India the land of rishis and munis has much to offer to the world in terms of spiritual wisdom. Yoga, a great heritage of India, can alone evolve the human consciousness to its fullest spiritual glory
Ancient India’s contribution to mathematics, space research, as well as, to health & education has always been widely appreciated. What India can contribute to the welfare of the humanity in modern times? Can India rise to the occasion in offering much expected help to the modern humanity to come out of its stress related challenges? Health, education, language and spiritual pursuit have always been mutually complimentary phenomena in ancient Indian civilization with a common humanism based values sustaining and binding them together. Ancient wisdom of sharing, service and sacrifice for the common good have always built the common fabric of Indian cultural ethos. Yoga, the singular most significant science of life and beyond among all Indian heritages through ages, has been the common substrate for material and spiritual sciences in India.
India has accomplished the task of spreading successfully the science of yoga far & wide. Can India stand the future test of time, in making yoga circumscribed, dynamic and palatable for the changing times and needs of the modern man? The challenge is gigantic indeed. We all need to make collective efforts towards this direction. This is worthy of pondering that as per the WHO report the incidences of mental ill-health is on the rise in India. This should bring us out of our slumber! The land from where the yoga message has spread throughout the globe should suffer from mental health problems? We all must take it as a clarion call for working together, by forgiving and forgetting our ideological and sectarian differences, towards removing this anathema and should start helping our own people out of their existential maladies through Yoga and Ayurveda.
Yoga researchers have a greater responsibility to preserve and protect the native purity of yoga instructions through discovering fundamentals of yoga techniques, through controlled experimentation. All yoga techniques should undergo the objective rigour of fundamental research. The fundamental research findings would then enlighten our path towards evolving further the Yoga as Therapy. It is now accepted that yoga is the best promise for many a functional disorders. These disorders, being linked with energy network in the human body, respond well to yoga practices. Extensive research in yoga would result in tolerably precise and appropriate intervention ‘doses’ of yoga. This would encourage the common man to try yoga with confidence. I exhort, hereby, our young scientists to come forward to accept the challenge in taking up original with novel research problems for their studies. We are waiting for the first ever Nobel Prize in yoga soon for young yoga researchers of India.
In the USA today, almost all major hospitals have a prayer closet in their premises. I feel earnestly, it is a spiritual phenomenon that works wonder in any treatment process. The concept of Absolute Joy (Prasada) of Bhagwat Gita (II: 65) should be adequately researched into, for therapeutic purposes, with advantage. Ancient scriptures are our true Gurus that enlighten our path towards sound health and prepare us a fit instrument towards Self Realization. We should never forget that in the Ramayana days the diseases, regarded incurable today, were considered Samanya Roga (i.e. Ordinary diseases) as Naishthiki Chikitsa was significantly developed in those days in India.
In my childhood I was I always appalled by the insistence, laid by mandira Pujaris, on the pure mode of chanting mantras. In all probabilities, the emphasis on the precise phonetics, in recitation of mantras, must have deeper neurological and spiritual implications. All cultures and religions have some form of mantras. Let us take them as our research problems! Although WHO recognizes the importance of spiritual phenomenon for health, it has not been able to develop this construct adequately for therapeutic purposes. Here too, our research institutes have a great opportunity to come forward for some worthwhile research.
Yoga as Therapy:
Yoga as Therapy has a tremendous possibilities for the common man. As per Patanjali, the great doyen of Yoga Philosophy, unless we transcend all possible Citta Vikshepas (mental aberrations, complexes, biases, prejudice and so on) we cannot be called as Swastha (i.e. healthy). Let us then find ways and means to evolve Yogic Personality, through Yoga Psychology research. Material Technology alone cannot evolve human personality. Only Yoga as Therapy model of Patanjali can help evolve it further. The world is waiting for such an evolution of Yoga as Therapy, as that only would spell world peace and antidote to poverty, communal disharmony and International Conflict, evident rampantly today.
Vedic neuro-physiology is yet another area that may be delved into deeper and evolved further for its tremendous implications for Yoga as Therapy. As Aurobindo has said, ever increasing human and social problems of modern days can only be solved through a spiritual evolution of the modern man. As a human being the modern man has not been able to cope with the ever advancing material technology, given his limited psycho-physiological and psycho-social resources. Vedic neuro-physiology has all the potential to evidence human evolution to dizzy heights and thus hands out a hope for the human society that would have best of both material technology and psycho-physiological development. Ishavasyopanishad has an immortal message valid even for the modern world; “Avidyaya mritumtirtva vidyayamritamashnute” (i.e. let us transcend the material world through material sciences before drinking the immortal elixir of spiritual world). Our forefathers have shown the way! Let us tread that way and let us enlighten the path of the entire humanity through inventing pragmatic ways and means for striking this balance, through yoga science
Prof. Ranjit Singh Bhogal
Assistant Director of Research,
Scientific Research Department,
Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute.