What is Yoga?
The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning to bind, join, attach and yoke, to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use and apply. It also means uni on or communion. It is the true union of our will with God. ” It thus means, the yoking of all the powers of body, mind and soul to God; it means the desiplining of the intellect, the mind, the emotions, the will, which that Yoga pre suppose; it means poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects evenly.
Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy. The yoga sutras which consists of 185 terse aphorisms. In Indian thought, everything is permeated by the Supreme Universal Spirit of which the individual human spirit (atma) is a part. The system of yoga is so called because it teaches the means by which the atma can be united to, or be in communion with the Parmatma, and so secure liberation(moksha).
In the sixth chapter of the Bhagvad Gita, which is the most important authority on Yoga philosophy, Shri Krishna explain to Arjuna the meaning of Yoga as a deliverance form contact with pain and sorrow. He said –
” When his mind, intellect ans self are under control, freed form restless desire, so that they rest in the spirit within, a man becomes a Yukta- one in communion with God. A Lamp does not flicker in a place where no winds blow; so it is with a Yogi, who controls his mind, intellect and self, being absorbed in the spirit within him. When the restless of the mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of Yoga, the yogi by the grace of the Spirit within himself finds fulfillment. Then he knows the joy eternal which is beyond the pale of the not therefrom. He has found the treasure above all others. There is nothing higher than this. He who has achieved it, shall not be moved by the greatest sorrow. This is the real meaning of Yoga – a deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow. “
As a well cut diamond has many facts, each reflecting a different colour of light, so does the word yoga, each facet reflecting a different shade of meaning and revealing different aspects of the entire range of human endeavor to win inner peace and happiness.