Trilogy of Bhoga, Roga and Yoga
Hindustan Times

"What we seek as our highest goal depends upon what we think ourselves to be. If you think you are physical creature subject to biological laws, the highest goal you can aim at has to have physical limits, says Ramanuja, a luminous figure of medieval India. One would just end up seeking physical gratifications. Herein lies full diagnosis of human suffering. The current conviction is that we are what our genes are. This simple truth draws its strength from discoveries of physical scientists. It may be true of physical body but certainly not of your character and behaviour. The genetic code has no impact on determination of these two vital traits of human beings. Capacity to change is the most glorious asset we possess. Look at the great men and women of yore who transformed themselves from being angry to compassionate, from insecure to unshakeable and from human to divine.

None can deny you are essentially divine, your real self is spirit. Irrespective of your past and the present, you can change it. Human beings are privileged to have freedom of will. Animals do not have this choice. They are bound to bear out the rigours of life. Life affords man a unique blend of options to choose from. Though beings take birth under the subordination of past karma, man differs from other beings as he is conferred with the faculty of discrimination. Enjoying the fruits of past karmas - bitter or sweet, he can also improve upon and move up in the cosmic order of consciousness.

The broad spectrum of choices available to man may be categorised into bhoga, roga and yoga. While the former two present a cause and effect syndrome, the latter opens up higher possibilities at the moral and spiritual levels. Propensity to and practice of yoga helps us to tide over the evil effects of indulgence and save us from roga. Those who opt for bhoga, live life at the animalistic level. Satisfaction of organic needs is their sole concern. Remaining stagnant at this level is the greatest folly one can think of. Living at this level results in pathetic and perilous conditions all around. No one advocates to forgo consumption of material objects. Rather, do it in a spirit of detachment. The art of renunciation becomes natural and spontaneous once a perfect sage blesses the seeker with knowledge of metaphysical form of Supreme Brahman. Excessive obsession with 'bhoga' leads to roga - physical and mental maladies. Medically too, over-indulgence affects both the digestive and nervous system resulting in a wide range of diseases. Moral degradation, ethical decline, aesthetic impoverishment and spiritual blindness are natural concomitants.

Ancient Yoga - A Perfect Antidote To Bhoga - Yoga is a perfect antidote to bhoga - over indulgence in biological needs. Lest it is mistaken, yoga here means the ancient yoga - divine knowledge as illustrated in the Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna. One which has been handed down to posterity from master to pupil. This sanskrit word when translated means union with God. The Upanishads declare in unequivocal terms that this eternal knowledge alone puts the seeker on the path of merger of individual consciousness into the ocean of universal consciousness. Armed with ancient yoga the great sages plumbed the far reaches of the world within. These 'tmanauts' studied the infinity of inner space and made dazzling discoveries. This is possible for any ordinary mortal under the patronage of a perfect sage. Such a sage unfolds to the ardent seeker supreme science of Brahm Gyan. This is the power of true yoga. You too will testify like saint Teresa of Avila who exclaimed on initiation," It is a world of perpetual light; even the sun and stars borrow light from the light of consciousness.” Such is the glory of the human being which one realises upon this super sensuous experience of divinity. You are not only transformed but transfigured. Choice is yours - bhoga or yoga.

While people of divine disposition, choose yoga, but those of demoniac temperaments show propensity to bhoga. The later category of people work for sense gratification, the former ones take to eternal path of yoga which takes them to realisation of the ultimate truth. The path of yoga - union with lord of the universe takes them to the blissful state of liberation. A liberated soul - jivan mukta has no more vicious cycles of birth and death. There is no fear of reduction to lower levels of consciousness. Those who adopt the path of bhoga may feel joyous for some time assuming sensual pleasures to be real happiness. The end product of their karmas and pursuits is roga - a disease-ridden life. They squander the prime of their life in running after objects of sense satisfaction. In their case, the process of decay sets in very soon. They are bound to take birth in lower order of species. By their wrong priorities they are dragging themselves to bondage.

The sooner the better, we realise the importance of human birth. This human birth is for realising the divine in us. We have to strive hard to attain the goal of merger with the universal consciousness. For attaining this goal, the path is not bhoga but the path of yoga for ultimate union with our creator and sustainer.”

Hindustan Times

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