Modern Yoga

BY: CAITANYA DAS - 29.7 2019

One can ask oneself, is there any value in mindfulness, the spin off phrase from modern yoga?

In our line, sambandha abhidheya and prayojana are taught in a sequence of disciplines, gradually rising to bhava and prema.

"According to the Vedic principles, there are three stages of spiritual advancement, namely, sambandha-jñāna, abhidheya and prayojana. Sambandha-jñāna refers to establishing one's original relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, abhidheya refers to acting according to that constitutional relationship, and prayojana is the ultimate goal of life, which is to develop love of Godhead (premā pum-artho mahān). If one adheres to the regulative principles under the order of the spiritual master, he very easily achieves the ultimate goal of his life. A person who is addicted to the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra very easily gets the opportunity to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly." (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 7.73 purport)

Beginning with who am I? The famous statement of Sanantana Goswami when he met Mahaprabhu.

But in ISKCON our first and only answer is, in the words of Srila Prabhupada:

"Lord Caitanya explained to Sanātana Gosvāmī the real constitutional position of the individual. He said directly that each and every individual soul is eternally a servitor of Kṛṣṇa. Jīvera 'svarūpa' haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa': (CC Madhya 20.108) every individual soul is eternally a servitor. When one is fixed in the understanding that he is part and parcel of the Supreme Soul and that his eternal position is to serve in association with the Supreme Lord, he becomes self-realized. This position of rightly understanding oneself cuts the knot of material attraction (hṛdaya-granthi-bhedanam)." (Srimad Bhagavatam 3rd canto, 26.2)

So should we beat about the bush in our presentation of Krishna Consciousness to the public, or come straight to the point? We may ask ourselves what was the presentation that was given by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddanta Goswami Maharaja?

Is there any value in introducing mindfulness to the equation in our Bhakti Yoga process? Certainly in the right context it has value, but our mindfulness is centred on giving pleasure exclusively to Krishna via His recognised devotees, both externally and internally.

In England it is prom season, and the youth orchestra inspired and directed by Nichola Benedetti, gave their performance on Saturday evening. It was told before they began their rehearsals, they have two minutes of mindfulness meditation consisting of silence. This they say allows them to enter deep into the spirit of the emotional aspects of the music.

Such improvements in material qualities are all very well. Even Srila Prabhupada said most of my disciples want to go to the heavenly planets. However the real rasa and taste of Goloka Vrndavana, the absolute exquisite display of all spiritual emotions are to be found only by the process of pure devotion, and by the Krishna Consciousness process directly engaging in service to Krishna as given directly by bone fide representatives of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this age, centred on the chanting of Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

We do not suggest the gradual methods as given in Bhagavad Gita, karma yoga, jnana yoga, astanga yoga are not useful and when employed with bhakti cannot propel one towards pure bhakti, but it is not our mission to overly promote such processes, rather than predominantly presenting immediately the sadhana bhakti method. After all, there are endless societies presenting the other so-called methods, with the goal of improving one's material life, so actually tinged with self-centred desires which cause our repeated birth and death within endless material dimensions, both higher and lower.

Srila Bhaktisiddanta Goswami Maharaja once told a prospective German disciple that all we have to do is to get the Holy Name to land in the heart, then gradually The Holy Name will take over the heart. It will be only a question of time, given the prescription process that comes along with the Holy Name.

And finally, when one is selling a product, like say an Apple iPhone, a competitor company may say, you can buy our phone, it's cheaper and of the same quality. In this way so much cheating is going on in the marketplace. But the marketplace of the Holy Name is never to be imitated. Nothing can stand in the heart when the Holy Name has landed there, planted by Sri Guru. All anarthas will be removed, no imitation process of purification is possible. This is what His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada has come to deliver, intact.