21 Aug Hour 2 History of Yoga Part I
What is Yoga?
YOGA or union with the Lord is therefore not a mere abstract idea of dissolving one self into “nothing” or “becoming God oneself” but yoga leads to a spiritual relationship of the living entities with the supreme Lord.
Pseudo-Spiritualists try to unite with the Lord my merging into him or by becoming God themselves. Those who want to merge into God and become one with him, in all respects, suffer from nothing but hallucination.
When a lover and beloved unite, they may be lost in ecstasy do to the happiness of their union but they nevertheless remain as individual entities. They do not dissolve and neither merges into each other or into the nothingness. Such is the union with the Lord.
Yoga means, that the Supreme Lord is there, the devotee is there and the activity of exchange of Love between the Lord and his Devotee is there. Therefore the individuality of two persons is present; in the Supreme Personality of the Lord and the individual Soul who tries to unite with him, otherwise there is no meaning to yoga. Yoga therefore means to unite oneself in a spiritual relationship with the Supreme Lord who is the real object of one’s love.
Although there are different types of yoga, the process of spiritually uniting with the Lord can be experienced best in Bhakti-Yoga, because this process fully manifest’s all the spiritual characteristics of the living entities.
The subject of yoga-philosophy entails the comprehension of fife basic truths.
First of all, the science of self-realisation has to be studyed. Without knowing one’s real Self, there is no question of Yoga or union with the Lord.
In order to unite with the Lord one has to understand the science of God. Self-realization and God-realization, therefore, go hand in hand. By self-realization one automatically becomes god-realized or vice versa.
By knowing the science of God one also can understand his real Self in relationship to the Lord. This is real yoga-philosophy. Philosophy without religion is sentimentalism and religion without philosophy is fanatism.
The next subject of yoga-philosophy is the constitutional position of the living entities, or jivas. There is isvara, which means controller, and there are jivas, the living entities which are controlled. If a living entity says that he is not controlled but that he is free, then he is insane. The living being is controlled in every respect, at least in his conditioned life.
All living entities are engaged in activities, which is known as karma. Therefore the whole cosmic manifestation is full of actions and reactions due to the different activities of living beings.
There is also prakriti [the material nature] and kala [the time factor] which regulates the duration of existence of the whole universe.
In order to properly understand the philosophy of yoga, one must learn from such vedic scriptures as Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, what God is, what the living entities are, what the activities of the living entities are, what prakriti is, what the cosmic manifestation is and how it is controlled by time.