Monday 20 June 2016

International Yoga Day

Yoga is not mere physical exercise, a therapy or an other-worldly affair. It is a way of life in which integration of body, mind and intellect with the Self as well as integration with the Samashti (Collective Entity) around is achieved. Yoga is a way of life based on the vision of Oneness. Just as a hand separated from the body or a branch separated from the tree cannot survive, so also when one is separated in one's understanding and way of living from  others, from nature, from one's Self, one cannot be happy for long, one cannot evolve in life.

Yoga is a way of life based on the vision of Oneness. Hindu Dharma is also a way of life based on Eternal principles of existence. The main principle is of Oneness, of One manifesting as many. Practice of Yoga is aligned with Dharma. There cannot be a practice of Yoga based on exclusive thoughts; thus there cannot be 'Christian Yoga'. There could be a Christian practicing Yoga but there is nothing such as 'Christian Yoga' as there is nothing called 'Vishnu Yoga', or 'Sudalaimadan Yoga', etc. When the practitioner views Christ as one of the names and forms of God and acknowledges that God can be invoked in the name and form of Shiva, Vishnu, Sudalaimadan, Khandoba, Ane Donyi, Essakiamman, Rang Fra, Sing Bonga,  etc by those who so wish, does his mind come out of limitations to expand. Limitation of mind –whether unconscious or deliberate- cannot lead to restraining the
modifications of mind and thus cannot lead to expansion of mind.

 The Yoga way of life based on the vision of Oneness is the need of the modern man facing disintegration of families and of social life. The individualistic life style makes him selfish, makes him retreat more into a shell. Yoga is a way of life in which one has to practice integration of the body-mind with one's self and also integration with family, society, nation and nature by employing the body-mind complex in the service of these Samashtis. When man started viewing nature as something to be conquered, to be subdued, to be used for enjoyment he started exploiting and even destroying nature. The ecological balance thus got disturbed; the environment got polluted so much so that today man is in fear of extinction.

From the book : Yoga The Way of Life based on the Vision of Oneness written by Mananeeya Nivedita Bhide
 published by Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust, Chennai

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