In the world today many people think that the term yoga means physical exercise or breathing exercise, but actually in the truest sense of the word "yoga" means union of the individual spirit soul with the Supreme Soul. In the ancient yoga texts of the Bhagavad Gita known as the Song of God, it is clearly described by Sri Krishna that the nature of this union is love . The union between you and the Supreme Soul- is one of a loving relationship .
Yoga a process of self discovery
In the yoga process the first thing to understand is who am I? Ahambhamasmi - I am spiritual in essence.
I am not my physical body, I am not my mind, I am the atma (the soul) temporarily wearing this body.
I am a spiritual spark, a part and parcel of The Supreme Soul.
My essence is spiritual in nature
Like a ray of sunshine is a particle of the sun and therefore can not be separated from the sun, I too can not be separated from the Supreme Sun. Being spiritual in essence I emanate from the Supreme Soul. However as no analogy is perfect, the difference between me and a ray of sun is that the sun-ray isn't a person and has no consciousness, while each of us is a spiritual person, not just an impersonal spark of light.
Awakening our true nature
Yoga means when I the individual spirit soul is having a harmonious loving relationship with The Supreme Transcendental Personality, that union is a loving relationship. The Union of two. When you are united in a loving relationship with God, with Krishna, this is the meaning of yoga. This relationship is not something artificial that one needs to create, rather its eternal kinship. Coming from the The Supreme we are already related but have forgotten our relationship with God. So the yoga processes are meant to help us become aware again of our relationship with God. To awaken that dormant love already existing within my heart.
The yoga process, the means to reawaken our natural love for God is the hearing and repeating of Gods names. This process is Known as Bhakti Yoga of which kirtan is a part. Bhakti means love and Yoga Union so Bhakti Yoga means loving union with God. The process of re-awakening our love for God is via spiritual sound. We receive the transcendental sound vibrations from disciplic succession descending from the lips of the pure devotees ( the pure lovers of God.) We receive the Holy Names through our ears, resting our heart in this transcendental sound. In this way the natural flame of love for God is reawakened within our hearts .
Once you become aware of your eternal relationship with God, one begins to actually realize Krishna (God) as your best friend , and revel in remembrance of your loving relationship with God. Once you begin to experience resting your heart and mind in Krishna, in Krishna's names, once you have come to this point in the re-establishment of your relationship with God then you have actually transcended the material dimension - the material world .
In other words yoga means an actual real loving relationship you have with God. This eternal relationship you have with the Supreme is with you always regardless of what's going on with your body or mind, or whats happening in your exterior life in regards to the world around you. This relationship is not something that can be taken away from you, even at the time of death. This is yoga, this is enlightenment.
Words of wisdom
"Lord Kṛṣṇa’s attraction is so powerful that once being attracted by Him one cannot tolerate separation from Him. Why is this so? Because we are all eternally related with Him as the sun rays are eternally related with the sun disc. The sun rays are molecular parts of the solar radiation. Thus the sun rays and the sun cannot be separated. The separation by the cloud is temporary and artificial, and as soon as the cloud is cleared, the sun rays again display their natural effulgence in the presence of the sun. Similarly, the living entities, who are molecular parts of the whole spirit, are separated from the Lord by the artificial covering of māyā, illusory energy. This illusory energy, or the curtain of māyā, has to be removed, and when it is so done, the living entity can see the Lord face to face, and all his miseries are at once removed. Every one of us wants to remove the miseries of life, but we do not know how to do it. The solution is given here, and it rests on us to assimilate it or not."
Exert From AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) 1.11.10
We invite you to join us for an uplifting kirtan on Kauai where we hold weekly spiritual gatherings.
Radha dasi and Gopal das are long-time students of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda who is coming in a long line of bonafide spiritual teachers who originate with God Himself. The views and opinions expressed in this article are based on the best understanding of the authors expressing them and do not necessarily reflect those of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda.
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