Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 26 Aug 2005

     

MEANING OF YOGA

[Krishnastami Day 2] It is a pitiable situation for the spiritual knowledge because people are giving lot of importance to the word Yoga without understanding its real meaning. People speak about the six wheels (Chakras) and there is no reference of these Chakras in the sacred scriptures like the Vedas, Gita and Brahma Sutras. This is the creation of a middle age scholar, who has introduced the spiritual subject in a symbolic language. The wheels indicate the whirlpools that have to be crossed by the swimmer who wants to cross this ocean-like ignorance. They are like the attractive lotus flowers, which capture and imprison the soul, which is like a bee. If Yoga is understood in its true sense as the concept represented by this symbolic language, then I am very happy about the present version of Yoga. But I feel very bad if you really think that there are actual wheels or lotus flowers in the human spine. You do not find such things even through very powerful microscopes after doing a surgery of the spine.

Thus you must always use the torchlight of logic and science wherever and whenever necessary. But you should also know the place where this torchlight should not be used. In analysing yourself and in analysing the true path, you should always use the torch. But when you have recognised the goal, and reached it, you should put off this torchlight because you require blind faith there. Blindness means darkness. The quality Tamas represents Shiva, the final form of God and the final blind faith is Tamas. While reaching the goal, you require knowledge and analysis. Knowledge is Sattvam, which is the middle divine form or Vishnu. The starting person is a human being, which is highly affected by egoism indicated by Rajas representing the first divine form Brahma. Thus the soul, the path and the goal represent the nature of Datta.

Meeting the Sadguru

The real meaning of the word Yoga means meeting the Sadguru. The word Yoga comes from the verb ‘Yuj’, which means the union. Sadguru is the human incarnation of the Lord. The Lord will exhibit the Maya consisting of the three qualities. When the devotees are tested, this Maya is mainly made of the full expression of Rajas and Tamas. Such Maya is used to test your firm faith and your assimilation of the spiritual knowledge. By this, devotees generally run away and this Maya of Lord Datta is very strong. He appears as a drunkard and one who is fond of prostitutes. When Kartaveeryarjuna approached Him with his defective hands, the Lord broke the two hands. But he continued in the service with blind faith and was finally given a thousand hands. Thus we should have patience in the tests of the Lord. Lord Krishna also showed several defects like stealing butter, dancing with women etc., to divert the devotees. In order to have patience in His tests without being disturbed by Rajas and Tamas, you must have a pre-training in this world to raise yourself beyond these three qualities. In fact the Lord is beyond these three qualities and is untouched by them. To get this kind of patience before the Lord, you have to take training in the world. In such training you will develop the patience to face these divine tests from the Lord in human form. Therefore, Yoga is defined as the union or achievement of this equilibrium, which is unperturbed by the three qualities.

Equilibrium and Self-Control

Yoga is defined by the Lord as this equilibrium (Samatvam Yoga Uchyate—Gita). In the chapter ‘Atmasamyama Yoga’ of the Gita the details of such training are mentioned. You have to receive both the friend and enemy with equality (Suhrunmitraryudasinah—Gita). By this you will treat the Lord with the same devotion even if He acts as an enemy towards you to test your faith. The Lord also tests your attachment with the worldly bonds with reference to His bond. You must prove that His bond is the strongest. For this you have to reduce the attractions in the world. Such reduction of your attractions is a part of Yoga and is useful directly before the Lord. You should serve the Lord without aspiring for anything in return and you must treat both respect and insult with equality (Sukha Duhkhe Same, Manavamanayoh—Gita). You must treat both profit and loss with equality because when you approach the Lord you may sometimes get a loss instead of profit. Without undergoing such training to achieve self control or Atma Samyama, one can not succeed in the tests of the Lord.

Sudama developed such self-control during his poverty for a long time. He did not do any sin in spite of the suffering of his family members with poverty. Such training helped him when he went to Lord Krishna. He stayed with the Lord for a few days. During this period he never asked the Lord for anything. The Lord also sent him back without even a trace of help. Yet Sudama never criticised the Lord for not helping him. He succeeded in the test of the Lord and achieved infinite wealth. Thus the Gita gives the real meaning of Yoga, which is self-control without being attracted by diversions. The diversions are these chakras, which are nothing but the obstructions in the way of passing in the test of the Lord. This training is like the whole year’s academic course and is very important. The test of the Lord is a matter of a three-hour examination at the end of the year. If you have finished this training, the Lord Himself will come to you in human form, conduct the test and give you the certificate. Therefore you should concentrate on the Gita, which is called as Yoga Shastra or the Scripture of Yoga.

The examiner, examination and the certificate are sequential steps, which will take place spontaneously as per the divine will. Therefore the study of the Gita helps you really on this day of festival whereas eating sweets [prepared for the festival] leads only to problems of indigestion. Praising the examiner with songs (bhajans) will also not help you because the examiner is very clever and strict and cannot be pleased by insincere behavior. It is better to hear His divine knowledge, assimilate and pass the examination. This path gives you a dignity and respect for the divine teacher too. Instead of taking this royal path, why are you resorting to unlawful means of bribing Him by chanting His name (Japam), worshipping Him (Puja) and singing His praise (Bhajans) in order to get such certificates? Hanuman never did these things. He only participated in the service of the Lord. He never aspired for anything in return for his service either. He was made the future creator (Brahma) by the Lord and this is the highest certificate. Therefore you can get the highest fruit from the Lord if you practice Yoga in this world in your day-to-day life. Such Yoga gives you all the necessary training to succeed in the test of the Lord.

Looking at the goal should not discourage you, just because the goal is very far and so full of difficulties. You may fear that you may not reach the goal before the end of this human birth. Yet you should keep on trying for it and be in constant trial (sadhana). Then the Lord will co-operate with you by granting you any number of human births. The Lord will do His part (Daivamchaivatra—Gita). Even if you slip in this trial, you will still be granted human rebirth with favourable spiritual atmosphere (Yogabrashtobhijayate—Gita). But you should sincerely put your effort and should not act artificially. The Lord is omniscient and you cannot fool Him and get the rare human rebirth.

Restrictions on Leaving Family

One should not think of leaving one’s family members and house as a real spiritual step. You cannot get the grace of the Lord by simply sacrificing your house and family and claiming that you have become a saint [monk]. The sacrifice should not be based on your effort but it should be a spontaneous consequence of your devotion to the Lord. The Gopikas wandered in Brindavanam leaving their families and the reason for such detachment was the attachment to the Lord. They became mad due to the absence of the Lord and this madness cannot be compared to the madness of a person due some shock to the brain in an accident. In both cases the madness is same but the reasons are different. When Lord Krishna was staying with them, they neglected Him and were doing all their family duties. When the Gopikas used to go to Mathura city to sell butter, Krishna used to obstruct them. They requested Him not to disturb their duties. But when Krishna left Vrindavanam they became mad and left all their duties. The reason for this difference is that when the human incarnation is near you, negligence enters. Only in His absence, does devotion reach its climax; this is human psychology. The human form itself leads to negligence and if such human form stays constantly near you, your negligence is doubled. By leaving your family and by simply wandering in Vrindavanam, one will not become a Gopika. Of course, in the Yoga Vashishtham it is said that an ordinary human being should stay far from the attractions and this will help the concentration on the God initially. But the actual attachment towards the Lord is the only reason for spiritual development.

I will give an example. Suppose a boy is in love with a girl. In the beginning, the boy often meets the girl in order to develop the affair with the girl. But one day the love reaches the climax and now the boy is prepared to leave his parents, house and a lot of property to run away with the girl. Now the reason for leaving the parents and property is the love for that girl. Sometimes a boy having a psychological disorder may also leave the house. Both the cases are quite different. But again one point should be remembered in such sacrifice. Shankara left His mother because she was fond of Shankara. This bond was a hindrance in the spiritual effort of Shankara. To avoid this, Shankara left His mother. If His mother was agreeable to the spiritual path of Shankara, Shankara would not have left His mother. Therefore, one should leave the house only when the atmosphere in your home opposes your spiritual effort. Even in that case one should try his best to change the atmosphere by preaching to the family members.

Ramanuja left His wife when she continued to obstruct Him from his spiritual path in spite of his repeated spiritual advice. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa did not leave His wife since she was fully co-operating with his spiritual effort. Even if the atmosphere is neutral, one should not leave the house and hurt others. Only in the case of extreme opposition one should leave the house and go away for the association of real devotees (Nachasamnyasanadeva—Gita).

Ayukta, Yogi and Yukta

There are three types of people. The first type is ordinary human beings who do not start the spiritual journey. They are strongly attracted by this world and these attractions are the qualities accumulated from millions of births in the soul. Such people are called as Ayuktas (Ayuktah Kamakarena Phalesaktah—Gita). The second type is called as Yogis who practice Yoga and who have not yet completed the training in Yoga. They cannot sacrifice their fruit of the work to the Lord. They can sacrifice their work, devotion by mind, discussions with intelligence and any work with senses of their body like singing songs etc. (Kayena Manasa Buddhya—Gita). The third type is called as Yuktas, which means the people who have finished the training in Yoga. Such people sacrifice the fruit of work also along with the above (Yuktah karmaphalam—Gita). The aspects to be achieved by Yoga are an equal reaction to all types of incidents and this reaction must always be a peaceful, undisturbed and balanced mind (Sarvatra Samadarsanah, Prasanta Manasam—Gita). Another aspect of Yoga is not thinking of any worldly matter in one’s leisure time. Such thinking will lead to loss of energy (Nakinchidapi Chintayet—Gita). One more aspect is realizing the achievement of the grace of God as the highest profit in the life (Yamlabdhva Naparam—Gita). Another aspect is to maintain a constant mind even if a mountain of misery falls on you (Na Duhkhe na Gurunapi—Gita). Also Yoga means not having even a single worldly desire in the mind (Nissprihah Sarvaakamebhyah—Gita). Yoga also means controlling the worldly activities to the minimum possible level because if God’s grace is there, any worldly affair will succeed even with minimum effort (Yuktacheshtasya—Gita).

The Lord criticised both science and arts related to worldly aspects (Vedavadaratah, Trigunya Vishayah—Gita). The Lord says that both are a waste since you are not touching anything about the Lord (Nanyadastiti—Gita). Such people are attracted only to the worldly selfish pleasures and not to pleasing the Lord. The dynamism observed in such people is also not appreciated by the Lord because both walking and running in the wrong direction are useless (Kriya Vishesha Bahulam—Gita). The Lord stresses on devotees crossing the difference between good and bad faced in the world. You should show the same love and kindness to both good and bad people and also love friends and enemies in the same way. If you praise a good person and a friend and scold a bad person and enemy, you have failed in the Yoga. Tomorrow when you reach the Lord in the human form, He will appear bad and damage you. Then you will scold the Lord too. For example the devotees of Vishnu criticise Lord Shiva, since Lord Shiva appears with the qualities of Tamas. This is the very important essence of the Gita that one will succeed in the tests of the Lord in human form only if he raises himself above the three qualities (Satvam, Rajas and Tamas). Therefore you should not be disturbed by the negative qualities or positive qualities in the world like insult and honour, enmity and friendship, loss and benefit, misery and happiness etc (Gunanetanatetyatrin—Gita). Only such a devotee can succeed in the tests of the Lord and can please the Lord. This Yukta state, which is the final stage of the Yoga, is called as the real samnyasa [monkhood, renunciation]. Here the word samnyasa does not mean the external indications like saffron cloth, leaving the house etc (Naniragnih—Gita). The sanyasin [monk] is that person who has completely sacrificed everything and everyone for the sake of the service to the Lord. Such a sanyasin or yukta alone can be fully blessed by the Lord and enters the inner most circle of the Lord (Brahmabhuyaya—Gita).

Parabrahman is the unimaginable Lord who is telling the Gita. This Parabrahman was speaking through the mouth of the external body of Lord Krishna. The Parabrahman or the Lord and His characteristics are completely unknown and nobody can ever know Him at any time (Mantuveda Nakashchana—Gita). This Lord generates the power called Maya. The characteristics of Maya are awareness, force and work. These three qualities of Maya are wonderful and are beyond the rules of Prakriti or nature (Jnana Bala Kriya cha—Veda).