Oaj: The essence of yoga

Introduction

The dregs in the water bottle seems invaluable to the person dying with thirst. The world which is home to all of us has confined into boundaries where life is in continuous threat with popping distress and disorders because of our effort to keep the pace with time. Therefore in amid of this quagmire we look at yoga as a solution to our pain and sorrows and an ultimate remedy for physical as well as mental peace. Ironically significance of yoga was not towards longevity, disease free life or enhancement of capabilities so that worldly pleasures could be availed or enjoyed. Yoga was path to aatmik (आत्मिक) sadhana to regain and realise the self, and finally blend with divine self on way to mukti and moksha. Thus the most important part and yet ignored got the state of oaj in yoga now. Oaj is especial kind of energy which is a result of brahmacharya and संयमित sadhana (practice). It became so difficult for a normal human being to earn oaj that the discussion on it also stopped.

I am not denying the preventive and curative effects of yoga practices on our health. As for a long journey we ensure that our conveyance should be in proper health. Similarly “karu dharma sadhanam” i.e. our body is the medium to do all substantial task in the world which should be in proper health too for the execution. Hence yogic kriyas and yogic asanas were formed in such a way by the Maha Rishis and sages that helped a person to maintain the equilibrium state of physical, mental and spiritual wellness. But it's only through oaj we are able to get other side of this world and meet the endmost objective of life.

Oaj Insight

In Indian text of ayurveda and yoga the cycle through which the food we intake undergoes, has been very well elaborated ages back. According to the texts anything we eat is converted into ras (digestive juices)- rakat (blood)- mas (muscles)- meda (fat)- asthi (bone)- majja(bone marrow)- shukra (sperms). It is also said that 40 days diet of a person tentatively changes into 10 grams (1 tola) semen. This concept of how food undergoes through different stages is somewhat different in modern sciences. Whereas in Indian text a lot of emphasis is given on preservation of the vital energy for a good health by protecting from wastage of sperms because of its scarcity of production.

बिंदु नाशाद ही मृत्यु, बिंदु जीवन धारणम् ॥ Veda

Where bindu means shukra (semen). Bindu is the source of our liveliness, vigor, stamina & strength and its wastage leads to the ruination of oneself. Even in kundalini shakti jagran its importance cannot be ignored where the energy flowing through all chakras converges to a single point known as bindu.

Therefore proper adherence to brahmacharya (celibacy) and regular sadhana further moves in formation of tejas. Tejas is that glow and show of knowledge, vigor and valor which is visible on the face and in the eyes and can be seen in legends like Swami Vivekananda etc. The value of this wealth cannot be understood without earning it and once you realise this wealth no one would like to lose it again. With priceless wealth of tejas we are better able to progress towards real objectives of life and we get prudence, discretion, determination and strength to make our decisions. But the life which itself tries to delude us with “Parthiv gun” such as desires, anger, ego, greed, attachment and envy and again indulges or pull us back in the worldly things. To surmount these parthiv gunas we need an indomitable force that separates a sadhak from sensual pleasures and pushes him towards the divinity, known as “Oajas”.

Oaj is the synergy of all the energies we get through brahmacharya (preservation of vital energy by maintaining celibacy), regular sadhana (yogabhyas or tapa), devotion and sacrifices. Through oaj a person is able to enhance his mansik (mental), sharirik (physical), aatmik (spiritual) and pranic abilities and gets immeasurable सामर्थय (potential). This potential is one aspect of oaj whereas it is an unterminating bliss which takes us towards mukti. Oajas is not merely the next stage to tejas rather with disciplined compliance of our ahar (food), vihar (thoughts and behaviour), nidra(sleep balance), brahmacharya (abstinence) and sadhana (practice which makes body and mind come together) we transform our tejas into oaj.

Path to Oaj

Concept of tejas and then its transformation into oajas is very hard to understand without realising it into practice. Perhaps it is said “Gurupdisht margaineh” which means the sadhak should follow the path with full faith shown by the Guru. As the practitioner proceeds on the path shown, he will start attaining the self-consciousness about his future course of actions and the objective himself. Until you are blessed with Guru’s guidance, certain things you could surely adopt in your routine practice that would lead to betterment.

Oaj is like acquiring strength by the strong. So first of all you need to lead a healthy lifestyle if you are concerned about your endmost objective. This starts with waking up in Brahma Muhurta i.e. before sun rise which keeps our psychosomatic state calm and is essentially good for our mind and body. Early rise also checks our metabolism and ensures better functioning of digestive system by igniting digestive fire. But in the modern lifestyle of late night culture you might be thinking of the possibilities to get up early. As waking up early is important so is maintaining the proper sleep balance. Therefore try to avoid going to bed late at night too as you could have the required hours of proper sleep.

Secondly adoption of brahmacharya is absolutely inevitable as it provides you with alertness and intellectual. Brahmacharya is the controlled practice of your sexual desires. For this avoid over indulgence in sexual activities and sexual thoughts. This will help you in maintaining the flow of pranic energy throughout your body. Again our bad lifestyle habits may create obstacles in the pathway. So for the adherence of brahmacharya it is better to avoid tamasic foods i.e. preserved food items, fried food, alcoholic items, non-vegetarian food etc and preferably go for light, digestible fresh and vegetarian food. Keep yourself away from provoking thoughts or exposure of things that instigate such feelings especially when with the advent of internet and social media they have made a friendly encroachment into our lives.

Follow a regular routine of sadhana which will help you to condition your mind and body. Its not important that for how long you do your yogabhyas or how strenuous and difficult asanas do you practice. Initially if you devote ten minutes to half an hour of practice on the continuous basis would help you more than two hours of sadhana no irregular basis. With a nomadic nature it may seems difficult to visualise a regular routine of sadhana but once you will bring the things into practice, I am sure you will find the solutions too.

When you making the bestest compliance of the mentioned things you will very soon start experiencing the noticeable flow of pranic energy in your body. You will realise that your energy levels have not only gone up but also they are better maintained as your day goes along. Now if you go through principle of yoga i.e. yama and niyama you would be at a position to comprehend them better and at ease to adopt them too. These principles will serve as car-light that will move along ahead to show the path.

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Swami Bharat Bhushan Ji

Padmashri award honored | Two times Life time Achievement award honored | D. Lit (Doctor of Letters) honored

Mokshayatan International Yogashram, Saharanpur

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