Friday Discussion: śraddhā

According to Yoga Sūtra I.20, the practice of yoga involves śraddhā: faith, trust, optimism. This trust or faith is never about how things are. It is always about how things can be. In these difficult times we need to call upon this to keep at the practice of being ourselves: yoga. This is possible against all evidence as the trust we have is not in the outcomes, the way things are in the world, or even in our own capacities, but in the practice. Things will only get better when we improve ourselves. And having this insight is also śraddhā. This goes to the heart of Yoga as a basic ethical theory, according to which: the right thing to do is defined by devotion to the procedural ideal (Īśvara/Sovereignty) and the good is just the perfection of the practice. So if you feel down or tired, you can take comfort in this: as bad things are, better is possible. Understanding this is śraddhā.

Shyam Ranganathan

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