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YOGA ENABLES UNITY OF BODY, MIND, SOUL

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Rishabh Mishra

Today is the International Yoga Day

Beginning in 2015, International Yoga Day is celebrated all over the on June 21. The proposal to celebrate Yoga Day was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2014.

Yoga is known for its amazing benefits. It enables the unity of mind, body, and spirit. Different forms of yoga benefit our physical and mental health in different ways. There is mention of yoga in Indian mythology. It is said that Lord Shiva gave birth to this , known as Adi Yogi. However, the first systematic presentation of yoga was by Patanjali in the classical period. One of the eight limbs of yoga is pranayama, which focuses on breathing. The combination of all the eight limbs of yoga is called Ashtanga Yoga. Centuries ago, Maharishi Patanjali described the eight doors of liberation, which we now call Ashtanga Yoga. Today we know only some parts of Ashtanga Yoga like Asana, Pranayama, and Dhyana. The first of the eight limbs of Patanjali Yoga is Yama, which is derived from the word ‘sanyam'.

Yama also has five parts. Ahimsa: not to harm anyone by thought, word, and deed. Satya: knowledge of truth beyond illusion. Asteya: absence of theft. Brahmacharya: keeping the conscious one with the Brahman element. Aparigraha: absence of acquisitiveness.

Niyama is the second part of yoga, which also has five parts. Shauch: inner and outer cleanliness. Contentment. Tapa: striving hard. Svadhyaya: study to understand the self-parmatma. Ishvara Pranidhana: surrender to God and renunciation of ego. The part of yoga that is most clearly manifested in our times era is Asana. Maharishi Patanjali, while explaining its state, has said, “Sthirtam sukham asanam.” That is, the stability of the body, bliss, and ease of mind are the asanas. The practice of expanding the subtle life force in the body is Pranayama. The Yoga Yajnavalkya Samhita describes the combination of awareness of prana (incoming breath) and apana (outgoing breath) as pranayama. With the help of breath, we can cultivate both body and mind.

The Hatha Yoga texts say ‘Chale vaate, chalam chittam', which means that our mind becomes sharp by having a strong breath, and by harmonising breath, there is peace of mind. With the awareness of breath, Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment. Guru Nanak told the watchfulness of every breath as the key to connecting with God.

These days, we often mistake the practice of dharana for meditation. Dharana is a practice to concentrate the mind. It has many forms like Prana-dharana, i.e., focus on breath, jyoti or bindu tratak, etc. Dharana is actually the state before meditation; it controls the flood of thoughts of the mind and gives us peace. The Yoga Sutras say that when dharana persists, meditation takes place, which is the next part of yoga. Clearly we cannot meditate; rather it happens. Whatever method or process we adopt in the name of meditation can only lead us towards dharana, i.e., concentration. Meditation is that state where the doer, method, or process is all finished; there is just an emptiness like we prepare before sleep, but this preparation is not a guarantee of sleep; it comes suddenly, i.e., it happens.

Samadhi, which is the next part of yoga, comes from the word samadhi which means equanimity. In the Yoga Yajnavalkya Samhita, the state of communion of the soul with the Supreme Soul is called Samadhi. Maharishi Patanjali says that when the yogi becomes absorbed in his real form (Sat Chit Anand Swaroop), then that state of the seeker is called Samadhi. Samadhi is the manifestation of the perfect yogic state. Expressing this state, Kabir says, “Whenever I swing, then I do parikrama.” Buddha has called it Nirvana and Mahavira has called it Kaivalya.

(The author is Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, Kanpur Institute of )

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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