yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
“Of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.”
There have been many yoga systems popularized in the Western world, especially in this century, but none of them have actually taught the perfection of yoga. In the Bhagavad-gītā, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, teaches Arjuna directly the perfection of yoga. If we actually want to participate in the perfection of the yogasystem, in Bhagavad-gītā we will find the authoritative statements of the Supreme Person.
We have heard the names of so many different yogas and yogīs, but in Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says that the actual yogī is he who has surrendered himself “fully unto Me.” Kṛṣṇa proclaims that there is no difference between renunciation (sannyāsa) and yoga.
yaṁ sannyāsam iti prāhur
yogaṁ taṁ viddhi pāṇḍava
na hy asannyasta-saṅkalpo
yogī bhavati kaścana
In Bhagavad-gītā there are three basic types of yoga delineated—karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga and bhakti-yoga. The systems of yoga may be likened to a staircase. Someone may be on the first step, someone may be halfway up, or someone may be on the top step. When one is elevated to certain levels, he is known as a karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī,etc. In all cases, the service to the Supreme Lord is the same. It is a difference in elevation only. Thus Śrī Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna that he must understand that renunciation (sannyāsa) and yoga are the same, because without being freed from desire and sense gratification one can become neither a yogī nor a sannyāsī.
In India there are sacred places where yogīs go to meditate in solitude, as prescribed in Bhagavad-gītā.Traditionally, yoga cannot be executed in a public place, but insofar as kīrtana-mantra-yoga, or the yoga of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—is concerned, the more people present, the better
“Meditation” and “mindfulness” are buzzwords these days for good reason. Yogis have been practicing dhyana (meditation) for millennia. Get expert insight here on meditation and its symbiotic relationship to yoga. Use this hub as your go-to resource for simple tips and guided practices to quiet your mind and make meditation part of your modern daily life.