Yoga is a holistic practice meant to rejuvenate the body, the mind and the spirit. According to the Upanishads, the end goal of yogic discipline is the attainment of the higher self. This higher self may be seen as a spiritual or cosmic being, comparable perhaps to the concept of God.
The Sanskrit words “Brahman” and “atman” are used to denote this higher being. This concept is at the heart of yoga, and refers to “being-in-union of the “purusha” or the human being and the “brahman”. This constitutes the Vedic interpretation of enlightenment.
The Upanishads expound that cosmic consciousness can be attained by observing and understanding the material as well as the spiritual worlds. This knowledge of the world is referred to as “Vidya” and is central to Hindu spirituality. The Vedas and the Upanishads themselves are texts that impart such transcendental knowledge.