By Vivek Atray*
“Be thou, oh Arjuna, a YOGI”, with these immortal words, uttered upon the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna instructed his highly advanced devotee to adopt the yogic pathway to ultimate liberation. The Bhagavad GITA is of course the celestial scripture that encapsulates the very purpose of life and explains the ultimate verities which ought to be sought wholeheartedly by all human beings. Contained in that scripture is the timeless sermon of the Lord Himself to his somewhat bewildered and awestruck disciple, to prioritise duty above all else and not be bound by attachment to the fruits of his actions.
Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the world-renowned spiritual classic, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ describes in great detail the true meaning of the immortal message of Sri Krishna to Arjuna, in his interpretation of the GITA titled, ‘God Talks with Arjuna.’ The true significance of the battle of Kurukshetra, popularly known as the Mahabharata, lies in the inner battles which are continually fought within each human being’s mind, explains Yoganandaji. Our own good tendencies and evil tendencies are destined to battle it out in every fragment of human living, and ultimately Good has to prevail over Evil, but not before we have made a determined effort to move closer to God and have resultantly shed all attachments of the material world.
Janmashtami is celebrated annually as the anniversary of the birth of the baby Krishna to his mother Devaki, and colourful, musical, celebrations take place across the world, often well into the night. Devotees gather in beautifully decorated temples and also decorate little temples in their own homes, to rejoice the birth of Lord Krishna, the avatar of Lord Vishnu. But, as the saints tell us, the real celebration of Janmashtami is, or should be, within our hearts and souls, as we strive to be more in tune with Lord Krishna.
Yoganandaji founded Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS) in 1917, which has been responsible in many ways for the dissemination of the timeless Kriya Yoga meditation technique. Mahavatar Babaji, the deathless guru, imparted the intrinsic knowledge of Kriya Yoga to the great yogavatar, Lahiri Mahasaya, who in turn taught this science to Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, the gyanavatar who was the spiritual teacher of Yoganandaji.
Kriya Yoga is twice referred to by Lord Krishna, in the shlokas of the Bhagavad Gita.
It is the highest science known to man, which propels the spiritual seeker onward towards his destination of oneness with God.
On this great day of Janmashtami, let us all endeavour to awaken the Krishna within us and be in tune with his teachings, for the benefit of everyone around us. For further info.: yssi.org
*The writer is a former bureaucrat, author and a motivational TEDx speaker. He is also the chairman of Yogananda Centre for Theology.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of Sambad English.