BEAUTIFUL Mind & gRATEFUL HEART
Our culture has always shown us the path of peaceful life. Peace is the basic requirement if we are actually living the life and when we are at peace with own self then we can be peaceful to others and environment. Peace, Respect, Love, Honesty, Care are the virtues which are pillars of meaningful life. Our ancestors have always preferred the love and unity over comforts; Lord Rama is the perfect example of this, he has left all the comforts behind and went to forest to keep promises. So these values like keeping promises are valuable over any sukha or luxury. And these Samskara, this wisdom and Viveka are given to Him by His Guru. By the practice of Yoga… be it a hatha yoga, bhakti yoga, ashtanga yoga, raj yoga, karma yoga, jnana yoga or any other one knows the way of living, the aim of life.
Only a peaceful, aware, a mind who cares and a mind who has control over desires can lead a happy life and can spread happiness in the world. Having peaceful mind and grateful heart are the signs of beautiful soul. These are the keys to happy, stress free and balanced life. We have so many great examples in every religion having such beautiful mind, heart and soul. How did they beautified their mind?
MODERN LIFE AND DEVELOPMENT
Although human beings have done remarkable development in the history of whole human civilisation yet in current scenario the whole world is upside down. We have lots of comfort in our living by the grace of technology and material wealth. Today we have reached moon, we have nuclear bombs, speedy aircrafts, digital money and even we have smartphones in our hands which have changed our life from walk of tortoise to run of rabbit. But aren’t these things increasing pain in butts.
ARE WE ON RIGHT PATH?
We all trying to run in the marathon of rats. Even if we win we will remain a rat! Nuclear bombs are now no more creating a sense of protection rather they are becoming a fear of attacks and war. Digital life has cut the human interaction. Fashionable clothes and corporate lifestyle is now a status symbol and we are trying hard to impress others and running hard to get a place in the society.
Our peace of mind is on stake, health is on stake… “Health is Wealth” is not understood by many in recent scenario, It is just a mere statement now a days. People are going to gyms or following yoga and so many things but are they doing this for health or just to keep look of body intact? Having a beautiful body is great but having good health is different and on the top of that having a beautiful mind and heart is more more different.
Are we living? Is this life? What about physical, mental and emotional health of a human being? Is this really a development which we want in our life?
Are we taking our generations on the right path on the name of development or are we just doing this development in the greed of money? The only purpose behind this so called development is just greed of money otherwise we would have felt great, stress free after achieving so much. Then why this lifestyle is bringing anxiety, depression and stress if we are doing something great. That clearly shows this is not healthy and right way. Nowadays we are not thinking about other creatures. Leave other creatures even we are not thinking about humans. Today we have simplified living with the help of technology but what about our life?
CURRENT SCENARIO AND ISSUES
Even after so much of development, we are suffering from stress, anxiety, frustration and conflict in our life. Let us see how many people are suffering from diseases in their life. According the World Health Organisation around 422 million are suffering from diabetes around the world from 8.5% are adults. It was projected by WHO that around 60 million people will die due to chronic diseases in India upto 2015. Around 30% of the world population comes under obese or are overweight. A study from National Center of Health statistics show that around 39.6% of U.S adults are obese.
Is this development? The goal of human life is just eat, sleep, sex and fear? Is there some way to come out from this diseased life and a way to live a life of enjoyment and satisfaction?
Answer is yes there is way, there is “YOGA”.
YOGA AND HUMAN LIFE
Now a days yoga has become popular all around the world because of its significance in human life. Yoga in not narrow concept but it is much wider field. Yoga is not only capable in eliminating disease but it has more significant effect on the human mind. Researches in the field of yoga has shown that yoga is not only capable in fighting the diseases but it can also cure diseases from human body. It has much more significance apart from the curing diseases and taking care of physical body.
ASHTANGA YOGA- A boon to mankind
Yoga which total comprises of eight parts is popularly known as ‘Ashtanga Yoga’. Ashtanga yoga is one the strongest combination which can bestow an individual disease free healthy life, unwavering mind and direction to life. Mental health and physical health benefits are the side benefits of following yoga as it has some solves the higher purpose. One of the limb of Ashtanga Yoga is Samadhi, The self realization which is the ultimate purpose of life. Yoga is the way to know the real self, a way to live balanced life. It teaches us social conduct, personal code of conduct, posture to make body flexible and to sit for long hours for pranayama and meditation. This all process keeps physical health, mental health and spiritual journey intact. Lets see the 8 limbs (Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi) of Ashtanga Yoga given by Maharishi Patanjali:-
1. Yama – Improving the social conduct
Modern life is all about socialising so keeping the social life healthy is important. As we are getting busier and busier in work life to cope up with the modern lifestyle and to maintain that status in society we are prone to suffer with stress, anger, greed, craving and possession of things. The 5 Yamas are five social conducts to lead a peaceful and harmonious life.
a). Non – Violence (Ahimsa)
So first code of conduct i.e – NON-VIOLENCE. If we start following the path of non-violence and avoid violence in our life we can experience the calmness in thoughts and we can find better way to fulfill desires. Following non violence saves us from doing harm to self, other living beings and environment. One becomes more tolerant which brings harmony in the society.
b). Truth (Satya)
Today’s man is bound to say lie at work place, bound to make excuses at home with children, spouse or other family members which further comes in the habit. Speak the truth which is intended, do not just speak truthful words. Truth will build strong healthy relation with others and oneself too. Truth in words not in actions is not truth. Speak the truth, speak the good, speak the truth which can serve good.
c). Non-stealing (Asteya)
The moment one steal, his mind starts waving from that very moment. Waves of fear, lies, covering the truth etc etc start coming up in the mind strongly hence disturbing the mind. Hence yoga teaches us valuable value i.e. non-stealing which keeps our mind cool and calm. Yoga teaches non stealing which maintains integrity and confidence to fulfill desires through righteous ways.
d). Controlling over senses/Sexual Restraint (Brahmacharya)
Sense organs if kept in controlled state help in storage of vital energy in our body. Control over lust and following brahmacharya saves energy so that we can achieve higher things in life and gives samskara for not forcing someone for lust, hence prefers love over lust.
e). Non-storing (Aparigraha)
This means not to store unnecessary things from surrounding, in surroundings and even not to store unnecessary thoughts in mind. Aparigraha helps an individual to manage his thoughts in mind easily. If we promise to keep only what is necessary then this will automatically put a control over jumping desires. Less running and more living! This is what the life is about. Stress Free Happy Life.
2. Niyama – Improving the self conduct
This means the personal code of conduct. This teaches an individual to implement most important values in his life such as personal hygiene not only of body but also of mind. This is second part of yoga it consists of five sub parts in it i.e.
a). Psychosomatic hygiene (Saucha)
With the help of yogic lifestyle a person can clean his mind as well as body. Yoga has given the gift of shuddhi kriyas (Cleansing Techniques) to take care of mental and physical health. So one should maintain the cleanliness of body, mind and environment around.
b). Contentment (Santosh)
Yoga teaches an individual to be satisfied with the present situation in life. Be happy with what we have in life by grace of god and don’t blame god for thing which we not have. Lets do hard work and achieve the goals with dedication. Thus yoga gives motivation for what we want to achieve and peacefulness with what we have. Satisfied in every condition. Santosh automatically reduces anger and put a stoppage to rat race.
c). Austerity (Tapa)
Being satisfied in every condition is itself Tapa. No complaints itself is Tapa. Mastering and holding mind as it always runs here and there for something or other is Tapa. Even to fulfill desires one does tapa (austerity) when he/she work dedicatedly which means to work in the direction of goals with right and honest ways.
d). Self-implementation (Swadhyaya)
Yoga teaches individual to do continuous contemplation. Do not confuse Contemplation (chintan) with worry, Contemplation gives clear picture of life what we want, where we are heading to. And in case we divert from the path contemplation takes us back. Contemplating what we read what we do is important and implementation is even more important of what we understood.
e). Surrender to God (Ishvara Pranidhana)
Yes, this is one of the best technique which removes all the burden of our mind and life and sets us free. All anxiety, stress, attachments fades away when we surrender all fruits (failure or success) of our work in the feet of almighty Lord. This is called Ishvara Pranidhana.
3. ASANA (Postures) – Taking care of health
Asanas are the most significant and important part of ashtanga yoga because this part most prominently deals with the different body posture. These asanas help in keeping our body fit and cure many types of diseases as well. Modern man is getting stiffer day by day and today’s lifestyle is kind of inviting diseases. Increasing pollution, stress, unhealthy lifestyle, night shifts, junk foods etc are the invitation cards to diseases. Asana gives strength and flexibility to body and prepare us for the higher practices where practitioner has to sit for longer periods without movement. Even in Hathapradipika (authentic text in field of yoga) as well as other yogic texts talks about some asanas that can cure many type of disease from our life and helps in maintaining the health.
“Sthiram Sukham Asanam”
Sthiram – non movable (in one position) Sukham – no pain Asanam – Posture
Asana is said to be done when the yoga practitioner comes in the state where he is established in the asana without pain and happy there in that position.
4. PRANAYAMA (Breath Control) – Taking care of breaths
Pranayama, the breathing techniques help individual to increase the vital energy and help in rejuvenation of the cell in the body. So Prana + Ayama is the complete control over the pranas (the vital force of life). Pranayama gives control over breath and breath is directly affecting the mind i.e directly proportional to mind. For eg. when we are angry breathing becomes fast, when we are calm and composed breathing becomes deep. We all have experienced this. So in a way pranayama is pill to stress, anger, anxiety and many more.
5. PRATYAHARA – Let’s move inside to the center
Pratyahara, the fifth limb of ashtanga yoga means ‘to change the direction of flow of energy towards inside’. When we move inside then we get to introspect own self and can find our hidden potentials. Like a tortoise takes his body parts inside himself similarly pratyahara is when senses become inward. Person is more inward and introspecting self rather going outward and busy in others.
6. DHARANA (To Hold Upon) – Focus
It helps in focusing our mind on particular place so we can do work with easiness and comfort.
7. DHYANA (Meditation) – Be stress free! Be Beautiful!
It is ‘one pointedness’ of mind on particular object for long time in continuity. This helps individual to improves his concentration power of mind which helps students in studies, helps a working man or woman. How? More work can be done in less time means more productivity. It also helps people who work at home to maintain the calmness at home place. in a way Dhyana the meditation is the basic state in which we all should stay for sometime at least. It is making a house a home! Moreover its raises the consciousness of an individual and enabling one for the higher experiences.
8. SAMADHI (Self Realization) – Reached to where we are supposed to
This is very intensified state of concentrated state of mind which imparts the knowledge of self and things unknown. Who am I? Who is beyond the world? What is Death? What is Life? Samadhi gives the answer to these question. Samadhi is the answer to all questions one can have or its the end of all question. Your quest ends here! So this is the final stage of ashtanga yoga and journey starts and end here.
From this above discussion we can conclude that yoga can act as an antidote and nuclear bomb on the problems and diseases which are suffering in recent time.