When I am writing this the International Day of Yoga is just a couple of days away. The well-oiled State machinery has been set into motion to make things spectacular by a mammoth turnout of the Yoga enthusiasts as the Prime Minister is coming to attend a commemorative programme in Dehradun. PM is quite justified in choosing Uttarakhand of all places to join the Yoga-charged people in celebrating the monumental occasion for India. It is said and quite rightly too that Yoga was born in what is now Uttarakhand. Swami Vivekananda says: “This is the land of dreams of our forefathers where was born Parvati, the Mother of India. This is the holy land where the ever ardent soul in India wants to come at the end of its life, and to close the last chapter of its mortal career. On the tops of the mountains of this blessed land, in the depths of its caves, on the banks of its rushing torrents have been thought out the most wonderful thoughts, a little bit of which has drawn so much admiration from even the foreigners and which have been pronounced by the most competent of judges to be incomparable.” Ours is a time when things are constantly being shredded to pieces, experimented on, cast into new moulds, either to perish or to emerge out rejuvenated to get a fresh lease of existence. The Yoga as conceptualised in India when the civilisation dawned on the eastern horizon is no exception. Sri Aurobindo writes, “The child of immemorial ages, preserved by its vitality and truth into our modern times, it is now emerging from the secret schools and ascetic retreats in which it had taken refuge and is seeking its place in the future sum of living, human power and utilities.” It is said, all life is Yoga whether we are conscious of it or not. For we are all seeking something concealed deep within us through myriad means, something we must rediscover as we have lost touch of it. To some, Yoga is a methodized effort towards self-perfection by arousing the potentialities latent in the being to lead a complete life, both ‘within’ and ‘without’ living in harmony. For a few, it is meant to effect union of the death-bound individual self with the Universal and the Transcendent, beyond time and space, death and dissolution, into eternity and infinity. Swami Vivekananda says that Yoga might be regarded as a means of compressing one’s evolution into a single life or a few years or even a few months of the bodily existence. If we look at life from the deeps we understand that life “is a vast Yoga of Nature attempting to realize her perfection in an ever increasing expression of her potentialities and to unite herself with her own divine reality.” (The Synthesis of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo). Generally what happens to one who is seriously initiated into Yoga is that it presents in him the enormous complexity of his nature, something which at the same time stimulates and embarrasses him with the multiplicity of his personality, myriad personalities dragging him powerfully into different directions. Things which lurk undetected-a colossal vastness living behind the veil- spring up into the surface. It is a stupendous challenge placed in the way of yogic development by the universal nature which does not yield an inch without the Yogi transforming himself completely in the new yogic consciousness.  As one progresses in the path of Yoga one discovers to his utter despair that every part of his being, be it intellect, sense mind, desire self, heart, body, has all its natural formation, living independently of the rest. They do not concord and they fiercely resist every attempt made to bring them into a harmony around a deeper self which the Yoga helps to emerge out of the veil of the surface personality which dominates him till the flower of the soul starts opening up, petal by petal. Three things are needed for one to progress in the path of Yoga. First is surrender to the Divine Mother Force which is presiding over the Yoga of the individual selves. It is finally Her Yoga. The suppler, the more plastic one is to the Force the easier for the Divine Mother to take him from progress to progress along the tortuous travails of the yogic path. If there is a sincere surrender of the central being the impediments of the lower nature slowly wither away by Her grace. The second is aspiration for a higher life- a life lived from within the soul- away from the clamorous surface living which is assailed by desires, endless. Once the aspiration is firmly established-it might take hell of time, the process being irritatingly slow as the past hardly yields place to the future without a terrific fight-the surface life starts losing its hold, once deemed as invincible, and a deeper life begins to emerge and gains ground over the individual life space. The third is rejection, the constant rejection of the lower elements of nature, desperately trying to perpetuate their old empire by throwing hostile suggestions on the progressing soul, seeking to pull things down ruthlessly to thwart yogic self-consecration. In short, Yoga turns nightmarishly tough when one leaves the body of Yoga- the effervescent bubble churned out when his focus is trained on the physical and vital facets- to delve into the soul of Yoga in an overpowering urge to reach a Light above ‘which must progressively replace in him the obscure light from below that guides the animal’ (The Synthesis of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo). The ‘deeper’ Yoga is for a very few individuals who have received the call-it is not even certain whether they would finally reach the consummation-while the ‘lower’ Yoga may be for all and sundry. But what seems amidst the clamorous yogic cacophony (about what is known as hatha yoga which does not feature in the sublime legacy of Yoga bequeathed to us by our enlightened ancestors) is that the deeper is losing its way in the bubbles the lower is churning out. If it happens it must be terribly unfortunate for Yoga and also for India, the hoary, holy land which begot it when the rest of the world was wallowing in the bogs of simplistic existence, unaware of the deeper call of life. read more post… Saturday, 23 June 2018 | Romit Bagchi | Dehradun–

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