Digital Rare Book: Yoga Makaranda or Yoga Saram (The Essence of Yoga) – Part One
By T. Krishnamacharya, Mysore Samasthan Acharya (Written in Kannada)
Tamil Translation by Sri C.M.V. Krishnamacharya (with the assistance of Sri S. Ranganathadesikacharya)
Kannada Edition – 1934 Madurai C.M.V. Press, Tamil Edition – 1938
Why should yoga abhyasa be done? What does one gain as a result of practising yoga? What should the duration of the practice be (how much time should be spent on the practice)? What are the reasons for and effects of the practice? People keep asking me these questions. Others ask me various questions related to this subject. I have written this book in order to answer their questions.
But before doing that I would like to say a few words. Nowadays, the attitudes of people in our society are changing. They look at all their affairs as business ventures and think only in terms of making a profit or loss. This outlook is on the increase. This attitude is becoming an obstacle to our spiritual progress. It is pathetic and sad that this instant gross business-oriented attitude meant to be applied during transactions with a road-side vendor has been applied to even matters involving sanatana dharma and spiritual truths.
One cannot have such a trivial attitude as expecting immediate benefits in auspicious matters like yogabhyasa, worship, sandhya vandanam (salutation to the sun) or chanting of mantras as though one were a labourer who does one hour of work and expects immediate payment. They should not lament that they have not received even one paisa for all the time spent on this. When this pattern of thinking begins, we enter a phase of deterioration day by day.
Auspicious matters such as yogabhyasa are not like business ventures conducted at a road-side shop. The readers should note this point carefully. They should reflect on how much we get paid for all the time that we waste every day. For example, how much time have we wasted on sleep or useless chatter or other such activities? All living beings including humans spend a minimum of 6 to 7 hours on sleep. Does anybody think that they have wasted too many hours on this pointless or unprofitable sleep and decide that henceforth they will not sleep? Never. The reason is that if this time is not spent daily on sleep without expectations of remuneration, the body will perish. Maybe one can forego five to six days of sleep. Even this causes the head to start reeling. After that, one has no energy to do anything. Therefore, everybody knows with certainty and from experience that all living beings need a specified amount of sleep irrespective of whether they obtain any material benefit from it. Physical health, enthusiasm and liveliness are all benefits of sleep. Not only that, it is not an exaggeration to say that our body and mind are rejuvenated as a result of sleep.
How does sleep acquire this power of rendering so many benefits? Where did this come from? Why is it that without sufficient sleep living beings become dull in their mind, the body heats up, and they develop a dullness of intellect, a lack of enthusiasm, and weakness? It is important to first explain this aspect in detail to readers. The answers to this will clear many doubts the readers have. Through these explanations, the earlier questions will also be answered properly.
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