Everything Is Yoga


Sri Swami Chidananda

Early Morning Meditation Talk given in the sacred Samadhi Hall of Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh.

Worshipful homage to that supreme, eternal, universal Being who revealed Himself in a glorious personal form comprising total Divinity as the world teacher, Lord Krishna, and who revealed Himself in and through the Gita wisdom teachings that He imparted for all mankind, for all times, through His beloved devotee and disciple, the warrior prince Arjuna. He not only revealed His divine nature through His Bhagavad Gita teachings, He also revealed how man can realise Him fully, can experience Him, and, ultimately, how man can merge himself in Him to become one with Him. All this He taught within the compass of 700 brief verses contained in 18 chapters.

And what is His main teaching? What is His main method of attaining the supreme human experience of our essential non-differentiation from Him, which experience liberates us forever from all sorrow, all confusion and delusion, and liberates us once and for all from a return to successive birth, death and rebirth in this mortal world? What is this method?

We all know that classical Indian spiritual tradition speaks of four yogas–channelising our action potential through karma yoga for God-realisation, channelising our sentiment and emotion potential for realising God through bhakti yoga, channelising our mind’s power of concentration for attaining God-realisation through raja yoga, through meditation, and channelising our intellectual potential of analysis, logic, discrimination and reasoning to attain illumination through jnana yoga. But in the Gita we witness a strange phenomenon in that 18 yogas are mentioned, one for each chapter. It speaks only about yoga. What is this strange phenomenon? There are four classical yogas and here we have 18 yogas. Everything is yoga. He covers the whole of human life in His teaching.

What is that central teaching? The central teaching is that, in fact, all life is yoga. Life is to be lived as the great sadhana, the great yoga. All actions constitute yoga. Everything that you think is yoga. Everything that you speak is yoga. Everything that you do is yoga. That is why everything that you think should be thought of as yoga. That is why everything that you utter should be regarded as yoga. That is why everything that you do must be done as yoga.

There is nothing else in life except yoga and yoga alone. All of life is yoga. Life is the great sadhana. Life is the supreme yoga, every part of it. Life is to be lived as such. That is why it was given. Each and every one of our actions from morning till evening should have a Godward thrust; they are to be engaged in for attaining illumination. Everything in our life is and ought to be enlightenment oriented. Breathing, sitting, standing, running, resting, working, lying, waking, dreaming, sleeping, all constitute that one single process–yoga.

So there are not merely 18 yogas. There are innumerable yogas every moment. Everything is to be regarded as yoga; it is not just eighteen. The number of yogas is legion. This is to be grasped. This is the great truth about you, about each and every one of us.

May the grace of the Supreme and the benedictions of revered and beloved Holy Master Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji enable us to fully recognise this truth, fully assimilate this truth, fully live in the light of this truth, and thus become the Truth. May God bless us all!

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