The Bhagavad Gita, arguably the most influential text of the Hindu tradition, starts with a yogi in crisis:
After becoming thoroughly disheartened with the world he lives in, Arjuna (the yogi) feels demoralized, disheartened, and deeply depressed. In his desperation, he turns to his guide and mentor, Krishna, and asks for help,
My mind is utterly confused. Tell me where my duty lies, which path I should take. I am your pupil; I beg you for your instruction. 2.7
This verse is a beautiful expression of a seeker’s yearning. What follows is Krishna's response that forms the exquisite and timeless teachings of the Gita.
Like many, Arjuna turns to the spiritual path as a response to pain, loss, and crisis.
His yearning expresses his desire to know, to find clarity and direction, and to restore his faith. Yearning is the starting point for every seeker.
I see in his words my own dark nights, the painful experiences that have kept me close to my path. Even in moments where I’m not quite as anguished as Arjuna, they remind me of my own search for truth, freedom, and an independent happiness that’s at the heart of my spiritual journey.
This is why it’s so important to take hold of yogic philosophy. Not only do we see ourselves in the teachings, they help us stay close to our heart’s sweet longing as the impetus that fuels our inner evolution.
What follows, for Arjuna and for us, is the deeply comforting, wise, and encouraging guidance that shows us the way forward.
Our free, online bonus content is designed to complement and enrich your experience of Evolving Your Yoga. Resources like video pose tutorials, downloadable journaling prompts, breathwork, guided visualizations, and more will support your exploration of each of the Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice.