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What is Yoga?

Living entity is happy in relationship with God. Otherwise it becomes vicious. Everyone hankers to be loved and the sense of belongingness Whatever one may do without relationship with God, heart will be dissatisfied

Just like any number of zeroes cant have value unless 1 is put in the front. Fish out of water. For fish first and

What is Yoga?
Science of relationship with God is called yoga Yoga also means reconnecting with God. The process of linking oneself with the Supreme is called yoga. Although son may leave father but father will not forget his relationship with son. Similarly living entity may leave Krishna but Krishna doesnt forget the living entity. Therefore living entitys relationship with Krishna is never lost. It is only to be revived.

What is Yoga?
A person with amnesia forgets ones relationship with parents, friends, relatives etc. so is the living entity. Yoga is not merging into God. This is a strong misconception people have.

Even in conditioned state living entity is so active, how can it be inactive after becoming free from three modes? There is more activity in spiritual world than in material world. Activity in spiritual world is in relation to God where as here it is in relation to I.

What is Yoga?
Purpose of yoga is to change absorption from I to God. If one looks for interest of God instead of interest of self, then it is called spirituality.

Yoga Ladder

There is only one yoga but there are four different steps.
Karma yoga Jnana Yoga Astanga/Dhyana Yoga Bhakti Yoga

Yoga Ladder Gradual Development to Bhakti Yoga

Rendering Loving Devotional service Bhakti Yoga 8-fold path of Meditation Astanga Yoga/ Dhyana Yoga Speculative Knowledge about Brahman Jnana Yoga Renouncing fruits of one s labour Karma Yoga/ Niskama Karma Yoga Fruitive worker performing rituals for elevation to heavenly planets, regulated sense gratification in accordance with scriptures Karma Kanda

Karma kanda
Religious practices with focus on better sense gratification or sense enjoyment Work doesnt become worship even if one is doing all religious things. This is not yoga. Focus is on enjoying ones senses. But there is understanding of the soul.

Karma Yoga
Yoga means focus shifts to God. Karma yoga means renouncing the fruits of ones labour to God.

Just doing duty is not karma yoga

In karma yoga, focus is almost on I.

i will do my work and offer my results to Krishna

Jnana Yoga
One is not just satisfied with giving results to God but one wants to know who He is. So one studies upanishads. Here the desire to know about God that means there is some interest in God. Still focus is on I. i understand God on my own endeavour. There is pride.

Asthanga Yoga
After understanding God, His attributes, His form one tries to meditate on Him to see Him. By following rules and regulations, one mediates on Vishnu in the heart. Here the focus shifts considerably to God. Ones sole focus in in seeing Him.

Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti yoga means rendering devotional service to God in loving relationship with Him. In loving relationship there is complete absorption in God

When a boy and girl fall in (so called) love, for some time, the absorption is in the other person although one may doing other activities also. one constantly remembers the other person.

Bhakti yogi has continuous and constant absorption in Gods interest.

Prerequisites to Practice of Asthanga Yoga


3. 4.

6. 7. 8.

Sacred Place Alone Celibacy Fearless Senses controlled Determined Withdraw the mind from sense objects and Focus the mind on supersoul.

Steps of Asthanga Yoga


3. 4.

6. 7.


Yama Niyama Asana Pranayama Pratyahara Dharana Dhyana Samadhi

Limitations of Asthanga Yoga in Kaliyuga

For an ordinary man to fulfill these pre-requisites is not possible

Arjunas Reluctance
arjuna uvca yo 'ya yogas tvay prokta smyena madhusdana etasyha na paymi cacalatvt sthiti sthirm
(Bhagavad-gita 6.33) Arjuna said: O Madhusudana, the system of yoga which You have summarized appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady.

Arjunas Reluctance
cacala hi mana ka pramthi balavad dham tasyha nigraha manye vyor iva su-dukaram
(Bhagavad-gita 6.34)

For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krsna and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind.

Krishnas Reply
r-bhagavn uvca asaaya mah-bho mano durnigraha calam abhysena tu kaunteya vairgyea ca ghyate Lord Sri Krishna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment.
(Bhagavad-gita 6.35)

Step-by-step method Vs Direct method

Step by step, i.e. climbing each step in yoga ladder is not possible in kaliyuga. It takes many many lives to reach the goal even in Vedic society setup, what to speak of Kaliyuga where hardly anyone talks about spirituality. Direct method (lift process) is to come in contact with a pure devotee of the Lord. By his influence one passes these stages in quick manner and reaches the goal.

Direct Method

Scriptural examples of direct method

Mrgari Valmiki Prostitute who came to Haridasa Thakur Many contemporary personalities

Topmost Yogi
yoginm api sarve mad-gatenntar-tman raddhvn bhajate yo m sa me yuktatamo mata And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Mehe is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.
(Bhagavad-gita 6.47)

Topmost Yoga System

r-bhagavn uvca mayy sakta-man prtha yoga yujan mad-raya asaaya samagra m yath jsyasi tac chu
(Bhagavad-gita 7.1) The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Now hear, O son of Prtha how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt.

Bhakti yoga
Process of bhakti yoga begins with hearing (sravanam). If one is very very sincere, Krishna brings one in touch with a bonafide devotee of the Lord. Bhakti yoga is a very powerful process. Only requirement is daily hear from a bonafide devotee.

Different Platforms of Worship

Fear Desire Duty Love

Different Platforms of Worship

catur-vidh bhajante m jan suktino 'rjuna rto jijsur arthrth jn ca bharatarabha O best among the Bharatas, four kinds of pious men begin to render devotional service unto Methe distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute. (Bhagavad-gita 7.16)

Platform of Loving Devotional Service

man-man bhava mad-bhakto mad-yj m namaskuru mm evaiyasi yuktvaivam tmna mat-paryaa Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me. (Bhagavad-gita 9.34)

Platform of Loving Devotional Service

anany cintayanto m ye jan paryupsate te nitybhiyuktn yoga-kema vahmy aham But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental formto them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have. (Bhagavad-gita 9.22)

Platform of Loving Devotional Service

m ca yo 'vyabhicrea bhakti-yogena sevate sa gun samattyaitn brahma-bhyya kalpate One who engages in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman. (Bhagavad-gita 14.26)

Platform of Loving Devotional Service

patra pupa phala toya yo me bhakty prayacchati tad aha bhakty-upahtam anmi prayattmana If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it. (Bhagavad-gita 9.26)

Platform of Loving Devotional Service

bhakty tv ananyay akya aham eva-vidho 'rjuna jtu drau ca tattvena praveu ca parantapa My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding. (Bhagavad-gita 11.54)

Platform of Loving Devotional Service

bhakty mm abhijnti yvn ya csmi tattvata tato m tattvato jtv viate tad-anantaram One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God. (Bhagavad-gita 18.55)