WHAT IS YOGA?
Namaste. This is a lecture by my spiritual master Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaj. It has been transcribed for your pleasure and knowledge. He explains Yoga in a unique way in relation to your soul. It comes in several parts due to its length, here’s the first part. Enjoy!
What is yoga? Yoga is a Sanskrit word which means “to add two things together.” There must be two things. For example if you want to add two bricks together, then cement, water and other substances are needed.
Similarly, yoga means to connect two persons: one is the Supreme Lord and the other is the unlimited souls. Because we have forgotten that Supreme Lord, we are greatly suffering. Sometimes we suffer as donkeys, asses, dogs, pigs and so on, and sometimes as demigods; we have passed through all the various species of life.
Sri Krsna is so merciful that, by His causeless mercy, He has now given us this human form. This human form is very temporary however; we do not know when we will die. We are all suffering because we think that we are this body. Actually, this body is a bag of urine, stool, blood and other unwanted things. Still we think we are this body, and we endeavour only to please this body – not the mind and soul.
The easiest way to meet with Krsna is through yoga. You should know that the soul is part and parcel of God – the eternal servant of God – but don’t think in terms of worldly servants. The service of Krsna is very loving and beautiful. It is like the service of a friend, mother, father and son, or like the service of a lover towards his most beloved. Sri Krsna’s servants are all very loving. Yoga is that process by which a soul can be with Krsna – this is actually the meaning of yoga.
What is taught as yoga in this world today is the exercise of the body. If you will do these exercises for your whole life, or thousands of lives, still you will not be happy. You will have to get old, and one day you will have to give up this body.
We are discussing real yoga. Sri Krsna is the Supreme Lord and we are part and parcels of that Supreme Lord. By what process can we meet Him and join with Him? By cement? By mud? No. It is through love and affection.
By giving our love to Krsna, we can attain that perfect stage in which we will be happy forever. But what is that process? How can we have prema (pure love of God)?
silanam bhaktir uttama
This is the definition of uttama-bhakti (pure devotion). By this love and affection for the Supreme Lord, you can meet with Him and serve Him. In another scripture it written: “Paranuraktir isvare.” Such deep and strong affection to Isvara (the Supreme Controller) Sri Krsna is the only transcendental religion of the soul.
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaj