Meaning of Yoga

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When we think of Yoga, we used to think of some old bearded yogi standing on his head, or more recently of young beautiful men & women in athletic clothing posing serenely, or a class full of people stretching on yoga mats. But actually the meaning of yoga is far beyond any of the physical gymnastics we tend to associate with the word. There are many systems of yoga, namely; karma yoga, jnana yoga, dhayana yoga, hatha yoga, bhakti yoga, and so many patterns of yoga. But as we understand from the Bhagavad-gita:

…in the Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly stated that…yoga means to get into touch with the Supreme Lord. The process, however, includes several bodily features such as āsana, dhyāna, prāṇāyāma and meditation (from purport SB 1.2.28-29)

…The word yoga means “link.” Any system of yoga is an attempt to reconnect our broken relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are different types of yoga, of which bhakti-yoga is the best. In other yoga systems, one must undergo various processes before attaining perfection, but bhakti-yoga is direct. (from purport SB 10.2.6)

…The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name: karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī or dhyāna-yogī, rāja-yogī, haṭha-yogī, etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all the other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himalayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī. (Bhagavad-gita 6.47)

The very word yoga means connecting link with the supreme being. We accept Krishna as the supreme being, and nobody is equal to him or greater than him. (Letter to Sri Krishna C. Batra – Vrindaban 8 December, 1975)

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Current Link

Recently there was a nice article on the Sampradaya Sun posted by Sriman Dhira Govinda Prabhu on the Current and Direct Link, for continuance of the disciplic succession in ISKCON, and two nice spin off articles. Enclosed are two of the recent articles submitted by readers.

Current Link
BY: DUSYANTA DAS

Apr 27, 2011 — UK (SUN) — In Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.7 is where the quote is found concerning the word “link”. In the purport, Srila Prabhupada identifies this phenomena thus: “…in order to receive the real message of Srimad Bhagavatam one should approach the current link, or Spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession.”

The definition of “current” is explained clearly from the Collins English dictionary thus:
“most recent, commonly known, practiced or accepted, widespread, circulating and valid at present”. Which all seems to fit very easily into the idea that Srila Prabhupada is the Spiritual Master, the current link that is illustrated here in the purport of SB 2.9.7.

The application of this phenomena, the “current link” is hinging on the word in the sentence “approach”. Which is either a verb or noun. The verb “approach” is defined as “to come near, to go to someone with a request or offer, to set about doing something.” The noun “approach” is defined as “a way or road to a place, a method of doing something.”

If we follow the premise that Srila Prabhupada uses the term “immediate acarya” as synonymous with the term “current link”, then we come up with the definitions lending the validity to a direct relationship with Him without intermediaries and regardless of physical presence. Immediate definition as “without intervening medium, closest or most direct in effect of relationship.”

The point in approaching a spiritual master or current link in disciplic succession is to take initiation from him.

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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