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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Yoga is? 5.1 From world dictionaries (Series – Authentic Yoga Tradition-5.1 from the world dictionaries)



  
      What Yoga is? 5.1 From world dictionaries

(Series – Authentic Yoga Tradition-5.1 from the world dictionaries)
By
Acharya Girish Jha, Mentor, Guide and Life Coach

Amazing, contradictory but true

 Working for more than 33 years in the field of yoga, Tantra and spirituality, I realized that thousands of masters had given definitions of yoga based on their level of evolution and awakening without deviating the fundamentals. It was amazing to find two events in the life of great master Gorakshnath, known as one of great masters of the tradition. I am not sure how much tradition in a city of Gorakhpur( where this master lived) is alive today but one book where he writes that the practice of asana/s ( physical practices of yoga) are a must for treading the path of yoga while later writing  rejects any physical practices of yoga. Many masters I met, have rejected the authorship of two books by the same master. I always had doubt about argument of current masters about this great Gorakshnath. After reading, contemplating and living at the feet of Himalayan master, reason of two opposites’ narratives was revealed, which was later confirmed by my master. First book by Gorakshnath was written when he was treading the path, got initiated and became an ardent disciple while the other was written when he was enlightened. When we tread the path, mind is still involved into material world. If he had given too much stress on the practice of ‘asana’ and ‘pranayama’ or physical postures and breathing practices, he was right. While as his later writings rejected the physical practice because of his awakening, realization and transformation. I gave this example to understand the true nature of yoga, Tantra and spirituality as no single definition can ever define the true nature or essence of yoga. Because yoga , Tantra and spirituality always talks , hints and points about what lies beyond mind , linear language and its expression. Still we have to use, we use the language to convey what   is yoga, Tantra and spirituality. All expressions in language is the beginning where one begins the journey and ends in knowing the essence that transcends the mind.
We will analyze the very meaning of word ‘yoga’ in a series of few articles. The first in the series will understand how world best dictionaries have distorted the meaning of yoga and Tantra. Any person likes to tread the path in the modern age, generally refers to online to find the meaning of word in the dictionaries. When they find the meaning is related to ‘words’ they hate to relate themselves, they either reject yoga altogether or forget to tread on to the path.

I am writing the definition / meanings of the word ‘yoga’ as explained /written by world famous dictionaries before commenting on them.

A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
1. a Hindu system of philosophy aiming at spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing by means of deep meditation, prescribed postures, and controlled breathing
Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006
     
1.   yoga - Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility that is achieved through the three paths of actions and knowledge and devotion
Hinduism - a body of religious and philosophical beliefs and cultural practices native to India and based on a caste system; it is characterized by a belief in reincarnation, by a belief in a supreme being of many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a desire for liberation from earthly evils
2.   yoga - a system of exercises practiced as part of the Hindu discipline to promote control of the body and mind
exercise, exercising, physical exercise, physical exertion, workout - the activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to keep fit; "the doctor recommended regular exercise"; "he did some exercising"; "the physical exertion required by his work kept him fit"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
1 any of several systems of physical exercises based on a Hindu system of philosophy and meditation
Kernerman English Learner’s Dictionary © 1986-2008 K Dictionaries Ltd and partners. All rights reserved.
A Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation
 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.

Yoga -a set of physical and ……..
A Hindu system of philosophy which aims to unite the self with god
 (Definition of yoga noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

I have intentionally highlighted the dictionaries in ‘bold red’ to attract attention of readers as how the world famous dictionaries have distorted the meaning of the word ‘yoga’. Any reader or aspirant treading the path for the first time are generally mislead by their confused, wrong, and doubtful meaning of the word ‘yoga’. One may argue that they have tried to correlate to the existing knowledge and information available in current age but still their explanations could not be accepted by any master or one who knows what ‘yoga’ really is.

No reference of ‘Hindu Discipline” as written in the dictionaries

First statement/ phrase from most of these dictionaries is ‘Hindu discipline’. Can anyone who had written the meaning of ‘yoga’ in these dictionaries tell to their readers that where and which texts had ever refereed the word ‘Hindu?’ we have references of ‘yoga’ in Vedas, Upanishads, Smirtis, Sutras , Purana but there is not word like ‘Hindu’ one find sin these groups of authentic texts. The highest objection comes when we use ‘Hindu Discipline’ as such there is no word ‘Hindu Discipline’. It is not only objectionable but short sightedness of authors of the above mentioned dictionaries. I would go on record that ‘these authors have biased against the word, discipline of yoga to keep it away from mainstream of humanity’. But they did not succeed as yoga has attracted global attention and being practiced in one or other form in almost every country in the world today.

A body of religious beliefs – distortion even by Princeton University

I am appalled by the definition and explanation of the word ‘yoga’ by experts in Princeton University which is one of the best schools in the world.  Not only I am amazed but shocked to read the explanation of ‘yoga’ by the wise people in Princeton University that had one more harm to them than yoga as world looks at them and accept whatever they write, speak and teach.
First of all if science is a ‘belief system’ then yoga is also. Second point is totally unfounded which states ‘religious belief’. There was no religion like ‘Hinduism’ when yoga was discovered, evolved its knowledge and practices by more than 3000 masters. Even more than 1000 texts are testimony to the fact that, the word ‘Hindu’ or Hinduism’ are not found in any of these texts. Thirdly, ‘belief’ when used with religion do more harm than any word as it becomes all exclusive. What is ‘all exclusive’ becomes difficult to enter into domain of ‘science’ and ‘all inclusive’. We will deal in detail about the meaning and essence of yoga in our next article. We are restricting this article about misconception about yoga here only.
The author has never cared to explore the very principle of yoga and concluded writing the popular belief – ‘physical exercise’ which is the greatest blunder he committed not because author is a layman but writes for Princeton University. I could not prevent laughing while he explains and mentions ‘physical exertion’ as nowhere in any literature we find this word to explain even ‘physical practices’ of yoga.
The next blog we will cover “what yoga is? 5.2 real meaning’ (Series –Authentic Yoga Tradition-5.2 real meaning)

Contact Acharya Girish Jha at guruji220@gmail.com
Acharya Girish Jha, a master teacher, mentor, guide, and blogger and life coach holds MS, BS, Dip. Yoga, nature cure, Cert. in Research methodology, and Board Certified Professional Counselor (APA). A deep urge for self-discovery inspired to spend yrs. in Himalayas and with many yoga and spiritual traditions. He learnt from more than 100 Himalayan masters, teachers and saints. He has the credit of teaching over 100000 people during the last over 33 years, conducting over 1000 workshops, seminars, and talks, actively conducting res. projects in Asthma, Diabetes, Stress Management, High Altitude Sickness research, meditation and stress management, offered life coaching (integral wisdom with customized practices) to more than   500 couples, conducted over 300 Radio talk shows, anchored over 30 TV serials on Yoga. He has experience of over 28000 hours of teaching (6000 hrs. of life coaching and spiritual counseling), contributed over 200 articles/papers on yoga and yoga research, and developed specialized practices based on conscious evolution and transformation.
He came to USA in 2007 on a high priority visa, now permanent resident has already trained more than 5000 people, life coached & spiritual counseled more than 200 people; Conducted specialized programs for medical doctors of Columbia University, NYC; stress mgmt. program for   doctors & prof. in PA; intensive customized program for inmates in Trenton, NJ; Healthy Aging Program for seniors in senior center, new Brunswick, NJ.  
His designed and developed programs like Turiya Rest Relaxation Program, Shanti meditation, Personal Transformation Program., Stress Mgmt. Program. ( customized as Personal Stress , Youth Stress , Healthy Aging for seniors, and Corporate Stress mgmt. programs) and Life Coaching ( integral wisdom of east and west delivered includes simple, easy and effective tools and practices for conscious evolution and transformation)