Yoga is essentially a spiritual science. It is also an art of gaining control over your senses, body and mind. Yoga brings together all your inner forces. Yoga helps you attain concentration. Yoga wakes up power of your soul. Yoga achieves humanity. Yoga involves rigorous practice. And, it is treasure that everybody should possess.
Yoga Darshana is one of the six Darshanas (visions) enshrined in Indian philosophy. Every chapter in Bhagawad Gita is referred to as a Yoga. It is believed that one can control one’s mind only through practice and renunciation. Practice means learning what is required and renunciation means giving up what is not required – it could be physical or psychological. This is what our psychologists have been telling of late, but our rishis had preached it to the world several centuries ago.
On the occasion of International Yoga Day, Indians are now carrying forward this precious knowledge inherited from our rishis to the world once again.
The present-day youth have been plagued with several problems that can actually be avoided. Right from overweight to depression, every small issue is a big problem for them. It is essentially because the youth are suffering from lack of self-control, self-confidence and coordination between body and mind as they are adapted to modern life style. Ever-mounting pressure, wayward life style and changing food habits have resulted in youth suffering from physical and psychological disorders. In the long run, they are leading to life-threatening diseases like cancer. It has become very common these days to find youth suffering from various physical ailments even in their thirties.
Our ancestors had shown the simplest remedy for these lifestyle disorders. And that is Science of Yoga. It contains several chapters. Yoga occupies a prominent place in 64 ancient arts. Several great personalities who had mastered this Science of Yoga created wonders in their respective fields.
At a time when everybody thought such a great science of Yoga was on the verge of extinction, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has inspired the world and drawn its attention to this ancient spiritual science. His inspiring speech in United Nations Organisation laid foundation for the celebration of International Yoga Day. It was a momentous occasion.
Taking a pledge for a healthy and happy living, the entire world has started following the path of Yoga. Even those who were not aware of Yoga all over the world are now following the healthy path of Yoga after the declaration of International Yoga Day. It is imperative on the part of India youth to wake up and take up the practice of Yoga.
Yoga: Chitha Vrithi Nirodha: -- this is the first principle of Sage Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, explaining the characteristic features of Yoga. It does mean controlling the mind and nature a human being. In fact, the whole purpose of Yoga is to help the man into an ideal human being by controlling his body and soul.
One might know the phrase – “Antha:karana Chatushatyam” but every human being has these four elements within oneself. They are: senses, mind, knowledge and ego. The nature of a human being is characterised by the varied activities of the mind. When the mind tries to attain calmness, the senses disturb this tranquillity, gain control over the mind and divert it towards other routes. If you control these senses, the mind automatically regains its peace. This will lead to control over the mind.
Most of us do not know this phenomenon and therefore, undergo unnecessary pressures, as a result of which we are subject to several troubles. We need to have control over our diet, talk, work, mind and body. Yoga helps us gain control over body and mind and makes us think for a while about what we are doing. It takes us into ourselves and shows us the path to go into an infinite nature ultimately.
The Indian lineage of rishis defined several different paths of Yoga. One of the major paths is Asana (physical exercise) which can be easily practised by anybody to attain good health. It is a divine remedy to overcome several physical ailments, like reduction of weight, cutting down unhealthy fats, controlling anger, improving digestive system, attaining concentration and prevention of insomnia.
Yoga takes into account the influence of body on mind and vice versa and brings about a complete harmony between the two. Most of the times, the mind cannot concentrate simply because of tension or illness in the body, which prevent the energy from flowing to the brain. So often, too, the energy in the body is weakened because the will is dispirited, or paralyzed by harmful emotions.
In ancient times, people used to practise Yoga at the young age itself. We achieved Independence after struggling for hundreds of years under the foreign rule. But we buried our invaluable treasure of Yoga, forgetting our self-respect and self-reliance. It is heartening to note that the people of the country have now been able to unearth this treasure and started practising Yoga to protect their health. I am surprised to know that not just Indians, even the foreigners have been giving a lot of importance to learning Yoga techniques.
I feel proud when I come across several foreigners transforming themselves into Yoga practitioners and teaching Yoga in their respective countries. When I visited Lima, the capital of Peru, as part of my Latin America tour, it was a pleasant surprise for me to see boards of several Yoga training centres attracting tourists. I was very much delighted to know that several heads of countries were giving importance to Yoga in their respective countries.
Recently, I happened to visit Haridwar to attend the International Yoga Convention on the invitation from Swamy Sachidananda. There, the organisers explained to me the method of practising Yoga in various countries. I was amused by their explanation and it was commendable on the part of those Yoga practitioners who had gone deep into the roots of this exercise. I am very much thrilled to see the way the entire world is eulogising the greatness of India for imparting this great knowledge to everybody across the globe.
However, sometimes it is very depressing to know that some people born in this spiritual land are critical of the Yoga, which has been inspiring millions of foreigners every year. Ours is a democratic country. It encompasses people of varied cultures. There is nothing wrong in adopting the best practices from any culture if they are good for the mankind. Especially, there is nothing wrong in accepting Yoga at least as a physical exercise that results in good health.
Yoga is not a system of beliefs. It is meaningless to link religion with Yoga. Nowhere in the process of practising Yoga would one come across religious beliefs.It is, in fact, a health science. Just like a doctor does not discriminate his patients based on their religion, Yoga also does not discriminate people having different religious faiths. It is wrong to view it in a communal angle.
Thus, the Science of Yoga belongs to all faiths and beliefs and it is acceptable to all religions. It is applicable to all periods and all sections of society. The path of Yoga is the best and easiest way to attain a healthy life. It does not require any efforts and expenditure. All that one should have is determination, practice and clarity of thought.
Yoga can be practised as a pass-time activity as well. However, if a person practises it with passion and a little effort, it fetches immense benefits. It has to become part of daily routine of every person. There is a need to include it in curriculum in every school and also a part of NCC activity. I suggest that there should be an exclusive period for Yoga in all the educational institutions.
It is heartening to note that spiritual gurus like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Baba Ramdev have taken the initiative in reviving this ancient art and propagating the same across the world. I really appreciate the efforts of various spiritual institutions like Art of Living and Patanjali Peetham in promoting Yoga. I wish everybody follows their path.
Not just for the country, everybody should learn and practise Yoga for being healthy every day and overcoming diseases and disorders like cancer, heart attacks and diabetes. We can face the challenges posed by pollution by practising Yoga. So, first start practising Yoga and then study it. Get ready for heralding a developed India.
As Swami Vivekananda said India needs youth having nerves of steel, muscles of iron and minds like thunderbolt.Yoga would make the youth gain such powers. By practising Yoga, one would not only get an active body but also a controlled mind. As a result, one would achieve wonderful results from every work one does. Yoga makes a man healthy and wise. And there is nothing like a healthy body. Yoga will provide the ultimate eligibility to become a perfect human being.