The term מורת יוגה is very much in use these days. International Yoga day was celebrated with a lot of fan fare recently globally. It appears as if the public has become very much aware of the Yoga and its advantages to the mankind.
What does Yoga mean actually? Well, in mathematical terminology Yoga means a plus sign i.e. addition e.g.. Two plus two is equal to four. In astrological term Yoga means a possibility of certain event happening or not happening e.g.. There is a Yoga’ of marriage of any person or there is a strong Yoga of his foreign travel and so on.
But these days Yoga has become akin to physical exercises to keep you fit and fine. Some claim Yoga as a cure for medical ailments. It is good that people are becoming aware of multiple uses of Yoga but this is indeed irony of fate that in this maddening race of finding novel achievements of Yoga the real purpose of Yoga appears to have been lost sight of, undermined or taken a back seat.
In spiritual terminology Yoga means a union. The union of the soul with the God is called Yoga. According to Hindu or Indian mythology God’s ‘SIM’ or ‘chip’ or the spiritual spark in the form of soul is present in each human being.
In the human body it is only the soul which is immortal, eternal, infinite and perfect. This soul belongs to the spiritual world and has to get liberated from this material body to unite with the God. This process of uniting our soul with the God is attained through Yoga.
Since God is impersonal, immortal, eternal, infinite and a principle, not a person, it is not possible to see him with our material eyes. God can only be perceived and Yoga is a method to perceive God.
The sole purpose of the soul is to realize its divine nature and origin and manage to unite with the God through Yoga. Different forms of Yoga are adapted to different nature and temperaments of men or women which include ‘Karma Yoga’, ‘Bhakti Yoga’, ‘Raj Yoga’ and ‘Gyan Yoga’.
Attaining God by performing work and duties in the name of God without attachment to the fruits thereof is called the ‘Karma Yoga’. Elevation to spiritual consciousness through philosophical knowledge is termed as the ‘Gyan Yoga’ while attaining God through meditation applying mechanical process to control mind and senses is called the ‘Raj Yoga’ or the ‘Ashtang Yoga’. All these three types of Yoga culminate in ‘Bhakti Yoga’ which is selfless devotion and unconditional love for the God.
So spiritually the purpose of Yoga is to unite the divine soul with the God almighty and this is the end of the religion or ‘mukti’ or salvation or liberation from the miseries of the world. So that the cycle of birth and death is broken once for all.
There may be 101 ways to build up your body or cure your body ailments but there is only one method to do ‘pranayam’ or meditation in ‘Raj Yog’ to unite with the God apart from Karm Yog, Gyan Yog and Bhakti Yog.
I feel that the purpose of Yoga is being mis publicised or misrepresented. Instead of being a tool to get ‘mukti’ or salvation from the miseries of this world it is being projected as a key to live for 200 years when the average life span of a person in this world is around 80 to 90 years.
Moreover, this is against the basic purpose of the Yoga as enshrined in ‘Bhagvat Gita’, a Hindu religious statute book, which says that the aim of Yoga is to facilitate the union of the soul with the God and grant ‘mukti’ or salvation to the mankind from the miseries of this world once for all.
I am a born Hindu admiring and adoring Hindu religion and culture from the core of my heart. I am 73 plus. According to me Yoga is a subject of spiritual study since its journey starts from the materio-spiritual level of the human body i.e.. from the mind which is situated behind the twin eyes in straight line from the tip of the nose backwards.
The seat of the soul is said to be just behind the mind and adjacent to it. When we turn the mind inwards through Yoga it meets the soul. Concentration and meditation at this juncture gives perception of God ultimately after continued practice. No other meaning or purpose can be attributed to Yoga which is a tool for inward journey.
Those who do Yoga for any other purpose cannot be said to be a ‘Yogi’ according to ‘Srimad Bhagwad Gita’ which is said to be an authenticated religious text of Hindu philosophy and religion.
It appears that some other purpose is being tried to be achieved and rather is being achieved in the garb of giving Yoga training to the people in fake public interest. Yoga is a special feature of Hindu philosophy. Any attempt to undermine or destroy its sanctity cannot be tolerated.