The countdown to yoga day has started and there has never been a better time for the business. Yoga studios to media channels have their hot topic for the week to make some noise. A month from now, it will all fade away until next year. It is interesting to see how things have changed in terms of consumption of entertainment and information. Bite sized bytes, dizzying imagery and a need to be on top of news as it happens. Fast food for the mind.
It is easy to lament the degradation of spiritual endeavour. It is also easy to join the bandwagon of those who make this opportunistic. But, when I stop to consider the scene, it really doesn’t matter. The times we live in must be similar to the times when knowledge got obscured. Yet, it survived and revived. The cycle of birth and death. Paradoxically, we now have more information accessible at the tip of our fingers. But how much do we really know?
Today’s reading was a new definition of yoga from the Bhagwad Gita.
Swami Chinmayananda’s commentary on this shloka defines yoga as “a state of disunion from every union-with-pain”. The translation continues to emphasise, “This Yoga should be practised with determination and with a mind steady and undespairing”. The explanation of these lines beautifully brings out the idea of Yoga as a goal and Yoga as the means.
In the context of the hype surrounding International Yoga day, there is hope. Yoga began as a means for me too, a way out of pain. As I stumbled in my attempts to ‘practise’, it blessed me with a tiny glimpse into what was possible. Slowly but surely, the path started to lead me, one step at a time. It is thanks to my teachers and all those who have gone before me that I continue to seek within. If it were not for the legacy of the wisdom of great masters through their writings, I would still be groping in the dark. For that, I remain eternally grateful.