DURING MY CHILDHOOD & YOUNG DAYS.
PREFACE: Yoga and all Indian Scriptures teach, “Know and Unfold your divine Spiritual self within, Purify intellect, believe in equality of all human beings and universal brotherhood of mankind”.
Let this book “Lighten a spark of transcendental living and spiritual understanding” in minds of all lost path religious leaders and short sighted egoistic political heads of various countries of the world.
Any one can understand perfect laws of Mother Nature (Prakruti), with known facts of sciences. The laws of motion and gravity govern fine atoms in space and all gross material bodies on globe earth and entire universe in a wonderful and perfect manner.”
Let this book become instrumental in bringing better understanding about Yoga, God and One religion of Global humanity, in present days of religious fanatism all around. I have suggested a plan of I.G.D.S.
“God is Truth” and “Truth is God” Mahatma Gandhi has said.
I hope this book will prove useful to all Yoga students and all open-minded Yoga teachers of any country or religion, who wish to learn about Eternal Religion in the first two steps of Yoga and how to Know, See and Unite with ‘One God of Universe’.
(Before Starting this book, Please read Ch. No. 26,
“Is God Fact or Fiction or Myth?” It indicates the final aim of
Yoga Study, Self Meditaion and meaning of Samadhi).
* * * * *
I had closed my medical practice in India in 1981, and immigrated to USA with all my children. During this free period I was reading and writing my notes on Yoga, Vedanta and Gita in Gujarati language. During my interim visits of India, every two years, I used to publish one or two books in Gujarati.
I wrote my first English book ‘ABC of Hinduism’ in 1988, and my next life mission book, “Mahatma Gandhi Ambassador of God” for Entire Mankind during 21st Century” in 1992.
Many chapters of this ‘Ashtang Yoga or Raj Yoga of Patanjali’ book were ready by 1995. During last 14 years I was giving Free talks on Yoga and Gita and one day Yoga workshops to small interested groups in India and USA.
I came to India this time in 2008 after 4 years. I was hesitating to publish this book as I wanted someone to read and edit the final manuscript. During last 4 months I could not find anybody even to read it once in India.
There was no plan of publishing this book. But at last moment I thought, ‘this book will ever remain unpublished if I do not publish it this time’ due to my age (84), physical limitations and traveling alone in future.
So I quickly edited its final copy myself, rearranged chapters as best as I could and gave it in the press.
Thanks and Apologies. I thank, Editor of East-West Times, Orlando, FL, Vyominiben Bhatt, for publishing my articles on Ashtang Yoga regularly, since 2005. This has given me an opportunity to revise my scattered Yoga articles.
I also thank Mr. Naresh B Shah of Padmavati Printing Press for giving his full co-operation in printing this book.
I also thank, Mr Vinod Bhatt, of Adhiatma Vignan Prakashan for Publishing and marketing this book.
Lastly, I ask for forgiveness from all readers and teachers for any mistakes and unwanted repetition of some topics and words in different chapters.
My Namaste (salutations) to God dwelling in hearts of all people.
(Dr. H. K. Gandhi).
Naroda, Ahmedabad, India.
Date: 30-April, 2008.
PLACE OF YOGA AND THE GITA IN HINDUISM.
(Refer also Chronology Charts)
Short Story of Hinduism.
Age of Vedas, Shruties, Smruties and Sanhitas;
(7000 B. C. to 2500 B. C.)
From the holy Mantra Om, emanate the Vedas, also called Shruties. Shruti means knowledge gained by ears and hearing or Audio-Knowledge.
The early nomadic tribe of the Aryans in Eastern Europe, Turkey and NW parts of India had created the first 3 Vedas in Sanskrit, their spoken language.
In Veda one observes there is worship of natural objects like, Sun (Surya) Moon (Chandra), Water (Varuna), Air and Wind (Vayu), Rain (Indra), River (Nadi), Mountain (Parvat), Fire (Agni), Land (Pruthvi) and domestic animals like cows, bulls etc., These were worshipped as Gods (Deva) and Goddesses (Devies).
The prehistoric Aryans settled in North-Western Indian plains around the great rivers like Indus and other four. This area was called ‘Land of Five Rivers’ or Punch-aab. The name Punjab means five waters.
The first Aryan King Manu dictated earliest socio-political constitution. This was the first political scripture of Manu Smruti. This is known as Indus valley cultural. The name India,, Hindu, Hindi etc. root from name of the river Sindhu (Indus), presently running in Pakistan. King Dasharatha and his son Rama of Ramayana epic are believed to be the 57th generation great grand sons of the first Sun worshipping Aryan King, Manu.
Evolution of Upanishads, Darshans, Jainism and Buddhism. (2500 to 600. B. C.)
Someindependent thinker (Rishies), not happy with rules of Manu, migrated towards planes of the River Ganges. These thinkers created nearly 240 Upanishads and six Hindu Darshans by observing uniform effects of Vedic Gods (Natural Elements) on all creations in an equal and perfect manner.
Many Yoga practices had developed for searching the inner Soul or Spirit. The Soul is responsible for Life on the Earth. It was called Brahaman in Vedic texts and Atman in Upanishads. Later it was called nameless THAT (Tat) in Darshans and the Gita. Soul is imperishable Spirit or one’s True Self.
Later on the moon worshipping dynasties of Non-Aryan kings had started around the banks of river Ganges. One of them, a great King Bharat, established a big empire in North India.
Inspired by these scriptures and Yoga practices, two royal princes Mahavira and Buddha (Siddhartha) started newer trends in religions. They declared that Non-violence must be the most important doctrine in all religious practices and rituals.
Yoga Darshan of Patanjali.
This is only one Darshan out of six main Hindu Darshans. Infinite God can only be visualized (Seen) in an indirect manner by correct understanding of Self and mastering 8 steps of Yoga.
By Self Meditation (Adhiatma-Chintan) on Eternal imperishable Soul, ever changing perishable material body and world of material Objects, spiritual understanding and vision of formless God is possible. Yoga has always remained a popular way of religious and spiritual search in all religious subdivisions of India.
Scientific study of Yoga imparts a worriless, tensionless long life of great joy and inner happiness. Today Yoga has become very popular in the West and also in India. Its physical and mental benefits can be immediately perceived by any individual or patient of psychosomatic diseases like blood pressure, insomnia, acidity, joint pains, backaches, etc.. Many such ailments get cured in a short time by simple Yoga practices. Cures of asthma, heart diseases and diseases like cancer are also claimed.
Rishi Patanjai perhaps lived during the 2nd cent. BC(?). about 300 years after Lord Buddha. He perfected earlier Yoga practices into a science and art of 8 steps (Ashtang-Yoga). It brings a life of great joy, achievements and successes (Siddhies).
In the Gita 18 different Yogas are described. The Gita discusses merits and limitations of 3 Veda, Upanishads and Six Hindu Darshans. Gita also preaches eternal (Sanatan) religion (real name of Hinduism), One God and art of Self knowledge. SUMMARY:-
Vedas are the earliest scriptures of Hinduism. They are scriptures of worldly knowledge. In Vedas, there is worship of natural elements like SUN, MOON, WATER, AIR, EARTH, FIRE, etc., Veda arise from OM, the root (mool) mantra or sound of human speech.
The 4 class socio-political system of first Aryan King Manu dictates privileges and punishments for four classes. The word Dharma or Religion means Duty of a class of people in the 4 class system of Manu.
The Soul and body are to be understood as separate elements by art of meditation in Yoga.