A gentle introduction to Yoga

The term Yoga, though popular, remains superficially understood by most of us. Despite having grown up in India, I always had thought Yoga is a form of physical exercise. If you think of Yoga the same way, this post is right for you.

The short story is that – Yoga means Union.
– Is it the union of the body, the mind and/or the soul?
– Is it the union of God’s Consciousness with the Human Consciousness?
– Is it the union of the soul and the Holy Spirit?

I leave it to you to decide. Depending on your personal identity – this may vary.
Let’s now look into different ways of attaining such a remarkable union.

1.Yoga as Action/Service (Karma Yoga)
– Action here implies nurturing the righteous (Dharma) way of living.
– You might want to read one of my earlier posts (jump to point 3 in the post).
– For example, Mahatma Gandhi is a Karma Yogi. (NB: The scripture Bhagavad Gita played a crucial role in Gandhi’s life.)

By dedicating all your works to Me, you will be freed from the bondage of good and bad results. With your mind attached to Me through renunciation, you will be liberated and will reach Me.

Bhagavad Gita

2. Yoga as ‘Asana
– This is the Yoga as we all know of. It is a set of body postures that involve gentle twisting, balancing poses accompanied by conscious breathing.
– This also includes Meditation.

3.Yoga as Devotion (Bhakti Yoga)
– This involves Prayers, Singing the Gods’ names with deepest yearning for the divine connection and so on.
– This is also called as the path of Love.

If one offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water, I delightfully partake of that article offered with love by My devotee in pure consciousness.

Bhagavad Gita

4.Yoga as ‘Inner’ Wisdom (Gnana Yoga)
– Understanding the deepest mysteries of the human mind consciousness itself is a form of Yoga. You might translate this into Intellectual form of Yoga. As an example, Socrates is a Gnana Yogi.

An unexamined life is not worth living.

One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.

I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.

Socrates

Having laid out these techniques, I’d also like to state that there is no one particular path for all beings. Probably, that is why we have different options, no? It’s been said that for a sincere aspirant, the path shall be laid before him/her. However, it is also evident that none of these paths are completely distinct from the rest.

It doesn’t matter if one is an atheist or a monotheist or a polytheist, these techniques remain valid to live a righteous living.

I hope this post was useful to you. Thank you for reading.

What do you think is your path, as of now? 🙂

Three Kinds of Action (Yoga)

I’m glad you’re here to share the VoidSpace with me today!

The word Action has a huge significance in Indian/Eastern philosophy. In fact, one of the ways to interpret the word Yoga is to think of Action. We also are very much familiar with the term Karma (Fruits of Action) and its significance in our everyday life.

Let me expand the three kinds of Action as I have understood:


1. Action:

  • Performing duties to fulfill the expectations posed into us by the society, friends and family.
  • The mind is mostly restless with ever-growing material needs/desires.
  • There is a strong attachment to the outcomes of the actions.
  • There is a conflict between the Heart and the Mind.
  • External world is given a higher priority than one’s own inner being.
  • There is pleasure and pain, success and failure, happiness and depression, health and disease. i.e., there is duality.

2. Non-Action:

  • To simply put, this implies non-utilization or under-utilization of resources (The mind, the senses and the body) to live in Harmony.
  • This involves serious laziness.
  • This is ignorance of extreme kind.
  • This leads to disease, and death.

3. Actionless Action (Righteousness = Dharma):

  • This involves doing actions only for the sake of bringing more and more Peace, Harmony and Health into our lives and other sentient beings.
  • This involves renunciation of the desired or non-desired results of the action.
  • There is no space for panic attacks, depression, or ego-based pride.
  • The thinking mind is in its true “Home” – the Heart. There is no conflict between each other.
  • There is no one external to be pleased and nothing to chase.
  • It is, therefore, possible to perform the action using a ‘single-pointed’ mind and pure dedication (the success probability is higher + inner contentment is guaranteed).
  • Most importantly, pleasure and pain are alike to the doer as she is in touch with her inner being.

Feeling confused?

Jesus Christ says “And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:“. Here, the lilies of the field perform Actionless Action.

Krishna says “Those who see action in inaction and inaction in action are truly wise amongst humans. Although performing all kinds of actions, they are yogis and masters of all their actions.

Still not clear? Let’s talk in comments! 🙂

Sanskrit Times – Episode 3

Hello Readers,

Today I am here to share a verse from the Indian Scripture “Bhagavad Gita” (The Songs of the Absolute/God). It is from chapter 2 and verse number 20.

na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre

Neither born nor ever dies
Nor having been does it ever come not to be
Unborn, Eternal, Perpetual
Not destroyed when the body is

This verse is spoken by the “God” Krishna, who talks about the “Soul” which is never born and not destroyed when the body is.

Personal Remarks: Often times, we forget our true nature – we think we are this body, we think we are this mind, and sadly we think we are the thoughts created by the mind – if we stop and look deeply, it is easier for us to understand that all of these aforementioned phenomenon are prone to change every single moment.

Well, there is nothing wrong in assuming we are this changing phenomenon but we have to be careful about not getting imprisoned by these mental afflictions, so as to live at peace and do our daily duties without anxieties and/or worries.

I am a Soul, and I am ever Free.