May 27, 2007

Gita XVII---Yoga-Shastra

Derived from the word yuj (root), to bind together, yoga means binding one’s psychic powers, balancing and enhancing. By yoking together and harnessing our energies by the most intense concentration of personality, we force the passages from narrow ego to the transcendent personality. The spirit frees itself away from its prison and stands out of it to reach into its own innermost being.

Gita gives a comprehensive yoga-shastra, large, flexible and many sided, which includes various phases of the soul’s development and ascent into he divine. The different yogas are special applications of the inner discipline, which leads to the liberation of the soul and a new understanding of the unity and meaning of humankind. Everything related to this discipline is called yoga such as jnana yoga, way of knowledge, bhakti yoga, way of devotion, karma yoga or way of action.

Perfection at the human level is a task to be accomplished by conscious endeavour. The image of God operating in us produces a sense of insufficiency. Man has a hunting sense of vanity, the transience and precariousness of all human happiness.

If the divine truth, which is free for access to all humanity, is attained by only a few, it shows those few are willing to surrender to him. The invisible impulse to seek God produces the agony that inspires heroic idealism and human fulfilment. The image of God in us expresses itself in the indefinite capacity for self-transcendence.