THE IMPORTANCE OF YOGA
IN THIS WORLD, EVERY PERSON WANT A PEACE, wants to live in peace and wishes to live a blissful life of happiness. But just by wanting, nothing can be gained. Desire or want by itself is completely valueless. There is no strength in it. Behind that want or need one also requires effort and hard work. You want something, that’s fine, but
What is your effort put in?
How many steps do you take?
How much hard work or effort do you put into that want?
Only your hard work and effort is the proof that shows your need👍
Otherwise your need will remain just a need. When someone puts in hard work for a need, then the hard work is the witness that sees the effort put in, that this man wanted something. But sometimes one remains only in needs and wishes because no effort or hard work ever enters the mind.
For the want of permanent peace, mankind spends his whole life running after wishes and desires. But running after desires doesn’t put an end to them. Just as the fire sparks when you add ghee to the fire, in the same way wishes and desires just kindle the fire for more.
Caught between wishes and desires…
…the human being remains unhappy. This is because we depend on others for our peace and this is all impermanent: some are dependent on their wife, daughter, or son for peace, someone else on a car or horse etc, and others on T.V. or excitement for peace.
But sometimes the ordinary man is not able to think or understand that all of this is an illusion, because for the same physical body that we keep desiring something or the other, one day we will have to leave that body behind.
Even that car TV etc will too become useless one day
And so, what is unreal, how can the ‘peace’ be gained? When man does not realize his true nature, all he experiences is pain and sadness and he will feel helpless and unsafe.
But when we attain union with the Preserving Lord, then the mind turns way from desires to move towards the path of yoga, and the seeker or practitioner sees light.
Asanas alone are not yoga, in fact asanas are just a part of yoga. But even asanas, by themselves have so much power, that they alone can take the seeker to liberation and to reach the highest state. To verify this,
Bhagwan Shri Krishna himself says to Arjuna in the Gita:
Indrayaani Paranyahurindrayethya param man Mansastu para buddhiyon buddhe paratastu sa (3/42)
When we do asanas, our senses become balanced. Our sense organs are related to the mind – if they’re wounded or if there’s pain in any part of the body, the mind will keep going there again and again. Hence, to keep the mind strong and powerful, the sense organs also need to be withdrawn.
Connected with the mind is wisdom…
…this in turn helps us make intelligent decisions and so it is superior to the mind. To make intelligence correct and firm, the mind needs to be healthy and free from afflictions and disease.
But what is above or superior to wisdom is the Soul; hence it is the inner soul that is the most powerful. With this it is clear that even with the practice of asanas alone, one can gain liberation or deliverance.
And so to attain self knowledge, the initiation or the start of yoga begins with the body, and it is through the medium of the body that we learn to control the mind and emotions, thus awakening the meditative state of mind.
Yoga, Vedas, Vedantas etc have all contributed truth, intellect, bliss, inner self as the base for eternal peace and happiness because the soul is the true self, and the soul never dies. It was, is and will always be there in this living world. Intellect, or the thinking mind, meaning the soul is all knowing and the true state of bliss. And so, it is that this truth, citta, bliss and inner self which are the real permanence of peace and true happiness.😃
But the soul cannot be seen and where does it reside?
Just as butter cannot be seen in milk but is part of it, in the same way the soul cannot be seen but is present everywhere. The soul is present in the body; our whole body is encompassed with the soul..
Bhagwan Shri Krishna in the Shrimadbhagvat Gita tells Arjuna:
Yatha Sarvagatn Saukshmyadakansh Noplipyate
Sarvatraystithto dehe tathaatma Noplipyate. (13/32)
Meaning just as the ether in a micro-form is present everywhere, in the same way the soul in a micro-form is present in the body everywhere. And so it is clear that the pure soul is within us.
How can this pure soul be the reason for peace, happiness and bliss? Once we become aware of the inner soul, sorrow will come to an end. Mankind is suffering due to unnecessary desires and wishes, and so man remains unhappy.🙁
There are five obstructions to the knowledge of the self
OUR IGNORANCE, DARKNESS, ANGER AND PRIDE can cause poisonous desires which destroy our true nature of truth, consciousness, bliss and become obstacles to our real God like nature.
When our individual soul lives with this diseased state, then our individual spirit is called ‘Jivatma’ or Individual Soul. When we have removed ourselves from this diseased state, then jivatma becomes Universal Soul.
When the realization of diseases like lust, anger, jealousy, greed, pride or ignorance falls on our God like nature, and we are able to remove them, then mankind is able to realize his true goal, gaining self-knowledge, liberation, purity, steadiness in Samadhi, and the door of peace and happiness automatically opens.☀
The Inner Soul is covered by layers of afflictions and there are many paths to remove these, such as:
🔴The path of Knowledge – Gyaan Maarg
🔵The path of Yoga – Yoga Maarg
🔴The path of Devotion – Bhakti Maarg
🔵The path of Duty – Karma Maarg
Through any of these paths the Soul can attain liberation and deliverance, after which there is bliss and only bliss. And so, for this peaceful and blissful state, we can choose the path of Gyaan or Knowledge, by studying the Vedas and Upanishads, listening to the wise words of the Guru and contemplating upon them. By doing all of this, we can remove the darkness of ignorance away and gain eternal peace and live a happy, blissful life.
In the Gita, while giving the sermon to Arjuna on Gyaan Yoga (Yoga of Knowledge)
Bhagwan Shri Krishna says:
‘Shreyo hi Gyaanambhyaasaat’
Meaning the practice of Gyaan or knowledge is superior, and knowledge can only be gained by those who are sincere and have gained control over their senses.
Bhagwan Shri Krishna also says:
‘Gyaanaat Dhyaanam Vishishyate’
Meaning greater than knowledge is Dhyaan, and this Dhyaana is the seventh limb of Ashtanga Yoga.
In the Sutras, it is said:
‘Yoganganusthnat Asuddhiksaye Jnanadiptih Avivekakhyateh’
If the eight limbs of yoga are practiced with dedication in the proper way, all afflictions are destroyed and one gains complete wisdom and comes into a state of bliss free of pride. And so, while explaining the superiority of yoga
Bhagwan Shri Krishna says to Arjuna:
Tapasvibhyodhiko Yogi Gyaanibhyopi Matodhik Karmibhyashchadhiko Yogi Tarmadhyogi Bhavarjun. (Gita 6/46)
Hey Arjuna, you become a yogi because yogis are greater than the ones who do austerity, and yogis are considered even greater than the scholars. Not only that, but yogis are considered greater than those actions done with a result and actions done without any expectation of results.
It is also said in the Brahmand Puran:
Grihasthanam Sahastren vaanprasthashthaani cha Brahmachaari Sahastren Yogabhyaasi Vishishyate
Meaning, a householder who performs his household duties and his duties towards the outside world, who donates a part of his Income and the merits collected from a thousand such duties, even the one who takes care of his responsibilities devoid of the attachment of result – the good karma earned and even the collected merits earned from a thousand brahmacharis, amongst all of these, the one who practices the life of yoga is considered as the most superior.
Thus it is clear here, that in all situations of life,
yoga is the easy bridge that helps one achieve peace