by Bhaeravii Devii
First International Yoga Day on 21st June. It is indeed appreciative and delightful—adds a golden and glorious feather in the helm of human history.
Although yoga has been discovered, cultured, and practiced by the ancient Indian sages thousands of years ago –updated and modified by the great spiritual scholars of different ages from time to time, still we have started to coin its credentials very recently. In fact, only the last decade has witnessed its tremendous numerical growth throughout the globe. In the eve of this auspicious occasion I would humbly like to put forward some important points which always perplex my mind.
Firstly, does yoga have any relationship with religion? This question has stormed the world. Before answering this most valuable and sensitive question we should have a clear and concrete idea about the difference between any religion and spirituality. Spirituality, in the true sense, is the psycho-spiritual journey of Unit Self towards the Supreme Cognitive Being—the Supreme Nucleus of this great universe, in search of absolute bliss. This is what every unit being heartily intends for. It is the basic inner urge of any human being of any cast creed color or country of the world. This philosophy becomes a practical experience of daily life by regular meditation drenched with loving surrender.
On the other hand, religion is the beliefs, rituals, practices or observances of some group, sect, community or even country—originated from blind faith, dogma and myths. Spiritual awareness sows the seed of unity, harmony, and benevolence—culture the spirit of universal fraternity, whereas religions ignite the feeling of hatred, anger, and divisions. Spirituality tells the tale of comprehensive welfare of all beings—animate or inanimate, shows the real path of progress, peace, and prosperity–leads the world to a supra aesthetic state of divine world, but religions splits the world, kills the innocents, embraces wars and ultimately leads to complete destruction.
Our existence, expression, expansion, and achievement are basically three folded—physical, mental and spiritual. Neglecting any one of these arenas brings the imbalance in life. Because body, mind, and spirit are not only inter related but grossly affect one another. An unhealthy body cannot possess a healthy mind; on the other hand a stressful or polluted mind affect the internal biological order of the body and causes physical ailments. Moreover the united journey of body and mind terminates in the supreme state of spiritual ecstasy. Yes, Yoga is the science of harmonious and all embracing development of body, mind and self—based on human bio-psychology. Yoga is the supreme union of Atma and Paramatma—unit self and Cosmic Self. The aim of any yogic school is based on these basic principles. So how can we even think of practicing and preaching yoga without its driving life force—the spiritual effulgence. How it is possible that someone will take full bath without touching water. For the proper practice of yoga or having showered in its spontaneous stream of divine nectar one needs to adhere all its aspects without any ifs and buts, right from the very beginning to end—from the base to the top—from Yama-niyama to samadhi. Just notice, even asanas (yogic exercises) what we usually describe as yoga today is threaded in the second position of Ashtanga yoga. One must be firm in Yama-Niyama—the basic moral principles before stepping into practicing physical postures or asanas.
“India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led thousands in a mass yoga program in the capital, Delhi, on the first ever International Yoga Day. Millions of others are expected to do yoga at similar events planned in hundreds of Indian cities and towns”.