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Respected Tourists

I wish to let you know about some important points regarding Yoga which are actually related to India’s age-old tradition Yoga. However, in today’s modern “yogic culture”, the definition of Yoga has been transformed by persons who have a vested interest in spreading the tradition, i.e., they wish only to gain monetary benefit and to gain fame.

Respected Yoga Devotees, first of all, I want to bring to your kind attention to the fact that you must understand the real definition of Yoga. The most important thing is to know is what is real Yoga – that which our Rishis-Munis have kept alive for the last thousands of years. Even so there remain a number of unsolved and stark (paheliyan) questions, answers to which have yet to be learned. Many people are coming here to Rishikesh and to other parts of the world and learning a very restricted sort of Yoga like Asan and Pranayam. They are being misguided because this is being misrepresented as being the complete form of yoga. Yoga teachers have begun to teach in this manner. Students feel they are learning the complete form of Yoga and are under the wrong impression that Yoga means keeping the body healthy and maintaining a balanced life only. It is all this, but much, much more.

Today, some people have started to say that Yoga is not connected to any particular religion. But in fact, Yoga is not separate from the Hindu religion. This does not mean that people of all faiths cannot benefit from it. People of all religions and faiths can and do benefit from the practise of Yoga. Everyone has the right to do Yoga but we should maintain the truth of its origins. This is the duty and responsibility all of us. If today, we live our lives through the medium of Yoga, then it does not mean that for the sake of our facility and convenience, we have the right to misuse or misrepresent it.

We should not look at Yoga as being separate from Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna and Maharishi Patanjali. It we have not paid attention to the above Yoga – that is, the Yoga defined by the Gods, we will not be able to understand and interpret the same properly and then, it cannot be called the actual Yoga and will remain only a good exercise. Most people are in fact pracising yoga in this manner and I regret to say that our Indian teachers have started to use wrongly the words “Hatha Yoga”. No one is careful about the method and practice of yoga. Every teacher, whether dressed in white, yellow or red only has as his or her motto, to earn money and fame and to make him or herself supreme are among yoga teachers. I request all of you kind readers to kindly co-operate in safeguarding this invaluable property.

You all know how the word Yoga originated – it has its roots in Sanskrit. I have already mentioned that Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna cannot be separated from Yoga. You are well aware that Yoga was started by Maharishi Patanjali and that the said Maharishi is related to the Hindu religion. Then why we should we propagate the misconception that Yoga should not be viewed from any religious angle? But as mentioned above, it belongs to everyone. For example, Sun worship is a central part of the Hindu religion but the power of the Sun is extended to all. Let us worship and practise Yoga in its entirety, acknowledge its orgins, and welcome all to its magnificent age-old fold.

yogi purushottam sharma


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