A yogi, who practices, being purified by all sins, is perfected through many births and then attains the supreme goal. Such a person does not crave for anything because he/she is in the state of fulfillment. Yoga is said to be the world’s fastest growing wellness regimen because it presents spirituality as technology. A legitimate doubt arises when probing the teachings of the Vedas – is one to take up the practice of rituals that promise worldly prosperity for the individual and collective well-being, or is one to renounce such acts and seek the highest truth that would liberate one from the cycle of birth?
Much discussion has taken place regarding the nature of a yogi. Lord Krishna explains this in a succinct manner leaving no room for any doubt in this regard. A yogi’s way of life is marked by austerity in thought, word and deed. To train oneself towards this ideal, one may adopt the formal vow of renunciation and lead life in accordance with the scriptural tenets and keep away from the life of a householder.
But this does not guarantee the yogi’s status to an individual. The subtle mental state, more than the palpable physical way of life of a recluse, is the touchstone that vouches for a true Sanyasi. This state is attained only with tremendous effort, an achievement that culminates after many births and after constant striving and determination.
It is clear that vedic dharma factors in the social and spiritual streams of life to enable mankind fulfill the functions of social welfare and spiritual aspiration. But regardless of what our stage in life is, we can practice yoga by detaching our sense of ego from our acts. If we spend the life chasing our personal goals and ambitions, we would be courting further births.
The essence of all scriptural teachings can be described in brief as ‘Be Good and Do Good’. This ideal can be realised only through adherence to ethical and moral values. The respect for the latter in turn could be cultivated through knowledge. These teachings are contained in every religion but there should be some agency to dig them out and present them to the people.
The world of samsara easily takes hold of the jeevatma and makes him get attached to it. Only when the jeevatma is able to extricate himself from the bonds of samsara and remains steadfast in his renunciation of worldly affairs can he proceed towards the state of jeevanmuktha.
The Vishnu Sahasranama celebrates the lord as the greatest yogi. Interpreters have explained this term as referring to the Lord’s establishment in his own self from which he never slips. Other spiritual aspirants practicing this yoga are likely to be faced by obstacles and hence fail to attain that highest state of yoga. This is because human beings cannot escape their nature that is characterised by the ego-sense and makes them conscious of ownership of their acts.
Yoga is intensely linked to breathing. It is about channeling the energy through breath. Another intimate alley of yoga is meditation. You cannot think of yoga without understanding at least some of the basic techniques of meditation! Spiritual appreciation as to the nature of the human body, who controls it all of the time, is absolutely essential for proper understanding of various practices that make the science of yoga.
Meditation that advocates the practice of attuning one’s mind along with the pursuit of the knowledge of Supreme Brahman is the only path for training oneself to attain that subtle mental state. God is extolled as one who fulfills desires while also being responsible for distributing the fruits of karma.
Does this imply an arbitrary angle? Is he a silent spectator to the sufferings that the jeevatma faces a result of one’s karma? Does he not have compassion for the jeevatma to alleviate the sufferings? Since god’s omniscience is a witness to the inner workings of the mind and attitude of every jeevatma, He has the power to guide him to the right path. he can save us from distress and bless us if we seek his help.