The first step is to develop awareness of what one is doing. One needs to chalk out one’s weaknesses before they can be worked on. One needs to find out what triggers negativity within and what upsets one’s balance. One’s basic needs must be discovered, what is lacking in a situation and what is needed to make life more harmonious. It may sometimes be necessary to change the environment so that there is an inner and outer shift. Finally, without being egoistical, one needs to discover what one has to offer. Everyone is trying to build up positive qualities in some way or the other, consciously or unconsciously. People are trying to figure out where they stand in this world. What are the values they are supposed to follow, as written in various scriptures? How can they follow them without becoming too orthodox and restricted? All the definitions of consciousness show that selfpity and similar traits which are developed due to weakness are not supposed to be part of one’s consciousness.
Therefore, one should try to understand how matter or the gross body is working and how consciousness works. Positive qualities and values can be built up by trying to understand what consciousness is. This method involves figuring out what is generated from inside and whether it is applicable for one’s development and growth or not. Yoga states which positive qualities must be activated. Rather than chasing a fantasy, from the beginning one should identify different qualities in relation to one’s nature, behaviour and attitude. There are certain aspects of one’s nature which cannot be changed overnight. If people try to change themselves without first recognizing their personality, they go through a personality crisis. By superimposing a discipline or an idea on one’s performance, behaviour or mentality, which may not necessarily be compatible but sounds attractive, one cannot acquire a positive quality or value. Yoga applies the formula: first selfrecognition and then selftransformation.
From the book “On the Wings of The Swan, Vol 5”, pg. 103-104, Sw. Niranjanananda Saraswati