Tag Archives: Hindu Dharma

True Essence of Yoga

woman-doing-yoga-at-sunset

Yoga

The literal meaning of this word is – Union.

The marketed meaning of this word has become – Breathing and Stretching Exercises.

We celebrated International Yoga Day Yesterday on 21st June 2019. Something which originated in India centuries ago has now widespread on an International level. Its popularity has gained a stronghold, especially in western countries. By declaring 21st June as International Yoga Day, we are now celebrating this rich heritage of India worldwide. The most profound thing here is that Yoga is accepted everywhere by all age groups and ethnicities. Despite the fact that some people confuse it with Hindu Religion and try to deter non-Hindus in accepting this healthy way of living; its positive life-altering experiences has credited in its success and popularity among masses.

But, my question over here is -The Yoga that we are celebrating and promoting, is this the true Yoga in its complete form?

If you google yoga types, you will find Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga, Hybrid Yoga, Power Yoga, etc… I couldn’t comprehend how did we reach here from a simple word which meant – Union.

person meditating
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Yoga is as simple as the word Union, its literal meaning. 

It is a union of you with your higher self. You may call it God, Universe, Existence, Non -Existence, Nothingness, Everlastingness, or just a union with your true self. Once you will understand the Union aspect of it, then you will also realize that you are never apart. So, why the Union? How can we unite with something from which we were never apart? This union is not physical. This is spiritual and psychological. This is more like a realization through self-discovery.

What we see today everywhere is more of Aasans and Pranaayam; which on a broad level can be categorized as body exercises/postures and breathing techniques to attain a healthy physical body for a healthy mind and in turn, they help you in progressing towards spiritual union(the true Yoga). We certainly need to go step by step and thus this is the most important step to lay the foundation upon which you can climb higher in your spiritual growth. It is as important as a baby’s first step. But, we also need to keep that in mind that purpose of teaching a baby how to walk is not limited to him taking a walk but also teaching him a way of life where he knows what he should be walking towards to.

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There are various paths given to achieve this self-realization from Raaj Yoga to Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hath Yoga, etc. There are ‘Yama’ and ‘Niyams’ to be followed like Ahimsa, Asteya, Aparigraha, Santosha, etc. The intent is not to just clean your body of toxins but also your mind, your actions, and your thoughts. We need to integrate it into our behavior and our actions if we want to call it Yoga; otherwise what most of us are doing are just aasans and pranaayaam. This should be the role and responsibility of Yoga teachers who when opening up Yoga Studios and Yoga Workshop teach their disciple that Yoga is done by integrating a way of life where not only our physical body but we also take care of our psychological and Spiritual well being.

In Yoga, we talk about harmony. We talk about our connection with each other. We talk about how we are connected to nature. We talk about how we are one with everything around us. How we are one with The One. It is much much much larger than what we have shown to the world so far. I know with time, we will teach our young generation that how they can start with Aasans and Pranayams and progress through Meditation and a Yoga Path to reach to their full potential and live a life which is filled with joy and compassion.

Happy Yoga Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Is Hindu Dharma?

What Is Hindu Dharma?
A Priest giving blessings

Few weeks back, I took Marriage Blessings in a church (with the same husband of mine, of the last five years). Why? There is quite an interesting story behind it…. promise to post it in my next writeup.

It’s not a big deal if you want to read your marriage vows again, but if you are a Hindu by religion and do some function, that too, of marriage sort of, in a Church than it’s bound to raise many questions. Some of them were less of a question and more of statements, coming from family and friends. Like, have you changed your religion?, or, Is it done for some christian belief?, or, did you forgot abut your culture?, or, You are now totally in influence of western culture… and blah blah…..

What Is Hindu Dharma?
Questions?

Questioning is good, it makes your mind curious, and makes you look out for the right answer. I am reading about religion, specially Hindu, since childhood, now a days I have taken a fancy about other religions too and their stories, about their evolution and coming to existence. Reading about other religions has in fact made me more closer to understanding my own religion – Hindu Dharma.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
Durga

First of all, Hindu is not a religion, it’s a Dharma. If you go into translation, then Dharma (Hindi/Sanskrit word) is translated as Religion in English. But, Dharma has a more broad meaning to it than just Religion. Dharma means to hold, to bear, to believe; to hold what you believe, to believe what is true, to believe what is right. Dharma means to hold on to your rightful beliefs and truth.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
What Is Hindu Dharma?

Hindu Dharma, Hinduism, or Sanatan Dharma as called popularly, actually speak of practices which are in harmony of nature, and manifestation of happiness and peace. When our Vedas and Upanishads speak of God, they do not talk of something which is out of reach and unimaginable. Bhaagvat and Shiv Puran when speak of, how God, or to say, super almighty came into existence and this universe is created, they say that God was always there, and he created man as his image. It also states that all the Devs and and Devis, resides in various forms in man’s body.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
What Is Hindu Dharma?

But, why say that Gods resides in your own body? Why are we going to temples then? When our Vedas say, that everything is created by God, and He is residing in everything and everyone. He is everywhere in everyone, then why are we looking outwards for him? Why are we not respecting others and ourselves too, as God is within all of us.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
Krishna

So, lets settle on the point that God is within you and me. But, does he resides in my American friend too? He is no Hindu. So maybe not my God, but the God that he believes in, maybe He is in him. But, does that mean that I should not respect him, as he has some other God? Wait, but it’s a God. Why take a Panga (make an issue), with any God? So, let’s respect all. Settled.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
Hiindu Deity

Now, coming to Church and temples. Hinduism is the oldest practices in this whole world, and the reason why it has survived for so long is mainly based on one of it’s founding principle of “Vasudeva Kutumbakam”, which states that entire world is actually a big family. Acceptance of all the things as they are, and grasping every good thing is the key behind this ever evolving religion.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
What Is Hindu Dharma?

In it’s entire history, Hinduism have not embarked on any other religion or belief, to impose itself. Over the years it has learnt to live with peace and harmony, with others. This is what it teaches us too. As long as Hindu Dharma is preaching the above, I feel proud to be one. I have always believed in respecting others beliefs and rituals and will proudly do so, always. This is My Dharma, My Religion.