International Yoga Day-who is the greatest Yogi ever
International Yoga Day is round the corner and this calls for a short story on the greatest yogi that this world has ever seen.
Yogis are normally associated with people who have long beards, wear long flowing robes and having a tension free life. and performing various yogasanas.True? Not necessarily.
A true yogi is one who has achieved balance in his or her life.
Today, on the occasion of the International Yoga Day, I am going to tell you the hauntingly beautiful story of the greatest yogi the world has ever seen, Lord Krishna.
The Story of Krishna
He was born this day more than 5000 years ago in the ancient town of Mathura, India. Krishna wasn’t born in a hospital, rather his ward was a prison which housed his father and his mother as well.Krishna’s birthday is also called Janmashtami and it falls on the eighth day of the Hindu month of Bhadrapad.
Mathura is approximately 160 miles from Delhi. More than 5,000 years ago, this city was ruled by a cruel king, Kansa.
One day, Kansa was escorting his sister and brother-in-law to their house in his chariot. While he was driving them home, he heard a prophecy from the sky that he would be killed by his nephew the son of his daughter.
Terrified, Kansa through his sister and her husband in a jail and hoped to kill their newborn.
Kansa failed in his endeavor and the baby Krishna was smuggled out of the prison to one of the small villages nearly 11 miles north of Mathura. The name of this village is Vrindavan.
Krishna grew up to be a wise, hardworking, loving and tactful man. He was a friend, philosopher, and guide to people who flocked to him.
Krishna grew up in Vrindavan, a place that was regularly troubled by heavy rains which made the lives of his village folk miserable. They did not know how to protect themselves from the floods that disturbed them regularly.
Krishna thought that a nearby hill, Govardhan, can work as a bulwark against the floods that came with unexpected rains. He encouraged his fellow villagers to use the hill as a refuge during floods. It is also possible that Krishna and his fellow villagers planted a lot of trees on the hill-slopes to prevent landslides.
The masses of India largely consider Krishna as a lovable young toddler playing naughty games and having a cheerful disposition. Probably, every parent wants to have children like him.
Forever naughty, Krishna always carries a flute which emits divine music. This means that every human being should strive to speak kind and sweet words. Our mouths are flutes, actually.
Krishna is also fond of his cows and bulls and is mostly seen enjoying the company of these animals who are the basic backbone of India’s agriculture.
Krishna means so many things to so many people. He is also considered to be the greatest yogi.
Krishna -the greatest yogi, why?
Krishna believed in living life fully while being conscious of the fact that we can only control our responses to the situations and not the situations themselves. We cannot control outcomes. Secondly, the only thing eternal and indestructible is Aatma. We all are but physical manifestations of Aatma. Westerners refer to the Aatma as a soul.
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Secondly, the only thing eternal and indestructible is Aatma. We all are but physical manifestations of Aatma. Aatma is roughly the soul of the Western thought.Birth and death of creatures are akin to Aatma wearing new clothes and shedding old ones.
Krishna never mandated what he was saying about Aatma was the universal truth; he left it to us to realize the significance of this thought. This is the hallmark of a true yogi.
Krishna shared this perspective with Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. This thought or philosophy is captured in the Bhagwad Gita, a book that inspires millions of people when caught in self-doubt. The word, ‘Bhagwad’ means ‘belonging to God’ while ‘Gita’ means ‘song’.
Krishna was the charioteer of Arjun in the Great War, also called as Mahabharata
In the image above, Arjuna is seen listening to Krishna patiently on his chariot. Arjuna is full of doubts about Dharma or duty.Krishna explains to his friend, Arjuna, the meaning of Dharma and why it is important for everybody to perform his duty or Dharma. You maybe a Muslim or a Christian or a Jew but you must never fail to do your duty.
The world over, Krishna is loved for his unassuming, friendly and helpful nature. To the parents he is a lovable kid, to the philosophers, he is the ultimate yogi and to the friends, he is the greatest friend- ever ready to help me and you out of tricky situations.
Krishna is always accompanied by his consort, Radha.
He is immensely popular among women as he has time and again helped women come out of embarrassing and dreadful situations.
Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu and so is Buddha too!
So essentially Krishna and Buddha are one and the same, both dwelling on Karma and Yoga!
Today, the world over, there are millions of followers of Krishna under the umbrella of ISKCON or the Hare Rama Hare Krishna sect. Most of these followers live in the United States, Russia, Canada and other parts of continental Europe.
The importance of International Yoga Day
Every year, June 21 is celebrated as the International Yoga Day. The idea behind these celebrations is to introduce people to yoga through breathing and physical exercises.
The benefit of the yogic exercises is to achieve balance in mind, body, and soul by controlling our breathing.
Benefits of yoga
Have I benefitted from these exercises? Yes. I practice yoga for 30 minutes daily and this has led me to control my anger and fickleness. Yoga has also helped me to work harder without feeling tired.
By practicing yoga, I am aiming to develop my sixth sense too.
To become a yogi, me and you must first try to conquer our anger and that comes through yoga.
Thanks to the International Yoga Day, millions of Indians and people from other countries are now aware of yoga. I am sure, all this will lead to a more peaceful world.
You can visit this link to learn a few yogasanas; http://food.ndtv.com/health/different-types-of-yoga-and-their-many-health-benefits-768722
I would like to thank my friends @Hiddenheritage or Arjun Kumar and Shri Abdul Aziz Rajput for giving me their permission to use their images.
Lastly, if you want to visit Vrindavan and Mathura, please write to me and I shall help arrange your visit to these places.