The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root, “yuj” which means ”to unite”. Yoga means that which unites man with God. In ancient days, those who wanted to achieve yoga or union with the divine, retired to forests and meditated for years. As they did meditation in a sitting posture for long, to keep their bodies flexible, they devised certain postures (asanas). Since the yogis (one who practices yoga) performed these asanas, the postures were called yogasanas.
Today the word – yogasanas has been abridged and called yoga. As bodily health has become paramount all over the globe yoga has become popular but doing yoga (yogasanas) will not help a human being achieve yoga or union with god. Meditation is called Raja yoga, the King among yogas. In meditation, the kingly quality in a human being namely ’thought’ is used to link oneself with the divine in the heart. Therefore it is called Raja yoga.
The benefits of raja yoga are clearly understood by analyzing the following three statements in Bhagwad Gita.
योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् (Yogaha karmasu kaushalam) – Yoga is skill in action.
The idea is that, when one is in a state of linkage with the divine within, the backing of the divine is there in all actions performed by the individual. This makes the action skillful. In other words, inner perfection is manifested in whatever a person does. When one achieves inner perfection he has perfect relationships at home, he performs in the best way at work, and so on.
समत्वं योग उच्यते (Samathvam yoga uchyate) – Balance or equanimity is called yoga.
Today most of the people are oriented towards material life and inner spiritual life is neglected. To achieve balance, one must focus on inner life also, by techniques such as meditation. The global guide of Heartfulness meditation, Shri Kamlesh ji Patel has said, “Purity weaves Destiny”, so by adopting the rejuvenation technique of meditation, one is able to eliminate complexities and impurities from one’s heart and acquire simplicity and purity. The yogis in ancient days paid full attention to inner purification and totally neglected outer life. The well-being of society requires perfection in outer work and proper performance of one’s duty to his family and dependants. Inner evolution through meditation helps in giving equal importance to spiritual life and material life. A balanced person is moderated and regulates his action and conduct. He is described in the Gita as स्थितप्रज्ञ (stithapragnya), a man of steady wisdom.
योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि संग त्यक्त्वा धनंजय (Yogaste kuru karmani sangam tyaktwa dhananjaya) – Being in a state of yoga, perform actions without attachment, Oh Arjuna.
This in a way results in the much talked about karma yoga. If one is in a state of yoga, one is guided by the divine in all his or her activities and there is not likely to be any attachment to people or things. But to perform well in any activity a certain amount of interest and attachment is necessary; this can be called non-attachment attachment, where one is having due attachment and never over steps to make it undue attachment.
Heartfulness meditation is a modified version of Raja yoga to suit the modern world. Raja yoga is simplified and made easy to practice, to help the wide population to adopt it in their daily life. The essential element of Heartfulness meditation is transmission which is divine energy from source. It is infused into the meditator and brings about transformation in his qualities and character over a period of time, apart from the immediate benefit of regulating his/her mind, which makes them effective in their daily life in work and relationships.
So a person has to become well in body, mind and spirit. Yogasanas will help in well-being of the body while Heartfulness meditation will help regulation of the mind and evolution of the spirit. The goal of life which should be journey back of the soul to its home is achieved through such a technique of meditation.
So on the International Day of Yoga one must extend oneself beyond yogasanas to practice something which will nourish their mind and heart. If this is made a habit on an everyday basis there will be 365 yoga days in a year.
An Article by C. Rajagopalan, Heartfulness Trainer, Chennai, India
C. Rajagopalan, has been a trainer in Raja yoga meditation for the past 41 years. He has had a brilliant academic record with Masters degrees in physics and later in theoretical nuclear physics. He has been a manager for 30 years in three leading organizations in the corporate industry. He is now involved full time in training people in Heartfulness meditation which Raja yoga, modified and made easy of practice, to suit the present day mankind.