YOGA. Yoga is the name of a doctrine or practice which has prevailed in India for many centuries. Mr. J. C. Oman quotes the following explanation by "the Apostle of the New Dispensation," Babu Keshub Chunder Sen. " What does yoga literally mean? Union. The English word which makes the nearest approach to it is Communion. The created soul, in its worldly and sinful condition, lives separate and estranged from the Supreme Soul. A reconciliation Is needed; nay, more than mere reconciliation. A harmonious union is sought and realized. This union with Deity is the real secret of Hindu yoga. It is a spiritual unification, it is consciousness of two in one; duality in unity. To the philosophical and thoughtful Hindu this is the highest heaven. He pants for no other salvation; he seeks no other mukti or deliverance. Separation, disunion, estrangement, a sense of distinction, duality, the pride of the eye, this is to him the root of all sin and suffering: and the only heaven he aspires to is conscious union and oneness with Deity. He is ever struggling and striving to attain this blessed condition of divine humanity. Once in possession of it, he is above all sorrow and distraction, sin and impurity, and he feels all is serene and tranquil within. All his devotions and prayers, his rites and ceremonies, his meditations and his self-denials, are but means and methods which help him on to this heaven." This explanation may be supplemented by one given by William James from the work " Vivekananda " (Raja Yoga, London, 1896). The Yogi (disciple) finds " that
the mind itself has a higher state of existence, beyond reason, a superconscious state, and that when the mind gets to that higher state, then this knowledge beyond reasoning comes. . . . All the different steps in yoga are intended to bring us scientifically to the supercon scious state or samadhi. . . . Just as unconscious work is beneath consciousness, so there is another work which is above consciousness, and which, also, is not accompanied with the feeling of egoism. . . . There is no feeling of I, and yet the mind works, desireless, free from restlessness, objectless, bodiless. Then the Truth shines in its full effulgence, and we know ourselves —for Samadhi lies potential in us all—for what we truly are, free, immortal, omnipotent, loosed from the finite, and its contrasts of good and evil altogether, and identical with the Atman or Universal Soul." The Yogis are in great repute in India as healers of diseases, and as philosophers and saints of great knowledge and power. See Yoga: Objective a-nd Subjective, Calcutta, The Brahmo Tract Society, 1884; Yoga Vasishta Malia Rama yana, 4 vols., Calcutta, 1891-99; Karl Kellner, Yoga: Eine Skizze, 1896; William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, 1906; J. C. Oman, Cults.