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What did ancient Indian yogis mean by Yog (now misnamed as Yoga)?
India is the only country where people love to learn English. Most of the Indians are proud of getting Citizenship of richer countries. As a result of foreign rule Indians are getting westernized more and more. They have lost not only the knowledge of Sanskrit but also of Hindi. The new generation cannot even talk in Hindi. The modern Hindi is a mixture of the earlier Hindi (one that had its origin in Sanskrit), Persian, Arabic and plus a large number of words in English.
Some of the literate persons have developed a habit of speaking partly in English and partly one of the Indian languages.
I don’t mind people getting westernized. It is great. But they have lost contact spiritual knowledge with the loss of Sanskrit or Hindi. The modern Spiritual Gurus prefer to speak in English to attract heavier following in the West. Before proceeding further I am keen to let you have some info on what damage India has sustained:
Hindi/Sanskrit Westernized substitute
Viveka Nand Vivekananda
YOGA IN THESE PICTURES WHAT THE YOUNG MAN IS DOING IS YOGA AND WHAT THE OLD MAN IS DOING IS YOG
Yoga seems to be a set of postures to be practised regularly to keep health and body in good shape. In Sanskrit and Hindi this set of exercise is known as asan for which the westernized version may be asanas. For commercial purpose, some Indians have labelled the asan as Yog or Yoga, thus managing to get easy money from the pocket of the westerners.
Detailed explanation on Yog is beyond the scope of this little page. The process of adding something to another thing is known as Yog in Sanskrit. If we are willing to add ourselves to God, the process may be termed as Yog. In spirituality Yog has only one meaning. If you do the normal karm (duties) of life without thinking of what would be the fruit of your karm (action or doings), it is regarded as karm Yog. Remembering and loving God alone and thus willing to unite with God is Bhakti Yoga. Those who try to understand God through spiritual wisdom and thus lose their own identity are practising Gyan yoga or yoga based on spiritual knowledge.
There is an immense wealth of knowledge and guidance hidden in fourVed (Vedas) and eight Upanishad (scriptures). But without the knowledge (and simultaneous practice) obtained from them, our spiritual journey stays quite a stupendous task. Understanding the significance of the four ved Maxmooler a German scholar learnt Sanskrit and translated them into German Language. Without Love for God and incessant practice of spirituality the real spirit of what the Sanskrit Books are architectured to impart to us stays hidden from our sight. It continues to stay obscure, no matter how hard we may work with language and wisdom.
We cannot prevent languages from changing. Some preventive measures were taken in form of Grammar to retain the languages in their original form forever. The intention of our ancestors was not to put us under bondage but to help us with the heritage of knowledge they were leaving for us. We neither knew their intention nor we like to care about our own welfare. Consequently we are unable to understand what they wanted us to learn.
The result is that the spiritual wealth that India had, is almost gone out of our view because of our negligence towards Sanskrit, Hindi and Grammar. Half learned people produced the Hindi rendering. The people, having inadequate linguistic and spiritual understanding, further rendered the Hindi text to English. Thus whatever little heritage we could partake of is elusive.
Nothing can be done about it. I can propose for all those who are interested to study seriously Ved and all the Upanishad. I have great liking for Rig Ved whose mental pronunciation or even listening to it can purify our inner self without even understanding the meaning.
Although nobody can be or could be considered to be an authority over Rig Ved or any of the Ved yet it is worthwhile quoting some text from the brief Biography of Max Müller. obtained from Internet. I learnt from myb friends that Max translated all the Ved into German. He also translated Upnishad. Max Müller, one of the earliest Indologists, had happily concurred in a letter to his wife: “It (The Rigveda) is the root of their religion and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last three thousand years.” Later he also wrote to the Duke of Argyle, the then acting Secretary of State for India: “The ancient religion of India is doomed. And if Christianity does not take its place, whose fault will it be?” In contrast, the theosophist Dr. Annie Besant was extremely enamoured. by ancient wisdom of India
Alan Leo cannot be forgotten while enumerating the names of hundreds of western intellectuals who devoted themselves to have something of their liking from Indian heritage. We all know we need to be good human beings to be close to God. Being able to resist all temptations may help us have faith in Divine. It is in the interest of the inner being, not to allow oneself to be misled to misinterpretations of the spiritual messages.
To end this article I would only say that the personal experiences of mine need not be revealed here. One who has deep desire to learn will never find the doors of the Unseen closed. Let us knock at, they will be opened.