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Be steady in yoga

Concentration on action means concentration on the present or living in the present, writes Dr KK Aggarwal.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2005 19:14 IST

Yogastha kuru karmani sangang tyaktva Dhananjaya
Sidhyasidhyoh samo bhutva samatvang yoga uchyate
(2/48)

(Be steady in yoga, Arjun, do whatever you must do; give up attachment, be indifferent to failure and success. This stability is yoga).

Text: Essence of Bhagwad Gita can be summarized in one shloka (Chapter 2.48) where Krishna says to Arjuna "yogastha kuru karmani" which means concentrate on actions (do all actions remaining in yoga). He further says that one should take success and failure on the same side. (yogastha: = steadfast in yoga, kuru = perform, karmani = duties or action).

Concentration on action means concentration on the present or living in the present. While concentrating on the present one cannot be in the past or in the future and therefore the past worries and future anxieties cannot make one suffer. Once one is in the present he or she can only take conscious based decisions.

Krishna says, "do your best and leave the rest". One should be attached to actions and de-attached to its results. He compared this to the lotus leaves where a drop of water gives a feeling of a pearl but once it is out the leaf is completely dry as if nothing was there.

The so called de-attached attachment is the philosophy and the mantra to do it is "yogastha kuru karmani". One can only practice de-attached attachment by concentrating on the present or living in the present moment awareness.

One should start practicing this for few minutes a day, say for e.g. start with eating awareness. The practical teaching is while eating have all your five senses focused on eating. Enjoy the sight, touch, small and taste of the food and concentrate on the sound it produces while chewing. Eating in awareness reduces weight, as one cannot overeat while concentrating on it.

Smoking "in awareness" similarly can help in de-addiction. It is said that during smoking the mind is not in smoking but somewhere else. If one start concentrating on smoking by making all their five senses experience smoking one is going to dislike it.

Similarly when one concentrates on relaxation it is called body mind relaxation (shavasana). It is a deeper state of relaxation, which has healing properties.

Meditation is nothing but one point concentration on the present, which can be learnt by concentrating on breathing, sound or on an object (external or internal).

The entire emphasis in the Gita is: "Wherever you may be, and whatever you may be doing you must be in a state of Yoga". It forms the basis for conscious living or yogic living. What ever you are doing you are conscious of your action. At every moment your mind is in your action. The mind body and the soul are in unity.

The world Yoga comes from the word "Yolk" which means union, here the union means the union of mind with the body.
Other interpretation is "Whatever task we undertake, we should put all our energy, efforts, senses and mind to fulfil that particular task is called Yoga. It means to concentrate only on one job at a time till it finishes".

(Dr. Aggarwal is President-Heart Care Foundation of India, Sr. Consultant & Dy. Dean Board of Medical Education-Moolchand Hospital, President Delhi Medical Association and Member-Delhi Medical Council.)

First Published: Sep 20, 2005 00:00 IST