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WHAT IS YOGA ?

Yoga is an ancient wisdom art, which has its root in India.  It disciplines our body and mind thereby transforming our perception of this world and the way we live. Yoga is a flexible art that suits to different person in different modes of life.  Many yogis alter the system to suit to their needs and to the changing trends of the mentality of the people.  Yoga generally helps in making a man achieve his full potential and stretch him beyond into spiritual consciousness.

The word “yoga” is taken from Sanskrit word “yuj” which implies the practice of making a man to live yogic life.  Yoga can be classified into numerous types since yogis alter yoga to suit to different sections of the society.  The main aim of yoga is to develop a complete self-developed man who is happy, contented, healthy and serene and who is living amidst fellow beings.  The man who practices yoga attains “Samadhi” or “cosmic consciousness.”  The Hindu tradition says that he has come in contact with the Brahman the “universal spirit.”  The term “Samadhi” is interpreted in many ways.  It is interlinked to mystic experience of religion, etc.  Samadhi is an individual cosmic experience. Yoga is a “way of life.”  It has no connection between any religion or dogmas.

Yoga is a personality development art.  It has to be practiced and experienced to understand what the term meant.  You can give an outline definition to the term yoga.

  • Mind balance in both success and failure.
  • Energetic living in mundane life activities.
  • Yoga is secret key to open universal consciousness.
  • Yoga gives self-control, nonattachment and destroys pain.
  • Serenity of mind and action.

ORIGIN OF THE ART OF YOGA

The carbondating of yoga goes beyond 40,000 B.C. and nobody knows the origin of yoga.  In Harappan culture, archeologist discovered a statue of a yogi in meditating pose.  In Saudi Arabia, archeologists discovered “Shiva Lingam” statue which carbondated some 30,000 B.C.

The earliest evidence of yoga is excavation of ancient Indian culture around 3000 B.C. where godlike figures in yogic postures, one of which is closely linked to Lord Shiva, the mythological pioneer of yoga.  According to archeologist, yoga was in existence before the arrival of Aryan to India.  The oldest reference of yoga is found in Vedas.  The Veda propagates the concept of “Absolute Reality.”


YOGA IS NOT A RELIGION

The yoga concept always descends as “Teacher-Student Relationship.”  Yoga always goes by individual’s own potential and does not follow religious dogmatic philosophies.  Vedas refer a caste called “Vratyas” were people used to practice yoga and pranayama and they were outcasts.  They were even untouchables.  This purely implies anybody can do yoga.

From the early Christian era to Middle Ages, yoga techniques were secretly taught by many schools in the form of student-teacher relationship.  When an original yoga text is written, a numerous interpretations are written by teachers who follow yoga.

YOGA PHILOSOPHY

The gem of Indian philosophy, which deals with yoga, is represented in Vedas and Upanishads.  The philosophy sometimes relates to general human suffering.  This implies something wrong with our form of existence, which represents only partial pictures of the Truth.  The philosophy also expounds that life’s suffering may be eliminated by attaining enlightment.  The various ways of attaining self-knowledge is called “yoga.”  Indian philosophy is a means to human development or a way of life.  Yoga basically refers to intuitive experience.  Finally, yoga philosophy defines “Absolute Reality” only, but the interpretation and terminology varies.

GENERAL:

Yoga is a practical wisdom art to attune yourself to God.  An ordinary man thinks yoga is something related to secluded-type of people who dwell in Himalayas, caves and meditate on Eternal Light to become Gnanis.  This is entirely a false perception.  A yogi can wear a pant and shirt and work in an office doing computer work or any other type of work but simultaneously attuning himself to Yoga by dedicating all his work to God.

During ancient days, people had only little work and most of the time, they engaged themselves in yoga system of practice as their goal of life.  They did rituals, sacrifices, homams, and all sacrifices to attain that deathless state.  But now, we are living in concrete jungles, where money is all.  We are all devoid of yoga and gnana, and try to live luxurious life.  We wallow in worldly thoughts and spoil ourself.

To make good people rise up to God level, God created “Yoga Masters or Gurus” to give helping hand to people who are submerging in worldly life.  People don’t realize the value of those spiritual masters and they degrade them.

Sanskrit language clearly defines the God’s blessing of lending a helping hand to people through a guru in this verse.

“Deivam manisha rupenae”

(Deivam – God; manisha – human being; rupenae – form or appearance)

The verse states that God comes to the rescue of man in the form of human being only.  That Great Cosmic Power cannot take any other shape or form because the power is so high that ordinary human eyes cannot withstand that energy.

Yoga is an ocean.  People, who have submerged, swam in that ocean and who have got the pearl from that yogic ocean, become Yogis and Siddhars.  That cosmic power, which yogis have attained can “transform” it to the spiritually-oriented man or woman and make them their disciple.  They can transform their power through speech, word, touch, sight or thinking.  They are the types of initiation which I mean.  This initiation when practiced properly, will lead a man to realize the true nature of his Self.  He will realize his full potential.  He becomes aware of his true nature and the connection between him and cosmic consciousness.  He humbly devotes himself to God and submits himself to his Guru.

Yoga means “Yoga Guru.”  Yoga gurus seldom talk unnecessarily.  They teach their student by “alchemy of silence.”  Yoga means silence and constant perusal of Yogic Truth.  Many people think yoga gurus to be ordinary souls just silently sitting and teaching yogasanas, meditation, etc.  But few people realize they are the source of knowledge.  They help and guide the student to live blissfully amidst the transient nature of life.  They make us to have tranquility in both phases of life.  Gurus are the “Source of Light.”   Yoga was discovered by Hindu God Lord Shiva who created many yoga gurus to propagate the yoga art to ordinary humans bound by worldly miseries.

Yoga is also called “art of deathlessness.”  To vanquish the evil within and to attain liberty from the ocean of birth and death, this art is used.

Yoga is the remedy for all of the human calamities now taking place in this world.   It is the only solution to all problems.  Only when the mind of humans set in yogic thoughts, the world will become serene and blissful place to live.  When you see two people fighting in the road for a silly matter, it proves their “ego” and their “ignorance” within.  The ego can be vanquished only by the “Supreme Spirit” and constant yogic practice.  When people (without any preconceived ideas) enter into spirituality, their life is illuminated.  They can reflect over their ignorance and from there on they can lead a yoga life.  You have to experience this yoga to believe it.

ADVICE FROM YOGIS:

Don’t think yoga is a favorite past time of 1 to 2 months course.  It is a “pure yogic life.”  Only people who want to lead pure and eternal life can come into this wisdom art.  Please don’t have any preconceived ideas that “yoga is tough.”  “Yoga is life” this is what is preached by ancient yogis and Siddhars.

Do join a yoga class of a good Guru.  Get initiated into spirituality and see for yourself what yoga is and how it fetches immense benefits to life. U can even adopt to live in stressful situation.  You can change this life of yours through Yoga.  This needs complete dedication and sacrifice in yoga.  Yoga is your own ancient forefather’s gift.  Please attune yourself to this precious yogic art to come into the path of our forefathers who were pioneers in the art of yoga.  Come into the art of spirituality through yoga and realize this gift of life.

Yoga is a union of mind, body and soul.  You will love to practice yoga when you get imbibed in it.  This is what yoga is.  Don’t get confused by rather mind-blowing statements or any dogmas or superstitions.

This is a precious life.  Please start practicing yoga and attain eternal deathless life.

God bless you all.

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