‘Yoga’ — The Only Means To Achieve Divine Transformation

The means to keep the Citta (mind) pleased
The citta or the mind originates from a substance called ahamkara, which conveys a sense of ‘I-ness’. There are five states or characteristics of the citta. It is ksipta (fickle), viksipta (confused), mudha (deranged), ekagra (pointedly-focussed) and niruddha (constrained). The vrttis occurring in mind are also of five types- pramana (proof), viparyaya (inversion), vikalpa (alternatives), nidra (sleep) and smrti (memory).

Affection, hatred and worldly attachment are the three big flaws of the mind. There are three methods to cleanse the mind. They are obtaining pure knowledge, works of righteousness and worship of Isvara.

Mind is made of an unconscious inanimate matter. The mind does not contract or expands like rubber. By cleansing the mind one can obtain peace and stability. It becomes possible to concentrate the mind. The ways to concentrate the mind are – to recall Isvara and to follow the orders of the inner-self, that is, to practice Yoga. One must chant Vedic mantras like the Gayatri mantra etc. and concentrating upon the breath. These are the means to stabilize and focus the mind.

Mind becomes impure with the consumption of non-vegetarian products, intoxicating substances and vulgar literature. The same effects are produced with the habits of hatred and opposition, speaking untruths and cultivating jealousy etc.

The five sense organs and five motor organs work in combination with the mind. The mind works in tandem with the atma.

These are four types of persons in the society and we should use four types of behaviour with them. Those who are happy and prospersous should be befriended by us. Those devoid of wealth i.e. the poor people should be helped as per one’s strength. One should feel glad upon meeting learned scholars, hermits, ascetics, hardworking, humanitarian and helpful persons. They should be duly respected and honoured by us. Those who are evil minded and mischeivous should be neglected i.e. we should be indifferent towards them. There should be no attachment or hatred towards them. By behaving like this the mind of Yoga practicioners stays unpolluted and pleasant.
For Eg. Maitrikarunamuditopeksanam sukhaduhkha punyapunysvisayanam bhavanatascitta prasadanam.
(Yogsutra-7.33)

The Sutras (formulae) to free oneself from bondage
At times, the moments spent in spiritual discourse, self study, or even at a cremation place, along with moments of danger, reveal the momentariness of finite and earthly power. Such moments of truth realization make a person bow devotedly to the Eternal Power. Likewise, with the stability of wisdom, the living being also frees the self from worldly attachments, illusions and bondages.

Eternal power
Isvara, Jiva and Prakrti are the only three manifest forms of Eternal Power. It has been said:
Dva suparna sakhaya samanam vrksam pari sasvajate. Tayoranyaha Pippalam svadvattyanasnannayo abhi Cakasiti.
(Rgveda-7.164.20)

Isvara
Although Isvara is present in every particle and every being, yet the true measure of his gigantic form is possible only when we see inside ourselves, and not outside. Such a vision or sense can not be with the eyes open but only through closed eyes. That is why even when a worshipper reaches a temple, a mosque, a church, a Gurudwara, a stupa/ gumba or any where to realise Isvara, the eyes are always kept closed.

Even those who try a little to realise Isvara, are given subtle inspiration to walk in the correct path by Isvara Himself. That is why even the ignorant and unwise persons are habituated to close their eyes without any effort. It is due to the hidden samskara or seed of habit that they somehow know of Isvara’s benevolence: Klesa karmavipakasay airaparamrstaha purusa visesa Isvaraha.
(Yoga sutra-1.24)

(Excerpted from the book Divine Transformation: Building Blocks for Englightened Life, Ideal Nation & Peaceful World by Acharya Balakrishna)

This verse explains that Isvara is free from the klesas or obstructions (due to avidya or ignorance, there occurs five obstructions or panchaklesa), actions (auspicious and non-auspicious, vipaka (birth and death etc. and karmaphala (fruits of action) and vasanas (deep seated desires).
0 Isvara does not possess attributes like appearance, color, mass or form. This is the reason Isvara is considered to be nirguna (unbounded by limitable qualities or attributes).
Isvara is the Lord of the prakrti, living beings, the creation and moksa. Vedic texts mention various names of Isvara like Paramatma, Brahma, Parameshvara, atma, bhagvana, Parampita and Parampada etc. ‘Aum’ is the prime personal name of Paramatma. As the Vedas say – ‘Aum krato smara’. This makes it is clear that ‘Aum’ is the oldest word since the beginning of this creation. It is universal and scientific, as it constitutes the fabric of the universe. After intensive research on the scientific effects of ‘Aum’ it was found that Aum is a sacred, scientific and therapeutic word. It is not the exclusive symbol of any idol or an icon belonging to any particular tradition or religion, say Hinduism. That’s why in Vedic as well as across many countries and almost all religions and philosophies, cultures and traditions, the word ‘Aum’ is oft spoken as Amen / omen etc.

Various beliefs, sects and religious communities _ have different names for Isvara. In the Islamic religion, Isvara is called as Allaha, Khuda, Parvardigara and Maula etc. In Christianity, He is called Isvara, Lord, Almighty etc. In Sikhism he is called Akalapurusa, Vahe Guru Rab and Aunkara etc. In Persian religion, He is known as Ahurmazad etc.

Jews call Him Jihova. In China and Far-East they call Him Tao, Dao etc. Innumerable names are used to invoke Isvara.