So I’m writing a paper at the moment on the meaning of Yoga in the Hindu text the Bhagvadgita. My arguments stem around the following statement:
“He who performs the task set for him without interest in its fruits
is the true renouncer and yogin.” (28.6.1)
If you’re a practioner of yoga, you’ll find that that Yoga of the Gita has nothing to do with the postures at all. (sorry) In the Gita the word takes on many different guises and can mean a mulitple of things but never asana.
We know that Yoga comes from the word “yoked” to mean united or joined to, so the Bhagvadgita explains how one is to lead their life in order to be yoked to the divine for means of liberation.
The book whilst on the surface feels quite simplistic is actually layered with complexity. It explores what is known as the yoga of knowledge, (gnana yoga) the yoga of action, (karman yoga) as well as the yoga of devotion (bhakti yoga).
All three have their place and whilst there’s is much discussion about which yoga is the most supreme, according to Radhakrishnan, they all have their place and are intended to help people with different sorts of dispositions.
Very interesting stuff would recommend a read for sure. (But careful on your choice of translation – The Bhagvad Gita is one of the most translated books in the world apparently so the edition you choose will affect your understanding of it. I’m working with two; Van Buitenen’s and Radhakrishnans for a western and eastern perspective.
Bikram Choudhury, Bishnu Ghosh, Paramahansa Yogananda
Did you know the guru of Bikram Choudhury of Hot yoga fame (yes Bikram Yoga) was the brother of one of the most famous yogis of all time Paramahansa Yogananda?
Pramahansa wrote the book “Autobiography of a Yogi”- a best seller endorsed by all sorts including George Harrison.
This has come as a lovely surprise to me as because I practice Bikram Yoga and as I have been looking for a meditation practice of sorts – things seem to be coming together nicely.
The Self Realization fellowship that Yogananda started up has an extraordinary following all around the world. I came across their stand at the Yoga Show recently and it was the only stand that seemed to be interested in my well being than the amount of money in my pocket. (I may well have missed others but thats how it felt to me anyway)
I’m drawn to them mostly because they don’t appear to be a profit making organisation. Let’s face it Yoga is big business, but Yoga in my mind should be freely available to all!
So for me to find a group that has survived and thrives on donations alone and charges just postage and packing for yoga lessons to be delivered to your door makes me feel like the ethos of this organisation is pure and well desirable.
I haven’t done the lessons yet – no idea what they are going to be like or if I’m going to gain anything from them, but regardless I feel like I should give them a go.
Will let you know
This is my first entry and the first of many I hope. I’m keen to blog about my yoga experiences I am “almost” a daily hot yoga (Bikram) practioner, some weeks it’s daily but mostly five days a week. Though I’m afraid I can’t say I can keep it up during vacations and during festive periods -at the moment at least (although I’m trying)
I’m right in the middle of writing a 4,500 assignment on Yoga in the Bhagvad Gita for my MA at the moment (successfully managed to distract myself by blogging as you can see! still fighting procrastination!)
I did my practice this morning and feel so good for it. You know if I could go back to my teenage self I would tell her to get on that mat daily! – I would have aced my exams with the amount of alertness, concentration and energy I would have had as a result.
The Yoga in the Gita has nothing to do with the postures incidentally but it’s pretty interesting nevertheless. I’m sure I’ll post some bits here about it in due course.
Okay that’s all for now.