Yoga Teachings on Prosperous Living, Pt. 1 - Go Ahead, Shine.
What is Prosperity?
What is prosperity? How can we prosper in a way that is inspired, joyful and also brings joy to others? In the video below, Yogacharya O’Brian teaches that true abundance comes when we clear away the doubts and fears that obstruct the pure luminous Self from shining into the mind, and shining through our hearts into the world.
“The luminous divine Self is always bright and aware. However, sometimes the mind is clouded, the heart is troubled,” says Yogacharya. Kriya Yoga teaches us how to restore clarity to the mind and radiance to the heart.
The Vedas are the oldest living spiritual texts of the world, indigenous to India, and they name artha as one of the four great aims of life. Artha is Sanskrit for wealth, and the imperative to ‘thrive, prosper and succeed.’ “The first of the four great aims is dharma -- to live with higher purpose, to fulfill our divine destiny in this lifetime. Second is artha, and the third is kama, to enjoy life. The fourth is moksha, to realize ultimate freedom.” These four aims are universal and arise from our inherent fullness.
We tend to think of an aim as something outside of ourselves or a target we have to reach, but that is not the case with these four aims. “We are not striving to attain something we don’t already have.” These four aims are already within us as our true Self.
Foundation for a Prosperous Life
Living according to dharma creates a foundation for a prosperous life. “If you’ve been struggling with how to thrive, to prosper and fulfill your potential, the place to begin is to go back to dharma. Live with higher purpose, be on the way of righteousness. Dharma is that inherent support for us to live in the highest way and to be all that we can be.” For those who want to go deeper into the principles and practices of dharma, Yogacharya has an online course available here: Dharma365!
When you live according to dharma you think bigger and support the wellbeing of all. “The law of dharma is based on the realization of oneness, that there is one life, one power, one presence that is in us. We don’t live without regard to others.”
We find these universal teachings not only in the Vedas but also in the words of Jesus, says Yogacharya. “’Seek first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness and all else will be added unto you.’ There we have dharma and artha. Seek first this higher consciousness, the awareness of the spiritual truth of life. Seek to live in harmony with that truth of your being. And then prosperity comes.”
Learn How to Prosper
“The call to prosper is a dharmic drive in us,” says Yogacharya. Then she quotes her Guru, Roy Eugene Davis, a direct disciple of Parmahansa Yogananda. “There is a power for good that runs this universe and we can learn to cooperate with it.” She explains, “When we are learning how to prosper we are learning how to cooperate with this tendency in the Universe that wants to bring all things into their fullness of being.” Our intention in practicing artha is to prosper for the sake of dharma, to sustain our capacity to fulfill our purpose in this lifetime.
In a recent interview at New World Library, the publishers for Yogacharya’s new book, The Jewel of Abundance, she was asked, “What is the greatest mistake people make when they try to prosper?” She responded, “The greatest mistake is not knowing or forgetting that prospering is innate. We are innately full, whole, and the drive to prosper comes from the soul, from the divine imperative to actualize and express.” Further, she says, “Our great error is setting out on our own like the prodigal son, thinking we are disconnected from our source. There’s not much joy in it. Life becomes very hard and burdensome. Anytime we feel that life is a burden, we can know that we have left God out of it.”
When we remember that our prospering depends on our relationship with the Infinite, life unfolds with joy – with kama. We no longer suffer a sense of aloneness.
Go Ahead, Shine
What’s in the way of our radiance? “Our greatest sin is Self-doubt, a vote of no confidence in the Infinite. It is to misunderstand the prosperity imperative, this drive we have to express and fulfill our divine potential,” says Yogacharya.
"The greatest impulse of the divine within each of us is to be what we are: Magnificent, unique offering that which we are, contributing our gifts to the greater good.”
When we start looking, we find examples of people living courageously according to dharma and kama, living their higher purpose and prospering. “Look at Colin Kaepernick. Notice it is possible to shine a mighty light on racism, injustice and systemic oppression by bending a knee. Look closer at Swami Nirvananda who has built schools for the children of lepers who had no place to go. A swami with no money. What does he have besides his radiant heart? He has a voice, a song. I want you to see that it’s possible to build a school with a song,” notes Yogacharya. The temple resounds with applause.
When we are beset with doubts and lose our way, radiance can be restored. With regular meditation and the return to right living, we experience the perception of the inner light of God. “This inner light that we perceive is reflected light, the light of the divine Self. We pray, we chant, we listen, we meditate -- our way of turning toward that light so that it can shine through us.”
Next, Yogacharya reads the title poem from her award-winning book, The Moon Reminded Me.
This morning the moon reminded me
it’s never too late, or too early.
There’s a way to turn
without losing your balance
even though you get drunk
on the Beloved’s wine
even though you leave
your shoes behind
at the Sama. Go ahead
take them off.
Place your hand on your heart
start turning toward the light
raise your self by your Self
at dawn. Go ahead.
Shine in the morning sky.
Experience the whole transmission from the inner light by watching the video, and learn how you can prosper in this five-part series.