YOGADefinition of Yoga
Yoga is a discipline to improve or develop one’s inherent power in a balanced manner. It offers the means to attain complete self-realisation. The literal meaning of theSanskritword Yoga is ’Yoke’. Yoga can therefore be defined as a means of uniting the individual spirit with the universal spirit of God. According to Maharishi Patanjali, Yoga is the suppression of modifications of the mind.
Salient Features of Yoga
Yoga a universal practical discipline
Yoga is universal in character for practice and application irrespective of culture, nationality, race, caste, creed, sex, age and physical condition. Neither by reading the texts nor by wearing the garb of an ascetic, one can become an accomplished Yogi. Without practice, no one can experience the utility of Yogic techniques nor can realise of its inherent potential. Only regular practice (sadhana) creates a pattern in body and mind to uplift them. It requires keen desire on the part of the practitioner to experience the higher states of consciousness through training the mind and refining the gross consciousness.
Yoga as evolutionary process
Yoga is an evolutionary process in the development of human consciousness. Evolution of total consciousness does not necessarily begin in any particular man rather it begins only if one chooses it to begin. The vices like use of alcohol and drugs, working exhaustively, indulging too much in sex and other stimulation is to seek oblivion, a return to unconsciousness. Indianyogisbeginfromthepointwhere western psychologyend. If Fraud’s psychology is the psychology of disease and Maslow’s psychology is the psychology of the healthy man thenIndian psychology is the psychology of enlightenment. In Yoga, it is not a question of psychology of man rather it is a question of higher consciousness. Itisnotalsothequestion of mental health, rather, itisquestion of spiritual growth.
Yoga as soul therapy
All paths of Yoga (Japa, Karma, Bhakti etc.) have healing potential to shelter out the effects of pains. However, one especially needs proper guidance from an accomplished exponent, who has already treaded the same track to reach the ultimate goal. The particular path is to be chosen very cautiously in view of his aptitude either with the help of a competent counselor or consulting an accomplished Yogi.
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