Sikh Missionary Society U.K. (Regd)
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Yoga and its Mystery
Yog (Yoga) or Jog
Yog means union with God, and this science is a technique of attaining this. It was reorganized by Patanjali Rishi (an adept), more than four thousand years ago, near about the time of Sri Krishan (Krishna). He divided it into four principal categories. It should be kept in the mind that these divisions are mostly imaginary to make the subject easy to understand. Practically, they have no strict partitions and smoothly merge into one another, and the practitioner applies all the four of them at the same time, at least to some extent, to learn and practice the Yoga.
The leading types of Yoga are -
Gyan Yog - Yoga of Knowledge. The realization of God attained through Brahm-Gian (knowledge of God) by following the Guru's preachings, and by the grace of God. The study of books, teachings by an adept and suitable discussions help. It is realization of the True Knowledge that God is everything. This Yog is very important. Everyone must gain at least some knowledge as to what his or her aims are and what is being done.
Karam-Yog - Yoga of action. Selfless or voluntary service. Sharing your boons with the needy, providing protection to the weak, imparting education to the illiterate, teaching crafts to the others for enabling them to stand on their own feet, selflessly building or renovating the centers of the faith e.g. Gurdwaras, academic or technical institutes, and homes for the destitute etc.
hT XogIt is outside the scope of the above four types of Yog. It is the obstinate, dogged or the stubborn-way, the method of insistence or steadfast persistence. It is carrying on the meditation in a very tough way by adopting a difficult posture like standing on one leg with one arm raised for a long time i.e. months and years together; sitting in the sun with fires lit all around in the summer; standing in the open water (pool) all the night, or standing in the open, continuously throwing cold water on the head and body in winter; and adopting other body torturing techniques. The Sikhs reject all these, but some novice may combine milder forms of these with the Naam-Jaap under the impression of doing the Kathaan-Tapaseaa (Tough, or hard worship).
There is no need to be stubborn in the Naam-Jaap, or doing it under some vows imposing self-created tough conditions or bindings. No doubt, almost everyone adopts it to some extent, may be in a very mild form for keeping to the Naam Jaap, and for persistence in reciting prayers (Scriptures) etc.We have to keep in the mind that the body needs to relax, and rest for good health which is essential for dedicated worship of God.RAJ-YOGIt is also called Ashtang Yog
Ashtang means eight. Raj-Yog has eight steps and so, it is also called Patanjali`s Ashtang-Yog, or Ashtang-Yog. The people think that Yog (Yoga) means Raj-Yog and it is generally understood that Yogis practice only this.
Ashtang-Yog - Eight-Step Yoga
Eight steps of Raj-Jog are -
Kundalini and Kanwals
Yog (Yoga) designates Kundalini and Kanwals (kamals, kamlas, or chakkars, chakras), which are the subtle energy-centers. These are imaginary - a visualizations. These have no anatomical existence, and have been established by Yogis and seers through their intuitions, experiments and experiences. No doubt, these have some relationship to the body anatomy -
Mooladhar Chakkar - It is level with perennial plexus, bottom of a person.
Swadhisthan Chakkar - Opposite sacral plexus, pubic level.
Manipuri Chakkar - Opposite umbilical plexus (solar plexus), at the level of the naval - belly-button.
Anhat Chakkar - Opposite cardiac plexus, heart region.
Visudhee Chakkar - At level with laryngeal plexus, throat.
Agya Chakkar - Opposite cavernous plexus, or pineal body - area between two eyebrows.
Kundal means a loop, and Kundalini (Kundalni) means something with a loop - coiled, the looped one i.e. a snake. Kundalini, also called Sarapni (snake: coiled up snake-like. Serpentine Center) is at the bottom: perineum, in level with tip of the spinal column at its lower end. It is placed in the lowest center Mooladhar Chakkar, at the bottom of all other Chakkars (see Kanwal). It is the center of Shakti - cosmic energy.
Kundalini (Sarapni - snake) stays coiled with its head down, (three and a half coils) around Shiva like - oval, structure, in the Mooladhar Chakkar, at the base of all other Chakkars (Imaginary).
When Kundalini gets awakened by meditating on it, the spreading out fine tremors or vibrations may appear in the area at the lowest end of the spine at its back (sacral area), and spread out in the body in a centrifugal manner. The body-tremors like faint earthquake may be felt, or fine tremors may start from the toes of both the feet and rise up to the back.
On getting activated, Kundalini starts rising up as the subtle faint bluish light, and crosses each Chakkar, one after the other. When this light (Kundalini) enters Sahansar-Dall Kanwal - Dassam-Dwar, at the top of all chakkars, Shanti (complete calm), bliss, Anand (joy), and Vismaad (ecstasy) may manifest, or one may behold with closed eyes an explosion of light - probably without any sound. There is nothing to fear in this, or in any other spiritual experience.
Kundalini is Shakti (energy) i.e. Maya: mundane - the worldly factor. Sahansar-Dall Kanwal means a thousand petalled lotus and it is also called Dassam-Dwar - Tenth Door or Tenth Gate. Dassam-Dwar is the seat of Shiva i.e. God. Kundalini i.e. Shakti, on entering Dassam-Dwar, meets Shiva i.e. God. It means, Maya meets God, and it gets lost into Him. Now, only God remains and Maya is no more - Maya is totally lost. This is the egoless state of mind, and the fellow rises above every worldly trait (lust, anger, greed, attachment, ego) i.e. gets liberated - emancipated.Kanwal (Chakkar) Energy CentersTo attain supernatural powers and for union with God, Yogis fix their minds on Chakkars (Chakras) or kanwals (kamal, lotus) - centers of subtle energy. Kanwal means a lotus. Yogis meditate on them and activate them one by one, from below upwards. On activation, down-facing kanwal becomes erect - facing up, and it means that Yogi has attained its Sidhi (control on this energy center - has attained its miraculous powers). Each energy-center has its own specific hidden powers. From the lower end of the spinal column to the forehead (slightly above the Mid Brow Point), are 6 kanwals - energy-centers. Starting from the lower end and going upward along the spinal column are -
Eyes 2, Ears 2, Nose - nostrils 2, Mouth 1, Anus 1, Urinary opening including sex organs 1.From Mooladhar Chakkar to Agya Chakkar, these are connected by cosmic-energy channels - ` Irra' is on the left, `Sushmana' in the middle, and `Pingla' on the right. At the level with throat, Irra crosses to the right, Pingla to the left, and at Agya Chakkar all these three unite as a loop with Sushmana in the middle. Union of three energy channels gives this point the name of `Trikuti' and it is located slightly higher to the Mid-Brow Point. Trikuti means the point of union of the three.Through concentration - by meditating on these energy-centers (Chakkars, Kanwals), and recitation of their specific Mantras, Yogis activate them. They awaken (activate) Kundalini, and direct it up through Sushmana, pass it through higher Kanwals one by one by meditating on them (Kanwals) in turn, and then unite it with (lift and move Kundalini up to) Sahansar-Dall Kanwal (Dassam Dawar). They call it the union of Shakti (Kundalini: Maya factor - the worldly aspect) with Shiva (God factor). The whole of this explanation is meant to show that the Yogic way to achieve union with God is quite hard - difficult.
The Sikh Way
Giving up vices, adopting virtues, and concentration (fixing the mind),
are good things in Yoga, but the Sikhs don't attach any importance to Yogic-Asans,
Kundalini, Kanwals, and Pranayam. As well, they do not believe in getting
blank in Smadhi. They consider all such things absolutely unnecessary,
and do not follow or practice them. They stay directly linked to God by
fixing the mind on Him through His name (Naam-Jaap - recitation of the
Word `Waheguru'). They make best use of all the four types of Yogas (Raj,
Gian, Karam, Bhagti), and as well combine desirable aspects from all other
sources, even a little bit of Hath Yog as in resisting the worldly temptations,
and staying steadfast in the Naam-Jaap. This is their (and can be for all
others) Naam Yog: Naam-Jaap - worship of God.
Naam Yog is the term devised for Naam-Jaap. It is the Sikh way and has nothing to do with the usual Yoga. It is Sehj-Yog: balanced way, an effortless path of realizing God. This is placed on the plinth of goodness from all resources. It has its own organized totality. Its five cardinal points are -
We have to realize that Jap Yog of the Sikhs demands `Liv' ilv ilv - absorption i.e. concentration, and till it gets in Sehj (effortless, a habit), we may have to adopt one or the other method to learn and reach concentration. It is right to use to your ethical advantage a good thing from anywhere, provided it fits well in the philosophy of your faith. Anyone from another faith may use his or her name of God and formulas.
Trikuti - This pointis on the forehead, between and slightly above the inner ends of the two eyebrows, and is opposite pituitary. Three energy channels - Irra, Pingla, and Sushmana, meet at this point. Yogis activate this point (Agya Chakkar) by concentrating on it (Trikuti), mainly to gain supernatural powers.
According to the Sikh faith, recitation of Gurbani, Naam-Jaap and good influence of Sangat (congregation) automatically activates Trikuti. To them, Trikuti represents three-dimensional world i.e. the three characteristics of Maya (worldly attachments) namely Rajo Gunn, Tamo Gunn (Guna), Sato Gunn i.e. grip of the mundane, (and it is not union of the three subtle energy channels as considered in Yoga). These three characteristics are -
Rajo Gunn - Egoistic characteristics of the world (Rajo).The spiritual practitioners have to get liberated from all these three characteristics and rise to the Fourth Dimension called Turiaa (Turya) - seat of the Lord.
Tamo Gunn - Vile, dark side of the world (Tamo).
Satto Gunn - Virtues, bright side, saintly aspect of the world (Satto).
In the Naam-Jaap (recitation of the name of God. See `Name of My Lord'), the Mid-Brow Point (almost Trikuti) is a point at the forehead merely to hold attention. In the breathing exercises, breathing (Pran) is also, used for the same purpose. One can use anything to hold attention, but rather than focusing at any other point, the forehead is much superior place whereat the Lekh (destiny, luck) is said to be inscribed by the Lord.
Taking help of breathing or of the Mid-Brow Point for concentration is not any form of Yoga.
The Naam-Jaap demands concentration and till it becomes a habit, we may have to adopt one method or the other to achieve it. In itself, Yog is another way to meet God, and it is good to have some knowledge of it like that of any other thing. No doubt, the real Yog is to keep the mind fixed on the Lord -
AMjn mwih inrMjin rhIAY jog jugiq iev pweIAY ]
AMjn mwih inrMjin rhIAY jog jugiq iev pweIAY ]
An:jan maahe niran:jane rahee-aae jog jugat.-e iv paaee-aae
Way of union with the Lord is to stay absorbed in Him.