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About Yoga

Yoga essentially refers to union of the Individual Soul with the Uncreated Absolute or Cosmic Spirit.Yoga is a collection of scientific techniques; it is also a path back to God. The ancient Rishis perfected Yoga techniques over many millennia. Rishi Patanjali codified them into Yoga Apphorisms popularly known as Ashtanga Yoga, the eight-fold path of Yoga. The 8 steps are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Collectively, this is known as Raja Yoga. Patanjali defines Yoga as "Chithavruthi Nirodha"- Cessation of the alternating waves of Consciousness.

Yama refers to prohibitive rules-avoidance of violence in thought, word or deed; avoidance of untruthfulness; avoidance of stealing; avoidance of incontinence and avoidance of greed for material possessions.

Niyama refers to prescriptive rules-purity of body and mind; contentment; self discipline; self study and devotion to God and Guru.(The 10 Commandments of Bible are based on Yama, Niyama).

Asana refers to any posture with the spine straight and body held steady and motionless which enables free flow of life energy through the 7 cerebro-spinal centres.Hatha Yoga describes various postures like Padmasana  and Siddhasana that are specifically suited for the meditating Yogi.

Pranayama means control of Prana or life energy with a view to withdraw the mind from the 5 senses.

Pratyahara means interiorization of the mind to focus attention on the cerebro-spinal centres.

Dharana means concentration and focus of the mind on Om or God.

Dhyana means meditation on the vastness of God as Cosmic Consciousness or Bliss or Light or Divine Love or Father or Mother or Om according to one's natural tendencies. 

Samadhi signifies the oneness of the individual soul with the Cosmic Consciousness or the Uncreated Absolute when the individual wave realizes that it was always part of the Ocean of Spirit.

To be a successful Yogi, one must have moderation in everything. The aspiring Yogi-Sadhaka-must have only Satvic food. His food must predominantly consist of fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals and milk / milk products such as butter, ghee and curd. Intake of meat / flesh in any form is absolutely incompatible with the practice of meditation and can be extremely harmful.

In the Bhagawat Gita, Bhagawan Sri Krishna states that "the (Raja) Yogi is greater than body-disciplining ascetics, greater even than the followers of the path of Wisdom(Jnana) or the path of Action(Karma)-therefore, be thou, o! disciple Arjuna-a yogi". 

The real work of the Yogi is to raise the Consciouness from the 3 lower spinal centres to the 4 higher cerebro-spinal centres. The consciousness of the ordinary person is mostly in the lower 3 centres, immersed as he / she is in mundane worldly matters. The consciousness of the Sadhaka-Devotee of God-moves through systematic practice to the higher centres of spine and brain, expanding his / her consciousness, making him / her fit to receive Cosmic Consciousness. Many yogis like Sri Narayana Guru refers to this process as the rise of Kundalini, likening it to the rise of a serpent. The technological Yogi, combining devotion (Bhakti), right living, right thinking and a fit body is able to achieve Self-Realization. Lord Krishna was referring to such a Yogi.

In this world, there are many paths to God as the Karma or evolutionary stages of people are different, making it necessary to have different paths, just as a child has to pass through kindergarten, lower primary classes, high school and college before graduating. Unless one is evolved enough to receive higher yoga techniques, one will not even hear of them or even when hearing, will not feel interested to take up serious studies. As they say, the time has to be ripe! 

This same Yoga of Patanjali was taught by Christ to his disciples. Christ's references to "the seven Stars or the Seven churches" are about the 7 cerebro-spinal centres, Mooladhara, Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Visuddha, Ajna and Sahasrara Chakras. The chapter Revelation in Bible has many references to Raja Yoga.The Spiritual Eye, Eye of Shiva, Third Eye of Yoga texts is referred to as "The Star of the East", "Dove descending from Heaven". Just like Hindu Mystics and Sufi Mystics,Christ clothed Spiritual teachings in parables, symbols which only an adept will understand. "Give not that which is Holy unto the swine, lest they trample upon it, turn again and rend ye".

OM, TAT, SAT of the Vedas are referred to as Holy Ghost, Son and Father by Christ. Om of the Vedas is "The Word", "Amen", "Amin". "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God". 

Hindu Scriptures tell us that God is Ever New Bliss. We are children of Immortal Bliss. God is Sat-Chit-Ananda --- Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. The aim of all creatures is to attain Eternal Existence, Eternal Knowledge and Eternal Bliss. Yoga is the one and only means to that end.

 


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