Who Is A Yogi?
A Yogi is one who has achieved Union by doing Tapas.
DEVOTEES HAVE OFTEN approached me with this question, "Who is a Yogi ?". You may come across saints, philosophers, spiritual leaders, the kindhearted and compassionate, but very rarely and only if you are destined that you come across a YOGI. 'Yoga 'means, 'In Union'. Yogi is the one who has achieved it. One has to do Tapas. For me, here 'Tapas' means, "Putting into the Fire which consumes." What is it that you have to put into the fire, and what is that fire?
Every imagination of the mind is ego. This is the thing which you put into the Fire called the SELF. Actually, imagination, mind and ego are connected to each other and are in fact the same. If there is imagination, there is mind. If there is mind, there is ego. These exist in the imaginary consciousness and are thus, simply an illusion.
You put this into the Fire called the Self. The Immortal Substance that Exists, the Self, shall consume this ego imagination.
To achieve this you concentrate on the Self. Yes! This is what you shall be doing when you try to meditate. Meditation in its highest pitch is Tapas.
'Tapas' means putting the ego into the fire of the Self.
When one reaches this state and shall pursue it seriously, gradually in the due course of time, the mind which is nothing but the consciousness of the Self, slowly recedes back to its Origin, the Self. In other words mind gets absorbed into the Self.
The one who has achieved this is a Yogi, in union with the Self, the Enlightened One. Nirvana, Moksha, Self Realization, Liberation, God Consciousness: all these words are used for the same state of the SELF, for the sake of understanding. This is the state of a Yogi.
However, the state of a Yogi is beyond all imaginations and descriptions. Such a person shall be considered equal to God and is eligible for puja. For me, 'Puja' means your regard, respect. Someone in its highest pitch, such a Yogi, is always considered a Perfect One.
Here, Perfection means that such a person has achieved That Thing, after achieving which, there is no need to achieve anything else. Such a person shall be considered to have achieved the Best, the Ultimate.
When a Yogi has achieved Perfection, you should not think that He or She should know how to prepare a cup of tea, should know how to argue, should know this, should know that, and so on. That is not the criteria. That's not the way to judge a Yogi. If you do so you will simply be fooling yourself and you will be trying to fool others.
When people used to approach Swamiji (Sri Sri Sri Shivabalayogi Maharaj) for predictions, to look at their horoscopes, etc., Swamiji ridiculed them by saying, "Here I am a Yogi. If you are interested in Yoga, in dhyana, in God, then tell me. If you are only interested in the worldly, smaller matters, then go to such people who deal with these things."
Maharishi Veda Vyasa advises this way: "Do not go very close to Yogis. You are likely to misunderstand them with their behavior. But do not go very far away, also. Be in touch with them by keeping a Middle Distance, with reverence and devotion. Otherwise you will loose the rare chance of an age, of a life time, to know what is Yoga, the Self, God Consciousness."
Whatever a Yogi does, it will benefit all the Worlds. When a Yogi does a thing, He/She does it with Discrimination and without any Reservation. One should never try to judge a Yogi. How can you know what a Yogi is until and unless you, yourself become a Yogi. It's a different thing, that whenever we want to do or tell something for our selfish motives, we try to attribute them to the Guru (Yogi). In so doing, we never try to learn that which the Guru wanted to teach us. We never try to be sincere to the Guru or to Ourselves.
We dedicate this message to the Traditions of the Guru and the Disciple.
Copyright © 2001 SRBY, All rights reserved.