A debate on the true nature of yoga as professed in the Patanjali’s Yogasutra and a perspective into the Secular-acharyas approach.
Over a period of time yoga and yogasanas including pranayama (breathing exercises) have been greatly promoted across the globe. People across races, religions, languages and nationalities have practiced it, become followers and realized its positive impact on their lives.
While going through Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, which is the principal philosophy of yoga, one admires that it is professed so human mind can attain balance and remain healthy.
According to Patanjali, one of the major instruments to attain it was by focusing on any likable form of God. Likability means any person following a form of god according to one’s belief and liking. Patanjali’s Yogasutra, in its Samadhi Padd, 32nd Sutra, talks of this as “Aek tattavābhyās”.
Debate on Yoga
It is beyond any doubt that practicing asana leads to a flexible and healthy body, and breathing exercises lead to de-stressing, healthy lungs, and plenty of oxygen to the brain, which energizes the person and improves focus, which can change and revolutionize a person completely.
So far as dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi are concerned, everyone offering a prayer performs an act of focusing one’s mind in one’s own god, the god one believes in. That is the dhāranā and dhyāna of Yoga philosophy, which leads to closeness to god and subsequently to samādhi.
Secularism and Secular-acharyas
We have a new-found religion called “Secularism” in India. Monks of the Secular order, or Secular-acharyas believe in Negativity and their principal prayer is condemnation of Yoga. For this Order, focusing a little can expose them to deeply disturbing feelings and emptiness. It is better for their monastic order to introduce some positivity so they are not completely drowned in hollowness.