Needful and Necessary


Reaching the fourth stage of wisdom, technically speaking, we have reached a stage of enlightenment, samadhi. We have realized that the Truth of our Self is separate from and undisturbed by the outer world. It is a steady light of consciousness that guides us, free of distraction and clear of craving and aversion.

But, being given this sutra at this time to contemplate and admitting that maybe we are not all exactly enlightened, how can we apply this thought to our time in isolation? In a way, I see this as a perfect opportunity to be more deliberate and observant of only necessary actions. We are no longer getting out and about to engage and distribute our energies elsewhere. Stripping our world down does tend to strip away some of the ego associated with that world. So can we listen more closely to the inner voice that impels us to act needfully instead of just doing for doing’s sake?

“If we understand the cosmic plan, we rise above all doership. There is no particular duty for us, no dos or don’ts. At that time, we are prompted to do things only because our minds are linked to the cosmic mind; there is no personal action. As we are prompted, we just do.” Translation by Sri Swami Satchidananda

In BKS Iyengar’s translation, the following describe this stage:

  1. “what must be done is done” (Vyasa)
  2. “Self realization” (Yoga Vasista)
  3. “Stability of intelligence” (BKS Iyengar)
  4. “Integration of mind” (BKS Iyengar)

If we can take some pleasure and some peace in NOT having to go here and there, NOT having to get to anywhere at any certain time, NOT being obligated or directed by outside forces, then the restrictions become freedoms and all that is left is what is indeed most important.

In the realization of the Self apart from extraneous activity, we are able to be more focused in our actions, every cell of body, mind, and spirit in agreement and purpose.

Tagged as

Jennie Williford CIYT

Jennie Williford (CIYT Level 3) is a transplant to LaCrosse via Montana, Illinois, and originally Texas. Throughout her life moves and 5 trips to India, Jennie has acquired a well-rounded and multi-faceted approach to Iyengar Yoga since her start in 1998. Jennie loves the experimental and explorative nature of yoga in accessing deeper knowledge of the Self on every level. The practice of yoga can be intense and introspective, however as practitioners we can be light-hearted and open-minded in our discipline. Jennie is intrigued by the philosophy of yoga and hopes to share this depth of subject while teaching the physical and mental benefits that come from the practice of posture.