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What is International Yoga Day?

India is a unique country in the world as the science of Yoga was discovered in India in the ancient past. And the whole world is now realizing the powers hidden in the science of Yoga. Yoga is spreading like a wildfire throughout the world. It is crossing all the barriers and boundaries. Yoga is not Indian anymore. It is universal. It is a science. It moves from the circumference of the being to the center of the being. The body and its actions are on the exteriority of the being and the thoughts, emotions and the silence are in the interiority of the being. Yoga, therefore, helps in transforming the outer beauty and inner beauty of the being. 

The resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly for the International Yoga Day on 21st June enhances the importance of Yoga in the daily life of every individual. Every individual must adopt Yoga in one’s daily life. It is a multidimensional science. It not only works on the physical part of the being but also enhances the intellectual, emotional and spiritual part of the being. It is a holistic science. It moves an individual from the body to the being. It works on the four power centers of the being: Physical, Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual. First and foremost it gives us the physical strength. It makes the body flexible and agile. This process takes care of the physical power of the being. Yama, Niyama and Asana are the three most important elements of this process. Secondly, it gives us the intellectual strength. Nobody knows the power of the mind. It has an enormous potential. It is said that a person like Albert Einstein uses only 12% of the mind. The normal human beings use only 7% of the mind. A person like Buddha uses 100% of the mind. He goes beyond the mind. He goes into the depths of the mind. He sees all the corners of the mind. And with the illumination of Enlightenment it becomes easy for him to look into all the dark corners of the mind. He does not only visit the dark valleys of the mind but he even transcends the mind. The mind is a very complicated stuff. The neurologists do not believe in anything called the mind. They strongly believe in the brain and its working. The psychologists strongly believe in the mind. According to them the mind exists. And the Buddhas do not believe in anything called the mind. They strongly believe in the no-mind. They believe very strongly that the mind is only in transition to the no-mind. They say that the mind is an instrument that helps us to move into the territories of the no-mind. According to the neurologists our brain is a 2.5 pound jelly-like substance which has some hundred plus billion neurons. These neurons continuously interact with each other. They pass on information. They move information. And all these neurons form a networking. And the various states of this networking increases our understanding. Patanjali talks about one such state of the mind. He calls it Samadhi. He even divides Samadhi into various states of the mind. We can not even reckon the numbers of this networking. The neurologists say the number is more than the known particles in the whole universe. Such is the vastness of the mind. The mind is bigger than the cosmos. Now just imagine the intellectual power of the mind. The mind is a power house. Buddha even goes further and talks of Nirvana, a territory that belongs to the no-mind. Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana are the four components of this second process. The mind is a great disturbance. It is a big chatter-box. In a silent state of the mind the loving heart arises. It is like how a mountain arises in a silent ocean. In a silent state of the ocean of the mind a loving mountain of the heart arises. It then grows like a Himalaya with love and compassion. Love and compassion grow infinitely. This is the scope of the heart. Just like the mind the heart also expands. It expands with empathy, love and compassion. This is the emotional power of the being. This gives the emotional power of the being. The mind is a continuous chattery. And when the mind is chattering we can not listen to what the heart is saying. You have to understand the mystery. The mouth talks. The mind says. And the heart listens. And, therefore, the heart can be subdued. It can be very easily suppressed. In fact the heart is continuously longing to share. The so called Yogis have suppressed the heart. In the process of Yoga the heart has become non-existent. That is why the poets and painters do not accept the Yogis. The Yogis are so obsessed in their Yoga that they have flattened the heart. It does not exist anymore. If you go and talk to the doctors about the heart they will laugh. According to them there is nothing like the heart. They are always talking about the heart as a mechanical thing and you are talking about the heart as a big stuff that is longing for empathy and love. The words heart and love have been discovered by the poets. These words belong to the poets. A person like Buddha and Osho says that we should be able to love without the heart and we should be able to think without the mind. This is where the Buddha and the Osho are talking about the whole being and not the part of the being. The part has its own limitations. It has its own territory. It has its own periphery. It can not go beyond its own circumference and in the process it binds itself. And this is the reason why out of the box thinking becomes a difficulty. You are not only in the box but out of the box too. And that is why witnessing becomes easy to you. Nobody can put you in the box. This is not part of your being. This is out of question. Your being is unbounded and limitless. The scientists are slowly realizing that the universe is an unbounded and limitless entity. Dhyana is an element of this process. In the process of Dhyana the chattery of the mind stops and we will be able to listen to the silent love of the heart. Patanjali talks about the cessation of the mind and the thoughts in the process of Dhyana. The mind creates lot of noise and chattery. The colliding thoughts create a churning of the mind. The chattering mind does not allow you to feel the pulse of the heart. In a silent lake the mountain of love arises. This gives us the emotional strength. This is our emotional power center. These are the four power centers. First is the physical well-being. The second is the intellectual well-being. The third is the emotional well-being. And the fourth and the last is the spiritual well-being. 

Let us now talk about the fourth. The only element of this process is Dhyana. The word used by Buddha in Pali is Jhyana. The same word traveled to China and became Chan. And the same word traveled to Japan and became Zen. In the western world this process is also known as mindfulness. Mindfulness is not being full of mind. It is a process of emptying the mind. It is a process of no-mind. It is a powerful process. And through the process of Dhyana we can attain to the witnessing consciousness. We can witness the dissolving of all the layers of the being in the Shudha Chetana or the Supreme Consciousness. This is how the divine embraces you. This is how the divine possesses you. We can not possess anything. No, we are not capable. We think that by becoming a king or an emperor we can possess many things. No, we always remain beggars. The ultimate thing is that the divine embraces you. If we are really lucky then we are possessed by the divine. This is a true surrender. We are not there, and only the divine is. The doer is no more, only the divine is. This is the realization. This is the awakening. This is that Enlightenment. Now, all the layers of the being are dissolved. This the Upanishads called the nothingness. The spiritual being means that now all the divisions of the being are dissolved in the Shuddha Chetana or the Supreme Consciousness. The spiritual being functions through the nothingness. And the by-product of this being is infinite empathy, love, compassion and wisdom. This is the beauty of Yoga. This is the power of Yoga. This is the goal of Yoga. 

Now some contemporary question and answers.

Is Yoga religious? 
Yoga is religion-neutral. It is a universal platform. And it is a neutral platform. Please do not attach your own syntax to it. It is nobody’s copyright. And yes, it is everybody’s birthright. And you have to begin with the doing. Yoga is doing and not talking. And ultimately Yoga is being and not doing. Let the body do and let the mind be silent. Yoga is non-religious. It is spiritual. 

Does Yoga belong to the Hindus?
Now come on !! What do you mean by ‘Hindus’? There is no such word in the Riga Veda. The Vedas and Upanishads praised the natural bodies. The natural bodies have come first and then our body has come. The first verse of the Riga Veda praises the Agni (Fire). The light that comes to our solar system comes from the sun. The light to this sun may come from our galactic Black Hole. Let us cut the story short. The sun illuminates our solar system. Otherwise our solar system would have fallen into an eternal hell and eternal darkness. The sun gives life to our solar system. And Agni (Fire) gives life to the human life system. We can imagine how our lives would have been without the discovery of Agni (Fire) in the ancient past. The ancients have not only discovered it but also made it portable. The western scientists have discovered the light. They have not only discovered it but they have also made it portable. We can also imagine how our present lives would have been without the light. Nobody knows in true sense what light is. Two people did tremendous work on the outer light - Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. Even these people do not know what true light is. Stephen Hawking worked to a great level on the Black Holes. The Black Holes are not black really. The light that is there is so much that our so called ordinary light can not return back. And this is only one part of the light. This is that outer light. The mystics and Buddhas have talked about the inner light. We have no idea about the inner eyes and the inner light. This is part of the Darshan. This is part of the grace. This is that benediction. This is that part of being delightful. 

There was no such word like the ‘Hindus’. There was a word called the Indu. This was the word for the Indu River. There is praise for the Indu River in the Riga Veda. There is a praise for the Pancha Bhootas (Five Elements) in the Riga Veda. Bhoota is a Sanskrit word. It means a body. And some outsiders (invaders, visitors, etc.) could not pronounce the word Indu properly and they pronounced it as Hindu. Therefore, this word Indu became Hindu. And the same word became Hindustan and India. Therefore, those who lived on the waters of the Indu were the Hindus. This is how the people of India were known by the outsiders. The words also go through change and transformation. The words are not static. They are dynamic. It seems they have life. And we are human beings. How can we remain static? We are not dead people. We are alive and breathing. And Yoga is for living people. It is not for the dead. Yoga is practiced in the gardens and not in the graveyards. Yoga is for change and transformation. The Shudha Chetana or the Supreme Consciousness is always awaiting for this change. And this time is now. It is either now or never. It is good that it has come in the form of International Yoga Day. And those who do not want to change can criticize. The critics are always living in the graveyards. They are static people. They love inertia and darkness. The Yogis love dynamism and light. They love change. Let us, therefore, not fall into this discussion of being Hindus or non-Hindus. It does not matter. What matters is Yoga. Yoga is born with humanity and will die with humanity. It is universal. It either belongs to everybody or nobody. And Yoga is for those who accept it lovingly. Please do not force it on anybody. Yoga is the only thing that can not be forced upon anybody. One has to embrace Yoga lovingly. The hidden mysteries are so much that we can not remain dumb and by the way we have no other choice. It is our only choice baby. 

Modern Science belongs to the Western Scientists. They have struggled and discovered it. Are they claiming that it belongs to them? No. Is Newton claiming that gravity belongs to him? Is Buddha claiming that grace (opposite force of gravity) belongs to him? No. Grace allows you to be embraced by the divine. Grace allows you to surrender. Grace allows you to dissolve in the divine. The by-product is the experience of Shuddha Chetana or the Supreme Consciousness. And Yoga is only a tool to move to this destination. Yoga is only a method to move to this destiny. The existential experience of Shuddha Chetana or Supreme Consciousness is our destiny. 

Is everything moving and changing? 
Yes. A 100% yes. Whether you accept it or deny it. Everything is at the heart of change. Only cancer cells are not changing. They have a very long life. The story of the Big Bang is like the story of the birth of a child. The mom is anxiously waiting for the cry of her first born baby. When the Cosmic Being is born it was a big explosion. The cry of the birth of a Cosmic Being is heard by nothingness. The nothingness is both a father and a mother. It gave birth to a the Cosmic Being. And since then the Cosmic Being is undergoing change and transformation. Every cell of our body is changing. Every electron is in the process of a change. Every string and every superstring is in the process of change. Every electron is longing to be enlightened. Every string and superstring is longing to experience the Supreme Consciousness. Yes. Everything is moving and changing. Don’t worry about the change. Embrace the change and welcome the change.

And what is this Branding and Brouhaha?
Look. Every good thing has to be known. It takes time. And in the modern day adage it is called marketing. Why do you think that enlightenment should not be marketed? Yoga does not need marketing. But initially it does. Later on it becomes part of our routine life. Just think about this word Dhyana. This word is repeated in every mundane sentence uttered by a father, mother, brother, sister and teacher to their young ones. Dhyanase Karna. Dhyanase Jyana. Please do carefully. Please go carefully. The word Dhyana is there in every mundane sentence. This is how the ancients brought the word in everyday usage. And later on there was no need of a practice and there was no marketing. Just imagine what would have happened if Patanjali took only one cent for every Yoga pose. The corpus would have grown into hundreds and thousands of billions of dollars. And the Yoga Prize (if there was any) would have been more popular than the Nobel Prize.

You will be surprised to know the strategy adopted by Jesus Christ. In the marketing phase of his spiritual journey he said to his disciples that he will take them to the kingdom of God. And those were the beginning days and the brand was yet to be established. There were far superior brands like Moses and Joseph. Jesus had very fewer disciples. This was a beginning. This was a marketing phase. And later on when the disciples grew in numbers he said that the kingdom God is within you. He said the kingdom of God is within each and every individual. And it is just a question of revelation and realization.    

What will Yoga give you?
Will you ask what will happen if you eat the ripened mango? You simply eat the fruit and enjoy. Please don’t ask. Just enjoy doing Yoga. And be sure that Yoga will give you Health and Happiness.
You will be surprised to know the strategy adopted by Jesus Christ. In the marketing phase of his spiritual journey he said to his disciples that he will take them to the kingdom of God. And those were the beginning days and the brand was yet to be establised. There were far superior brands like Moses and Joseph. Jesus had very fewer disciples. This was a beginning. This was a marketing phase. And later on when the disciples grew in numbers he said that the kingdom of God is within you. He said that the kingdom of God is within each and every individual. And it is just a question of revelation and realization. Just imagine what would have happened if Patanjali took only one cent for every Yoga pose. The corpus would have grown into hundreds and thousands of billions of dollars. And the Yoga Prize (if there was any) would have been more popular than the Nobel Prize.


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