Yoga is not a material philosophy. Yoga is not only material, it is not only philosophy. Yoga means living the philosophy. The actions, the practices are contained in this philosophy. Incorporating that into your life, you have a yoga lifestyle.
The main yoga that is known today is Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is basically for the physical body. Not exclusively; it also has a very positive effect on the mental body. It is a series of bodily asanas, or poses. By practicing these asanas, one can receive great benefit for body. All different systems in the body can be addressed: the muscular system, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the skeletal system, the various organs in the body, etc. They can be addressed and benefit.
That is why this Hatha yoga is so popular today: people identify themselves as being the material body. So they want something for the body, something that will make them look better. Maybe they want to lose weight, improve their skin tone, whatever. Maybe they have some physical problems: the bad back. Hatha yoga is very, very good for the bad back. All kinds of ailments can be improved. Maybe they want to improve their athletic skills. You can do that as well. The major league football teams in America started having their players do Hatha yoga. Not only they did improve their playing, but it also reduced their injuries. Material benefit. So therefore those who identify with the body will be attracted to this type of yoga.
And as I mentioned, Hatha yoga can also be beneficial for the mind. The mind and the body are very closely connected, it’s very difficult to separate the two. They are separate, but they influence each other continuously. So when the body becomes more relaxed, the mind becomes more relaxed. And when the mind is more relaxed, the body is more relaxed. These two work together.
Remember the idea was health, harmony and peace. The key word here is harmony. This is the one thing that we need to try to work toward. Harmony, of course as we know, means working together.
It could be a machine; there has to be harmony within a machine. Take a car engine, there’re so many working parts. I won’t go into details because maybe you don’t know much about engines, but everybody knows when all the parts are working as they should, the motor runs good. Things are firing at the right time, things are going up and down at the right time. All kinds of harmony here.
But let one part get out of harmony, then chaos begins. One thing bumps into another thing, things start breaking. We call it «blowing up the engine.» Now it doesn’t work at all, or if it works, it doesn’t work very good because it went into inharmonious condition.
So you take that same principal and you apply it anywhere. Music. When all the notes work together in accord, then there’s harmony. But if one note is wrong, you play the wrong note in accord, it doesn’t sound good, does it? Out of harmony, off key, sounds bad. And so it is in the body.
But let’s take it to a bigger picture. Remember we’re spirit soul, part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. The Supreme Soul creates everything, including ourselves, our bodies, our minds, the material world and all the many, many systems that make it all work together. He has created a huge machine which includes matter and spirit working together. And He has designated a way to work together so there will be harmony. Harmony between all the different parts of the body.
Just the physical body has to be in harmony, all these parts have to work together. It requires a lot of attention: the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the exercise we get, all kinds of different requirements here for there to be harmony. And when there’s harmony, there’s health.
And the mind. There needs to be harmony here as well. And all of this has to be coordinated with the soul. And all of that has to be coordinated with the Supreme Soul.
So there is a complete system to be followed so this is possible to achieve. And that system is called the yoga system. Automatically, if we follow these systems of yoga, we will be in harmony with everything. Right now we are completely out of harmony with everything. And that’s why there is chaos everywhere.
There is a system of nature, laws of material nature that have to be followed. Respect for nature and these laws. If we don’t respect and follow these laws, then we have chaos. So I think we will all agree that on the planet today that’s, unfortunately, what we have.
If you look at the material world, look at nature, everything is so perfectly designed. Everything works together. All the life forms have their place: one helps this way, one helps another way, one provides food, one provides this, one provides that… When nature operates on its own, non-interfered with, everything is Ok.
But when men intervene not in harmony with God’s system but acting independently, determined to make things better, we cause a lot of problems. So that’s why the planet is in such difficulty right now. I don’t think anybody can deny this. The scientists declare it, we experience it. Things are getting so bad that various species of life can no longer survive. Every hour three species become extinct. They had their place in the system but the system is so disturbed that they can no longer survive.
We require basic essentials to live: air, water, food. And for our life to be healthy and harmonious, there has to be clean air, not just air. And there needs to be clean water, not just water. And there needs to be clean food, not chemically filled and genetically modified food.
But we’ve changed all that. So now everything is toxic. And we pay the price. We pay the price in disease, pay the price in all kinds of different stress, again destroying the planet and all the other people living on the planet.
Because we think we’re god, «I’m god, I’m the controller. I decide what is right and what is wrong, throw away these so-called yoga systems.» We have something better. We’ll just manufacture it or will invent it, or will modify it – whatever we decide to do in our position as new lords.
But we could ask, «Ok, is it working? Are things getting better?» I don’t think there’s anybody who’ll say, «Yes, it’s getting much better!» I think everybody will agree things are getting worse. There’s more disease although we have all kinds of amazing ways to cure them. People still die every day.
And the stress: not only the physical but the mental body is being bombarded. We have such weak psyches. It’s hard to find a person who’s not in some way psychically stressed or damaged. So we take all types of medications, legal and illegal, and try to cope. And remember the mental affects the physical.
Cancer’s ripened today, and one of the leading causes is stress. What does the stress come from? The creation was not designed to be stressful. We have created all this. So now we are filled with fear and worry, «What’s the future going to be? What’s this? What’s that?» So the body suffers because of it. On and on it goes.
I think it’s very obvious there’s a problem. We’re out of sync, we’re like that engine and it’s all broken. We’re individual parts of that machine bumping into each other.
There’s supposed to be harmony between individual souls. Our relationship with each other should be very harmonious, peaceful. But unfortunately, it’s not like that. There’s so much chaos now on the planet: so many wars, so much conflict, domestic conflict in the families. Where is the peace? Where is the harmony? It’s been replaced with the adverse. And in the nation, in the world there’s so much political unrest, social unrest, chaos, no harmony. Turn on the news, what do you see? Chaos. Do you see harmony? People picking up flowers, holding hands, singing together? Nobody would even watch that! There’s no interest there, stupid stuff. We see some killing, some bombs, some murders, what’s interesting here. We’ve even developed the taste for that, we like it. That’s how twisted things have become.
And worst of all is the relationship between ourselves and the Supreme Soul. That’s been completely abandoned. Nobody even has any clue what to do about that. Nobody has an interest in that. What are you talking about? But this is the most important thing. See, we can supposedly be in harmony with the body, the mind, each other, the environment, but if we’re not in harmony with the Supreme Lord, we still have a big problem.
Our position is subordinate. We have to harmonize with His systems, with His words, with His guidance, with His instructions. And if one does that, everything will be very, very good. One will be healthy, happy, harmonious and peaceful. That’s the formula. That is the design.
It’s like a good engine builder: he doesn’t build an engine to blow up but he sends that engine out with some instructions: «There’s a perfectly built engine, but you need to maintain it. Use this kind of oil, service it regularly, use this type of coolant, keep it within this RPM range,» all kinds of instructions. «And if you do that, then everything will be good. But if you don’t do this, I am not responsible, you will destroy the engine.»
So the Supreme Lord builds a perfect system. He says, «You follow this system and everything will be very nice, things will work together: your body, your mind, your relationship with the environment and other living entities, and most importantly, with Myself. And we can all be happy.»
And gradually you will evolve in your consciousness. And as the consciousness evolves, the awareness of the truth and the goal in life becomes more clear. You become more of a yogi. «Yoga» means «union.» That’s what the word itself means. And it specifically means union between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul.
But that union includes union with the whole system, «Oh, I’m in union with God. But I am not in union with any of His teachings, His system, His arrangements, His design of the body, His recommendations of how to live, what to do. I don’t have any care about that stuff.» See, you can’t do it like that. It has to be together, you can’t take one part, «I like this part, but I don’t like these parts.» So that’s what we do, «Oh, I like this part, but these parts…no.» You can’t do that. You can do that, and we do it, but it does not work.