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What is Yoga by Swami Sivananda

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  • medit8ionsociety
    We often get emails asking What is Yoga? Here is an article that answers this by the great sage Swami Sivananda. It is a small sample of the wisdom that can
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2005
      We often get emails asking "What is Yoga?"
      Here is an article that answers this by
      the great sage Swami Sivananda. It is a small
      sample of the wisdom that can be found in the
      350+ books he wrote.

      What is Yoga ?

      To live in God, to commune with God is 'Yoga'. Life
      in God brings eternal bliss. Yoga shows you the way,
      unites you with God and makes you perfect and immortal.

      Yoga is a system of integral education, education not
      only of the body and the mind or the intellect, but
      also of the inner spirit. Yoga shows you the right
      method of rising from evil to good, and from goodness
      to holiness and then to eternal divine splendour. Yoga
      is the art of right living. The Yogi who has learned
      the art of right living is happy, harmonious, peaceful
      and free from tension.

      Yoga is for all and is universal. It is not a sectarian
      affair, but a way to God and not a creed. The practice
      of Yoga is not opposed to any religion or any sacred
      church. It is purely spiritual and does not contradict
      anyone's sincere faith.

      Yoga is not a religion, but an aid to the practice of
      the basic spiritual truths in all religions. Yoga is
      union with God, union with all. God dwells in all.
      Moral purity and spiritual aspiration are the first
      steps in the path of Yoga. One who has calm mind, faith
      in the words of his preceptor and the scriptures, who
      is moderate in eating, drinking and sleeping and who has
      intense longing for deliverance from the wheel of births
      and deaths is a qualified person for the practice of Yoga.

      The four paths for God-realization are Karma Yoga,
      Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga. Karma Yoga is
      suitable for a man of active temperament, Bhakti Yoga
      for a man of devotional temperament, Raja Yoga for a man
      of mystical temperament and Jnana Yoga for a man of
      rational and philosophical temperament.

      Life today is full of stress and strain, of tension
      and nervous irritability, of passion and hurry. If man
      puts in few of the elementary principles of Yoga, he
      would be far better equipped to cope with his complex

      Yoga brings perfection, peace and lasting happiness. You
      can have calmness of mind at all times by practice of Yoga.
      You can have restful sleep and increased energy, vigour,
      vitality, longevity and high standard of health. You can
      turn out efficient work within a short space of time and
      have success in every walk of life. Yoga will infuse new
      strength, confidence and self-reliance in you. The body and
      mind will be at your beck and call.

      It is within the power of everybody to attain success in
      Yoga. What is wanted is sincere devotion, constant and
      steady practice. Spiritual growth is gradual. There is
      progressive evolution. You should not be in feverish hurry
      to accomplish great Yogic feats or enter into superconscious
      state in two or three months.

      Do not stop the practice when you get a few glimpses and
      experiences. Continue the practice until you get perfection.
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