Yoga in COVID-19

Lockdown is nothing new for Indian Civilization

India’s spiritual masters and Yogis are living a self-isolated life since thousands of years with an intention to realize the ultimate truth of life. Eventually what happened to them is that they realized the nonexistence of what human body and mind experiences. Indian philosophy & its ancient life style allows human to self-realize and self-purify on the body and mind level.

Ideally, Ancient Indian lifestyle is divided into 4 stages or Ashrams of life. All the four concerns to a 1/4th of a life time for their particular offerings;

  1. Bhramcharya – time to spend in studying and learning.
  2. Grihastha – time to spend in Sansara (social life).
  3. Vanprastha – retired life period.
  4. Sanyas– time for renunciation.

Now, let’s talk a little more about third and fourth stages.

The one who has completed the second stage of life i.e. Grihastha Jivan, he will move to a life where social responsibility has ended. If you understand the etymology of Vanprastha, you will see that it is made up of two words- ‘Van’ meaning forest and ‘Prastha’ meaning to walk towards. This indicates that a human being needs to start detaching from the materialistic life; need not to abandon fully but just start the renunciation bit by bit. Take the own time and step by step leave the worldly life and enter into Sanyas, the fourth stage of life.

स्वविषयासंप्रयोगे चित्तस्वरूपानुकार इवेन्द्रियाणां प्रत्याहारः ॥ २५४॥
Sva-viæayâsamprayoge cittasyasvarûpânukâra ivendriyâñâm pratyâhâraï __2.54
ततः परमा वश्यतेन्द्रियाणाम् ॥ २५५॥
Tataï paramâ vaåyatendriyâñâm__2.55

Patanjali suggests the same idea. When one starts withdrawal of senses and renunciation at worldly objects and start living detached life, it is Pratyahar. Symbol of Pratyahar is Turtle, the one who withdraws the senses and turns towards inside

2 stages of Pratyahar 

  1. Physical i.e. body level.
  2. Impressions i.e. association process.

Today, the whole humanity is facing a tough time. We all are bound to live a quarantine life and take our senses from outside towards inside. We all wish to go back to our pre-COVID lives. On the other hand, we are also struggling to reduce our material association of life through limited access. But our mind desires object of association which again brings hindrance in the purpose. And this is exactly where we are facing the problem.

Our Rishis and Yogis were masters in it, now it’s time for us to learn. Yogis used to do action without association. They were able to detach.

We might be highly qualified in our studies but what we are actually uneducated about the situation we are facing. But deep somewhere down, we hold impressions of all these qualities. We had Buddha in our history, who left the ultimate comforts and attained peace; Adi Shankaracharya, who left his home at the age of 8; Swami Vivekanand, who was a highly intellectual person; Shri Aurovindo, supreme conscious being.

India’s past has witnessed these great masters, who achieved peace after detaching themselves from all these associations with which we are fully attached.

This COVID 19 is great opportunity for humanity to attain peace within.

तीव्रसंवेगानामासन्नः ॥ १२१॥

For those who seek Peace whole heartedly, Peace comes close.

We have peace within us, what we lack it is to understand the nonexistence of human body and mind experience. Peace is not something to be achieved but to be realized. It is a natural human stage where misery of life doesn’t exist. Misery is our current stage and that’s where we have our senses but of that experience is limited. So, grow from limited to unlimited, senses to senseless experience and what you will experience is peace.

Mr. Jasmin Panchasara

Mr. Jasmin Panchasara

MSc. in Yoga, P.G.D.Y.T., NDDY. M.COM, B.ED
Yoga Coordinator and Senior Yoga Therapist at Project ‘Life’, Rajkot.

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