Friday April 27, 2018

Yoga: A tool for harmonious existence

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By Shonu Nangia

As the world celebrates Yoga Day, it is worth revisiting the question, “What is Yoga?” While there are many benefits that accrue from doing yogasanas or postures, yoga is much more than just asanas. It is a method of going beyond the limitations of the body, of staying happy and being steady. It is a cultivation of the art of keeping a calm, alert and happy frame of mind which paves the way for success in life. Derived from the Sanskrit root word yuj, yoga means union. At least 5000 year old of knowledge that originated in the Indian subcontinent, yoga is now universal. It has been proven as an effective practice for a healthy and happy lifestyle and encompasses postures, breathing exercises and the exploration of the deeper parts of one’s consciousness through meditation.

peace

Over the centuries, the ancient practice of yoga has found diverse definitions and expressions. The purpose however remains essentially the same: to go within. It’s a technology to harmonize body, breath, mind, intellect, memory and ego with our innermost core. The earliest mention of yoga is found in the Rig Veda, which dates back to over 10000 years. Ancient texts of yoga give us definitions that are indicative of the depth that yoga can give one’s personality.

Recently, I came across a quote by a teacher of wisdom and an eminent yoga personality, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, that grabbed my attention. It said, “All the problems on the planet can essentially be reduced to one thing: misaligned human beings, misaligned with all there is.”

As I pondered over this observation, it led me to a personal insight – – that there are three specific kinds of harmony essential for our lives to be pleasant. The first kind of harmony that we need in our lives consists of environmental harmony. Our environment is made up of things and influences that are physically external to us but have an impact on our mind and body. Environmental harmony especially presupposes a relationship with the air, food, water, space and sound around us that is conducive to our physical and mental wellbeing. To whatever extent those elements in the environment do not agree with us, to that degree this makes life unpleasant.yoga-tree

The second kind of harmony that we need for a pleasant life is interpersonal harmony. We need agreeable interpersonal relationships and exchanges with other fellow humans. Our senses receive stimuli, wanted and unwanted, not just from the ambient environment but also from other individuals we interact with and the quality of these interactions has a great bearing on how we experience our life.

The third kind of harmony that we need to live a pleasant life is inner harmony, a sense of inner happiness and joy. Inner comfort and inner fulfilment are an actualization of one’s higher potential. When it is there, this harmony translates into a certain ease of being in the world. This inner state of harmony characterizes itself as a stress-free mind, an unprejudiced and clear intellect, a memory that is free of emotional wounds, an ego that is expansive enough to be supple and inclusive, and a loving temperament — among other things.

This third and most intimate level of harmony is actually the most essential one because it is the prerequisite for the other two kinds of harmony, the lack of which is the cause of the great human misalignment which is at the root of all problems like violence and conflict. All other external harmonies proceed from this inner harmony.

Achieving this third and the most supreme kind of harmony is at the heart of yoga. For most people, the first two harmonies generally hold the third harmony to ransom. A yogi, on the other hand, proceeds from inner harmony as he negotiates the first two harmonies.yoga

The Patanjali Yoga Sutras define the art and science of yoga as yoga chitta vriti nirodha, the cessation of thought currents in the mind, which frees our being.

The saying that “every child is a yogi and every yogi is a child” is true in the sense that yoga takes a practitioner back to the freshness, joy, love, friendliness, simplicity, naturalness and enthusiasm that we are all born with but lose as we grow older.

Thus, yoga is the science of uniting within to bring out the best positive qualities latent within us, qualities that are a part and parcel of our own highest nature. All these definitions point to yoga as a process of self-discovery and as a technology to reach one’s highest human potential.

As the 2015 summer solstice ends, and as more and more people on Earth awaken to the need to create a better, happier and more harmonious tomorrow for all everybody, I leave readers with two inspirational messages, one from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who on the occasion of World Yoga Day tweeted, “How can we understand each other if we don’t understand ourselves?” and the other from global humanitarian Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, whose brief message on the United Nation’s International Day of Yoga was simply this: “Yoga helps a human being to unfold his full potential. Yoga improves the quality of life, which is so much needed today. Yoga can wipe the tears and bring smiles on every face. It can bring celebration and skill in everyone’s life. So let’s celebrate this World Yoga Day with zeal and enthusiasm and reach out this precious, ancient knowledge to every human being on this planet.”

 

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In ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi stresses on preventive healthcare

Modi also said the government has set a target to free India from tuberculosis by 2025

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE PHOTO)
  • In his latest ‘Mann Ki Baat’ Modi talks about health care
  • He presented stats of the healthcare sector
  • He talks about public awareness and development strategies

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the people to be more conscious about preventive health care because prevention was not only beneficial for a person but also for his or her family and society. Modi also said the government has set a target to free India from tuberculosis by 2025 and that the government and insurance companies will jointly provide Rs 5 lakh insurance cover to about 10 crore families per year.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of healthcare in his last Mann Ki Baat edition.

In his monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat”, the Prime Minister said: “Preventive healthcare is the least costly and the easiest one as well. As much as we are conscious about preventive healthcare, it will be beneficial for the person, his family and society.” Modi also stressed on the need for sanitisation because “a healthy India is as vital as clean India”.

“I believe that healthy India and clean India are supplementary to each other. The country has moved ahead in the health sector with a conventional approach. Earlier, every health related work was the responsibility of the Union Health Ministry only. But in the current scenario, every department, state governments and other departments are working together for a healthy India.” He said the first necessity for a healthy life is cleanliness.

Also Read: With 100% FDI, Narendra Modi calls Food Sector a Priority in Make in India Programme

“As all of us took up the responsibility, the result is that in the last four years or so, sanitation coverage has almost doubled and risen to around 80 per cent.”

Modi said yoga has attained worldwide recognition as a measure of preventive healthcare and urged people to start a movement right now. “Yoga Day will be celebrated on June 21. Can we start working from now to encourage people for Yoga?”

He said the government had opened over 3,000 ‘Jan Aushadhi Kendras (people’s medicine centre) and was working continuously to open more such centres. More than 800 medicines are being made available at these centres at an affordable price, he said.

will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
Narendra Modi presented stats regarding health care system in India. Wikimedia Commons

Citing some key steps of his government for patients, the Prime Minister said: “The cost for heart stent for the patients has been reduced to 85 per cent. Knee implants cost has also been regulated and reduced by 50-70 per cent. “Under ‘Ayushman Bharat Yojana’, the Indian government and insurance companies will jointly provide Rs 5 lakh for treatment to about 10 crore families or say 50 crore citizens per year.”

Also Read: For Modi, Road To 2019 Will Be Steeper

He said MBBS seats in present 479 medical colleges have been increased to about 68,000 and new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are being opened in various states with a view to provide better treatment to people across the country.

“One new medical college will be set up for every three districts.” The Prime Minister said the government is working to make the country TB-free by 2025. “This is an enormous task. Your cooperation is needed to create public awareness. All of us will need to make united efforts to become TB-free,” Modi added. IANS