The first aspect of yoga philosophy is to understand the yoga view of the self, to understand your essence and thus answer the question “Who am I?”
According to the yoga view of the self, you are made of an energy completely distinct from matter. You, the self (known as atma), are an indivisible unit of the element known as life. Your body is made of the element matter, but you, the atma, are a spark of the element life. So the answer to the question "Who/what are you?" is: You, the self (atma), are a particle of the element life. You are presently within a material body. You are temporarily possessing and using that body.
With an understanding of the yoga view of the self, the yoga practitioner can begin to apply yoga’s ancient wisdom for modern living. For a person who cultivates yoga wisdom or true knowledge, the results are inner peace, satisfaction, patience, respect for others, freedom from duplicity, compassion, joyfulness, remembrance of his spiritual identity, freedom from the fear of death, freedom from anxiety and depression, and so on. Yoga’s ancient wisdom thus provides practical answers to the personal and social issues of today such as racism, sectarianism, hatred and conflict, fear of death, the causes of crime, how to have a peaceful, progressive society, etc.
Yoga’s ancient wisdom is found in yoga texts, including those compiled and written down by the great sage Srila Vyasadeva some 5000 years ago. These works include the Bhagavad Gita. In more recent times, a number of prominent spiritual teachers appeared within the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya including Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur (1838–1914). In this section of the website we provide the reader with some selected readings from his works.