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The Science of Yoga


Yogacharya Vishwas Mandlik


The word "YOGA" reminds us about "YOGI", a person who is practicing austerity in Himalayan caves for years together. This is basically due to lack of requisite knowledge about "Science of Yoga" in its true sense. This leads to wrong notions like one must sacrifice normal life and go to Himalayas or Giri for such practices. This further strengthens the belief in the masses that this science is beyond their reach keeping themselves miles away from it. However of late Institutions and Organizations propagating yoga by adapting yogasan and Pranayam practices have by and large changed the attitude of the masses towards this science.

Yoga is viewed paradoxically both, as too easy and therefore very casual without potential, or too difficult and complex and therefore hard to practice. Many persons call themselves as expert by knowing a few Asanas. All this perceptions are misleading, and one need to overcome the extremities of these thoughts. It is also necessary to study and understand basics of Yoga "as is" before opining.

Understanding fundamentals of yoga followed by practice as essential need in daily life gives realization that "Yoga is a resourceful way of living life with happiness and prosperity." But for this experience one needs to understand the spirit of word happiness and prosperity, along with basics of happiness/joy and unhappiness/sorrow.

It is a mere illusion that we find happiness in this world only when our materialistic desires are fulfilled. The unfulfilled desires make us to experience sorrow. Reflect on the following example :

It is a joyous experience for a hungry person to have a delicious Meal with variety of dishes. But eating same meal can be painful to a person who has already satisfied his hunger or to a person although hungry has diet restrictions due to disease. Thus materialistic desire of food not only can give pleasure but can also lead to pain. Fulfilling such desires for so called pleasures do not increase level of satisfaction but on the contrary increase lust towards such desires. There is no end to this cycle of desires and unfulfilled desire leads to pain. Sanskrit verse highlights the above fact, The meaning of the same is given below.

A person who has nothing expects one, a person who has one expects ten, a person who has ten expects hundred, a person who has hundred expects thousands and a person who has thousands expects million. A millionaire expects a kingdom. A king expects to be Brahma (Creator of Universe), Brahma expects to be Vishnu (Governor of Universe) and Vishnu expects to be Shiva (Ultimate Master of Universe also the Destroyer of Universe)

Every one expects to add something more to what is already with him. This fulfillment of expectations has limitations. Beyond a limit no additional expectation can be fulfilled. Unfulfillment of this additional expectation leads to sorrow. Thought that gaining something more can give happiness/joy leads to unhappiness/sorrow when no gain is made. But acceptance that there is no happiness/joy in gaining something more will rule out the possibility of being unhappy/sorrow in future, I.e. UNFULFILLEMENT OF EXPECTATIONS LEAD TO SORROW. If there are no expectations there can be no unfulfilled expectation and therefore no sorrow. With this philosophical thinking we can understand the meaning of Lord Krishna's verse in Bhagawat Gita


If one does his duty without expectation in this materialistic world, happiness and sorrow or loss or gain will not affect him. In spite of paradox of duels while relishing materialistic things, he will be in state of equilibrium. This equilibrium is a light house showing way towards realistic happiness. To lead life in such a balanced state is YOGA. This has further been explicitly said in following verse in Bhagawat Geeta