श्री गणेश मंदिर - शिक्षा वाणी
Sri Ganesh mandir - Serene Sunday Reflections
15th September 2019 : YOGA SASTHRAM
Gita is the essence of Upanishads, Brahma Vidya and Yoga Sasthram; having briefed Brahma Vidya last week, now we shall reflect on Yoga Sasthram.
Yoga is known to the world as Yogasana (physical exercise) and breathing practice; a bit deeper will be Ashtanga Yoga explaining eight steps (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, prathyahara, dharana, Dhyana, samadhi).
But in the Spiritual terminology, Yoga is Union / Contact / Reaching etc.; thus, it is realizing God. Mainly, Karma Yoga - Yoga of work and renunciation, Jnana Yoga - Yoga of knowledge, Bhakti Yoga - Yoga of devotional service, are explained in Bhagavad Gita.
Sasthram means that is experiential and/or experimental and what is useful for the world. In the whole of the Bhagavad Gita, the word Yoga (including yoga and yukta) is appearing 155 times in various discussions. Undoubtedly Gita is the most used and discussed book in the world.
Yoga is the Sastra of uniting individual self with cosmic consciousness, here the dvaita is the base. Advaita Vedanta and Yoga are the two largest surviving schools of Hindu traditions. In principle, they are same but differ in concepts. Advaita Vedanta uses Patanjali's yoga practices and lessons from Upanishads for the self-realization/salvation.
The methods of Yoga Sastra according to Yoga Darshana of Patanjali is that binding (bandha) of jiva (atma/self/soul) is due to intellect (buddhi). Jiva is beyond all these but cannot exist without all these - body (sareera), senses (indriya), mind (manas), intellect (buddhi), memory (chitha) and ego (ahankara). The self-conscious state is being with that cosmic Being by dissolving the physical and mental consciousness; which is the path (ways) through Yoga Sastra.
[Yoga Sutras 1.2]
Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as "Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (Chitha) from taking various forms (Vruthis). Yoga in India has a meditative and spiritual core.
Yoga is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed further around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, references are seen in Upanishads. "When the five senses, along with the mind, remain still and the intellect is not active, that is known as the highest state. They consider yoga to be firm restraint of the senses. Then one becomes un-distracted for yoga”, says Katha Upanishad. Bhagavad Gita (BG) deals with Yoga all through and defines "Yoga to be equanimity" (BG:2-48); "Yoga is skill in action" (BG:2-50); "Know that which is called yoga to be separation from contact with suffering" (BG:6-23).
As we have reflected on Brahma Vidya last week and now on Yoga Sasthram, let us read on Upanishads in the coming week.
----- Next Week 22nd September 2019 – Upanishads ------
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