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WHAT IS YOGA? Part 5

The Bhagavad Gita by Maharishi Vyasa

Complete Yoga Breath
with Sound!

What is Yoga
series

“Yoga begins with
Discipline
Introspection
Control of Prana
Meditation...”
Yoga Sutras
by Patanjali

Hatha Yoga
Path to Health

“Practice alone is the
means to success.
The ida and pingala nadis
before entering into
the base of the nostrils
cross each other
and are known as
gangliated cords.”
The Hatha Yoga
Pradipika

by Yogi Maharishi
Svatmarama

Bhakti Yoga
Path of Love

“Subduing their
senses,
viewing all
conditions of life
with the same eye,
and working
for the welfare
of all beings,
assuredly
they come to Me.”
The Bhagavad Gita
translated by
Shri Purohit Swami

Sri Krishna
in The Gita
:
“Let him
who would climb
In meditation
To heights
of the highest
Union with Brahman
Take for his path
The Yoga of Action.”
—Quote from The Gita
in Vedanta for
Modern Man

Edited by Christopher Isherwood

“In the beginning of
one's spiritual search,
it is wise to compare
various spiritual paths
and teachers. A
spiritually thirsty
person should not
go on indefinitely
drinking from a
new well; rather he
should go to the
best well and drink
daily of its
living waters.”
—Yogananda

“Equilibrium is called Yoga.” Maharishi Vyasa wrote this in The Bhagavad Gita (aka Gita) , the third classic that all people interested in Yoga should read. It is considered the highest songs of Yoga, written about 3,000 years before Christ. It shows the different paths to Yoga through a dialogue between Shri Krishna, or Lord Krishna—the prophet of early India—as he teaches his disciple, Arjuna, how to devote himself completely to learning how to control the energy of life through Yoga—the path to living a balanced life with complete knowledge about self (body and mind).

According to C.W. Leadbeater in The Masters And The Path, “the second school of yoga is that of Shri Krishna, particularly expounded in the great poem The Bhagavad-Gita. This teaches above all else the doctrine of love. The disciple Arjuna, to whom the Guru spoke, was a great lover of mankind.”

“According to the scripture this great soldier sank down upon the floor of his chariot before the battle of Kurukshetra began, full of sorrow because he loved his enemies and could not bear to injure them. Many Great Ones, Krishna said, had reached perfection by following this path of life, by doing their duty without personal desire. To love without ceasing is the way of the second Ray; in the Gita it is shown how this love should be directed to men and other beings in karma yoga (the yoga by action or work) and to God in bhakti yoga (the yoga by devotion).”

“The 6th school is that of bhakti or devotion. This is also taught to a large extent in The Gita; indeed, we find it in every religion among those true devotees who put their trust entirely in the Divine—who do not pray for personal favours, but are quite convinced that God is perfect master of His world, that He knows what He is doing, and that therefore all is well. They are therefore more than content; they are thrilled with ecstasy, if they can but have the opportunity and the privilege to serve and obey Him in any way.”

The Gita is regarded as 1 of 3 Scriptures, the other 2 being the Upanishads and the Brahma-Sutras. The Gita is the most read and loved book in India. It inspires the reader to go deep into the studies of Yoga. Iyengar says it is, “containing the essence of the Upanishads.”

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“When like the tortoise, which withdraws on all sides its limbs, he (the aspirant) withdraws his senses from the sense-objects. Then wisdom becomes steady. The tortoise symbolizes looking inward, and controlling very carefully what is put out.”  —Bhagavad Gita (This is just one example of how the Gita also provides asanas. The Tortoise aka Kurmasana, is in the Postures series.

Bhagavad Gita and Management by M.P. Bhattathiri: Arjuna to Sri Krishna — “Mind is very restless, forceful and strong, O Krishna, it is more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind.” This is a wonderful page on the Web with some great management tools that are translated from the Gita into easy-to-understand language. It's worth reading:
(http://www.themystica.org/mystica/articles/b/
bhagavad_gita_and_management.html
)

And my very favorite excerpt from The Gita is this. For me, this says it all:

“This universe, in its parts, and in its entirety, is an emanation of Me, and I fill it in my invisible form—Yea, even I, the Unmanifest. All things are of Me—not I of them. But, mistake thou not, O Prince, lest thou in error think that even All Things are Myself. I am the sustainer of all things, but All Things are not I. Knoweth thou that even as the vast volume of Air, everywhere present, and in constant activity, is sustained and contained within the Universal Ether—so do all manifested things rest in Me, the Unmanifest. This is the Secret, O Arjuna; ponder well upon it.”

And this is why it is so important to breathe in the vast volume of Air, everywhere present, with the thought of the all-pervasive energy of Love, which is the main message of The Gita.

Namaste (= I bow to you.)

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