Cleanse the body, mind and soul first, to Know Thyself; Then you are the architect of yourself

By O.J.George

(ojgeorge@gmail.com)

Methodical postures, gymnastics, aerobics, vaulting and jumping are good for human beings for their physical well-being which provide add-on benefits to the mind and soul as well. Breath is the embodiment of life which, if manoeuvred well, would bestow further impetus to the otherwise sagging inhalation and exhalation, resulting in all-pervasive boost to blood circulation, energizing each and every organ.

Well, you have plenty of stuff on Yoga proper explained in detail by experts elsewhere in the magazine aimed at simple ways to loosen up, unwind and relax. There are ways to calm down and control yourself.

During the times of rishis, sages or sanyasins of yore, they used to live in the forests and concentrate on Tapas,  going through ways of austerity and discipline. Their forms of concentrated chantings were capable of moving the mountains, domesticating wild animals and even motivating the Gods to listen to their supplications.

One need not  venture out that far to find solace in the rigorous lives of such Yogis in the wilderness and woods, for human beings can work out a schedule of relaxation, unwinding and loosening up the taut nerves in their own habitats, whether these are in rural, urban or mega metropolis .settings. For there are ample amenities guiding one to come to grips with ways to de-stress the pent-up faculties.

You may enjoy a peep into the intricacies of the .physical exercises involving twists and turns conjuring up a sort of magical spin or whirl with the body proper aimed at earning agility, dexterity and swiftness, all the same providing softness to the tissues, ligaments and joints. We have seen on television Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev performing intricate patterns of Yoga asanas (Postures) , particularly his act of withdrawing his stomach inwards, in an act of  deft, graceful and elegant movements.

These are all contributing to the physical well-being, ultimately leading to the enrichment of the spirit, mind and soul.

Yog  or  Yogam could be construed as fate, destiny or pre-destined matters that would come upon in one’s lifetime on Earth. Some visionaries postulate that such fates or destinies descend down to the individual from past deeds or karma reflecting only a portion of the length of our earthly sojourn.

In fact, I chanced upon materials that explain that only twenty per cent of the pre-destined aspects materialize in our lives. Which means that there is tremendous potential to contribute to choice of destiny by our own deeds which may make or mar this-worldly prospects.

One can be kind or cruel in transactions with ourselves and with others altogether. The net result of our deeds on Earth visit us in proportion to the good or bad karma accrued by us during the comparatively fragile life span. That means some forces are revealing to us the axiom that You are the Architect of Your Life.

Great Greek thinkers like Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and Aeschylus had referred to the truism, “Know Thyself”. Therefore, before venturing out to set right obscure things,  one has to probe deep into our inner soul and confirm our understanding of ourselves.

I have read a piece elaborating that by domesticating the mind-machine one can resort to self-healing, acquiring immunity through auto suggestions.

That way one may be asking the brain, the heart, the lungs and various other organs to behave themselves naturally, without causing troubles to the body, which is only the vessel protecting the organs, to pull on with their normal lives. The fitness drive launched on the body proper would percolate down to levels of the mind, the spirit and the soul. That may be the secret of the sages practising austerities and discipline. In fact, they may be calling the shots for finding ways to transcend themselves to the nether world.

An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop, William Shakespeare had quoted in the play, ‘All Is Well that Ends Well’. Sages, though put up in forests as recluses never dared to be lazy in their minds, for they were always engaged in chantings, no evil thought would pass by their presence.

There is a story attributed to one of the saints, a passer–by asked him why he was doing jogging in the courtyard of his dwelling. The saint asked him what he was carrying in his hand. The fellow told him that it was his musical instrument, the violin. Immediately the saint asked him why its strings are left loosened. He said the strings have to be provided with rest, otherwise these would remain rigid and break out, ruining the strings, the bridge and bow of the passionate musical instrument. Then the saint told the passer-by that he was also simply relaxing by jogging.

The lesson that should be learnt from this episode is that one should not go on working at a stretch, without loosening up, for perennial toils would result in break-downs.

Call it Yoga, meditation, chanting or music therapy, the body, the mind and the soul should be appeased, mollified and loosened up with acts of what can be described as imparting a healing touch.

Observing austerities for 41 days, the Ayyappa devotees of the Sabarimala hill-shrine, on reaching the pinnacle of their pilgrimage, are greeted with the words “Tatwamasi”, meaning ‘thou art that’, driving the point home that the ultimate reality is  yourself.

The body is the framework encapsulating mighty vital organs which should be titillated with outpourings of compassion, grace and motivations to continue to pull on without any hitch, ensuring longevity as much as one hopes to survive, with tender caring, soft applications and physical meddling through various postures that are suitable to the end-users, meaning humanity.

The UN had scheduled June 21 every year as the International Yoga Day following the intervention of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he addressed the General Assembly in 2014.

Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition, which embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature, a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being, the Prime Minister had observed in the UN General Assembly, following which the International Yoga Day was subsequently scheduled.

That speaks for itself about world attention being drawn to the importance of Yoga, its precepts and practice.

One thing should be emphasized about proliferation of Yoga, which should be pinpointed in all its purity. There should not be exhibition of Yoga in the capsule form, like Kathakali art form is often displayed in nutshell  form to entertain visiting foreigners.

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