Ho does a Gurmukh attains Yoga? The Gurbani asserts that a Gurmukh attains Yoga through the practice of the Shabad-Vichaar.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਗੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਅਉਧੂ ਜਤੁ ਸਤੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥੨੦॥: Gurmukh Yog kamaavai aoudhoo jat sat sabad veechaaree ||20||:O hermit! By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) practices Yoga; to contwmplate or reflect on the Shabad (Gur-Giaan or Wisdom) is his abstinence and truth ||20|| (sggs 908).

What is Yoga? It would be an understatement to say there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings that exist with regard to the purpose and meaning of Yoga.

The word “Yoga” (or “Yog”) comes from the Sanskrit root “Yuj“, meaning “Join”. Thus, Yoga simply means the joining of the ego-self (Haume or the sense of “I, me, mine, you”, etc.) to the Higher, Pure Being within (“Joti-Svaroopa“) — our True Nature. In other words, Yoga means uniting of the time-bound consciousness with the Timeless Source within; experience or realization of Unity, Unison, Integration, or linking with God; Spiritual Enlightenment; existing as an Indivisible Whole, complete merger with Totality, and so on. Thus, its the skill in thoughts, words and action (Karma) that leads to the state of Perfection (Pooran) which is full of Bliss (Anand) and totally free from the experience of repeated suffering (sorrow or Dukha).

  • ਸੋ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੋ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ॥: So Yogi jo jugat pashaanai. Gur parasaadee eko jaanai: He alone is a Yogi, who understands the Way (to live life properly to Realize God). By the Guru’s Grace, he Realizes the One Lord (sggs 662).

Particularly In the West, also in India, the majority associate Yoga with methods of disciplining the body and the mind, gymnastic like feats, indulging in sex and intoxication (Smoking Sulphaa, Gaanjaa, and so on), mere physical postures (Aasan), mental and breathing exercises, showing women in seemingly impossible poses on covers of magazines, and so on.

This is Pakhandbaajee (hypocrisy, pretension, humbug, heterodoxy, etc.) on the name of Yoga. Accordingly, the Gurbani repudiates any and all sorts of Pakhandbaajee associated with Yoga practices.

  • ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਖਿੰਥਾ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਡੰਡੈ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਭਸਮ ਚੜਾਈਐ ॥ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਮੁੰਦੀ ਮੂੰਡਿ ਮੁਡਾਇਐ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਸਿੰਙੀ ਵਾਈਐ ॥ ਅੰਜਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਜੋਗ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਇਵ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੧॥ ਗਲੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਏਕ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਸਰਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੋਗੀ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਮੜੀ ਮਸਾਣੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਤਾੜੀ ਲਾਈਐ ॥ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਦੇਸਿ ਦਿਸੰਤਰਿ ਭਵਿਐ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਈਐ ॥ ਅੰਜਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਜੋਗ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਇਵ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੨॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟੈ ਤਾ ਸਹਸਾ ਤੂਟੈ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਵਰਜਿ ਰਹਾਈਐ ॥ ਨਿਝਰੁ ਝਰੈ ਸਹਜ ਧੁਨਿ ਲਾਗੈ ਘਰ ਹੀ ਪਰਚਾ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ ਅੰਜਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਜੋਗ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਇਵ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੩॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀਵਤਿਆ ਮਰਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਐਸਾ ਜੋਗੁ ਕਮਾਈਐ ॥ ਵਾਜੇ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਸਿੰਙੀ ਵਾਜੈ ਤਉ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ ਅੰਜਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਜੋਗ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਤਉ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੪॥੧॥੮॥: Union (with the Divine Self within) is not realized by puttin on a patched coat; nor by (walking with) the staff (in hand); nor by smearing the body with ashes; nor by wearing the ear-rings, nor by the shaven head, nor by blowing of the horn. The Way to realize Union is by remaining unblemished in the midst of the worldly filth (Maya). ||1|| Union (with the Divine Self within) is not realized by mere talks or words. One who looks upon all with a single eye (eve vision), and knows them to be one and the same — he alone is known as a Yogi. ||1|| Pause|| Union (with the Divine Self within) is not realized by wandering to the tombs of the dead; nor by sitting in trances; nor by wandering through native and foreign lands or bathing at places of pilgrimage ….. (sggs 730).

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