There are many aspects of yoga, including hatha yoga, raja yoga, jnana yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga. Also there are aspects of spiritual life involving hundreds of practices: meditation, japa, mantra, yoga nidra, asana, pranayama, mudras, bandhas and the practices of kriya yoga.
In our modern society people want to know much more about hatha yoga, especially the managers and executives of big industry, who are beginning to utilize the depth of yoga in their day-to-day administration and production. They know it can increase the capacity and efficiency of work. Yoga is recognized all over the world as a science by which one can become more capable and improve the powers of concentration and resistance. It is becoming gradually more popular with many sannyasin and householder teachers all over the world.
There are many mental and physical diseases, especially in the modern communities of today, which are imported diseases. They have come with industrialization. A few hundred years ago, your great-grandfathers were working either in a very small, simple shop selling flour, rice and grains, or ploughing the fields. Now our children are going to work in factories and have to deal with the government, taxation department, banks, consumers and the highly competitive business world. The whole night they are tense, whether awake or asleep. They cannot sleep because their minds are so active with the many problems they are facing everyday. This did not happen before.
The speed of the mind is greater than it was two or three generations ago, your diseases also will be different from those of your grandfathers. These new diseases are arising due to a restless and anxious mind, which cannot be tackled by medicine or drugs. Even if you adopt a new social system, which would take many years to complete, the diseases would still continue. The only way is through the practices of yoga. This is the reason why the West has taken to yoga so quickly, not because it was something new. After all they have their own religion and culture, but they realized that yoga had the answer to their problems of mental and physical health.
The very same problems are growing in India day by day. For those people who are suffering mentally, emotionally and physically, and who are beyond the range of medical treatment, yoga definitely has something to offer. In yoga there are physical and mental practices by which you can control the malfunctioning of the body and mind. At the same time, those who are dedicated to a spiritual life can gain deep and powerful insights into their inner nature.
12 August 1976, Madras, Tamil Nadu