The Body, Mind & Soul Relationship

BY SWAMI MUKUNDANANDA

Question: The popularity of Yoga has skyrocketed around the world. What is the science behind the effectiveness of the Yogasans?

Swami Mukundananda: The art of healthy living must incorporate all aspects of the personality: the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. While the central theme of Yog remains the highest goal of the spiritual path, physical yogic practices enshrined in it give direct and tangible benefits to everyone regardless of their spiritual aims.

Yogasans harmonize the body, mind and emotions. For example, at the physical level, organs, muscles and nerves may not be functioning properly. Asans bring the different bodily functions into perfect coordination so that they work for the good of the whole body.

At the mental level, people harbor poisonous thoughts and emotions within. Muscular knots can occur anywhere in the body – in the neck as cervical spondylitis, in the face as neuralgia, etc. Every mental knot has a corresponding physical, muscular knot and vice versa. For example, emotional tensions can affect the smooth functioning of the lungs, and breathing process, contributing to a very debilitating disease, which is asthma.

The aim of asans is to release these knots. For full benefit, these asans should be performed along with the meditation. Meditational exercises cleanse the mind, to bring a feeling of peace and contentment within.

Proper asans, Pranayam, subtle body relaxation, meditation, tackle these knots both at the physical and mental levels. As a result of the release of dormant energy, the body becomes full of vitality and strength, the mind becomes light and creative, joyful and balanced.

Yogasans have succeeded as an alternative therapy in diseases such as asthma, diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, digestive disorders and many ailments of a chronic and constitutional nature, where modern medical science has failed.

Q: What is consciousness? How is it different from the soul?

SM: “Consciousness” is the symptom of life that is manifested by the soul. It is not the soul itself; rather, it is a quality of the soul. This is just as heat and light are manifestations of the fire, but by themselves, they are not the fire.

Everything that exists is verily the energy of God. However, it is not all consciousness. Matter is “insentient” or devoid of consciousness, while the soul is “sentient” or possessing consciousness. This is an important distinction between the soul and matter.

Apart from having consciousness itself, the soul also has the ability to impart consciousness to matter, when it associates with it. Just as “a flower carries aroma itself, and the garden where it grows also becomes aromatic by its presence.”

Likewise, the soul is sentient, and by its presence, it makes the dead matter of the body sentient as well. As long as the soul resides in the body, the senses, organs and limbs, all display signs of life. Upon death, when the soul departs, the body is dead matter once again.

Q: How does the soul communicate with the elements in our body? Where is the connection between the body and the soul?

SM: The soul communicates with the body by energizing it with the force of life, or consciousness. Its presence makes the intellect, mind and body work. As already mentioned the soul is sentient, and by its presence, it makes the dead matter of the body sentient as well.

Now the reverse communication – how does the body communicate with the soul? The link between the material body and the spiritual soul is established by the ego. In the materially conditioned state, the first covering on the soul is of the ego. The word for ego in Sanskrit is asmita, which means “that which is not.” This ego creates a false identity for the soul. Due to it, the soul is under the illusion that it is the body, mind and intellect.

In this illusion that it is the body, the soul identifies with the pleasures and pains of the body. When the senses come in contact with the sense objects, they experience fleeting pleasure. Under the illusion that it is the body, the soul too experiences this pleasure. However, the experience does not satisfy the soul, which can only be satisfied by Divine Bliss. So the search for pleasure continues.

This is how the two-way communication between the soul and the body-mind-intellect works.

Swami Mukundananda is a world-renowned teacher of spirituality, Yoga and Meditation. He is the founder of the unique Yogic system JKYog, also known as Yoga for the Body, Mind and Soul. He received His degrees in Engineering and Management from IIT (Delhi) and IIM (Kolkata). Swamiji is the senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. For the last 3 decades, He has inspired people all over the world, on the path of Spirituality, holistic health, yoga, meditation, service to society and God-realization. He has been invited to speak at various Fortune 500 companies like Google, Oracle etc. For the youth, Swamiji has conducted programs at prestigious universities such as Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Kellogg and Duke University.

Swami Mukundananda will have two Free Week long programs in Houston. The first program is on 7 Secrets for Awakening your Best Self at India House at 8888 W Bellfort Ave, Houston, TX 77031 from August 3rd(Sat) – 9th(Fri).

The Second Program is on Shrimad Bhagavat Mahapuran at Houston Durga Bari Society Auditorium, 13944 Schiller Road, Houston, TX 77082 from August 10th (Sat) -16th (Fri).
Admission is Free & Prasadam is served on all days after program. Visit http://www.jkyog.org/events to register or call 281-630-5982/ 832-377-6070/ 281-782-7345 or email: houstonjkyog@gmail.com

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