Yoga is the traditional teaching of ancient India. What it teaches is that there is a union of two separate entities in our lives; a union of the person, puruùa, and the personality, prakçti. So what we call ‘I’ indeed involves the person and the personality. What is this person, and what is this personality? By personality, we normally mean our body, our sense organs, our mind and our intellect. Yoga explains that personality or the body-mind-sense complex, which is made of matter, is inert or insentient by nature. Our mind and sense organs are products of matter in its subtle state and our body is the product of matter in its gross state. However, we find the body to be sentient. We find that our sense organs and mind enjoy liveliness or sentience. What is it that brings about this sentience in the body-mind-sense complex? It is that which is called the person or the Self, or the Consciousness or the Awareness. Let us take the example of a glowing bulb. What causes this bulb to glow with light? We know that light is a product of the union of electricity and the filament that is inside the bulb. Mere electricity cannot produce light, and by itself, a filament cannot produce light; but the union of electricity and filament produces light. Similarly, mere personality does not have life, and mere Consciousness also is not sufficient to have life. Just as the union of electricity and filament brings about a phenomenon called light, similarly also, the union of the person and the personality, the self and the non-self or the Consciousness and the material personality, results in a phenomenon called ‘life’. We thus see how you and I already represent a union, that of the person and the personality.
Let me point out another very important thing. What is it that separates one individual from another? Is there something that is common to all of us? We see that on the surface, each one of us is different. But are we really totally different from each other or is there something that is common to us? Is there a connecting link? Yes, there is. We know that there can be different bulbs having different capacities and therefore the light given out by these bulbs varies. However, the electricity that is passing through all the bulbs is one. Thus even though each bulb has its unique potential, all of them share the same electricity. Similarly, each one of us has a unique personality. Our emotions are different, our knowledge is different, our sense organs are different, our bodies are different and our personalities are different. But the person, the Consciousness, the Self that informs all of us, is the same.