Prime minister Narendra Modi is leading the event in Lucknow with Yogi Adityanath, and his cabinet ministers following him.
Yoga is a science that UNITES.
Yoga unites your body , mind and soul.
Yoga unites the individual within you with the whole universe.
Yoga leads to the Highest Bliss attainable by us.
Yoga leads to the greatest peace attainable by us.
Yoga leads to the best of health attainable by us.
Whatever you are doing throughout the day, you can still be doing Yoga.
Yoga is in fact a 24 x 7 lifelong event.
The just born child is naturally into Yoga, in fact, into the best of Yoga.
Is your breath as effortless and blissful today, as it was when you were born?
Do you still move your hands and legs as effortlessly and joyfully as you did when you were born?
Can you remain as peacefully today as when you were born?
Actually, this is the primary goal of Yoga.
But, Yoga aims to take you to much greater heights too.
There are absolutely no limits to human achievement through Yoga.
Bhagavad-Gita is also called Yoga Sastra or the science of Yoga.
Lord Krishna says, I taught this science initially to the Sun God, and eventually it went to various Rajarshis of the Suryavamsa.
Essentially, Gita propounds 4 types if Yoga.
2. Karma Yoga - for selfless, service oriented and body oriented persons. They serve humanity without selfishness and experience greatest happiness in such service.
3. Dhyana Yoga - for those who can explore the inward path into their minds and reach to their innermost self. The can sit in active inaction and great awareness within themselves and exercise great control on their minds. and
4. Bhakti Yoga - for those who can readily surrender themselves to the almighty, or a Guru, or a master or just their spouse. They need a physical being whom they love or a mental image supported by an idol or other form as support for their devotion.
Each of these Yogas is suitable for a particular type of persons. Some can adopt more than one or all four.
Image or idol worship is essential only for Bhakti yoga if a live human being is not the object of devotion. Jnana yoga and Dhyana yoga essentially follow the nirakara or image less methods.
Karma yogis may believe or may not even believe in an almighty God. They see themselves in every human being and every human being in themselves. Infinite compassion is their nature.
Gita tells us about so many other extraordinary sciences, apart from these 4 Yogas. If Gita alone is fully explored and understood , we can live a hugely successful life.
In one of my previous posts , I wrote about Yoga Sastra, the Bhagavadgeeta, propounded by Lord Krishna 5000 years ago.
Krishna said, this is nothing new, it was always there, I myself first taught this to Sun God and from him, it went to all Rajarshis of Suryavamsa .
After he taught Arjuna, now, we are all reading it as Bhagavadgeeta.
It is a science and art both, which tells us how best to live, and how best to maximize our health and Happiness.
But, in current days, Patanjali Maharshi, the propounder of Yoga sutras is widely accepted as the father of Yoga.
Patanjali made Dhyanayoga into an exact science in his yoga sutras. Therefore,It limits itself to Dhyanayoga and does not concern itself with other Branches of Yoga.
Patanjali designed Dhyanayoga as Ashtanga Yoga. Or, Yoga with 8 limbs or parts. These 8 parts are 1. Yama 2. Niyama 3. Aasana 4. Pranayama 5. Pratyahara 6. Dharana 7.Dhyana and 8. Samadhi.
We generally hear of Aasana, Pranayama and Dhyana and not of the other 5 parts, which are equally important. Some yoga institutes and Ashrams do teach other parts but many so called yoga teachers do not even seem to be aware of them. Yet, the 3 parts taught, if well taught, is also good for the learners.
Patanjali's Ashtanga yoga starts with the first 2 principles of Non violence and Truth as part of Yama. Without them, there is no Ashtanga Yoga.
But, contrast it with Lord Krishna's Yoga Sastra. It has Karma yoga also apart from Dhyanayoga etc.
You must wage Dharma yuddha or righteous war to protect the Dharma and root out Adharma, says Lord Krishna. Protect the righteous people from the unrighteous, says Lord Krishna. Don't confuse this with Jihad etc. It is entirely different.
In contrast, Patanjali prescribes ascetic , almost secluded life for Ashtanga Yoga.
Krishna's prescription is suitable for 100% of the people. Patanjali's methods are suitable for 1% of the people. Patanjali's methods go all the way up to kaivalya and is a direct method.
Krishna prescribes a life style which has all elements in it, much like his own life. He doesn't bar you from any joy of life but prescribes a non destructive method to achieve all joys of life.
Every individual needs to read both books to know what exactly is suitable for him.
Geeta gives answers to many intriguing questions of life. It is both an art and a science.
Yoga sutras is a science, pure and simple. There is less space for art in Ashtanga yoga.
You can and you must, of course combine both of them, to your best advantage.
Arjuna did Dhyana or Meditation, addressing Lord Siva, fought with him, pleased him and secured paasupatastra, a most Destructive weapon. Meditation can achieve such earthly purposes also and Patanjali also dealt with them and gave the exact methods of meditation to achieve any such earthly goal.
India needs to explore these two great treasures very seriously, the Geeta and the Yoga sutras, before someone else outside India masters them and ...
Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali :
Patanjali devised his Ashtanga Yoga as an Eight fold path. It has Eight distinct limbs or parts in it.
These are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
These sub parts are
1. Ahimsa or Non violence
2. Sathya or Truth
3. Astheya or Non stealing
4.Brahmacharya or treading the path of Brahman ( desire free life)
5. Aparigraha : Non taking by coercion of anything from others
Once, you enter the path of yoga and start implementing these principles, your life will become simpler and simpler. You will start really enjoying your life. You will need some tactfulness. That is all.
Remember, you brought nothing with you into your life and you can take nothing with you when you leave your life.
These are principles of mutual Trust and non exploitation of each other.
Non violence is to be practiced in thought, word and deed. Truth and Non stealing are likewise. So are Brahmacharyam or desire-freeness and non-coercion.
Brahmacharyam is sometimes interpreted as Abstinence from Sex. This is not correct. Many yogis are married and have children. Vasishta, who revealed Yoga vasishtam to Lord Rama remained with his wife, Arundhati, and had 100 children. Lord Krishna propounded Bhagavad-Gita, which is considered as the science of yoga and he had 8 wives and many children.
Yoga therefore permits Dharmic Sex, within the marital bounds. Ancient Indian Yogis made Dharmic Sex also into a Great Science in which they exercised absolute control on their Desires.That said, solitude was preferred by yogis for certain long duration yogic practices.
Until we study and understand the lives of such great Yogis, we may not understand the purport of some of these terms in their correct sense.
Lord Krishna is called Yogeswara (with so many wives). Lord Siva is called Yogeeswara, and he too is happily married and both are in constant Yoga practice. So is Brahma the creator. He too is always in Yoga and he too is married.
The purpose of this explanation is to emphasize that marriage is not a bar to Yoga. It can be a great facilitating factor.
Yama is the first step and is intended to clean your life and wean you away from wrongful conduct. Only a clean mind can be controlled by you and will have absolute clarity about life.
That said, it does not mean that without 100 percent success in Yama, you cannot move on to next higher steps. You can. Simultaneous practice of Yama, Niyama, Asana, pranayama etc are both possible and desirable.
What matters is - start with some sincerity and regularity. You will achieve success.
My Dear Readers,
Periodically, this series will continue on face Book and in this Blog too. You will find many practical tips, clear explanations and most useful exercises too as the series proceeds.
Read and Enjoy.