There is a beautiful passage in Krishna Das’Chants of a Lifetime that I am most certainly going to butcher by relying on memory. Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji) said (quoting liberally): “Keep saying your lying Ram Ram, your false Ram Ram. Because one day you will say it right just once and you will be saved.”
We are all faking it with our practice. How do I know that? Well, we are all still here. The purpose of Hatha Yoga is, through mechanical means, to manipulate the energies within the body thereby awaking Kundalini energy, sending it up the Sushumna Nadi to the Sahasrara Chakra and plugging us directly into God (nirvikalpa or nirbija Samadhi). The energy manipulation is Hatha, the plugging into God is Raja. Same goal, different means, as Karma, Bhakti, and Jñana yogas.
So, if I am doing my Hatha practice correctly, the second I hit Vira I (or any pose, or any pranayama technique for that matter) perfectly, Kundalini will rise, I will mainline to God and be done with the body. Imagine the paperwork that would cause if all the students in all the yoga classes did one pose correctly and gave up their now unnecessary bodies! Side note for those that want to argue that they have felt their Kundalini rising—hyperventilation from shortened breathing while circling arms above the head for 45 minutes is not Kundalini rising, it is oxygen deprivation.
Likewise, if I perfectly understood even one passage of The Gita, said “Ram Ram” with my full being, or acted with absolutely no attachment to the results of that action, just one time, mind you, BAM! Off to nirvikalpa Samadhi I would go.
But I know I am faking it.
I am sure I would have no use for MS Word if I was doing the real thing, and I am still typing.
Faking it, as they say, is the way to make it.
Without faking, without trying, without Vira I with crooked hips, croaking through “Ram Ram,” looking at every word in order in The Gita and being helplessly confused, and helping someone out but still feeling a little bad about it, we would never have the opportunity to do it right once.
Giving up = no chance whatsoever.
So we will continue to work on the mat, sing off key Sanskrit and Hindi, puzzle out multi-millennia old verses, grumble while doing a good deed. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll do it right one time.
Maybe is what keeps me going.