Sikh Research and Education Center
655 Old River woods Lane,
According to Patanjali, Yoga consists in preventing the mind from being affected by external things. The mind thus comes to the normal state, being free from the outside influences. This is achieved by resorting to the yogic physical exercises. This leads to complete annihilation of all types of desires. The main physical exercises prescribed are the regulated breathing and fixing attention upon an object of sense or on internal or other kinds of objects. It then lays stress on the self mortification and fusion of himself with Soul or God in a mechanical forced way. In this way, they say, ignorance, egoism, desires, aversion and clinging to life, are completely eliminated.
Yoga practices aim at achieving orgiastic states; these are the forms of auto-induced trance. In this context the yogis are also seen taking the help of drugs as well. in a transitory state of exaltation, the world outside disappears, and with it the feelings of separateness from it. They have no sense of discrimination left to distinguish one from the other, as for them the reality existing outside themselves has no relevance. They become extremely selfish and self centered. For an insane person the only reality that exists is that within him and that of his fears and desires. He sees the outside world in this reflection.
Mind is cultivated in a good society by confronting situations and adjusting to the reality on the basis of Truth. Truth can only come out if we imbibe within us the Truth and love Truth. The main condition to love is to overcome one's selfishness, to rise above his self to be objective. One must be objective in his approach, as the attitude of objectivity is based on reason, which transcends the self. This alone is the genuine basis for attitude of humility. Humility, objectivity and reasonableness are indivisible, and are the basis of genuine love, which is indivisible. One's ability to love depends entirely on his capacity to rise above his selfishness, attachments and prejudices. These traits are totally foreign to the followers of Yoga, who lack all humanistic qualities. They are extremely egocentric, harsh, rigid and domineering in their behavior, as the ultimate aim is to acquire supernatural powers. Power and faith are antagonistic to each other. Power cannot make any one a rational being.
It is true that concentration is a necessary condition for attaining union with the love object. It may be clearly understood that concentration is the necessary ingredient of Love. When one becomes imbued with genuine love, his all attentions are necessarily focused on the love object. By inculcating love for God, one has not to suppress the instinctual forces and annihilate other faculties, which God has endowed us with, but to utilize these potentialities in realization of the love object. The wandering mind thus comes to a halt. Further, no one can lead a truthful life simply by adoption of certain formulae as his code of conduct. Truth can only come out from us, if we love Truth and imbibe Truth within ourselves. This is possible, if we love God objectively, Who is the Embodiment of Truth and All Virtues; and Who only bestows such Virtues to all. The attributes that we give to God and love Him by singing His eulogies, we in this way only ingrain within us such virtues. Our mind thus is cultivated and we become God Men and lead a contented truthful life. There is no other short cut formula to lead a happy and contented life. Yogic exercises bring about stillness of the mind by forced mechanical techniques. The mind is reduced to emptiness and blankness without attaining any positive virtues. This is the peace of the grave yard.
Why do people mortify themselves and inflict injuries on themselves and pose themselves as Saints? People get frustrated with each other, as every one is self motivated. This brings about extreme hatred for each other also. It is easy to understand how a person with odd types of relations with his/her near and dear ones, would feel hatred for them. But we know from every day experience that when such hatred cannot be carried out toward the person who has given rise to it, it is often transferred to some one else. We know, too, from psychiatric and psychoanalytic findings that "in melancholia, the disease from which such persons generally suffer, the victims stew in the caldron of their own hate, turned back on themselves from some unrecognized external object." (Dr. Karl A Menninger in Man Against Himself)
We again quote Dr. Karl A Menninger - "It must be emphasized that these rigors have not been practiced by Christian derivatives only. Most religions show the same phenomena. Ascetic practices are described among the Mohamedan devotees as well as among followers of Buddhism and Brahmanism and many other faiths.
"*Miyan Hatim of Sambhal, who died in 1562, spent ten years roaming about bareheaded and barefooted, never sleeping on a bed. Mohammed Ghawth spent feeding on the leaves of trees, and sleeping in caves. Sheikh Burhan for nearly 50 years before his death abstained from meat and from most other articles of food and drink..... Toward the end of his life he abstained also from drinking water, spending his time in meditation in a small dark cell.
"Hindu ascetics remain in immovable attitudes with their faces on their arms raised to heaven until the sinews shrink and the posture assumed stiffens into rigidity; or they expose themselves to the inclemency of the weather in a state of absolute nudity or tear their bodies with knives or feed on carrion and excrement. Among the Mohamedans of India there are fakirs who have been seen dragging heavy chains or cannon balls or crawling upon their hands and knees for years; others have been found laying upon iron spikes for a bed; and others again have been swinging for months before a slow fire with a tropical and blazing overhead.
"What has this resulted to? The self inflicted injuries are depicted
the way to union with God. The pantheists established "I - it" relationship
with God. They do not realize that God is Infinite Spirit pervading everywhere,
the Supreme Being, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniconscience. The belief
in Him should make man humble, as he is insignificant before Him. Man's
very existence is due to Him. They try to possess God, incorporate Him
within themselves and thus claim to identify with Him. They do not eliminate
their self in Him, but incorporate Him as the part of their self. They
claim Him as their self, alienate themselves from the reality and live
under a delusion. They take God as "IT" and the attempt is that "I" should
arrest and possess "IT" and be "IT". it is their vain and futile effort
to try to arrest All Wise God and to incorporate within themselves. This
is only an illusion. The Vedantists, the Jogis, the Sufis identify themselves
with God and thus develop an extra-ordinary degree of self love in the
process of identification. There is no sense of humility and sweetness
left in them and they emerge as gods to dominate others, by the occult
magical powers gained by them through the yogic exercises. They are so
apathetic in their attitude that their emotional reactions are flat and
anemic. Their behavior is so unnatural that it is difficult for normal
people to establish friendly rapport with them. They remain completely
untouched by the tears of their near and dear ones. Love, sympathy and
feeling of tenderness are blunted. They are the solitary individuals who
rarely associate or converse with others. They are easily enraged and threaten
the people with their wrath and curses.
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