Everything constantly changes. Time passes. Objects and circumstances transform, mature, age, and decay. But I don’t want this to happen. I want the beautiful rose to remain beautiful; I want (my body) to remain young. I want the pleasurable moment to last forever. But this isn’t the way of things; and so my want, unfulfilled, turns into sadness, frustration and suffering.
Adopting a philosophy of accepting change, of celebrating it, and of letting go can help reduce the sadness of life. But philosophy only goes so far. The real problem is not a refusal to accept change, but rather arises from misidentifying myself with the objects of the world — especially with the body — and there is no stopping the body from aging, becoming sick, and dying.
So, is there a way out of this universal tragedy?
According to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there is. The purpose of Yoga is to lead one, step by step, to the realization that “I am not this material body but am pure consciousness. I remain ever the same although things change.” This realization ends the suffering.
The realization required to end suffering is not simply an intellectual thought. Rather, it’s an absolute knowing that happens when one has the direct experience of truth in Samadhi.
Swami Rama said, “The day that you attain a state of Samadhi, not only will you stop identifying yourself with the objects of the world but you will be established in your own essential nature. You will become a yogi. Your mind, actions, and speech will be guided by pure consciousness and you will no longer commit mistakes. You will not hurt harm or injure any one in any way. You will become more creative, dynamic, selfless, and you will understand the meaning of life. Once you have attained the highest state of tranquility you will not be affected within by worldly turmoil and worldly situations.” Swami Rama, Samadhi, The Highest State of Wisdom, back cover.
Nothing truly satisfies because nothing in this world lasts. So, finding true satisfaction requires finding and identifying with the Center of Consciousness rather than with any thing.