What is Yoga?

One who uses the body and mind properly in time and space, with proper motive for the common welfare of humankind, is the yogi and practicing yoga, weather he or she knows it or not. There is no choice between using and not using the mind. There is only the choice between proper and improper use, between unselfish and selfish purpose. One who uses the mind to unite humanity’s heart, not only to create unity between East and West, but to experience that unity with all existence — he or she is the yogi.

Yoga is the holistic way of life, where union and harmony of the body, the mind, and the soul or consciousness, “I-am,” are fundamental.

Accordingly, yoga has many branches, including physical, mental and spiritual forms and disciplines. In fact, each of life’s activities is yoga when performed in a natural, harmonious way, attentively, to balance and unite the body, mind and spirit.

What is the difference between science and yoga? Science deals with objective reality, while yoga begins with subjective reality and ends in transcendental reality. Science is involved with all types of discoveries and inventions, while yoga is interested mainly in the discovery of the discoverer, that is to say, the discovery of pure awareness, pure consciousness… the absolute “I-Am.” When you have the Self, pure consciousness, pure awareness, then you know the whole universe, objective and subjective, the past, present and future, because you are beyond time and space.

Now our old ways of living are dying, and humanity is searching for the new way. We have the choice between death and life. If we prefer to die, then we do not have to do anything. If we prefer to live, then we have to change our hearts completely from disunity and disharmony to unity and harmony. This transformation is the work of yoga.

By Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati (Ramamurti S. Mishra, MD)

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