Most of modern yoga is done with the Advaitic intention of oneness, even if its practitioners don’t know it! And though the boundaries have become so blurry over time that we accept the integration of these two systems without even questioning it, it is important to realize what a huge leap it originally was to incorporate dualistic yoga into the non-dualistic system of Advaita.
The more we learn about other civilizations, the more anomalous the West seems. If we resist the presumption that Western culture is the growing tip of social evolution, to be contrasted with the stagnation of non-Western ones, what becomes highlighted is its dynamism, for better and worse. Rather than trying to account for the “undevelopment” of non-Western societies — why they did not evolve further along our path — it is the apparently self-generated and future-driven “progress” of the West that needs to be explained. What caused it?
Saṃsāra refers to the cycle of death and rebirth. It is the natural cycle of creation, maintenance, and dissolution that all material things undergo.
There’s something that you will never forget in your life. I know I haven’t. It’s the first time you see a dead body—the first time you meet Death.
Death plays a pivotal role in the history of yoga—the original objective of practice was ending rebirth. At some point between the earliest Vedas and the time of the Buddha a thousand years later, the doctrine of karma changed people’s priorities.