The very term “Yoga”, requires considerable description regarding conceptions and misconceptions yoked with it. Many Yoga giants from the past and scholars in the modern time as well have spoken about it. They all have their own way of description. Nevertheless any opinion about any term relating Yoga in anyway must be in consent with the principles enshrined in any of the tripods of Philosophy; Upanisads, Gita and Brahma Sutra. The most beautiful and the most concise hint about Yoga is seen in The Gita, in chapter – 2, verse – 48 in which Lord Krisna talks to Arjuna and says:
Verse in Sanskrit:
योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय ।
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ॥२-४८॥
yogasthaha kuru karmaani sangam tyaktvaa dhananjaya |
siddhyasiddhyoh samo bhootvaa samatvam yoga uchyate ||2-48||
The supreme personality of Godhead says: “Be steadfast in Yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness/equilibrium/equanimity of mind is called Yoga“. (Chapter||2-48||)
Yoga has several branches of which three are the major one. Regarding those branches of Yoga, the same Lord Krisna reveals the secrets in the Grand purana, Srimada Bhagavatam where He talks to Uddhava and says in canto – 11, chapter – 20, verse – 6,7 and 8 respectively:
Verse in Sanskrit:
योगस्त्रयो मया प्रोक्ता नृणां श्रेयो विधित्सया ।
ज्ञानं कर्म च भक्तिश्च नोपायोऽन्योस्ति कुत्रचित् ॥६॥
yogās trayo mayā proktā nṝṇāḿ śreyo-vidhitsayā
jñānaḿ karma ca bhaktiś canopāyo ‘nyo ‘sti kutracit ||6||
The Supreme Personality of Godhead says: My dear Uddhava, because I desire that human beings may achieve perfection, I have presented three paths of advancement: the path of knowledge (Jnana Yoga), the path of work (Karma Yoga) and the path of devotion (Bhakti Yoga). Besides these three there is absolutely no other means of elevation. (11.20.6)
Verse in Sanskrit:
निर्विण्णानां ज्ञानयोगो न्यासिनामिह कर्मसु।
तेष्वनिर्विण्ण चित्तानां कर्मयोगस्तु कामिनाम्॥७॥
nirviṇṇānāḿ jñāna-yogo nyāsinām iha karmasu
teṣv anirviṇṇa-cittānāḿ karma-yogas tu kāminām ||7||
Among these three paths, Jnana-Yoga, the path of philosophical speculation, is recommended for those who are disgusted with material life and are thus detached from ordinary, fruitive activities. Those who are not disgusted with material life, having many desires yet to fulfill, should seek perfection through the path of karma-Yoga. (11.20.7)
Verse in Sanskrit:
यदृच्छया मत्कथादौ जातश्रद्धस्तु यः पुमान्।
न निर्विण्णो नातिसक्तो भक्तियोगोऽस्य सिद्धिदः॥८॥
yadṛcchayā mat-kathādau jāta-śraddhas tu yaḥ pumān
na nirviṇṇo nāti-sakto bhakti-yogo ‘sya siddhi-daḥ ||8||
If somehow or other by good fortune one develops faith in hearing and chanting My glories, such a person, being neither very disgusted with nor attached to material life, should achieve perfection through the path of Bhakti Yoga. (11.20.8)
In the present time Yoga has undergone transitions which has brought layers of misconceptions because of several reasons. These misconceptions have been taken into practice so rampantly that they appear more genuine. Hinting at the misconceptions regarding Yoga, Sanatana Yog Sandesh opines that what is done and taught nowadays in the name of Yoga as different movements of the parts of the body, breathing etc. are not Yoga rather they are disciplines in Yoga under the ambit of Hatha Yoga. These disciplines are properly enshrined in the grand texts of yore which needs no illogical, imaginative alterations and modifications. These disciplines though many compliment one another come under above mentioned three important heads viz Karma, Jnana and Bhakti. These three major branches of Yoga have also got sub-branches and they all deal with different disciplines of Yoga . Hatha Yoga (the most commonly practiced these days), Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Nada Yoga, Swara Yoga, Kriya Yoga, etc. are several sub-branches of Yoga which deal with different aspect of human phenomena. These disciplines are supposed to be applied to an individual as per his/her needs and limitations. At Sanatana Yog Sandesh we have scopes for three major branches of Yoga such as Hatha, Raja, Kriya and Kundalini.
A few words on modern trends of Yoga:
Over the last 50 years Yoga has undergone overwhelming modifications by several teachers who in their vain glory and popularity have compromised a lot with the ethics and principles of Yoga. Because of their own reasons in stead of preaching Yoga they have preached themselves and their ways which have given rise to many trends of Yoga. Of these trends some are more into fashion such as Hot Yoga, Iyenger Yoga, Astanga Yoga, Anusara Yoga, Yin Yoga, Paddle board Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Acro Yoga, Naked Yoga etc.
When we look into any of these above-mentioned trends of Yoga what is commonly seen is too much stress on physical movements along with their bizarre interpretations of Yoga. We don’t challenge any trend as nothing and we do respect anything that brings even momentary ease to an individual in anyway but we need to look beyond and sometimes other sides of the thing. Which is why we want to fetch attention of genuine seekers of Yoga who want to explore more and deeper with sincere attitude.
Yoga and its application:
In the modern time Yoga has emerged as a great need against many life style related complications. The discipline of Yoga is not only limited to an individual but it goes further beyond that. Owing to these applications several schools of thought have developed in the present time such as: Yoga and Ecology, Yoga and environment, Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Psychology and Yoga in applied sciences etc. Sanatana Yog Sandesh accepts all of these approaches and intends to share its opinions to further strengthen them.
Yoga and Recommended Treatise:
Owing to the growing needs of today many people are coming to Yoga hence there have come a need to look into standard texts on different topics of Yoga. Now a days many authors and publications have come up with many books but not all are authentic. For the sake of resolving this confusion we have categorised these texts into 2 different heads:
- Texts regarding applied Yogic science on Hatha, Raja, Kriya, Kundalini, Tantra, Meditation and reliable scientific experiments about this.
- Texts on Spirituality and commentaries on ancient spiritual texts.
For the first we recommend texts from the grand school of Yoga; Bihar School of Yoga.
For the second we recommend texts from the grand Ramkrishna Mission.
These above organisations are the most reliable. Not even an iota of suspicion lies about their authenticity.
Hari Om Tat Sat!