Reading materials and popular literature on Yoga are plenty, but authentic research studies based on original and primary sources are scanty. The present volume comes under the second category – a model of theoretical research purely of academic importance also useful for a common reader, who is interested on knowing the truth on various Yoga concepts as propounded by our ancient seers.
Prominent scholars and authorities on the subject like Prof. Ingalalli R.L.from Dharwad, Indulata Das, Bhubaneswar, Prof. P.G.Lelye, Prof. K.S.Arjunwadkar, the late dr. Nirmala Kumar, Dr Karandikar, Y.S. Dr. Gururaj Mutalilk, B.K.Dalai, Dr.Divakar Mohanty, Prof. Muley, R.A. Dr.Jayanti Tripathy, Dr. Oak, Anuradha from Pune, Prof. Balasubramanin K.S. from Madras, Prof. Banamali Biswal from Allahabad, Prof. Penna Madhusudan from Nagpur, Dr. Ashin Kumar ,Yangon from Myanmar and Dr. Kim-Ok-Sun from Korea, Dr. Truong Thuy Lan from Vietnam have contributed to his volume.
It gives me a great pleasure to write this foreword to this volume which includes many scholarly articles on Yoga.
It can be said that on the greatest gifts that India has bestowed upon the world is the precepts and practice of Yoga. Countless persons today practice Yoga in varied form for fitness, for mind-body connection, for overcoming conditions such as tobacco addiction, Alcoholism, depression and other diseases. It is helping millions to raise the pain threshold and relived them from incessant drugging in various form of cancer, arthritis, bone and muscular diseases. Nor is Yoga, the prerogative of the orthodox or the name branded as Indian, as there is undisputed recognition that it is India, where it originated as a part of our precious heritage. It is truly gratifying that Yoga, at least in this applied form is advocated, and promoted by the major medical establishments in the western World including Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, John Hopkins Hospital and Cleveland clinic as well as in major medical centres in England, Germany and other European centres. The Zen Buddhism which spread the practice of mindfulness throughout the world is a offshoot of yogic practices rooted in the Vedic origin.
Modern neuro-science has further enriched Yoga not only in ;establishing the beneficial effects of Yogic practices on the human body, but also in exploring to understand consciousness as a phenomenon with different planes or levels, some still to be fathomed.
Yet, the vast majority of the people, who know Yoga and practice it, do not go beyond its physical aspects. Yoga goes beyond the physical to body-mind mould and further transcends the physical and psychological to metaphysical and spiritual realm. The origination of Yoga in Patanjali’s Yoga Sastra as a discipline is predated by Gita, it being a Golden Key for self-realization- as a pathway for deepening out understanding of us and the universe. Pract8ce of Yoga leads to an equanimitas attitude, passionless objectivity and focus-the building blocks that a true Yogi is made of. It is a gateway for ultimate bliss and deliverance from Bondage.
In day-to-day life, yoga imparts an exquisite ability to resolve conflict with skills borne out of clarity of mind a unflinching adherence to inner discipline that enables the yogi to be unfazed by prosperity or adversity, pain or pleasure.
As affirmed in Bhagavad Gita, the science of Yoga is an ascending ladder that opens up several avenues towards the ultimate self-sublimation through Karma Yoga in doing one’s duty without consideration of the fruits of our actions, leading to deeper and higher knowledge [Jnana Yoga] of self and the Brahman and finally enables the Yogi to surrender himself in the ecstasy of devotion to Paramatma the Supreme Being], which is indeed the ultimate bliss.
There is a vast literature both modern and ancient on Yoga and inevitably there are differing interpretations, contradictions and controversies of its meaning, scope and concepts but, that is not material or vital, as the spirit to known [jijnasa] is the important thing that leads each thinking individual’s unique understanding of the basic concept of Yoga in one’s own light. That is what enables our uplifting journey beyond self.
Prof. Dalai has done a commendable service to our society and beyond, by putting this volume contributed by distinguished scholars from various parts of India and abroad and make it available to all who want to know more about Yoga and its sophisticated metaphysical spread.
In today’s troubled world of intolerance, wars, violence, terrorism, inequality and financial crisis, and growing disquiet of our spirit, more than of any point in human history we need Yoga as a unfailing panacea to cure or mitigate our civilizational ills.
I hope this volume will nurture the reader’s jijnasa and help us understand the science of Yoga better.
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