Significance of Indian Yoga
A momentous feature of Indian culture is characterised by a powerful, current of three affirmations. There is, first, the affirmation that the truths of the physical and supra- physical realities can be best grasped, known and possessed by us through faculties which lie above the ranges of physical senses and rational intelligence. Secondly, it is affirmed that these faculties can be developed by pursuit of assured methods resulting from the principles, powers and processes that govern the experiences and realisations of the highest possible objects of knowledge. And, finally, there is the affirmation that science, philosophy, poetry, religion and other disciplines, whatever their specific distinctions from each other and whatever their conclusions, — they can reach or fulfil their goals when they open up to those higher faculties and powers and realisations achieved by the ever-progressive development of those faculties. These affirmations have been kept alive throughout the long history of our culture by an unbroken thread of luminous mystics, philosophers, scientists, thinkers, and leaders of action and creativity.
All this explains the constant concern for psychological explorations in our culture and the development of yoga, and
its special relationship with religion and philosophy. Yoga has been looked upon as practical psychology, and yogic methods have something of the same relation to the customary psychological workings of man as has the scientific handling of the natural force of electricity or of steam to the normal operations of steam and of electricity. And they, too, are formed upon a knowledge developed and confirmed by regular experiment, practical analysis and constant result. Yoga depends upon the perception and experience that our inner elements, combinations, functions, forces can be separated or dissolved, can be new-combined and set to novel and formerly impossible workings or can be transformed and resolved into a new general synthesis by fixed internal processes. Yoga is an attempt to realise psychological and physical perfection of our being by devising self-conscious means and willed arrangements of activity and by ever-increasing expression of inner potentialities in a persistent and guided effort to unite our being with the divine reality and divine nature.
Indeed, Yoga is a science, — an intuitive science, — which deals with the ranges of the psychical and spiritual being and discovers greater secrets of physical, psycho-physical and other higher worlds. As in all true science, the object is an assured method of personal discovery or living repetition and possession of past discovery and a working out of all the things found. There is also in it a high intention to hold the truth, the light found in our inner power of being and turn it to a power of being, our psychic self, our spirit, our self of knowledge and will, our self of love and joy, our self of life and action.