Yoga Philosophy Word of the Day

Avidya–ignorance or delusion.

Very roughly stated, the yoga philosophies and guides to practice teach that it is ignorance or delusion that is the root cause of evil and suffering.  When we act from ignorance of our essential nature–it’s divinity (whatever that might mean to you)–then we act in ways that move away from spirit rather than towards it (one way of describing evil).

As I interpret the teachings, the point of the practices for a householder is to help us act and respond informed by consciousness of this essential “divinity” in everything we do, including how we care for ourselves, our community, and the ecosystem that we inhabit.  The closer we come to achieving this state of acting consciousness, though there will still be pain and loss in this human embodiment, the less we will be the cause of suffering for ourselves and others.

Note:  You might say or think it, but I will refrain from actually articulating why this is the word that comes to mind for contemplation today.

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