Yoga is the spiritual science of self realization which is closely related to god realization. By realizing the true inner self, one automatically comes to know the true nature of the Lord and vice versa.
The word YOGA comes from the Sanskrit root YUJA which means to link-up or to unite. The process of linking oneself with the Supreme Lord is therefore called YOGA. The English word YOKE comes from the same sanskrit root. The yoke is used to link or to connect two bulls for ploughing fields.
In the Indian Sanskrit books yoga is defined as the process of establishing a link-up between the individual consciousness of the living entity with the Supreme consciousness of the Lord. This process of establishing a link-up with the Supreme Lord leads to God consciousness, the ultimate aim of all yoga processes.
Terms like: "Yoga for beauty, vitality and health", are perverted meanings and are definitely not the goal of yoga. They are nothing but by-products of the yoga-process and are achieved automatically. These by-products of yoga are taught by pseudo yogis or westernised gurus who do not practice any spiritual life. Pseudo-spiritualists consider these by-products more important then to establish a link-up with the Lord.
Persons who are only interested in mere gymnastic feats or mystic powers (siddhis) should know, that the aim of yoga is lost in that way. If a yogi is attracted to the by-products of yoga, he can not attain the state of perfection, which is to establish a personal relationship with the Supreme Lord.
YOGA or union with the Lord is therefore not a mere abstract idea of dissolving one self into "nothing" or "becoming God oneself" but yoga leads to a spiritual relationship of the living entities with the supreme Lord.
Pseudo-Spiritualists try to unite with the Lord my merging into him or by becoming God themselves. Those who want to merge into God and become one with him, in all respects, suffer from nothing but hallucination.
When a lover and beloved unite, they may be lost in ecstasy do to the happiness of their union but they nevertheless remain as individual entities. They do not dissolve and neither merges into each other or into the nothingness. Such is the union with the Lord.
Yoga means, that the Supreme Lord is there, the devotee is there and the activity of exchange of Love between the Lord and his Devotee is there. Therefore the individuality of two persons is present; in the Supreme Personality of the Lord and the individual Soul who tries to unite with him, otherwise there is no meaning to yoga. Yoga therefore means to unite oneself in a spiritual relationship with the Supreme Lord who is the real object of one's love.
Although there are different types of yoga, the process of spiritually uniting with the Lord can be experienced best in Bhakti-Yoga, because this process fully manifest's all the spiritual characteristics of the living entities.
please also see: Yoga-Philosophy
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