Yogis the people with perfectly toned yoga bodies wearing Lululemon, adorned in mala beads and “om” tattoos
Yogis are they compassionate, vegan saints, shopping at Whole Foods with a cart full of kale and quinoa (never any cookies or booze)?
Yogis the image in society
Yogis are perceived as vegetarians drinking green juice, all their chakras aligned, standing on their hands in yoga pants this has become an image of what yogis are. It is no more than an image and concept in people’s minds. Those things don’t define anyone.
As Yoga is gaining popularity it is noticed that Yoga practitioners tend to adopt the title – ‘Yogi’ or ‘Yogini’. It designates them well as most of them are Yoga teachers. But in India a Yoga teacher is hardly considered as Yogi. If someone is practicing Yoga for a long time and teaching others he is not promoted to the post of Yogi.
The truth behind a Yogi
Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa uncovered the truth behind a Yogi to his disciples. His worthy disciple, Shri Mahendra Gupta, wrote down the year-long conversations of the Lord in his diaries and published it later. It was named the ‘Kathamrita’.
According to Lord Ramakrishna, there are three types of beings.
1. Agyani (ignorant),
2. Gyani (learned),
3. Yogi (wise/the ultimate).
When someone is ignorant to the spiritual facts, he is considered as Agyani (ignorant). When an Agyani is walking through the path of knowledge and wisdom he is Gyani (learned). He is unveiling the mysteries of true and false.
And, when the individual reaches the destiny and discovers that there had never been a journey and he had always been the same and ever-pure, he is considered as Yogi (the ultimate).
The Lord describes the whole thing in a story. He says, “Those who have heard of milk are Agyani, those who have seen it are Gyani and those who have drunk the milk and observed its nutrition are Yogi.”
A yogi (sometimes spelled jogi) is a practitioner of yoga. In Vedic Sanskrit, yoga (from the root yuj) means “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach” in its most common literal sense, whereas in recent days, especially in the West, yoga often means only the physical exercises of hatha yoga, the asanas
Five Templates of the Yogis
In India, an individual is considered as a Yogi when he/she attains the state of Samadhi. It means when he tasted the milk.
But how do we know if someone is a Yogi or not? Lord Ramakrishna pointed out five templates of the Yogi.
One of the most prominent religious figures of India during the nineteenth century, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was a mystic and a yogi who translated complex spiritual concepts into lucid and easily intelligible manner.
Born in a simple Bengali rural family in 1836, Ramakrishna was as simple yogi. He pursued the Divine throughout his life in various forms and believed in divine embodiment of the Supreme Being in every individual.
Sometimes believed to be the modern day reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, Ramakrishna was the embodiment of spiritual salvation to troubled souls from all walks of life
If we see any of these qualities in a person he is a Yogi. Here are the templates –
• Jadabat (Passive): Passive Yogis are physically inactive. They like to wander around the divine spheres and pass most of their time in the state of Samadhi.
• Pishachtbat (Ugly): These Yogis see the world as the manifestation of the Bramha (The God). They do not differentiate matters according to their worldly names and classes.
• Balakbat (Childish): Balakbat Yogis are like children. They do not have the feelings of shame or fear. They smile like a child, talk like a child and live like a child.
• Unmadbat (Lunatic): People often consider the lunatic Yogis as a madman. These Yogis are ignorant of the outer-world. They live in a ‘go as you like’ mode.
• Madhura (Delightful): And, those who possess all of the above qualities are Madhur Yogis. Sometimes, they are passive, sometimes ugly or childish and even lunatic.
Look around yourself. If you see any of these qualities growing in an individual then he/she might be a potential Yogis.
As the core consciousness grows in an individual these qualities increase and spread. You cannot stop an individual to become a yogi just the way you cannot stop flowers from spreading its fragrance.
Those practicing yoga for spiritual, mental and emotional reasons are no better or worse than those practicing for chaturanga arms, a yoga booty and six pack abs. Eventually, people practicing for the purpose of an ass-kicking workout will inevitably go deeper. Yoga does the work. It does the magic.
Yoga is about you, the practitioner. Whoever you are. It’s about knowing your true self and evolving to your fullest potential. It’s about awareness. It is about connection of all the fragmented parts of yourself, connection between yourself and others, connection of mind and body.