Part 2

Yoga is interpreted in different contexts. There are many types of yogas such as Raja yoga, Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga of Patanjali, kundalini yoga, etc. Ancient sages and saints had authored valuable yogic treatises. For example, Patanjali authored yoga sutras (sutra means aphorism) where he dwelt on eight types of yogas which are generally called ashtanga yoga (ashtanga means eight limbs of yoga). Patanjali’s aphorisms are classified under Raja yoga.  Raja yoga is also known as royal yoga and is considered as the supreme. It is called Raja yoga because, in God realisation, mind is considered as the supreme factor.   Raja yoga deals more with the mind as opposed to Hatha yoga, which deals more with the body. The body postures are called asanas.  However, all the yogas advocate certain body postures coupled with breath control to enable free flow of energy within the body.  Ultimate aim of all yogas is to unite the individual self with the Supreme Self. Apart from Patanjali’s aphorisms there are classical yogic treatises by sage Nathamuni called Nathamuni Yoga Rahasya (Nathamuni’s yogic secrets) and Yoga Yajnavalkya Samhita by sage Yajnvalkya, etc.   All this information I collected in later part of my life. My yoga teacher never taught me what these sacred scriptures taught.  He never taught me to synchronize breathing with body postures, which I found out later, that it is the most important aspect of yoga. 

After spending those days with my yoga master, I returned home and practiced for long hours on the rocky bench below the banyan tree. The more I performed those yogic postures, the more I could observe subtle changes happening within me. If you walk a few yards from my banyan tree, you can observe a road side temple of Ganapati. The idol there remained uncared for.  The four feet wall was almost on the verge of collapse.  When I was playing with Jimmy under my banyan tree, suddenly I felt as if am playing with that Ganapati.  For a minute, I was dumbfounded.  Again I started playing with Jimmy.  Jimmy used to take all liberties with me.  Whenever I go to my yoga master, he also used to accompany me.  He will wait patiently till I finish my classes to accompany me, back home. He will eat food only if served by my mother or me.  He is very sensitive.  In the evening hours, at the time of dusk, both of us used to play.  In the peak of happiness, he used to howl.  I do not like his howling.  He takes bath daily in Cauvery river, when I have my bath.  I always make it a point to take bath in the river Cauvery twice daily.  During my early school days, my teacher used to teach about the importance of keeping the body clean.  She said that if body is clean, mind also becomes clean.  She also said that clean mind is important to be a good boy.  I always wanted to be a good boy and I remained so all the time. 

My Jimmy becoming Ganapati happened more frequently.  After playing for some time, Ganapati asked me food saying that he is hungry. My mother would have kept some rice mixed with water and butter milk for my dinner.  In out hamlet, there is no electricity. We never felt the need for electricity. We rise when the sun rises and we cease all our activity when the sun had set. The breeze will have high moisture content due to the Cauvery River. When Ganapati was hungry and asked food, I used to dash into my house and bring the food kept for me. When I return, I see only my Jimmy and not Ganapati.  I was pretty sure that Ganapti was there.  He used to play with me hitting me with his trunk and will ask me to chase him.  In spite of my best running ability, I could not reach anywhere near him.  He had a very stout body, a big paunch and a broken tusk.  I could not believe me when I could not chase him.  I was pretty sure that he was finding it difficult to run with such a type of body.  Still I could not catch up with him. I thought I had become a schizophrenic.

The next day, I decided to bring along with me the pot containing my night dinner.  Since he vanishes when I enter my house, I formulated my master plan to catch hold of him and decided to give him my food. Sun began withdrawing his bright light gradually.  I was waiting for Ganapati to appear from my Jimmy.  I played with Jimmy more than I could.  But Ganapati never appeared. I was terribly disappointed.  Probably that was the first time when I was truly disappointed.  I never had any desire and hence there was no disappointment for me.  My yoga master used to tell me that desire and attachment are the two powerful enemies to mankind.  He cited many instances where people were killed to acquire wealth.  He told me several stories about kings winning battles at the cost of several lives.  When my yoga teacher was disinclined to teach me yoga, he used to tell me short stories.  But he will never allow me to go back immediately. He used to say that he feels happy in my presence.  I used to blush whenever he says this.  I never liked people saying me good or bad.  I never interfere in their affairs and I was expecting the same from them.  When my father was alive, his friends used to call me a useless boy.  After his death, none came to our house, nor did we visit any of them.  I liked my present way of living.  All the three of us spend time together, my mother, Jimmy and I.  My mother and I do not speak to each other much.  My yoga master told me to speak less in order to develop higher level of concentration.  I realised the truth in his adage. Bench under banyan tree

I took my dinner to my rocky bench under the banyan tree.  My Jimmy never transformed into Ganapati.  I almost became hysterical, because I was damn sure about the presence of Ganapati.  I could not discuss this with anyone else as they will choose to either ignore me or christen me as a schizophrenic patient.  I ran up to my yoga master.  Though I know that he cannot answer my question, I was confident that he will throw some light on this.  I told him what had happened and how Ganapati and I played together. He listened to me patiently as he knew that I will never lie.  As expected, he could not give a definite solution; still he agreed to visit my place.  All the three of us, my yoga teacher, Jimmy and I walked casually towards my banyan tree. Normally no body sits on the rocky bench under the banyan tree, even my Jimmy does not sit there.  I hold this seat as very sacred.  Others do not use that as they think that they also will become useless like me.  Yoga teacher looked around and he saw the roadside temple.  He went there and saw the idol of Ganapati there.  He immediately came to a conclusion.  He advised me to consecrate the temple and he asked me to meet a priest in his village.  I met the priest along with my yoga master and Jimmy.  He said he would perform certain rituals to consecrate the temple and demanded 1000 bucks.  I told him that I do not have that kind of money and he left the place. 

For the first time in my life I realized the need for money.  I slept on the rocky bench under the banyan tree.  In the dead of the night someone told me near my ear that I should do the renovation of the roadside temple.  I woke up with a shock and looked for someone. None was there.  Jimmy was having a sound sleep.  Probably he was feeling tired after a long walk to my yoga teacher’s place and back.  I got up and sat on the bench.  On hearing the sound of getting up, Jimmy also woke up and looked at me strangely. I decided to renovate the Ganapati temple myself.