21 June 2015

Quest eternal

Yoga is not just a route to fitness; it is a way to surrender all thoughts and actions to the Divine.

Much has changed since Paul Brunton, author of A Search in Secret India, asked an Englishman who had lived in India for a long time if he had ever met a Yogi and the man wondered if Brunton meant an exquisite animal. The fact that 175 countries are co-sponsoring the resolution at the U.N. General Assembly to declare June 21 International Day of Yoga, following Prime Minister Modi’s suggestion at the same forum in September last year, reveals that the change covers the entire world. This reminds us of Brunton’s prophetic observation: “Thousands of Englishmen live in India and hundreds visit it each year. Yet a few know anything of what may one day prove more worthy to the world than even the prized pearls and valuable stones which ships bring us from India. Fewer still have taken the trouble to go out of their way to find the adepts in Yoga…”

Concepts of Yoga and Yajna, like several great ideals, have been misused, misinterpreted and exploited. While Yajna — imperfectly rendered in English as sacrifice and symbolising man’s aspiration rising towards the Supreme — remains alive as a mere ritual fire-rite, Yoga’s plight has been worse. Irritation caused by enterprises such as ‘Yoga and massage parlours’ in India turns into despair when you see, along the Californian shore, offers of ‘Cosmic Cushions’, which could elevate you to cosmic consciousness if you practise Yoga on it, or the assurance of Nirvana through a telephone.

Source: The Hindu dt. 21st Jun 2015

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