Significance of Indian Yoga - An Overview

VI

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It is possible to look upon Yoga as a means of escape from the world and its life. It may be argued that the world- existence is a cosmic illusion or that it is born out of cosmic ignorance and desire, and that there is no issue in it except to find out the quickest means to come out of this sorrowful world-existence. In fact, extreme forms of Yoga have preached asceticism and world-negating attitudes. In these cases, Yoga has become divorced from life and some kind of antagonism between yoga and life has been conceived and practised. These extreme forms of Yoga have been exclusive in character, and where yoga and life do not meet, there can be no question of any synthesis of yoga. But even without recourse to any extreme positions, mere multiplication of Yogic processes brings about some kind of distance between life and yoga. Preoccupation with yogic processes and their exceptional results often impel the yogin to draw away from the common existence and lose his hold upon it. If he gains God, he loses life, or if he turns his efforts outward to conquer life, he is in danger of losing God. Fortunately, there has been throughout the history of Indian Yoga a powerful tendency to reunite Spirit and Nature, God and Life. This is what we have seen in respect of the Veda, Upanishad, and the Gita. In Tantra, we have seen a bolder effort to utilise the obstacles which life presents to yoga as gates of higher realisation. But all turns ultimately on the central question

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