Understanding the Purpose of Yoga
The purpose of YOGA, in the spiritual and adhyatmik sense, Yoga aims to achieve a connection with the “self” beyond the aham (ego), known as the Aatma (soul), and then link the Aatma with Paramatma (sometimes also referred to as The Supreme Soul or the Supreme Shiv Consciousness or Brahman or Ishvar depending upon the tradition you follow). This union aims to grant us Moksha, freeing us from the repeated cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, which is filled with suffering. The ultimate goal of Yoga involves overcoming the attachments and desires of the body and mind and establishing a connection with the soul, which is not a separate entity, but rather an integral part of a larger consciousness.
The purpose of YOGA in Ancient Bharat
In the ancient kingdom of Bharat, named after the great world-conquering and uniting king Bharat, many yogis (those who followed the path of yoga to achieve enlightenment) and rishis (enlightened beings who perceive unfiltered cosmic truth) dedicated their lives to studying Yoga and its teachings. They discovered that among all that exists in the cosmos, Yoga may be humanity’s greatest gift, offering a systematic path that, when followed, can lead to Moksha – the ultimate liberation from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
The Fascination with the Purpose of YOGA
The yogis, constantly seeking higher truths, found the path and purpose of Yoga fascinating. They noted that Yoga also serves as the perfect path to free individuals from the accumulation of their Samskara. Samskara refers to the deep, impactful impressions on our consciousness left by all our thoughts, words, and actions in both this life and previous lives. The yogis recognized that Yoga provides a means to purify the soul and transcend the limitations of the physical body and the impulses of the mind.
Loss and Rediscovery of Yoga’s Wisdom
However, many unfortunate tides of time have led to a significant loss of Yoga’s ancient knowledge during the troubled times of the Muslim invasion of India and the subsequent ban of Yoga during Christian occupation. It is disheartening to witness the loss of much of the wisdom from Ancient Bharat due to these invasions. The invaders specifically targeted universities and intellectuals as a strategy.
Preserving and Spreading Yoga’s Teachings
We must remain hopeful as some of the important teachings persist, and many of the teachings of Yoga are also experiencing rediscovery and sharing with the world. With awareness of this newfound knowledge, we must stay dedicated to not only preserving the teachings authentically but also spreading them and aiding others in finding their path to liberation.