Yoga is not a mere physical exercise.
Yoga need not be associated with any religion.
It need not be promoted as a mass hysterical event but there is nothing wrong in having a collective celebration of joy when there is a special occasion which is assigned importance by international recognition of something good and nice.
Neither love is a FEB 14th spectacle nor is Yoga a 21st June festival. They are perennially part of life and living depending upon what you do with them, how you use them and what they mean to you.
Let us all imbibe the wisdom of Terence, who said, “ I am a man; nothing pertaining to humanity is alien to me”.
As Paul Brunton writes, “our task is to learn wisdom from all experience,…..and to express in the arena of everyday life just what we have learnt. In this way everything that happens gives us a better foothold for future living”.
YOGA is neither coming into existence only on 21st June 2015 nor is it likely to lose its impact, influence from then on,but these types of assigned recognition by an international body contributes to create better awareness or at least inquisitiveness to know what it is all about ?
A peep into the flavor of the month
What is the flavor of the season now i.e. June 2015? What is the most talked about factually useful aspect of life? What is frivolously flipped off as a mass hysteria by some? And what it could possibly mean to the seniors [by seniors we mean people who have a special gift called chronologically acquired experience/wisdom gained practically through either function/friction in various aspects of life]?
Well, you guessed it right, we are talking about YOGA.
It is very vast subject with multifaceted aspects to it and already dealt in detail by experienced and enlightened souls, over the centuries, who might have derived/experienced great benefits out of it. Otherwise they would not have taken the pains to preserve, perpetuate and promote such a science/philosophy/art/exercise.
It is indeed a great achievement that despite all the criticism and anti-yoga materials churned out by some media house and almost hysterical sense of pride paraded by some, India has made its impact by getting many nations in UN declare 21st June as International Day of Yoga [much before our secular media tried to assign ulterior motives, hidden agendas, lurking suspicions etc] because most of the world leaders have been driven by wisdom which transcends all narrow boundaries of insecurity, suspicions, paid media propaganda of internal politics etc. They all showed a wisdom which came from the words of Terence, who said, “ I am a man; nothing pertaining to humanity is alien to me”.
YOGA is neither coming into existence only on 21st June 2015 nor is it likely to lose its impact, influence from then on, but these types of assigned recognition by an international body contributes to create better awareness or at least inquisitiveness to know what it is all about ?
With the existing vast literature on the subject, experts and avid practitioners etc around, making any attempt to explore the intricate details of the subject will be both risky and redundant.
However, this great comprehensive science, philosophy, art, enhanced tool of intellectual perception called Yoga cannot be made to swing like a pendulum between the two extremes of great lucid legacy of our ancestors [not patented and mostly less understood,] and the utterly livid objections of protesters.
The criticisms also have a wide range from attacking it for its perceived/ actual religious affinities to reducing it to another type of physical exercise meant to mind about only the physical body of a human being.
All religions preach two important things:- one reverence for at least some/if not all of its tenets, beliefs and practices, and two tolerances for those of others.
Most religions have many aspects which have outlived their relevance and also have some values which are inextricably linked with life as a whole.
Whatever helps the well being human life and the life of other species and nature can be followed by all for the good of all.
We can and must be willing to smoothen by shaving off certain religious connotations/affinities if that are likely to hamper greater number of human beings from benefiting from practicing it. Unfortunately human attention is easily diverted by symbolisms, slogans, perceived/ propagated associations rather than observing the intrinsic value/benefits etc. More useful and meaningful the activity more protesters pop up.
Ultimate good and benefit to the maximum number is one of the major aims of every religion. The paths, methods, language may or can vary but that should not cause any worry.
History of human intellectual exploration in the pursuit of truth and in its attempt to map the atlas of life has constantly tried, tries many methods. Yoga is one such, in fact human history talks, defines, classifies several types of yoga and there are probably many waiting to be labeled with some terminology by human intellect.
As indicated earlier the literature available on yoga is too vast. There are some which stand out more appealing to those who would like to have an intellectual and rational perspective to approach and understand the subject, like Swami Vivekananda’s works on Yoga and Sri Aurobindo’s wonderful work ‘The Synthesis of Yoga’ or a much earlier work of his ‘Essays Divine and Human’ wherein he lucidly explains The Psychology of Yoga, Object of yoga, The entire purpose of yoga, The Evolutionary Aim in Yoga, The Fullness of Yoga—In Condition, Yoga: Change of Consciousness and Transformation of Nature, The Way of Yoga, Partial Systems of Yoga ,Integral Yoga etc.
YOGA for easy remembrance can be expressed as acronym thus,
Where YOGI stands for
Paul Brunton in his excellent work ‘THE HIDDEN TEACHING BEYOND YOGA’ writes in his epilogue thus, “our task is to learn wisdom from all experience,…..and to express in the arena of everyday life just what we have learnt. In this way everything that happens gives us a better foothold for future living”.
Everything happens for a reason which may be obvious or otherwise, but nonetheless happens to fulfill a contextual necessity and expresses in multiple ways. There are no vegetarian Eskimos nor are Eskimos born with furs, but they have to love and live with, by and because of those furry animals.
Life is a complex jigsaw puzzle but not a complicated one. There are pieces made available at different times and at appropriate places to fit in its place.
So, for human race time has come to at least to know about various types of Yoga and its utilities either with or without its religious affinities.
To help celebrate the International Day of Yoga, as declared by the United Nations for June 21, 2015, here is a great little (about 25 minutes) film to watch.
"Yoga: Harmony with Nature" is a compelling and beautiful new film by National Film Award winner Raja Choudhury and the External Publicity & Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs of India celebrating Yoga, one of India’s most important gifts to the World. The film explores Yoga's origins, history, benefits, science, spread and embrace around the World. The film was produced to celebrate the UN's International Day of Yoga on June 21st 2015 and was inspired by the guiding words of India's Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi from his speech at the UN on 27th September 2014 to explore how human beings can learn to live in harmony with themselves, each other and nature through the practice of Yoga.
View it through this link: