Yoga- The scientific approach to religion – Daily Excelsior

Posted: January 5, 2021 at 3:50 am

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Brij Mohan Sharma Nowhere in the world, except in India, has there been a real and sincere research to discover a pragmatic, life-moulding and universally applicable scientific method of reaching Infinity by awakening the consciousness in man of his inherent divinity. The scientific method, so discovered, has been named Yoga by our ancient rishis and accomplished spiritual personages. This is the science which all lovers of God irrespective of their caste, creed or religion may apply to attain the Divine Bliss which is the common goal of all religions. By this, however, it should never be construed that the various religions we practise are, in any way, diffident or lack the requisite ethos to attain the desired objective. In fact all the great religions of the world preach the necessity of finding God and promoting brotherhood among men. What, then, creates the difference among them ? It is the bigotry in mens minds. As the things stand, it seems religion has been hijacked by vested interests whose main mission in life is to keep the pot of bigotry and religious intolerance boiling so as to keep mankind divided. Mine is the only one the best one is the declaration of most of the denominations and cults. The evil spirit of hate and fanaticism has so powerfully infuenced the minds of men that they have lost their moral sense of reason and discrimination. Fundamentalists and fanatics have no ears to lend to the sane voice of humanistic groups who advocate and stress for more and more universal approach to religion. They have installed their henchmen in the places of worship who dance to their tune and parrot their voices. In such a deplorable state of affairs, the practice of a science of religion has become imperative, and Yoga is that science. This is the only time-tested scientific approach to religion which can regain the rejuvenate the lost and much wanted cohesion and harmony among various religions of the world. Yoga teaches us how to rise above the delusion of separation and realize our oneness with God. It enables man to perceive the universal basic truths underlying various religions and defeat the divisive and fundamentalistic tendencies. Once human beings realize that they are all children of the one Father, and that there is no difference in the basic truths of all religions, there will be no more difficulties or dogma. To teach this science of Yoga to the world, India has produced a number of yogis ad Self-realized masters. It is due to their unceasing efforts that Yoga has received world-wide recognition and is being practised almost all over the globe. Paramahansa Yoganandaji was one of such great Yogis and the first great master of India who lived in the West for over thirty years to teach yoga and its universal scientific and spiritual truths. He entered this world in India on January 5, 1893, and left it in America on March 7, 1952. He personally initiated numberless students in yoga and other scientific techniques of meditation for awakening divine consciousness in human beings. Today, more than ever, he is recognised as a world teacher, an enlightened exponent of universal science of yoga, a great son and spiritual ambassador of India, a benefactor of mankind. His nature was universal, his life a blend of spiritual wisdom and practical efficiency. Whatever mans own affiliations, he will definitely benefit from Yoganandajis non-sectarian and scientific instructions. The great master explains the laws of life each of us needs to know. They are valuable for our daily physical, mental and spiritual welfare. By steady and patient practice of Kriya Yoga and other scientific techniques taught by him, man becomes capable of removing the delusive covering of human forgetfullness and the divine love of the heart bursts forth in a joyous flow to meet Gods love. In India, religion has always been understood to be a matter of seeking, finding and verificatons as any of the branches of science. The Indian thinkers discovered by their investigation that there are two fields in which man functions. One, the external field, the other, the internal. They studied both in a scientific spirit. And, it was by this investigation that the science of Yoga, which pertains to the inner field, i.e the subtler laws that rule the hidden spiritual planes and inner realms of consciousness, came into being. For this, the ancient rishis of India adopted the same methods of investigation as are largely applied in the discovery of positive sciences: collection of facts, their classification, dispassionate study of these so as to reveal the law or laws underlying them and finally the application of such knowledge for alleviation of human suffering and enrichment of human life. The insights thus gained were retested and amplified by a galaxy of subsequent thinkers leaving to posterity the invaluable legacy and dynamic scientific tradition known as Yoga. So, Yoga is not a sect but a universally applicable science which enables man to realize his self. Yoga is for everybody, for the people of the East as well as for those of West. It is not meant for any particular religion. All men, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion, have the right to practice yoga to know their immortal divine nature. In brief, realization of the oneness of man and his Creator is the whole essence of Yoga. An understanding of mans inescapable need for God, in every aspect of living, removes the other worldliness from the religion, and makes knowing God the basis of a scientific and practiced approach to life. God is approachable. Talking of Him and listening to His words in the scriptures, thinking of Him, feeling His presence in meditation, you will see that gradually the Unreal becomes real, and this world which you think is real will be seen as unreal. There is no joy like that realization, says Paramahansa Yogananda. To be honest, it is difficult to describe in words the glory of the science of Yoga. As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in its eating. So, why not start practising yoga meditation from today. (Yes, I mean from today!) Let me give you some hints from Chapter VI of holy Gita: Sit in a quiet place on a soft cushion with your spine erect and straight. Close your eyes, and focus their gaze on the space between the eyebrows- the centre of concentration and the seat of intuition. Meditate as deeply as you can without winking your eyes. Those who go deep enough in their concentration and meditate regularly are sure to penetrate the third eye and feel Gods presence. However, for actual training and practice, you shall have to seek guidance of a true Guru. I use the word true Guru because in this is a rare thing to find a combination of perfect purity and perfect learning, as correctly observed by Mahatma Gandhi once. Without realization through meditation, religion is the most mysterious book of all. You will never be able to understand it. So, make religion real by scientific methods of yoga. Science gives you definiteness and certainty. If I have not spent hours seeking God in meditation, I would not have known that religion is a science, said Parmahansa Yogananda. (The writer is former Additional Secretary to Govt)

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Yoga- The scientific approach to religion - Daily Excelsior

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January 5th, 2021 at 3:50 am

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