Tuesday, 5 April 2005

What Gita speaks to us

What Gita speaks to us?



Today the whole world is curious about Yoga and the miracles it brings to our lives. Some of us think it is just about a set of exercises while others think it is attached with Hindu religion and philosophy. What is Yoga actually? How can one define this wonderful gift to Humanity? Can everyone do Yoga or one needs strenuous training and practice to do it? These are some questions which one asks about Yoga which has taken both the East and the West by storm. Lets look how Gita defines it.

“Evenness of temper is called Yoga”
(Chapter II- 48)

Yoga thus is not very esoteric or inscrutable entity. The main goal of exercises and meditation which in themselves are confused as Yoga is to achieve this “evenness of temper”. Very often the means are confused as ends. Here as well one thinks that the various Asanas one performs along with meditation are Yoga whereas they are just the means to achieve Yoga. There are other means as well to achieve Yoga. Thus one should not confuse the two and endeavor to achieve true Yoga. Yoga is a spiritual act and has nothing to do with religion or philosophy as “evenness of temper” has nothing to do with a particular religion or philosophy. It belongs to the whole humanity.

Now comes the question, “what are the other means to achieve Yoga and to be a true Yogi?” Krishna enlightens Arjuna about the Supreme Secret of Immortal Yoga saying “I taught this Yoga to Vivasan (Sun-God), Vivasan conveyed it to Manu (his son) and he imparted it to Iksvaku…this secret remained known to the Rajarsis (royal sages). It has since disappeared from this earth. The same ancient Yoga has this day been imparted to you by me, because you are my devotee and friend; and also because this is a supreme secret.” Revealing the Supreme Secret Krishna tells Arjuna that “Yoga of Action (being easier of Practice) is superior to the Yoga Knowledge though the Yoga of Knowledge and the Yoga of Action both lead to supreme bliss.(Chapter V-2). He who does his duty without expecting the fruit of actions is a Sanyasi and Yogi both. He is no Sanyasi who has merely renounced the sacred fire; even so he is no Yogi who has merely given up all activity. Krishna adds “he alone who is able to stand in this very life before casting off this body, the urges of lust and anger is a Yogi; and he alone is a happy man.” The Yogi is superior to the Ascetics; he is regarded as superior even to those versed in sacred lore. He is also superior to those who perform action with some interested motive.
The Yogi who is united in identity with all pervading, infinite consciousness and sees unity everywhere, beholds the Self present in all beings and all beings assumed in the Self. He who sees Me (the Universal Self) present in all beings, and all beings existing within Me, never loses sight of Me, and I never lose sight of him.
He who sees inaction in action , and action in inaction, is wise among men, he is a Yogi, who has performed all actions.(ChapterIV-18).
Reading this all one wonders that “is Yoga for me or for whom is Yoga?” Sri Krishna in Gita tells Arjuna “this Yoga is neither for him who overeats, nor for him who observes a complete fast, it is neither for him who is given to too much sleep, nor even for him who is ceaselessly awake.” One can practice Yoga knowing well what is it actually and how today’s popular Yoga is just the means and not the end as well as for whom is actually Yoga. It would be much better and wise to know what one does and should one do it. On earth there is no purifier as great as Knowledge.(ChapterIV-38)

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