Today it is declared International Yoga Day, showing Asanas or physical postures /figures in different TV channels. Huge publicity has been given behind this observation. For many years I find that physical postures are shown as Yoga in the Western World and now in India. True that these exercises keep the body fit differently than doing other exercises like gymnastics, swimming, playing different outdoor games including exercises with instruments, wrestling and many others in the sense that breathing is specially controlled and directed towards better functioning of the body, specially the vital part of it, Prana. There are hundreds of different Asana, some are very difficult to do or perform. Different Asana have different actions in the body and they are done to cure different diseases or defects in the body.
But here I wish to bring out the difference between Yoga and Asana. While many do Asana, most do not do Yoga through or by it. While this Asana is part of Rishi Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra which is divided in eight parts; Ashtanga Yoga, this alone does not help or mean doing Yoga. Yoga simply means union with the God or Divine. For union with the Divine this Asana is not essential. Many great Yogis never practised Asana. There is another system of yoga which is about the physical and vital part of the body called Hatha Yoga. In India, Haṭha yoga is associated in popular tradition with the Yogis of the Natha Sampradaya through its traditional founder Matsyendranath. This was a part of Tibetan Buddhist Tantrik system also. The ancient Patanjali and his system were forgotten for hundreds of years. It is said that Swami Vivekananda and Theosophical Society and others revived it.
While the Day is declared as the International Yoga Day it is also declared as the International Music Day which is almost forgotten in the din of our doing Yoga. About this Day it is said that the World Music Day is celebrated every year on June 21 in over 120 countries including its country of origin, France, where it is known as 'Fête de la Musique' meaning “festival of music” to honour both amateur and professional musicians. On this day, it is said that musicians of the World perform for free in public places. The value of music in healthy aesthetic life of man is no less than most other things of life. To celebrate the day I herewith add my recent poem on the subject for the enthusiasts. Let us celebrate music too.
Music of Life
Sublime, monotonous and romantic
Riotous, sensuous, joyous and erotic
Harmonic or discordant, the world is full of music;
A song once sung moves round the earth
Sky is full of music in its vast ether
Music galore in the womb of time cries for birth
Music Unheard waits for its true hearer;
Music of varied taste and rhythm attracts or repels us
Those who do not like any music are to be considered ignominious
Music of varied times changes but eternity has its tune lasting;
Our lives are tuned to the music we cling
Life depends on the music we choose to sing.
© Aju Mukhopadhyay,2019