THE INTENT OF REAL HATHA YOGA
The Sanskrit/Hindu word yoga means, yuj Atman Brahman ca (to yoke to one’s individual Soul and Soul Source). Sanskrit is by definition the religious language of Hinduism, “The ancient Aryan (noble) language of the Hindus.” The various real Yogas are the means by which Hindus achieve this Soul/Spiritual-Realization: Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga, to name a few. Therefore, this one Sanskrit/Hindu word conveys both the goal of Hinduism and the means to the goal.
One must remember that the following are all synonymous for the Hindu religion: Indu/Sindhu/Hindu/Sanatan Dharma/Yoga Dharma/Vedic Dharma/Brahmanism/Hinduism. The following are all synonymous for yoga: yagnasya/yagnya/yuj/yoge/yogah/yoga.
From the Rig Veda (9/5/3): Sa dha ni yoga, aa bhavatu. Sa rayo sa, puram dhyam. Oh Indra! Share with us the true meaning of yoga that we have yet to achieve. Lead us to the city of contemplative absorption.
The Yoga that is so abused today is what should be called “Hatha Yoga” which are Hindu, devotional postures. “Ha” implies Siva and Vishnu (Hara/Hari); “tha” implies moon and sun which correspond to Siva/Vishnu, respectively. For the very reason of what has become displayed and distorted in the name of Yoga today, Hatha Yoga was always meant to be kept very secret and only for the most devoted Hindus. In fact, unlike the phony yoga of today,all the Hindu Yogas are meant to take one IN and not OUT! Outer service and devotion is, of course, important but this Karma and Bhakti Yoga is not done for self-aggrandizement.
From the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali:
Sabda jnananupati vastusunyo vikalpah. (Pada I. Sutra 9)
When word knowledge is devoid of facts, there is delusion.
Bhava pratyayo videha prakrti layanam. (Pada I. Sutra 19)
Those who are immersed in the world should not focus on the physical.
Guru Patanjali ends this classic Hindu philosophy with the admonition that the nature of a real Yogi is to enter into the void, thus ending their eathly evolution and finding liberation: “… partiyogi parinamaparanta … purusarthasunyam … kaivalyam.”
The Saiva, Hindu Guru Patanjali was teaching indepth Hindu philosophy to male, celebate yogis in training. An honest read of the Yoga Sutras (and not merely the translation of someone with a hidden agenda) clearly shows that this Hindu philosophy is all about an intense renunciation of the material world. So much for the modern phony yoga of picture, personality and price tag. The true Yogi is a nobody. Being seriously abused by the spurious yoga movement, one must keep in mind that the Yoga Sutras (one of the six orthodox systems of Hindu philosophy) are not a manuel on Hatha Yoga. For an understanding of Hatha Yoga, one must look, for example, at the following Hindu scriptures:
From the Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati by Yogi Gorakhnatha:
Nava-cakram kala-dharam tri-lakshyam vyoma-pancakam
Samyag etat na janati sa yogi nama-dharakah. (S.S.P.II.31)
If a yogi is not perfectly acquainted with the nine cakras, sixteen adharas, three lakshyas, and five vyomas, he is only a bearer of the name yogi but not a real yogi.
From the Hatha Yoga Pradapika by Yogi Svatmarama:
Hatha vidya bhaveda yavateguhya,
Nivedas tu prakasanam. (Sutra 11)
The knowledge of Hatha Yoga is powerful when kept secret and loses power when displayed.
In the Pradapika, Yogi Svatmarama details the intense and solitary daily routine of the real Yogi. Rising at 4 a.m., the day is spent in a total immersion in all the classic Hindu Yogas which culminate in a complete absorption into the nature of Brahman and the absolute no-thing-ness. Not sparing criticism, he ends his work by chiding the sishya that if this state is not natural, then their “wisdom” and “knowledge” are fraudulent, false and idle chatter (“the babblings of a madman”). “Yavaddhayane sahajasadrsam jayate naiva tattvam. Tavajjnanam vadati tadidam dambhamithyapralapah.”
From the Gheranda Samhita:
The Yogi is to avoid the public and especially women. (V. 23-25)
The goal of Samadhi is only attained by one who becomes indifferent to one’s own body, family, relations, wealth—everything. (VII. 21)
From the Siva Samhita:
Yogasastramidam gopyamasmabhih paribhasitam,
Subhaktaya pradatavyam trailokye ca mahatmane. (Sutra 19)
We (Siva/Parvati) softly declare this very secret knowledge of Yoga.
This gift (the knowledge of Yoga) is to be revealed only to pure devotees and great souls in all three worlds.
All devout Hindus (and students of Hindu Dharma) are encouraged to openly practice Karma and Bhakti Yoga while realizing the more solitary nature of Hatha and Raja Yoga. Jnana Yoga (as study) is always a pre-requisite. With this ongoing practice of the sacred Hindu/Yogas, one gradually develops the enlightened state of Jnana/Kaivalya/ Moksha/Samadhi.
Throughout history whole nations, cultures and religions have been abused in varying degrees. The abuse of the Hindu/Yogic Dharma has been going on for centuries. Many Hindus are at fault for not protecting their Dharma. Many “Hindus” actually capitulate to the phony yoga movement becoming members of the spurious yoga-alliance, for example, and falling prey to fame and fortune. Non-Hindus who have partaken in the ongoing abuse of the Hindu/Yogic Dharma need to cease these violations. However, there may be many non-Hindus who find the Hindu/Yogic religion to be their religion of choice. It is very simple to do the right thing.