Fire beckons to life, energising particulate matter till a new emergent property, animated form comes into existence. What else brings us out of the darkness but our own great celestial fireball the sun as it radiates from the heavens, bestowing the energy needed to sustain all forms on Earth.
Fire is the great purifier. Often associated with transformation and alchemy, it shifts one state into another, clearing the old to make room for the new. There is nothing like the power of fire to bring about great shifts in your life.
Fire brings light and illumination, burning through the illusions of fear and attachment. ‘Tapas’ one of the Niyamas or observances in classical yogic philosophy can be translated as ‘to burn”. It is associated with discipline and commitment. Through focusing and harnessing our energy, our inner fire, we burn our attachment to the desires that create suffering and divert us from our path of union with the divine, our truest self.
Tending our inner fire creates clarity, illumination, drive, purification, determination, strength, passion and courage. These qualities when they are unbalanced and out of control can be harmful, as a raging bushfire. When carefully tended however, they can lead us out of the darkness, raise us from the mud to blossom like a lotus and fuel our spiritual and life progress
“Self-disciple burns away impurities and kindles the sparks of divinity.”— B.K.S. Iyengar, translating Yoga Sutra II.43
How can we tend our inner fire? What do we need to do to invite these qualities into our lives? How do we stoke the flames while focusing and directing them? How do we stay illuminated?