True meaning of ‘Yoga’ (Yog)

True meaning of ‘Yoga’ (Yog) by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj | Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat

The International Day of Yoga, often referred to as World Yoga Day, is celebrated on June 21st.  This year marks the 10th International Day of Yoga. It is an annual event that aims to raise awareness about the many benefits of practising yoga, including its potential to promote harmony and peace among individuals and communities worldwide. 

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India.  The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of soul and God. Today it is practised in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity.  

Let us bring you a lecture by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj in which he explains the true meaning of Yoga.

True meaning of Yoga (Yog) – By Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj

Patanjali’s Yog darshan is very important.  This Yog is called Ashtanga Yog (Eight limbs of Yog). It includes Yama (restraints or ethics of behaviour), Niyama (observances), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (control of the breath), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses).  These five are related to the body. 

The other three related to the mind are: Dhyana (meditation), Dharana (concentration), and Samadhi (absorption). Samadhi is the last stage of Ashtanga Yoga.  Dhyana means thinking of God.  Dharana means that your mind thinks of God so much that it gets fully engrossed in God.

And Samadhi is that spiritual state when one’s mind is so absorbed in whatever it is contemplating on, that the mind loses the sense of its own identity.  God explained the meaning of Yog in the Bhagwatam.  Sankadik Paramhansa, the Archarya (perceptor and expert instructor) of Yog in the Age of Satyuga, defined Yog as – ‘Removing your mind from the entire world and focussing it on God alone is called Yog. The union of the soul and God is called Yog.’

In order to achieve this union with God, one must have good physical health.  It is very important.  Whether we are thinking of God or a Saint, Patanjali states, “If at the start, you are unable to concentrate on God, then meditate on a Divine saint.  The mind will get purified thinking of a Saint and / or God. Since the Saint can be seen by us and is in front of us,it is easier to meditate on the Saint.

So this Ashtanga Yog of Sage Patanjali is very popular.  People have created multiple forms of this Yog. Other than the ‘Asanas’ (body postures) that Patanjali has created, people have created different asanas as well, both in India and in other countries.  Their purpose is just to keep the body healthy in whatever way possible.

There are many strict rules in Ashtanga Yog. Firstly, we need to have Yama (restraints or ethics of behaviour) and Nyama (observances).  There are many difficult practices in Yama and Niyama, for example, speaking the truth, following non-violence, etc.  In the practice of Niyama, one needs to practise Bhakti to God.  After these two, (Yama and Niyama) then comes the ‘Asana’

Yog has been followed and practised in India for thousands of years. But in Kaliyug, human beings from birth, have imperfect bodies.  Therefore following Yog in its true form is not possible.  However, in order to keep your body healthy, practise the asanas (taught by Patanjali) to the extent that your body is able to.

Thank you.

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj

The International Day of Yoga will be celebrated on 21 Jun 24  by Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat. A yoga camp will be held in Shri Kripalu Dham and all the devotees actively participate in this camp to raise awareness of the many benefits of practising yoga.

*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*

(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharaj Ji)

The original title of Jagadguruttam (Greatest Spiritual Teacher of the World) was bestowed upon Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on January 14, 1957, by Kashi Vidvat Parishad (a council of 500 greatest scholars saints of India). He composed divine texts like Prem Ras Madira, Prem Ras Siddhant, and Radha Govind Geet to lead us on the right path of devotion. He also gave priceless monuments as gifts to the world which include Bhakti Mandir located in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh, Prem Mandir located in Vrindavan Dham, and Kirti Mandir located in Barsana Dham. Shri Maharaj Ji also built hospitals for the impoverished, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Vrindavan, Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Barsana, and another one in Pratapgarh. All three help millions of underprivileged to gain free access to medical care. His Kindergarten, School, and College for impoverished girls Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education is located in Kunda and provides completely free education.