern society is based on the misconception that we are material – that we are made of material energy. We believe happiness, meaning, love, and everything else we need and desire can be achieved through acquiring material wealth, fame, beauty, power, prestige, and so on. We are convinced that the deep inner satisfaction we long for will somehow result from us having the ability to enjoy various physical and mental experiences. However, our own true personal experiences – and the experiences of others – tells us that this materially-based mode of living is not actually satisfying. On the contrary, it leaves us feeling empty in the core of our hearts, and continually anxious for something essential that is missing from our lives.
In the ancient yoga scriptures, the reason why we cannot find success through material endeavor is clearly explained – and within the understanding of this explanation is the welcome opportunity to choose a more fruitful path. In these authoritative scriptures, and within all bonafide scriptures of the world, it is revealed that we are not made of matter. Our body and our mind are made of material energy, but we, the individual who is wearing them, is not material. Rather, we are eternal spiritual beings, made of spiritual energy, who are currently wearing the mind and body like a suit of clothes. The gross physical body is like a layer of outer clothes and the mind (subtle body) is like a layer of under clothes. In the same way that we are not the shirt, pants, or undergarments we are wearing at this moment, we are not these “clothes” either.
However, because we are covered in this way and are so powerfully influenced by our material conditions, we erroneously take our self to be our material suit of “clothes.’ And thus, our life is built upon this false identity. We seek happiness, meaning, love, fulfillment within the world of matter, through our mind and bodily senses. But because we are not actually our mind and body, we cannot achieve satisfaction through stuffing our mind and body with various types of physical and mental experiences.
Any pleasantries derived from attempts at material sense gratification are superficial and fleeting because they do not actually touch us. They only touch our material coverings. We are seeking connection because that is what we need to be happy, to be fulfilled. But the connection that we need is not a material one – it is a spiritual connection. As spiritual beings, we have an innate need for spiritual connection. And specifically, this connection must be a conscious and loving connection with the Supreme Person in order to be completely satisfying.
By our very constitution and nature, we are intimate, eternally related with God. He is our original Source, our closest relative, and our dear most beloved Lord and Friend. We emanate from Him, are made of His energy, and our very existence rests upon His existence. The powerful influence of our material coverings and conditioning has caused us to forget our spiritual nature and our innate relationship with the Supreme Person. But our need to be conscious, lovingly connected with Him remains. In the core of our heart, we experience the pain and emptiness of having lost conscious awareness of Him, and of the close, personal relationship we once shared with Him. We feel deeply empty because the supreme most important Person in our life is essentially missing from our life – and all the stuff we are trying to replace Him with is so utterly inadequate, it just makes us feel more miserable and empty inside.
This lost relationship of deep intimacy with the Supreme Person is what we are striving so desperately to find and revive. It is, in fact, the missing piece of our life’s puzzle. We will look for it within material life if this is the only place we know of to look for it, and will obviously never find it there. But with the understanding that we are not material – that our true nature is spiritual and the connection we are seeking is with God – then we have the opportunity to actually find what we are looking for. Everything we need to be absolutely happy and satisfied is contained within our relationship with the Supreme Person. When we are again closely linked with Him and actively engaged in our natural, loving relationship with Him, we will experience true success.
This spiritual condition of consciousness in which we are intimately, lovingly linked up with the Supreme Person is called “yoga.” Many people think the word “yoga” refers only to the physical fitness exercises which are so popular in modern times. But, actually, these exercises are not even necessary to achieve the primary goal of the yoga system. The ultimate goal of the yoga system is for the individual spiritual person be linked up, united, with the Supreme Person in love. In the condition of yoga, our longing for spiritual connection is perfectly fulfilled.
So how do we link up with the Supreme Person in love?
Fortunately, the method for this day and age is simple, straight forward, and accessible to all. The yoga scriptures instruct us that we can achieve the highest perfection of yoga through hearing and repeating the transcendental Names of the Supreme Person. (In the yoga system, this is called Mantra Meditation.) Although the Names of the Supreme Person may at first seem to us like ordinary material sound, they are not. The Names of Supreme Person are the Supreme Person Himself in the form of pure spiritual sound vibration. God appears in this world as His Names in order to make it very easy for us to reconnect with Him. When we hear or chant His Names, we are actually directly placing ourselves in His presence. He is there with us, entering our ears, dancing on our tongues and within in our hearts. This has a profound purifying effect on our consciousness.
Usually, we are not able to fully experience His presence in the beginning because our consciousness is clouded by material conditioning. When we first hear and chant, we may experience the Names of the Supreme Person as just some nice sounds. If we are very fortunate, we will also feel a wonderful radiance of warmth and happiness in our hearts. If we continue to hear and chant or sing these transcendental Names – especially if we do it regularly, daily – our attraction will steadily increase. We will experience a sublime reservoir of deep joy and peace growing within us.
The more we hear and chant the Names of the Supreme Person, the more our consciousness becomes purified, and the more we directly experience Him – really, truly, tangibly experience Him – in our hearts and as His Names. And because our affection for the Supreme Person is such an integral aspect of our being, the more we experience Him, the more our dormant love for Him naturally awakens and flourishes. When we really, truly experience Him, we cannot help but love Him, as loving Him is our most natural function, the very essence of who we are.
We do not need to be rich, powerful, famous, beautiful, popular, or have any material object, situation, or qualification to experience real success. All we need to do is faithfully hear and chant or sing the Names of our Supreme Friend. When we are happy. When we are sad. When we are sick, well, rich, poor, lonely, elated, excited, and everything in between. If we just continue to hear and chant the sweet Names of our eternal Best Friend throughout the ups and downs of our life, our love for Him will continue to develop and grow and will infuse our experience of life with the most amazing, divine transcendental joy and wonder. Our life will be successful far, far, far beyond anything we can currently conceive of…far, far, far beyond even our highest of dreams.
For more information on Yoga wisdom, please visit