Today, Yog has been linked with so many expressions & types that the true meaning of Yog is passed in oblivion. People believe that art of sorcery & the mesmerism are the Yog. Campaigners & practitioners of these arts by magical means use to have special inclination for the practices like Maran: Killing, Uchhatan: Willfully perturbing somebody’s mind, Vashikaran: Overpowering. Some so-called Yogi have begun to claim the aversion of destiny through mysterious methods and through the Yantra, Mantra, Tabiz: Amulets, Kavach: Lucky charm.
But the real Yogi used to engross into meditation so deeply that they gave up the concerns of the body itself. . Their hair used to get matted altogether; body was happened to be covered with dust & dirt. And now a days people artificially mat their hair. The path of God is such a path which demands love, contemplation and bereavement for God.
But observing the worldwide propagation of only ‘Asan’: Sitting Postures’ in the name of Yog and prevalence of ‘Kundalini-Awakening’, Meditation Camps, Courses on Pranayam, it appears that the world at present is moving apart from the True Philosophy of the Yog-as described by the Great Sage Patanjali in his ‘Philosophy of Yog’.
It is depicted in the ‘Amarakosh-a famous Sankrit Dictionary’ that Yog is the consistency in meditation, is a method of meditation and is to strive for the meditation. The process of concentrating the mind through meditation is the Yog.
Yog is the union of two objects. Common men believe that Yog is something which on its practice delivers some supernatural power. By which the feats of such a nature may be performed which appear to be beyond the competency of human.
The first verse of the eighty first maxim of the fifth section of the Rig Ved, states:
“Vipra i.e. men of wisdom attune their mind in God who is the root of wisdom and intelligence and also attune the intellect towards Him. Only He is the only God, knower of everything, possessor of glories. It’s great to offer prayers to Him.”
In this way, as per Vedic conceptions, definition of the Yog is to concentrate the mind in God.
Yog is an eternal knowledge. In the beginning of the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishn says: ‘imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavānahamavyayam’ – I taught this eternal knowledge of the Yog to Sun. ‘sa evā’yam mayā te’dya yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ’ – ‘I have described to you the same ancient knowledge of the Yog’.
Thus the Bhagavad Gita is a scripture of Yog, in which Lord has used the the term ‘Yog’ only this much with its entirety instead of using the terms like RajYog, HathYog, SuratiYog and the LayYog.
The Gita distinguishes Lord Krishn in Chapter 18, Verse 78: – yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo yatra pārtho dhanurdharaḥ – That He is a ‘Mahayogeshvar’- Lord (or Master) of the Yog.
Lord Krishn says in Chapter Six, Verse 47 of the Gita : yogināmapi sarvesām madgatenāntarātmanā – ‘Arjun! Among all yogi I think that one the best who is dedicated to me and who, abiding in the Self, always adores me.’ It means Yog is the worshiping God by mind, word and deed.
Lord Krishn sings in Chapter Nine, Verse 22 of the Bhagavad Gita –
ananyāścintayanto mām ye janāh paryupāsate
tesām nityābhiyuktānām yogaksemam vahāmyaham
“I myself protect the yog of men
who abide in me with steady and undeviating faith
and who worship me selflessly,
constantly remembering me as God.”
‘Ananya’ means not somebody else i.e. who does not worship the others (gods) except Me i.e. worships Me only, I myself take care of protection and preservation of the Yog of such a devotee who is integrally & continuously associated with Me.
It means that worshiping God with unswerving devotion is the Yog.
Now what is the method of Yog?
The Bhagavad Gita answers in Chapter Eight, Verse 12:
sarvadvārāni sanyamya mano hrdi nirudhya ca
mūrdhnyādhāyātmanah prānamāsthito yogadhāranām
“Shutting the doors of all the senses,
that is, restraining them from desire for their objects,
confining his intellect within the Self,
fixing his life-breath within his mind,
and absorbed in Yog,…”
The necessity of renunciation of desire by a perfect control of the senses is repeatedly stressed. The mind has to be confined within the Self because contemplation and worship are accomplished within the Self, not outside. With the mind so regulating the breath that it is centered between the two eyebrows and, of course, engaged in the practice of Yog, for this is an essential prerequisite.
Having closed the doors of the senses thus restraining them from the sensual pleasures, and holding the mind in the inner realm of spiritual heart, fixing the mental contemplation therein:
omityekāksaram brahma vyāharanmāmanusmaran
yah prayāti tyajandeham sa yāti paramām gatim
“He who departs from the body intoning OM,
which is God in word, and remembering me,
attains to salvation.” (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Eight, Verse 13)
The one who chanting the ‘Om‘, only this much – which denotes that almighty God and ‘māmanusmaran’ meditating upon my ‘Metaphysical Form’ comes to uplift from the bodily existence, attains the salvation.
It means unification with God is the Yog.
When does it take place?
Lord Krishn sings in Chapter Eight, Verse 14 of Bhagavad Gita:
ananyacetāh satatam yo mām smarati nityaśash
tasyāham sulabhah pārtha nityayuktasya yoginah
“The yogi who is firmly devoted to me,
and who constantly remembers me
and is absorbed in me,
realizes me with ease.”
With ‘ananaya bhav’ i.e. with unswerving devotion, not worshiping any other ‘gods or goddesses’, who continuously worships Me only, for that Yogi who is ever absorbed in Me, I am easily attainable.
It means that the accomplishment of the Yog imparts realization of God rather demonstration of supernatural powers.
What the Yog is?
Lord Krishn sings in Chapter Six, Verse 23 of Bhagavad Gita:
tam vidyād duḥkhasanyoga
sa niścayena yoktavyo
“It is a duty to practice this yog,
untouched by miseries of the world,
with vigour and determination,
and without a sense of ennui.”
That which is equally free from worldly attraction and repulsion is named yog. Yog is experiencing the final beatitude. Attainment of the ultimate essence, that is God, is yog. Engaging in this yog without a sense of monotony or boredom (ennui) and with resolution, is a sacred obligation.
He who is patiently engaged in selfless action is the one who succeeds in achieving yog. The state which is devoid of the association and the disassociation with the world is the Yog. The inmost supreme beatitude which is also called as the ultimate reality-God, unification with that God is the Yog.
After the death of Brihdrath the last empire of the Maurya dynasty, his commander Pushyamitra Shung’s regime came into existence who refuted the principles and the teachings of the Lord Buddha and established the social-system based on four Varn (classes). Nurturing this new system, the Smrtis were institutionalized as the scripture, at that period.
Great Sage Patanjali is said to be contemporary to Pushyamitra Shung. Apprehending the growth of so many new systems for the sake of Dharm, he represented the propitious knowledge of the Yog through short formulas in order to avoid extinction of ancient knowledge of the India. Although, he had represented principles of the Yog in the form of formulas, however the words he used are enough intelligible, it appears that he had remarkable command over the grammatical aspects of the instructions in the use of words.
The Great Sage Patanjali did not write anything new about the Yog moreover he formulated whatever was in the Bhagvad Gita. ‘Restraining of the thought-waves’ is depicted in following verse of the Gita – yatro’paramate cittam niruddham yogasevayā. (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Six, Verse 20)
The concept of ‘Aparigrah: possessionlessness’ – which is one of the constituent of the Yam, had been picked from the verse : ekaki yatacittatma nirāśīr aparigrakaḥ (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Six, Verse 10).
‘sthirsukhamÀsanam (Yog Darshan 6/20)’ is just a repetition of Gita’s verse : sthiram āsanam ātmanaḥ ( Chapter Six, Verse 11). Sage Patanjali and the Gita, both of them give their consensus regarding restraining of the mind by the ‘Practice: Sadhana’ and ‘Dispassion or Sacrifice of desires’.
Chanting of OM, meditation upon the form of the enlightened Sadguru and awakening of the Sadhana through him, attainment of the Self Form…all these teachings of Sage Patanjali are the Bhagavad Gita’s teachings in a different form.
In the present time, two types of Yog are into practices which are of the importance. One of them is based upon the Yogic-formulas of Sage Patanjali and other one is the well-known ‘Hathyog’. The Yog taught by Sage Patanjali is ‘chittanushashnam’ i.e. based upon the controlling of thought-waves while the Hathyog is related with controlling of the functionalities of the body, aspects of its health and freedom from the ailments.
Sage Patanjali had acknowledged the stabilization and peacefully sitting down of the mind as the ‘asan: the Posture’ while books on Hathyog describe a long series of ‘asan: postures, from eighty four to may more of different sitting postures.’
The Hathyog includes methods like Neti, Dhauti, Vasti, Nauli, Tratak, Kapal Bhanti, Mahamudra, Khechari, Jalandhar, Uddiyan, Mul bandh Bajroli, Amaroli and Sahajoli, whereas Yog Darshan of Sage Patanjali is silent about all these methods. In the system of Hathyog, the Kundalini is required to be awakened and to be risen upwardly…through a subtle canal situated in the spinal cord and finally to merge it in Brahmarandhra: center of the occipital bone.
In this system only six integrants of the Yog are discussed instead of all eights. Yam and Niyam these two have been ignored. In Hathyog system while performing the Pranayam one needs to pay attention over the process of inhalation, retention and exhalation of the breath which is achieved through practice of so many processes like Ujjayi, Bhastrika, Suryabhedi, Bhramari, Shitali and so on.
In the opinion of Sage Patanjali acquisition of supernatural powers is an obstacle in the way to attain the supreme goal. While Hathayogis take it as a signification achievement of the Yog and keep on exhibiting these powers.
There is no doubt in concluding that development of various improper practices in the name of Yog is caused due to intermixing of the practices of these two types of Yog. Or it would be much concordant that these improper practices have been stimulated due to identification of the physical exercises as the Yog.
The method of Yog which delivers supreme prosperity had ever been the same, and had been traditionally unabated in the Ved and in the Bhagavad Gita, which Sage Patanjali of King Shung’s era again represented in the form formulas of the Yog. Sage Patanjali, kept the concern of the whole mankind and created the Yog Darshan, which comprises the guidance for attainment of the salvation after eradication of the sorrows in the hearts of human beings.
The Yog Sutra: philosophy of Yog by Sage Patanjali, is quite tough to grasp and it does not represent the complete explanation of the various practical stages of the Yog. It depicts in brief as if instructing someone to seek shelter of some enlightened Sadguru.
The body is cured by medicines, but worship is the remedy for the Soul. The beginning of worship is the beginning of Self-cure. This act of devotion and meditation is also the creation of an accomplished sage.
To the primitive man lying unconscious in the night of ignorance, who has not given a thought to yog, is brought to the perfection of yog when he meets with a sage-just by looking at the great man, by listening to his voice, by rendering albeit an inadequate service to him, and by associating with him.
Goswami Tulsidas has also said this:
“Ultimate bliss is granted to the man
who has perceived God as well as to the man
who has been noticed by God.”
Lord Krishn says that at the beginning he taught Yog to the Sun. If a realized sage just casts a glance at a devotee, the refinement of Yog is transmitted into the life-breath of the lucky Soul. All beings that live are animated by the sun-by God who is subject to himself alone. Since light is life or breath, it is ordained that the Supreme Spirit can be attained only by the regulation of life-breath.
Transmission of pious instincts into early man is the imparting of knowledge of Yog to the Sun, after which in due time the seed of this perfection sprouts in the mind.
~ Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans ~
~ mrityunjayanand ~
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