What is Yoga?

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Yoga is practised by millions around the world today. Or is it? Yoga, comes from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’, which means to join.

Karma, another Sanskrit word, means to do. And karma is exactly what we are all practising when we say we are practicing yoga. There is a world of difference between these two. Karma is a physical action; Yoga is the experience of mystery. Everyone wants to look fit; few have the time for abstract mysteries. So karma flourishes everywhere, Yoga flourishes in the hearts of a few.

Today Yoga is taught in many parts of the world as a system of fitness and anti-ageing therapy. Yoga has become big business creating multi-million dollar global franchisees.

But the truth is that Yoga which was historically maintained as a secret science, is in fact meant for complete inner evolution.  The practitioners of authentic yoga transform themselves within the crucibles of their bodies and minds. Achieving constantly higher states of physical and mental consciousness, they cross over ultimately from normal consciousness to something Higher. We crossed over from animal instinct to human intellect through natural evolution and from the intellectual we cross over to purely intuitive cognition through Yoga. Every time there is a discovery, an original idea, a novel conception, birth of new life, there is effort in Yoga. Whether we term such processes as inspiration, ideation or creativity, the fact is it comes from the sublimation of the normal intellect within a Higher plane of consciousness-and that is Yoga.

And though the existence of a method, for this inspirational process to happen at will might seem impossible, or a figment of somebody’s fertile imagination, the truth is Inspiration and its actual manifestation is the very essence of this secret art, known to all as Yoga.

The Lineage of Yoga

Why was Yoga always transmitted (a practice existing till today) as a hermetic occult art and science? Why are there Yoga lineages which pass on practices only upon initiation?

It is because of human greed and fear. The first thing to understand in the science of yoga is that our level of reality is not the only one. There are different levels of consciousness existing simultaneously in the same place at the same time. Each level of consciousness is associated with a separate level of Universal reality.

For example, humans, monkeys and worms all occupy the same planet at the same time. But each of these creatures perceives ‘reality’ completely differently from each other and for each creature the reality it perceives is completely true. Their level of ‘reality’ is based on their level of consciousness.

Take the case of a human lighting a fire with a box of matches. No other animal in the world is capable of creating and controlling fire and as far as the monkey is concerned, the human is performing a tremendous miracle while creating fire. But the human takes the ability to control fire for granted. It is completely normal for him or her. Similarly, ‘beings’ in levels above the human perform actions which are normal for them but which might seem miraculous for humans. These seemingly extraordinary ‘powers’ in the higher than human levels are called Siddhis (accomplishments) in Sanskrit. The practice of authentic Yoga brings forth these siddhis.

Now, when a greedy, materialist human achieves these higher powers through Yoga he/ she will exploit these powers in a covert manner to gain wealth, fame and to control the minds of his fellow humans.

This will bring great ill repute to the honest practitioners of Yoga and sully the name of Yoga itself.

On the other hand, if a human were to display these awesome powers openly, even if it was for the good of others, normal people would be extremely scared of such a super human and the natural consequence of irrational fear is extreme violence and harm. We all remember what happened to Jesus Christ , one of the greatest historical Yogis. A great friend of humanity, his powers were feared by an uncomprehending society, who, in their ignorant fear chose to kill him and free the convicted murderer, Barabbas.

Such is humanity-overcome by personal greed and public fear; humanity cannot be trusted with the powers that arise from the practice of Yoga. And so, true Yoga has always remained a secret science and continues to be transmitted in secret, personally from an authentic master to a tried and tested student.

Content and Image ©AryaMarga Society

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1 thought on “What is Yoga?

  • Students of Shri Bhuvaneshwari Yoga Academy are initiated into Rajadhiraja Yoga by Bhuvaneshwari of Shri Bhuvaneshwari Yoga Academy.

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