Life of Yogi
Yogis are the people who have dedicated themself and their life to the art of Yoga. Over time, there have been many yogis who have dedicated their lives to the practices of yoga. Some in very recent times of whom we know many things while some so ancient that they have been associated with the mythology itself. No matter which time the yogi lived, the life of the yogi was the same filled with great discipline, dedication, and knowledge.
To know about the life of a yogi let’s understand what yoga is in the beginning. Yoga is a technique that has been passed down from generation to generation in the southern part of Asia. Yoga now has been passed to various parts of the world. There may be hardly any country in the world where yoga is not practiced. Even celebrities practice yoga to keep themselves fit and fine.
Yoga now may have been practiced everywhere but for centuries it was the tradition and way of life of the people of ancient India which is present-day Nepal and India. Yoga may be poses, posture, and a way to keep the body healthy for the people of other parts of the world. However, for the people of Nepal and India, it is part of their mythology, the gift of the gods to them, and the dedication of the various yogis that lived on this very land.
Hindu believe that yoga was first discovered by Mahadev in ancient times and the form of Adi yogi, he gifted the knowledge of yoga to the people of that time. Specifically, he taught 7 people all the knowledge of yoga. The seven people became the seven celestial sages in time and taught the world what they had learned from Mahadev.
The mythology says that yoga and the knowledge of yoga originated from there and as time passed transformed and got here. In this course of time various yogi appeared and they in their way shaped and changed yoga. The life of yogis who were here after the formation of yoga to this time shaped yoga itself.
The life of yogis who have contributed a lot to the world of yoga is worth studying. A few of those yogis are as follows:
Adi Shankaracharya was one of the greatest yogis to have lived. The life of Yogi Shankaracharya is the inspiration to the yogis. One of the most important works of his life is the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. He was in this world at the time of 788AD, therefore the exact biography date of birth and other things cannot be said with great accuracy, but he was here and the life of yogi Shankaracharya was something else as a yogi and also as a spiritual teacher.
Shankaracharya was born in Kerala, the southern part of India. It is said that he was born to childless parents in their old age.
Shankaracharya was calm and different from very old age. Even as a child he was attracted to the life of yogi. However, his mother denied him the life of yogi. There are some stories which say that why his mother later agreed for him to have a life of yogi. Shankaracharya then left home and traveled to various places learning the life of yogi and gaining vast amounts of knowledge.
Shankaracharya is one of the greatest yogis to have ever lived. He is regarded as Jagadguru, which is one of the highest positions one yogi can acquire in their life. It means the teacher of the entire universe. He also opened various monasteries in India.
According to the Advaita Vedanta philosophy of the sage, there is only one true Brahman and except him, everything is nothing but an illusion, even the world we live in and the things around us are an illusion.
Shir Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Rama Krishna was born in India in 1836. He also showed the inclination towards the life of yogi from an early age. Ramakrishna is also known as one of the greatest devotees of Mother Kali. He used to believe that realization of God and the pursuit of God is the greatest goal anyone can have in this world. As we talked earlier, he was greatly attached to Mother Kali, and it is believed that Mother Kali had appeared in front of him.
Paramahamsa is not his name, but the name was given to him when he had the realization of God. Mother Kali not only once but time and time again has given realization to him. He also was the priest at the Dakshineshor kali temple. He devoted his life to the temple and Mother Kali.
Ramakrishna became a popular name at that time when the news spread of the realization which the goddess Kali had given him. Various spiritual leaders and people of that time came to meet him. People used to believe that Ramakrishna had mystical abilities. He also was the teacher of great guru Vivekananda. Ramakrishna died in 1886 at the age of 50.
Vivekananda was one of the greatest yogis of modern time. The life of yogi Vivekananda turned the path of yogi and spirituality in a new direction. He had taken the greatest step to take and spread the knowledge of spirituality to the west and the rest of the world. The life of yogi Vivekananda is filled with the greatest achievements, spirituality, and love for the world. He is the chief disciple of Ramakrishna, and he also was the one to have succeeded his teacher.
Vivekananda was born on 12 Jan 1863. The name given to him during his birth was Narendranath data and not Vivekananda. He became Vivekananda much later in life. Vivekananda was born to the attorney of Calcutt high court. He had nine other siblings other than him. His grandfather however was a monk and had left his house at age 25 to be a monk.
Vivekananda from his childhood was very different and saw the world in a different light. He was known for his amazing memory and the speed at which he was able to learn things. His childhood was good because his father had a well-regarded job in Calcutta.
Vivekananda met his guru Ramakrishna in 1881, this was the time when Vivekananda was going to places to learn the life of yogi. He had decided to know more about this life and was collecting knowledge from there and there. Ramakrishna turned Vivekananda in a new direction and gave the life of yogi a new destination.
After the death of his guru, he with his fellow disciples founded Ramkrishna math and Ramkrishna mission. Vivekananda lost his guru after 2 years of losing his father. After losing his father his guru helped him to get out of the loss. He had found a father figure in his teacher after the death of his father. However, after just 2 years he too was taken away by fate.
Vivekananda in his course of life has done many things. At some point in life after the death of his teacher, he was a wandering monk. The life of yogi cannot be completed without becoming a wanderer. He too was a wanderer; he had no place to be, he went where his feet took him and stayed there. Vivekananda traveled from one place to another giving knowledge and wisdom to the people.
Vivekananda returned from there and now went to foreign. His most noteworthy achievement is the speech at the parliament of the religions of the world in Chicago in 1893. This speech changed the perception of Hinduism in the world. In this phase, Hinduism also was considered one of the greatest religions in the world and some credit goes to the speech given by Vivekananda.
Then in his later life, Vivekananda continued to spread his teaching through the spiritual path to the world. Vivekananda died in 1902 at the age of 39. People believe that Vivekananda took the samadhi, which is the greatest feat in the life of yogi.
Lyengar was born on 14 December 1918 in Karnataka, India. He was born in the house of a schoolteacher and his parents had 13 children in total. The economic condition of the family was not so good, but they were still managing, but when his father died the situation went from bad to worse. He had suffered from various diseases from his childhood and also from malnutrition.
Yoga was introduced as a medium that could heal him. The life of yogi began for him at that very moment. He went to Mysore to practice yoga and in a short period practicing yoga, his life changed completely.
Krishnamacharya was the one who taught yoga to Lyengar. At first, his guru thought that he did not belong to the world of yoga as a teacher but with his dedication, Lyengar proved him wrong and his teacher finally accepted him.
The life of yogi was growing within Lyengar. He had achieved a certain level of popularity in India. However, still, he was bound to the borders of the country. He was very good with yoga but publicity and growing to the international market was still far away from him. However, this was about to change when one day unexpectedly an individual entered the life of lyengar. Yuhadin Menuhin entered the life of lyengar and took him to the international world when he was impressed by the work of Lyengar. Lyengar with the help of the book published by Yuhadin touched the international world.
The signature style of Lyengar is Lyengar yoga, by which the name of Lyengar is famous in the world. It is the combination of the various forms and techniques which is amazing to the body, mind, and soul itself. Timing, alignment, and sequencing are the major aspects of Lyengar yoga. Even to this day Lyengar yoga is taught in the place opened by Lyengar by his family members.
Even the children of Lyengar are involved in the field of yoga. There is a standard set by the Lyengar association of the world that monitors the standard of the teaching of yoga and if one gets the certification, the association sees that they are living up to the standard or not.
Osho was born Chandra Mohan Jain, India on December 11, 1931. He is one of the most popular spiritual leaders of our time. The life of yogi of Osho is quite controversial, there is a mass of people who see him as the person who had achieved peak level of spirituality, while some people do not agree with this view and have various views regarding Osho.
Osho was born to a cloth merchant and had eleven siblings. Before the beginning of the yogic life, Osho had a very different path and life. Osho from childhood was quite different and very energetic. He was a rebellious teenager who questioned ideology, perception, and the system. Osho was a formidable debater, which even flourished when he choose the life of yogi.
Osho completed his education and after completing his education decided to become a teacher at a university. Before the life of yogi, Osho had planned to become a teacher and also teaches for some time in university. He was passionate about sharing his view and knowledge with other people. Be it life of a teacher or the life of yogi, Osho was dedicated to teaching other people. After fresh graduation, Osho had begun to teach in a university and after a while, people had believed that he had started giving wrong teaching to the children.
Osho was a teacher and now parallelly he was also doing something else. He was teaching during college time but in his free time traveling to various places to share his views and knowledge with the masses. Osho took both activities with equal importance and balanced perfectly for some time but that was extremely hard. Now, Osho gave up his teaching and was distributing knowledge to people full time.
In the course of teaching Osho became an international name. People were attracted to the free mindset and lifestyle of Osho. People had obligations with his open preaching about sex and speaking openly about the subjects that were considered taboos.
Osho visited the world distributing his knowledge. He had also attended various conferences regarding religions and had given his thoughts.
Osho continued to live the life he believed was right to the very end. He died in his Pune ashram on 11 January 1990.