Yoga life


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Yoga life

  1. 1. Worldwide, billions of people covet the industrial worlds wealthand are replicating its system of modern consumerism as rapidlyas possible. But what they are ignoring, perhaps perilously so, isthe fact that as materially well off as the industrial world is, toomany of us are also chronically living what Henry David Thoreaucoined "a life of quiet desperation."According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D. in thePsychCentral News, inAmerica alone, over 10 percent of the population, (over 30 millionpeople), rich by the rest of the worlds standards, exist onantidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. And the ever-growing useof sleep-aid drugs has increased to over 56 million people,according to Denise Gellene with the Los Angeles Times.So, if the emerging nations obtain the wealth and technology theydesire, it is likely they will discover the same shocking revelationthat Americans have discovered: They are still not happy.Americans are depressed and stressed out. What can be deducedfrom this is that our careers, cars, smart phones, and even ourflat-screen TVs will not ultimately make us happy, healthy, or feelthat we live a meaning life.One of the great hopes in all this is that in the past decade therehas been a huge upsurge in people embarking on self-examination. People are again asking the big question, "What isthis life about?" And no matter how hard we may try to deny it,the answer we are left facing is a spiritual one.
  2. 2. Because of this reawakening, yoga is sweeping across the globe ata dazzling speed, as millions are turning to yoga not only toexercise, but also as an alternative to the experience of a spiritualgathering they cannot find in a church, synagogue, mosque orWeb site. Perhaps the reason for this lies in the chief differencebetween religion and Western-style yoga, and that is that Yoga isusually offered in a nondogmatic format, which makes it inclusiveto many more people. Because of its message of healing, unity anda simpler life, yoga may be one of the great rays of hope for ourfuture. Why? Because worldwide, yoga is being embracedprimarily by college-educated, upper-middle-class thinkers andbusinesspeople in positions of power--the very strata of societythat has the power to make the changes this world so desperatelyneeds.In my own experience as a teacher of yoga and personaltransformation, I witness many white-collar businesspeople parktheir $85,000 cars, turn off their cell phones, and walk into yogarooms in a courageous attempt to transform their bodies andemotional states without the use of pharmaceuticals. Thetransformation is powerful to observe. Through the practice ofspecial breathing techniques, meditation, and a sequence ofpostures, one day they experience a sense of calm beingness thatthey have not felt in years or even decades. This wondrous heart-opening consciousness triggers the profound realization that a 90minute, $20 yoga class fulfills many of their essential needs, more
  3. 3. than any of their other possessions they have worked like dogs toobtain. This life-changing insight compels them to reassess thevalue of their priorities and their very purpose in life: Who am I?Why am I? Where am I going?The world at large could reap untold benefits as the core of theworlds white-collar workforce becomes more concerned withopening their hearts than filling their wallets. I believe that mostyoga teachers can attest that yoga is visibly de-stressing andhealing countless people each day. This new wave of peace andtolerance can be felt rising, and not just in America; the wave hasnow stretched across the seas to Europe, the Far East, and eventhe Middle East. International power-cities like Hong Kong,Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, Berlin, London, Istanbul, and Tel Avivall offer yoga classes in impressive yoga centers. Lives are beingchanged and are souls re-inspired to reach beyond themselves andinto the possibility of a greater world through peace, health,nondogmatic spirituality, and a conscious life.Because of the enormous influence of yoga teachers, I believe thatwhat we teachers need to do next is to focus on ethical renewal,teaching by example first and also by planting seeds in our yogaclasses. Ethics must become a focalized component as it is one ofthe missing links in modern society, as made clearly evident in thecollapse of the banking system. In this world, it is not enough tobe smart and well educated, we must begin to see our fellow man
  4. 4. and woman to be as important as our own families. The YogaCommunity, and particularly its yoga teachers have a meaningfulinfluence over the white-collar strata of society, including those inpinnacle power positions. So, it is our responsibility to inspire ourstudents to set an example to infuse their highest ideals into theirwork and workplace, always looking for win-win events andholding firm that the end never justifies the means. Perhaps theimpact of yoga on the world will ultimately be in opening peoplesminds and hearts and helping to guide our actions on anexemplary course through history. Formats: AbstractJournal List > Int J Yoga > v.3(2); Jul-Dec 2010 | Full Text | Printer FriendlyPerforming your original search, yogas impact onbusiness, in PubMed Central will retrieve 0 records. Int J Yoga. 2010 Jul-Dec; 3(2): 55–66. PMCID: PMC2997233 PubMed doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.72631 Copyright © International Journal of Yoga articles by these Impact of yoga way of life on authors organizational performance Adhia, H. 1 Hasmukh Adhia, HR Nagendra, and B
  5. 5. Mahadevan2 Nagendra,Government of Gujarat, Gulbai Tekra, Ahmedabad - 380 006, H.India1 Swami Vivekanand Yoga Anusandhan Samsthan, MahadevaKempegowda Nagar, Bangalore - 19, India n, B.2 Indian Institute of Management, Bannerghatta Road, PubMedBangalore 560 076, India relatedAddress for correspondence: Prof. B Mahadevan, Indian articlesInstitute of Management, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore - 560076, India. E-mail: Bringing corporateThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms ofthe Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits culture tounrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, the bottomprovided the original work is properly cited. line. [Organ Dyn. Other Sections▼ 1984] ReviewOrg Abstract anizational researchBackground: with impact:Organizational performance can be attributed workingto a number of factors. However, there are backwards .certain organizational factors, the presence or [Worldviewsabsence of which can determine the success Evid Based Nurs. 2004]or failure of the organization. There are Quality ofdifferent ways in which organizations try to working life andimprove their performance by working on organizatisuch factors. In the research presented in this onal performanarticle, an attempt is made to find out whether ce--two sides ofadoption of the Yoga Way of Life by the samemanagers can have a positive impact on such coin?
  6. 6. [Scand Jorganizational performance indicators. Work EnvironAims: Health. 2009]To measure effect of yoga way of life on five Healingdifferent indicators through an empirical models forstudy. organizati ons: descriptioMaterials and Methods: n,The five indicators are job satisfaction, job measurem ent, andinvolvement, goal orientation, affective outcomes. [J Healthcorganizational commitment and Manag.organizational citizenship behavior. 2000] ReviewNeStatistics Analysis: w ways of insulinPre- and post-data was measured using self- delivery. [Int J Clinreported questionnaire. Independent T-test Pract(Paired) and Pearson‘s correlation test were Suppl. 2010]conducted using SPSS. » See reviews... |Results and Conclusion: » See all...The results of the study show that Yoga has a Recent Activitysignificant positive impact on four out of five ClearTurnof these indicators. Only job involvement Offdoes not show significant improvement. The Your browsingconstruct used for measuring job involvement activity is
  7. 7. had a Chronbach alpha of 0.613, which is an empty.indicator of moderate reliability, which could Links PubMedbe the main reason for not getting positive Taxonomyresult. TaxonomyKeywords: Yoga way of life, job satisfaction, Treejob involvement, goal orientation,organizational citizenship behavior, affectiveorganizational commitmentOther Sections▼ INTRODUCTIONThe globalization of the industrial worldmakes it imperative for organizations to putspecial emphasis on organizationalinnovation, flexibility, productivity, andresponsiveness for changing the externalconditions of their performance.Organizational performance can bemeasured in terms of different criteria fordifferent organizations, and it depends to agreat extent on the goals of an organization.However, one way of comparingorganizations with different goals is to identify
  8. 8. surrogate indicators of performance. In thisarticle we have utilized the past studies andrelevant literature to identify fiveorganizational factors that can be used asalibis to assess the performance of anorganization from the view point of the setobjectives. These factors are common tomost organizations, and therefore, can beused to make comparisons betweencompanies or groups.Today, there is considerable interest amongthe management practitioners andresearchers with regard to the role andbenefits of introducing spirituality at theworkplace. The Harvard Business Schoolstudy, drawn over a period of 11 years,showed a marked relation between thestrength of the organizations‘ corporateculture and its profitability.[1] Lloyd[2]maintains that organizations high inworkplace spirituality outperform thosewithout it by 86%. Taking a cue from suchother studies, we have been motivated to
  9. 9. introduce the concept of the ‗Yoga way oflife‘. We have analyzed the possible impact itcan have on such organizational factors, andhave utilized the empirical study and literatureto make our inferences.Yoga is generally perceived to be a way ofkeeping oneself healthy and happy. However,if one truly understands the concept of yogaas a complete way of life, one can clearly seeits benefit for changing the paradigms of itspractitioners. Such a change in the psycho-motivation of people is useful at theorganizational level also. However, so far,very few empirical studies have beenundertaken to establish such a link. The maincontribution of this article is to fill this gap.Using a controlled scientific experimentationof employees in a manufacturing unit, weprovide an empirical assessment of theimpact of the yoga way of life on positiveorganizational factors.We pose the question, ―Can adoption of the
  10. 10. yoga way of life make a positive impact onthe factors which are responsible for theperformance of organizations? If so, can weempirically observe this phenomenon andprovide relevant literature support to explainthis?‖ To the best of our knowledge, there isno empirical research available so far, toanswer these questions. We study theseissues in this article using an empirical studyconducted in a manufacturing unit involving84 executives.We show that adoption of the yoga way of lifecan bring about better job satisfaction,affective organizational commitment,organizational citizenship behavior, and goalorientation of managers. These factorsindeed contribute to the performance of theorganization as we have argued in the article.Through a rigorous literature review andunderstanding of the science of Yoga, asgiven in our scriptures, we also provide anexplanation of how this happens. We alsomotivate the HR managers in organizations to
  11. 11. explore ways of implementing the yoga wayof life, as it promises to address the issue oforganizational climate at a fundamental level.The rest of the article is organized as follows.In the next section we provide a review of theliterature to introduce various factorscontributing to the performance of anorganization and the manner in which thesecontribute. On the basis of this, we identifythe variables for our study. In Section 3, wediscuss the role of yoga in management by astudy of the literature. Based on these wealso develop the hypothesis for our study. Wepresent the study details in Section 4, anddiscuss the results in the following Section.Finally in Section 6, we conclude byhighlighting the implications of our study.Other Sections▼ MATERIALS AND METHODSFactors contributing toorganizational performanceOrganizational performance can be termed
  12. 12. as the achievement of the goals of anorganization. The goals of an organizationmay differ from organization to organizationand may also include in its fold quantitativeand qualitative aspects. When anorganization achieves its goals, it is said tohave performed well. As performance is themain reason for the survival of anorganization, there is considerable interestamong practitioners and researchers tounderstand what results in a betterorganizational performance.Marmol and Murray[3] studied HighPerforming Organizations (HPOs) from avariety of sectors including financial services,technology, consumer goods, retailmanufacturing, transportation, customerservices, and energy. The focus of the studywas on identifying qualities and practices thathelped organizations sustain a superiorperformance over a long period. Theyobserved that of the six attributes that werecommon to the HPOs, the most important
  13. 13. was leadership competence. According toUma,[4] most organizations are impacted byglobalization, new challenges, andcomplexities irrespective of whether theyoperate globally or not. Leadershipcompetence is critical to the success of theorganization perhaps more than ever before.Prahalad,[5] discussed the challenges thatleaders face in the current environment andthe qualities required. The maincompetencies that he emphasized to facethese are: Coping with ambiguities and uncertainties econciling the coexistence of opposites Managing the diversity in terms of race, age, gender, culture, and intellectual person integrity Selflessness Humility and courage Networking across organizations Contextual influence and authority
  14. 14. According to Tichy,[6] the single mostimportant factor that differentiates winningcompanies from losing ones is that thewinning companies possess a leadershipengine — a proven system for creatingdynamic leaders at every level. Warren[7]observed that the key to future competitiveadvantage will be the organization‘s capacityto create a social architecture capable ofgenerating intellectual capital; and leadershipis the key to realize full intellectual capital.The quality and disposition of manageriallevel employees is thus a key toorganizational performance. Some of thefactors that can measure these qualities arejob satisfaction, job involvement, goalorientation, organizational commitment, andorganizational citizenship behavior. Wepresent a review of their influence on thequality of leadership and organizationalperformance.Job satisfaction
  15. 15. According to Bullock,[8] job satisfaction is anattitude that results from a balancing andsummation of many specific likes and dislikesexperienced in connection with the job.Smith[9] has defined job satisfaction as anemployee‘s judgment of how well his job hassatisfied his various needs. Blum andNaylor[10] have defined job satisfaction as ageneral attitude formed as a result of specificjob factors, individual characteristics, andrelationships outside the job. Robbins[11] toohas defined job satisfaction as an employee‘sgeneral attitude toward his job.In the mid-seventies, Locke[12] reviewed theresearch work done on job satisfaction duringthe preceding 40 years, beginning with theclassic study by Hoppock.[13] Locke reportedthat more than 3000 studies had beenpublished during the said period of 40 years.A critical review of the researches indicatedthat although there was no direct orconsistent relationship between jobsatisfaction and productivity, the scholars and
  16. 16. management practitioners were stillinterested in the study of job satisfaction forthe following reasons, which had broadimplications for the individual, theorganization, and the society at large; Absenteeism is higher among dissatisfied employees[14,15] Dissatisfied employees are more likely to quit[16] Satisfied employees enjoy better health and live longer[12,17] Job satisfaction is infectious and carries over to life outside the work place[18]In a survey of 440 commercial bankemployees in Bangladesh, Mosharraf[19]concluded that job satisfaction had asignificant positive contribution toperformance. Judge and Bono[20] foundthrough empirical evidence that self-esteem,generalized self-efficacy, internal locus ofcontrol, and emotional stability are among thebest dispositional predictors of job
  17. 17. satisfaction and job performance. Lopez[21]found that self-esteem moderates the jobperformance – job satisfaction relationship.Cropazano Bonnet (2007) established thatthe employees‘ psychological well-being andemployee morale have a moderating effecton the relationship between job-performanceand job-satisfaction. Based on Korman‘sConsistency Theory of Work Motivation,Inkson[22] established that self-esteemexercised a significant moderating effect onthe correlation between performance andintrinsic satisfaction, but not on the correlationbetween performance and extrinsicsatisfaction.These studies point to the role ‗jobsatisfaction‘ plays in creating a positiveambience for the employees, motivating themand thereby ensuring high productivity. Thesein turn are likely to contribute to theperformance of an organization.Job involvement
  18. 18. Job involvement is an important factor in thelives of most people. Work activities consumea large proportion of time and constitute afundamentally important aspect of life formost people. People may be stimulated byand drawn deeply into their work or alienatedfrom it mentally and emotionally. The qualityof one‘s entire life experience can be greatlyaffected by one‘s degree of involvement in oralienation from work.[23,24] A state ofinvolvement implies a positive and relativelycomplete state of engagement of the coreaspects of the self in the job, whereas, a stateof alienation implies a loss of individuality andseparation of the self from the workenvironment. For example, Argyris,[23]Kanungo,[25] Marx,[26] McGregor,[27]Kanungo[25,28] considered involvement andalienation to be polar opposites.Lawler and Hall[29] defined job involvementas a ‗psychological identification with one‘swork‘ and ‗the degree to which the jobsituation is central to the person and his (or
  19. 19. her) identity‘ (p. 310-311). Increasing jobinvolvement can enhance organizationaleffectiveness and productivity by engagingemployees more completely in their work,and making the work a more meaningful andfulfilling experience.[30]The ‗individual difference perspective‘ holdsthat job involvement results from socializationprocesses that inculcate the importance ofwork as a virtuous and necessary activity, aswell as from other stable individualdifferences. This research draws on the workof Weber,[31] with its emphasis onindividuality and the virtue of work as an endin itself. Such beliefs are likely to predisposepeople to be more job involved.[32–34]Individuals with an internal locus of control(i.e., those who believe they are active causalagents) are likely to be more job involvedthan individuals with an external locus ofcontrol.Previous research has not established the
  20. 20. causal ordering of job involvement withrespect to job satisfaction and organizationalcommitment. We can classify job satisfactionas a consequence of job involvement, eventhough reciprocal causation is likely. One canconsider job satisfaction primarily as aconsequence, because cognitive appraisal ofthe potential for need satisfaction logicallyprecedes actual need satisfaction. It is alsolikely that actual satisfaction then reciprocallyinfluences job involvement. Conclusively,disentangling the causal priority of these twoconstructs empirically is likely to be difficult.Stumpf[35] concluded that both workperformance and work satisfaction hadantecedent influences on job involvement. Allof these studies were co-relational, and noneconclusively ruled out alternate causalorderings.Organizational commitmentRobbins[36] has pointed out that dedicated orcommitted employees serve as ‗pivotalvariables without which the inanimate assets
  21. 21. are worthless‘. Several research andconsulting organizations[37] also suggest thata committed workforce is the ‗hallmark‘ of asuccessful organization. ‗Committed ordedicated employees are expected to bemore productive and work with focus onquality, to increase customer satisfaction andprofitability of their organization‘.[38] In astudy of skilled workers of a privatemanufacturing unit (n=200) Pal,[39] foundthat a humane and fair management stylesignificantly related to organizationalcommitment. Objectivity and rationality wasfound to be significantly related toorganizational commitment in a studyundertaken by Sharma.[40]In a study conducted on 400 employees atthe Indian Institute of ManagementBangalore, Adhia[41] found that three factors,organizational politics, distributive justice, andprocedural justice are strong predictors ofaffective organizational commitment. In theregression of affective organizational
  22. 22. commitment, taking these three as predictors,the adjusted R square comes to 0.224,with P<0.01.It appears from this that organizationalcommitment is an obvious contributor toorganizational performance because loyaltyto the organization significantly enables theorganization to achieve its objectives. Theprimary difference between organizationalcommitment and job involvement is that jobinvolvement primarily reflects one‘s attitudetoward a specific job, whereas, organizationalcommitment refers to one‘s attachment to theorganization.[42,43] It would be possible, forexample, to be very involved in a specific jobbut not be committed to the organization andvice versa.[44,45]Organizational citizenship behaviorOrganizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB)pertains to the employees‘ behavior over andabove the call of duty (job description and jobspecification), which is very important for
  23. 23. organizational effectiveness. Theglobalization of the industrial world makes itimperative for organizations to put specialemphasis on organizational innovation,flexibility, productivity, and responsiveness tochanging external conditions for theirperformance. It has been increasingly felt thatwork behavior such as OCB, which is beyondthe reach of traditional measures of jobperformance, holds promise for long-termorganizational performance. Acomprehensive theoretical discussion isavailable in the works of Organ,[46] Konovskyand Pugh,[47] Moorman and Blakey,[48] andPadsakoff and MacKenzie.[49] Attempts arealso made to assess the probable factors(causes) which may lead employees to fosterorganizational citizenship behavior.[50–54]In 1983, Denis Organ and his colleagueswere the first to use the term OCB.[50,51]Later, drawing on the concept of ‗willingnessto cooperate‘ based on Bernard‘s,[55] thedistinction between dependable role
  24. 24. performance and innovative and spontaneousbehaviors, Organ, defined OCB as anindividual behavior that was discretionary,and not directly or explicitly recognized by theformal reward system, and that in aggregatepromotes the effective performance of theorganization.This concept has also been characterized asincluding constructive and cooperative extrarole gestures that are neither mandatory nordirectly compensated by a formalorganizational reward system. In additionsuch behaviors have been described ashaving an accumulative positive effect onorganizational functioning. Bateman andOrgan[51] attempted to cluster a list ofemployee behaviors that managers typicallyneed and appreciate, but are helpless todemand. These behaviors also formed part ofwhat they called OCB. Included in the list aregestures such as, constructive statements forimprovement of the organization/ department,expressing personal interest in the work of
  25. 25. others, monitoring the new entrants in theorganization, respecting the spirit as well asthe rules of the organization, care fororganizational property, and so on. It alsotakes into account specific behaviors thatemployees refrain from indulging in, eventhough they may have every right to do so.To be more specific, these behaviors includefinding fault with coworkers/ managers,expressing resentment, complaining againsttrivial/ insignificant issues, arguing withothers, and so forth. The contention behindincluding such behaviors within the purview ofthe concept is that OCB does not only includeenactment of positive gestures andcontributions, but it also takes into accountthe quality of forbearance.Clearly, the concept of OCB inducesbehavioral and attitudinal patterns on the partof managers that influence organizationalperformance.Goal orientation
  26. 26. Goal orientation refers to taking one‘s goalsseriously and being persistent in pursuing thegoal. Achievement goal theory and researchsuggest that employee job performance andjob satisfaction depend on their goalorientations.[56,57] Goal orientation can beregarded as a personality concept, implyingthe existence of individual differences in theextent to which people set goals and pursuethem. Highly goal-oriented persons developlong range and clear goals. They arepersistent in pursuing them, especially whendifficulties arise. Therefore, goal orientation isassumed to be an important prerequisite foreffective leadership.Previous research has shown that a person‘sgoal orientation was related to his or herperformance in individual settings.[58] In astudy reported by Sonnentag, Stolte, Frese,Heinbokel, and Brodbeck,[59] it was statedthat the team leaders‘ goal orientation isrelated to the quality of the developmentprocess, the quality of the final product, and
  27. 27. the interaction within the team. The goalorientation of individuals in an organizationdoes lead to focused action, which helps inachieving organizational objectives.On the basis of the review of literature onecan make certain inferences pertaining tofactors influencing organizationalperformance. We summarize them below: The quality and disposition of managerial level employees is the key to organizational performance. These are indeed reflected in some organizational indicators, such as, job satisfaction, job involvement, goal orientation, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior. These factors are suitable for our study also, because they can be studied and measured in respect of any organization, irrespective of their goals or line of business.Yoga way of life
  28. 28. The yoga way of life encompasses thephilosophy of Karma Yoga (path of detachedaction), Jnana Yoga (knowledge ofself), Bhakti Yoga (Trust in the supremeorder) and Raja Yoga (Asana, Pranayam,Meditation etc.). Practicing this knowledgemay bring about a complete transformation ofone‘s personality, on the physical, mental,emotional, and spiritual levels, whichstrengthens one‘s ability and desire to put inone‘s best. Yoga is one of the six foundationsof Indian philosophy and has been used formillennia to study, explain, and experiencethe complexities of the mind and humanexistence.[60] Patanjali, an ancient yogasage, defines yoga as a technique used tostill the mental fluctuations of the mind toreach the central reality of the trueself.[61] Patanjali‟s Yoga Sutras outline askillful way of conducting life that fostersmoderation and harmony.[62] Theseguidelines, which include ethical and moralstandards of living in addition to postural and
  29. 29. breathing exercises, are used to fosterspiritual growth and evolve one‘sconsciousness.Ashtanga Yoga, the eight step path of yoga,encompasses cognitive learning, moralconduct, physiological practices, andpsychological therapy. The first two stepsofYama and Niyama seek and shape externalbehavior and thought patterns and thusminimize disturbances in the mind and thebody. On the behavioral side, abstinence issought from violence, falsehood, dishonesty,sexual excess, and acquisitive tendencies.On the cognitive moral side, the idealsprescribed are — purity, contentment,austerity, self study, and forbearance. Thestages of Asana andPranayama are meantfor disciplining the body and regulating subtleenergy flows. In the fifth stage of Prayahara,the secondary input is regulated so the mindis not distracted. The stages of dharana,dhyana, and Samadhi are for uplifting one‘sspiritual self and for heightening
  30. 30. consciousness.According to Srinivas,[63] a series oftechniques collectively known under thegeneral label ‗Yoga‘ present a rich source forgenerating indigenous organizationaldevelopment techniques that may perhapsfind better acceptance than importedintervention designs from the west (p. 271).Originally developed for personal spiritualgrowth, yoga offers a well-formulatedapproach to planned change.[63]Impact of yoga on managementSpirituality in a workplace is a topic of hotdiscussion today. Wisnieski and Askar andSyed[64] present four interesting advantagesin their review of workers who maintain aspiritual mindset. First they claim: ‗Thestronger the spiritual factor of the personality,the more tolerant the person is of work failureand less susceptible to stress‘ (p. 102).Second, these authors assert, ‗the strongerthe spiritual factor of the personality the more
  31. 31. the person favors the democratic style ofleadership, is more trusting and the higher ishis/ her tolerance of human diversity‘. Third, itis the opinion of Mohamed et al. that, ‗Thestronger the spiritual factor of the personalitythe more the person exhibits altruistic andcitizenship behavior‘. Finally, these authorsfind that, ‗The stronger the spiritual factor ofthe personality, the more the person‘scommitment to the organization and workgroup increases‘.In the article of Sangster,[65] he re-emphasizes an often presented clarificationwhen the topic of spirituality in the workplaceis mentioned, he places religion out of thescope, stressing that ‗it is possible to lead aspiritual way of life without following anyparticular religious path‘ (p. 16). In Sangster‘sopinion, spiritual workers are those who thinkcooperatively and/ or altruistically; have abalanced, objective view of the world; listenas much as (or more than) they speak; applya three-dimensional or bigger picture when
  32. 32. thinking; believe in some higher driving forceand purpose beyond humankind; find the timeto think things through objectively; thinklaterally in order to promote realisticsolutions; encourage and empower othersselflessly; work open-mindedly with a widerange of people; consistently display integrityand trust; and expect the best from peoplewithout having a soft touch. (p. 16)Jurkiewicz and Giacalone[66] stress yetanother major advantage of nurturing thespiritual mindset within each worker in theorganization: ethicality. These authors assertthat the ‗Fundamental aspects of workplacespirituality, such as meaningful work thatprovides a feeling of purpose, a sense ofconnection and positive social relations withtheir coworkers, and the ability to live anintegrated life in which the work role does notconflict with the essential nature of the personas a human being, may interact to createdifferent perceptions of ethicality within theorganization‘ (p. 85). Most of the work
  33. 33. available on the subject of the impact of yogaon work life/ management centers around theimpact of Transcendental Meditation onvarious aspects of management. A review[67]of over 500 experimental studies conductedin over 200 universities, in 33 countries,revealed that Transcendental Meditationhelps expand consciousness, decreaseoxygen intake and stress level, increasebasal skin resistance and coherence in EEG,and virtually suspends breathing up to oneminute.Transcendental Meditation is a skill ofeffortlessly minimizing mental activity so thebody settles into a state of rest deeper thandeep sleep, while the mind becomes clearand alert. At the University of Texas, Orme-Johnson et al.[68] showed that mediatorsdisplay a greater physiological equilibriumthan non-mediators. He also showed thatmediators maintain this equilibrium understress more effectively than non-mediators.David[69] completed a study, which
  34. 34. concludes that TM increases individualproductivity. David found that mediators showincreased job satisfaction, a decreased desireto change jobs, better performance, andbetter relationships with supervisors and co-workers. Findings on the TM techniquerelevant to organizational performanceinclude, improved cognitive performance,[70]increased self-esteem,[71] and higher levelsof self-actualization and development,[72,73]associated with more effective managerialperformance.[74] Previous case studiessuggest that large proportions of organizationmembers practicing the TranscendentalMeditation technique have contributed toimprovements in organizationalperformance.[75]Pande and Naidu[76] reported empiricalevidence to show that people having a strongorientation to niskam karma (workingsincerely without being preoccupied with theoutcome) experience less work-relatedstress. Misra[77] found that effort orientation
  35. 35. rather than concern for the outcome leads togreater intrinsic satisfaction.Chakraborty[78,79] provides experimentalevidence that practicing yoga, meditating,controlling breathing, and stilling the turbulentmind can enable workers and managers topurify their chitta and make it spiritual,expand their self to include others aroundthem, and help them grow and transformthemselves, without expecting anything inreturn.From a complete review of the literature, onefinds that there have been attempts in thepast research to capture the positive impactof some aspect of yoga (such as asana ormeditation) on personal factors such asstress, and so on. However, there has beenno attempt to capture the effect of theadoption of complete yoga philosophy onorganizational factors. As we have seen inthe literature review, Yoga has a deeperpsychological impact on a person, in terms ofchanging paradigms of one‘s life. Similarly
  36. 36. most of the organizational factors selected forthis study are psycho-motivational in nature.There is, therefore, enough ground for us tohypothesize that adoption of yoga as aphilosophy and practice helps in increasingthe levels of positive organizational factors.This research is an attempt to prove ordisprove this hypothesis.Empirical study details and resultsThis controlled experiment was conducted ata manufacturing company in Gujarat, calledBirla Celluloise, located at Kosamba, one ofthe units manufacturing Viscose Staple Fiber,owned by the Grasim Industry, located atKharach village near Bharuch. This unit hasmore than 120 people in the managerialcadre and more than 1000 in the workerscategory. Most of them stay in the townshipof the company, which makes it easy toconduct the intervention of Yoga. GrasimIndustries Limited, a flagship company of theAditya Birla Group, ranks among India‘slargest private sector companies, with
  37. 37. consolidated net revenues of Rs. 141 billionand a consolidated net profit of Rs. 20 billion(FY2007). Starting as a textiles manufacturerin 1948, today Grasim‘s businesses compriseviscose staple fiber (VSF), cement, spongeiron, chemicals, and textiles. Its corebusinesses are VSF and cement, whichcontribute to over 90 percent of its revenuesand operating profits. The Aditya Birla Groupis the world‘s largest producer of VSF,commanding a 21 percent global marketshare. The company meets India‘s entiredomestic VSF requirements. Grasim‘s VSFplants are located at Nagda in MadhyaPradesh, Kharach in Gujarat, and Harihar inKarnataka, with an aggregate capacity of270,100 tons per annum (tpa). The VSF plantat Kharach, where this experiment wasconducted, was set up in 1996.The salient aspects of the study methodologyare summarized below: The managers of the company were
  38. 38. given the option of joining thisexperiment after explaining to them thepurpose and modality of this experimentand making clear to them theexpectations of regularity and so on.Written consent for being a part of theexperiment was obtained.Those who opted were initially divided intwo equal groups of 42 each — Groupone was called the Yoga group andGroup 2 was called the physical exercisegroup, which was the control group forthis experiment.The Yoga group was given 30 hours ofyoga practice (75 minutes every day) and25 hours of theory lectures on thephilosophy of yoga. The total interventionperiod was six weeks. The theorylectures were given by the first author ofthis article and included topics such asthe definition of the yoga way of life,implications of the four types of yoga(Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana
  39. 39. Yoga and Bhakti Yoga) on life, analysison the aspects of true happiness inlife,ashtanga yoga steps, central themeof universality of consciousness as givenin Vedanta, and so on. The practice wasgiven for asanas, pranayama, Kriya, andrelaxation by a well-trained yogainstructor.The control group was also given trainingof equal number of hours for normalphysical work-out and lectures onsuccess factors in life (based on modernthought). This was thought necessary inorder to obviate the possibility of theHawthorne effect on the experimentgroup. The topics for theory given to thisgroup included — Success andHappiness, Importance of Attitude, Self-Image, Good Relationship with Others,Goal Setting, Power of sub-consciousmind, Communication, Motivation, andleadership. The practice given to thisgroup was fast exercises such as spot
  40. 40. jogging, bending, body rotation, handand leg movements, and the like.In order to prove or disprove thehypotheses, variables were measured forboth the groups, before and after theexperiment, with the help of a standardself-reported questionnaire. In addition,the measurement of certain physicalparameters such as weight, BMI, BP,Blood Sugar, and so on, were taken forall, both pre- and post-experiment.The pre-measurement data was taken on17 September, 2007. The intervention toboth the groups was simultaneouslygiven between the 18 September and 24October, 2007. The post-measurementdata was taken on 24 October, 2007.Out of the group of 42 in both groups,there were some who did not attend alltheory and practice classes on manydays, and hence only top 30 (in terms ofregularity) were included for both groupsin the final sample, for the analysis. This
  41. 41. came to a minimum attendance figure of 65% approximately for both groups. In short, people with less than 65% aggregate attendance were excluded from both groups. The profile of the sample finally included in the experiment can be seen in Tables Tables11 and and2.2. Figure 1 schematically shows the study methodology and the group composition. Table 1 Profile of sample-age wise age2* group crosstabulatio Table 2 Profile of sample-level of management group crosstab Figure 1 A schematic representation of the study planConstructs used for measurement ofvariablesQuestionnaires were both easy to administer
  42. 42. and inexpensive,[80] due to their brevity andself-reportive nature. It was therefore decidedto use self-reported questionnaire, pre- andpost-intervention, for this study. Intrinsic jobsatisfaction was measured using the shorterversion of the Minnesota Job SatisfactionQuestionnaire, popularly known as MSQ,[81]from which items loading highly on the‗intrinsic‘ factor were chosen.[48] These itemswere related to the opportunity therespondent had to make use of, his/her skillsand abilities, the trying of new ideas andmethods, and the feeling of accomplishmentthat was generated on the job. This scale waspreferred over other scales such as JobDescriptive Index,[82] because they werelengthy and multidimensional. Furthermore,the MSQ was the most cognitive in itsorientation.Affective Organizational Commitment wasmeasured using eight items pertaining to theaffective component of organizationalcommitment, from the instrument developed
  43. 43. by Allen and Meyer,[83,84] which isresponded to on a seven-point Likert typescale. The items are used to tap the extent ofthe employee‘s emotional attachment to,identification with, and involvement in theorganization. Job Involvement was measuredusing the 13-item job involvement-role scaledeveloped by Paullay, et al.,[85] withresponses taken on a seven-point Likert typescale. It was used to tap the extent to whichthe respondent was involved personally in thetype of work that he/she did in his/her presentjob.Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB)was measured using a slightly modifiedversion of the scale developed by Moormanand Blakely,[48] based on Graham‘s[86] four-dimensional model of OCB. The modificationwas mainly intended to facilitate self-reporting. The four dimensions proposed byGraham were Interpersonal Helping (IH),Personal Initiative (PI), Loyal Boosterism, andPersonal Industry. However, only items
  44. 44. related to Interpersonal Helping and PersonalInitiative were included in the scale, becauseof the potential for a high level of socialdesirability of other items.Goal orientation was measured with a scaledeveloped by Frese, et al. It is argued thatwhile measuring goal orientation, it is optimalto refer to the same situations for allrespondents, due to project difference.However, Frese, et al. have showed thatthere is no need to provide a situational inputfor the goal, as there is a certain degree ofcross-situational generality in the goalorientation scale. The four items used tomeasure goal orientation were anchored on aseven-point scale with 1 standing for ‗stronglydisagree‘ and 7 standing for ‗strongly agree‘.The data collected was analyzed usingSPSS. The sample profile given in TablesTables11and and22 indicated that 80 and86% of the participants from the yoga andcontrol groups, respectively, were from the
  45. 45. age group of 21 to 50, while the rest wereabove 50. Similarly, 20% of the yoga groupand 17% of the control group were from thetop management (i.e., Deputy GeneralManager and above), while 57% of the yogagroup and 63% of the control group werefrom the line-level managers (DeputyManagers and officers). The average totalwork experience of the sample group was16.11 years.Table 3 shows that at Baseline there is nodifference in any indicator (IndependentSample t test). It can be concluded fromTables Tables44 and and55 that in the yogagroup, remarkable positive changes areobserved in all the Indicators except JobInvolvement (Paired t test), unlike in thephysical exercise group where the postintervention impact on indicators do not showa statistically significant difference in any ofthe five indicators. Table 6 shows thatalthough, there is significant improvementwithin the Yoga group in four of the indicators
  46. 46. (except JI), the comparison of PostIntervention Averages between the twogroups using t-test exhibits that the twogroups after intervention (at endpoint) do notdiffer significantly in any one of the fivevariables. The changes that are occurring inother indictors remain small in terms of effect.One reason for this may be the limited timeframe of the study (two months).Furthermore, in many cases the initial level ofall five factors in this organization wasalready high for both the groups. It appearsthat in the long run the Yoga group may turnout to be improving significantly in allindicators compared to the physical group. Table 3 Comparison of indicators at baseline between yoga and phy groups Table 4 Post intervention paired comparison to see improvement/de indicator separately for yoga and physical exercise groups
  47. 47. Table 5 Physical exercise group Table 6 Post-intervention mean scores comparison between two groTable 7 shows the Pearson‘s correlations,post-experiment, among the five variablesmeasured. The results show that most ofthese five variables are strongly correlated,which means the presence of one factor willmean the presence of other factors also. Onlyjob involvement does not show significantcorrelation with job satisfaction. Interestingly,the construct used for measuring jobinvolvement had a Chronbach alpha of 0.613,which is an indicator of moderate reliability. Table 7 CorrelationsYoga as a viable and positive
  48. 48. organizational toolToday, there is considerable interest amongthe management practitioners andresearchers on the role and benefits ofintroducing spirituality at the workplace. TheHarvard Business School study drawn over aperiod of 11 years showed a marked relationbetween the strength of the organizations‘corporate culture and its profitability.[1] Lloydmaintains that organizations high inworkplace spirituality outperform thosewithout it by 86%.According to Sharma,[87,88] Indianmanagement ideas such as yoga inmanagement, Vedanta in management, andthe Kosha model in management offer newapproaches to the concept of management,wherein competitive advantage, collectiveadvantage, and karma advantage arebalanced. According to Sharma, the Indianword ‗Udyoga‘ (which means Industry)contains in itself the word ‗yoga‘. Thus, inIndian management thought, Udyoga is a
  49. 49. yoga (Udyog hi yog hai/Udyog bhi ek yoghai). In popular terms Sharma[87,88] refers tothis as the BHMS (Body–Heart–Mind–Soul)model. There is an interactive relationshipbetween the Body, Heart, Mind, and Soul.They influence each other in varying ways.Even organizations can be conceptualized asBHMS systems. With the arrival of theservices and knowledge economy, the needfor the BHMS approach to management isgetting attention. This implies a shift from afragmented view to a holistic view of humanbeings, society, and organizations.Vedanta in management impliesmanagement by higher values and highervision. Thus, YVK (Yoga, Vedanta, Kosha)constitute three ‗Eastern Doors‘ that can becombined with ‗Western Windows‘ (traditionalWestern Management theories andconcepts). These ideas can be combined withvarious wisdom traditions to arrive at a newphilosophy of what Sharma[87] calls ‗WesternWindows, Eastern Doors, and Wisdom
  50. 50. Corridors‘ in the field of management andrelated social sciences.How can we explain the result, obtained inthis experiment, is a moot question? YogaWay of Life, the concept presented in thisarticle is an integrated approach of thechanging physical, mental, vital, andemotional personality of an individual. It aimsat making managers more evolvedindividuals, with a better understanding oftheir job situation in the overall context of life.The teachings of Karma Yoga are useful inchanging outcome orientation to effortorientation, and in reducing the managers‘expectations from the job. The system ofYoga is analytical and makes an individualmore aware of his situation and allows him togive a considered rather than an intuitiveresponse to it.Yoga psychology conceives the self (atman)in terms of different levels of being. Theinner-most core or atman is covered by
  51. 51. hierarchy of five sheaths or layers. Thiscontinuation of layers corresponds to a sort ofstepwise ladder, leading inward to theatman;the journey inward forms the basis of growthand development: Biological evolution from aprotozoan to man, psychological evolutionfrom child to adult, consciousnessenhancement from mere cognitive touniversal consciousness, wherein there is noego and there is realization that the concernsand needs of all people are the same, andthat what is good for one is good for all. Inthis growth process, feeling and emotions areaccepted as having a place, they are notconsidered wrong or repressed, but aretransformed and redirected.[63]According to Rama Swami et al.,[89] Yogapsychology integrates behavioral andintrospective approaches to growth. Itprovides a perspective by which one canbecome disengaged from involvement in theunhappy personalities he has created forhimself and in the negative role he has
  52. 52. adopted. It moves quickly to a trainingprogram for changing habits, thoughtpatterns, and self concepts.The positive results obtained in this researchconfirm this. Yoga Philosophy helps a personto have a broader view of life, with greaterawareness of his actions. This automaticallyresults in enhanced commitment to his joband organization. It also means that hiswillingness to go beyond the call of his duty isa result of his understanding the conceptof karma yoga, in which the performer doesnot depend on rewards for his/ herperformance. The high level of OCB found inthe Yoga group here can be attributed to this.Furthermore, as at least four out of the fivefactors measured here are stronglycorrelated, this positive impact is also foundin job satisfaction, affective organizationalcommitment, and so on.Some people may be unnecessarilyapprehensive about the renunciation effect
  53. 53. that introduction of this philosophy may haveon the drive or killer instinct of theirexecutives. Such apprehensions come out ofthe wrong understanding of the true conceptsof yoga. For example, far from being against‗goal orientation‘, the concept of Karma Yogais so dynamic in nature that it frees anindividual from all worries and propels him toaction immediately. Also a person who is notexcessively worried about the results canonly be a true risk-taker, who will take toughdecisions in the best interest of hisorganization. The results of this researchshow that the yoga way of life can bring aboutbetter ‗Goal-orientation‘ among managers.In most organizations, leaders play a pivotalrole in driving performance. There arevarieties of leadership training programsbeing tried nowadays by successfulcompanies. However, the yoga way of life israrely taught in these training programs. Atthe most, yogasanas are being taught to thegroup, as part of a morning physical work-out.
  54. 54. There are few companies who have of latestarted providing meditation rooms at thework place, for the ease of managers whowant to go into solitude to sharpen theircreativity.It may be a good idea to now start thinking ofgiving systematic exposure of wisdom,enshrined in our ancient scriptures, to allmanagerial cadres of companies, whichwould help them personally as well asprofessionally. They can become better self-aware and self-regulated individuals, with aproper perspective of life and variousrelationships. The Yoga way of life is all aboutthe correct attitude to life, which can result ina better organizational climate. In the Indiancontext, the assimilation of this knowledgemay be better and easier, as the Indians havegrown with all these concepts right fromchildhood.‘How can one proceed in this?‘ is a veryimportant question. First of all, the top leaders
  55. 55. of the company have to be convinced aboutthe utility of this idea. They shouldthemselves have the necessary trust in thisphilosophy and in the results it can bring.Once convinced about the utility of this kindof training, the tougher challenge lies infinding the right people to train companyexecutives. And second, this has to be acontinuous training, which is repeatedperiodically. Third, the atmosphere of theyoga way of life has to be created in thecompany policy. The company policies havealso to pass the test of the yoga way in termsof completely adhering to the ethical-moralcode prescribed in Yama and Niyama.Other Sections▼ CONCLUSIONThere are certain organizational factors, suchas Job Satisfaction, which have a crucialbearing on organizational effectiveness. Ourstudy confirms the useful role that the Yogaway of life can play in improving these factors
  56. 56. positively among managers. The results showa significant difference among those who areintroduced to the practice of the yoga way oflife. However, in order to get the benefit ofyoga in its entirety, one has to adopt yoga asa technique of life management. This wouldinclude not only the Raj Yoga practicesof asana, pranayama, and meditation, butalso imbibe the concept of detatched action(Karma Yoga), trust in God‘s justice system(Bhakti Yoga), and seeking the knowledge ofself (Jnan Yoga). Such an integratedapproach can yield superior results forindividual happiness and also fororganizational performance.On the basis of our study we are motivated torecommend similar experimental studies inmultiple organizational settings to furtherrefine these findings and insights. Oneapproach is to conduct a similar study with alarge sample size, which may corroborate thisinitial attempt. Also in case of other similarexperiments, different instruments for
  57. 57. measuring these factors may be tried, inorder to take care of social desirability.Other Sections▼ REFERENCES1. Zamor G, Claude J. Workplace spirituality andorganisational performance. Public AdmRev.2003;63:355–63.2. Lloyd T. The nice company. Bloomsbury, London:The Nice Company; 1990.3. Marmol GG, Murray RM., Jr “Leading from the front”The Mckinsey Quarterly No.3. 1995. pp. 18–30.4. Jain U. Leadershio competence for the challenges inthe global era: A research study. In: Jain U, Pereek U,Shukla M, editors. Developing Leadership for the GlobalEra: HRD perspective and initiatives. India, New Delhi:Macmillan; 2004.5. Prahalad CK. In: Preparing for Leadership in “LeadingBeyond the Walls”. Hesselbein F, Goldsmith M, editors.San Francisco: Jossey Bass, The Drucker Foundation;1999. pp. 29–53.6. Tichy NM. The Growth Imperative, Lender to Leader,Fall No.14, Online Journal. 19997. Bennis W. “The Leadership Advantage”, Leader toLeader, Online Journal, Spring No.12. 19998. Bullock RP. Social Factors Related to JobSatisfaction, Research Monograph. 19529. Smith PC. The prediction of individual differences insusceptibility to industrial monotony. J ApplPsychol. 1955;39:322–9.10. Blum NL, Naylor JC. Industrial Psychology – itstheoretical and social foundation. Tokyo Harper & Row:Harper International Edition; 1968.11. Robbins, Stephen P. Orgnisational behaviour:
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  64. 64. In: Fleishman EA, editor. „Studies in Personnel andIndustrial Psychology‟. Homewood, IL: Dorsey; 1969.83. Allen NJ, Meyer JP. The measurement andantecedents of affective, continuance and normativecommitment to the organization. J OccupPsychol. 1990;63:1–18.84. Allen NJ, Meyer JP. Affective, continuance andnormative commitment to the organization: Anexamination of construct validity. J VocatBehav. 1996;49:252–76. [PubMed]85. Paullay IM, Alliger GM, Stone-Romero EF. Constructvalidation of two instruments designed to measure jobinvolvement and work centrality. J ApplPsychol. 1994;79:224–8.86. Graham J. Principled organization dissent: Atheoretical essay. In: Staw BM, Cummings LL,editors. Research in Organizational Behavior. Vol. 12.Greenwich CT: JAI Press; 1986. pp. 43–72.87. Sharma S. Management in the New Age: WesternWindows Eastern Doors. New York: New AgePublishers; 2006.88. Sharma S. New Mantras in Corporate Corridors:From Ancient Roots to Global Routes. New York: NewAge International Publishers (P) Limited; 2007.89. Swamy R, Ballentine R, Swami A. Yoga andpsychotherapy. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan InternationalInstitute; 1976. Articles from International Journal of Yoga are provided here courtesy of Medknow PublicationsReviewA reevaluation of the absenteeism-job satisfactionrelationship.[Organ Behav Hum Decis Process. 1985] See more articles cited in this paragraph
  65. 65. Relationship of core self-evaluations traits--self-esteem,generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability--with job satisfaction and job performance: a meta-analysis.[J ApplPsychol. 2001]Self-esteem as a moderator of the relationship between jobperformance and job satisfaction.[J Appl Psychol. 1978]Citizenship behavior and social exchange.[Acad Manage J. 1994]Affective, Continuance, and Normative Commitment to theOrganization: An Examination of Construct Validity[J Vocat Behav.1996]You are here: NCBI > Literature > PubMed CentralWrite to the Help Desk imple NCBI Directory GETTING STARTED NCBI Education NCBI Help Manual NCBI Handbook Training & Tutorials RESOURCES Chemicals & Bioassays Data & Software DNA & RNA Domains & Structures Genes & Expression Genetics & Medicine Genomes & Maps Homology Literature Proteins
  66. 66. Sequence AnalysisTaxonomyTraining & TutorialsVariationPOPULARPubMedNucleotideBLASTPubMed CentralGeneBookshelfProteinOMIMGenomeSNPStructureFEATUREDGenBankReference SequencesMap ViewerGenome ProjectsHuman GenomeMouse GenomeInfluenza VirusPrimer-BLASTSequence Read ArchiveNCBI INFORMATION
  67. 67. About NCBI Research at NCBI NCBI Newsletter NCBI FTP Site NCBI on Facebook NCBI on Twitter NCBI on YouTube NLM NIH DHHS USA.govCopyright | Disclaimer | Privacy | Accessibility | ContactNational Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library ofMedicine8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USAKarma yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga, jnana yoga, mantra yoga, kundalini yoga -- what dothe various yogas have to do with inquiry into nondualism? If “theres nothing to do,” thenwhy are there yogas? Because not everyone follows a nondual course of inquiry.Nondualism is descriptive, not prescriptive. By itself, it never prescribes any course ofaction. But if one is already on a spiritual path or desires to begin one, the yogas are there.The various yogas all have their own story to tell about liberation, and can be pursued ontheir own. But as nondualism sees it, the yogas tend to serve as ramp-ups to non-dualinquiry itself. Whether practiced in a phase of life before, during or after one begins nondualinquiry, the yogas assist by developing the character and making the person well-balanced.This in turn decreases the chance that attachments and personality issues will arise thatsidetrack ones nondual inquiry. For example, there is often thought to be a tensionbetween the approach of the head and the approach of the heart. An overly intellectualapproach can err on the side of dry arrogance and can lack love. An overly emotionalapproach can err on the side of sentimentality and a proprietary attachment to the deity orguru. Ideally, a balanced approach avoids these extremes.There are many kinds of yoga. A yoga is basically ones spiritual or developmental path.More formally, yoga is usually interpreted as “union,” whether union with God or a deityfigure, or ones true nature, ones guru, ones higher self, or the Self that is the Self of all.Various yogic paths are discussed by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. Spiritual teachersaround the world instruct students in what can be called various forms of yoga. Indeed, inthe Hindu tradition, all religions and spiritual paths can be classified as one kind of yoga or
  68. 68. another. Four of the most common yogas are karma yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga, andjnana yoga. The nondual inquiry is often associated with jnana yoga, and it tends to viewthe other yogas as preparatory practices for its own inquiry (actually many paths makesimilar claims about themselves!). Here are capsule descriptions of the four common yogas:Four Common Yogas Karma Yoga -- Selfless action, service to God, the Self, to other beings, or ones teacher. Liberation, according to this path, is through through the disappearance of the separate sense of self as the doer and enjoyer of actions, combined with knowledge of ones true nature. The service aspect of Christianity falls under the category of karma yoga, as does volunteer work helping the poor, and the service that meditation retreat-goers render when they wash dishes and pull weeds between sittings. What makes something karma yoga is ones motive. If one is on a work- study program in order to attend a retreat, it is not so clearly karma yoga. One can even be said to be practicing karma yoga by learning to do ones duty in military service. This was the great lesson that Krishna taught Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. Bhakti Yoga -- Devotion to ones chosen deity, teacher, principle, e.g., to the Self. Liberation, according to this path, is through the merging of the separate self into the boundlessness of the Lord or chosen deity/guru, combined with knowledge of ones true nature. The hymns, chants, worship services in most religions fall under the category of bhakti yoga. Another important aspect of bhakti yoga is the urge to approach ever closer to the deity or teacher, and perhaps visualizing the deity or teacher in meditation. The Dalai Lama comments on this practice in his Union of Bliss and Emptiness: A Commentary on the Lama Choepa Guru Yoga Practice. More generally, bhakti yoga is acting out of intense love, admiration and respect for someone or something. Raja Yoga -- Control of the constituents of ones mind and body. Liberation, according to this path, is through the absorption of the constituents of the mind and body into divine consciousness, combined with knowledge of ones true nature. Raja yoga begins with the development of ethical and moral restraints, the building of ones character and the sharpening of ones ability to concentrate. It can extend to the acquisition of psychic or miraculous powers, yet these are usually explained as nonessential signs of progress along the path, and not ends in themselves. The canonical text for this path is the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. But the context need not be formal or officially yogic. One can be said to be practicing raja yoga whenever one is trying to practice discipline, vigilance, moral restraint, or improve concentration. Jnana Yoga -- Discernment between the real and the unreal. Liberation, according to this path, is through the deep, experiential knowledge of ones true nature as inseparable from the Self or Consciousness. The study of advaita vedanta and other nondual path such as Zen, Taoism, or Sufism can be said to fall under the category of jnana yoga. But one can also be said to be practicing jnana yoga whenever one is heartfully and seriously considering lifes great questions such as “Who am I?,” “Why is there suffering?,” “Why are we here?,” or “What is the source of everything?”While most major spiritual traditions happen to offer a mixture of these yogas, it is oftensaid that active people are drawn to karma yoga, emotional people are drawn to bhaktiyoga, those interested in mystical experiences are drawn to raja yoga, and intellectual
  69. 69. people are drawn to jnana yoga. That is, a person is often drawn to a path because herparticular strengths are emphasized by that path.But on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis, none of the yogas is practiced in isolation. Theactual path pursued by most people is usually a combination of activities, a mixture of theseyogas, with perhaps one yoga predominating at a time. Even within a two-hour period, aperson can sweep the floor in the meditation hall (karma yoga), sit down to meditatechanting the gurus name with love (bhakti yoga), fall into an objectless samadhitranscending body and mind (raja yoga), and then arise with a transformed experience ofthe eternal and the transitory (jnana yoga).Qualifications for Advaita?!?Advaita vedanta recommends the practice of karma, bhakti and raja yoga before oneundertakes jnana yoga. In formal advaita vedanta, it is said that the karma-kanda(ritualistic form of Hinduism) precedes the jnana-kanda (non-dual inquiry). Advaita evenoutlines certain qualifications for the effective study of Truth. And advaita is not alone in thiskind of recommendation. In Kabbala (Judaisms non-dual path) it is often said that theincoming student must be 40 years old, married, and “have a bellyful of Torah.” InMadhyamika, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, it is said that the student must never beexposed to the sublime teachings on emptiness without already practicing compassion. Notonly that, but it should be that “tears come to their eyes at the very mention of the wordemptiness.” Age-old wisdom and experience has shown that the personality characteristicsone gains in other yogic pursuits greatly facilitate the quiet mind and equipoise that allowthe deep experience of ones self as Self.Qualifications -- Why??The idea behind “qualifications” is not to bar or reject anyone from the pursuit of a nondualpath. Anyone may enter at any time. But the qualifications are to encourage a quiet mindand balanced emotional outlook so that one can focus more effectively on the inquiry intoones nature. The happiness and liberation indicated by the great nondual world teachingsare best realized when the only outstanding personal issue is liberation itself. If the mind isbusy with other things such as the satisfaction of worldly desires or the attainment ofemotional bliss states, then advaita will be derailed and co-opted to serve these otherpurposes. Liberation must be sought for its own sake (or for the sake of all beings), not as ameans to another personal end.Shankaras Qualification ListAdi Shankara, in his introductory advaita text TATTVA BODHA (Knowledge of Reality/Truth)actually lists four qualifications for the study into the truth of ones nature. Basically,Shankara is recommending a well-balanced approach to inquiring into Truth. 1. Discrimination -- The ability to discriminate between the eternal and the timebound. 2. Dispassion -- Dispassion for the enjoyment of the fruits of ones actions. 3. The Six Accomplishments -- i. Control of the mind and emotions ii. Control of the sense organs, restraining behavior
  70. 70. iii. Responsibility, ability to do ones duty iv. Patience and forbearance towards pairs of opposites such as heat and cold, pleasant and unpleasant v. Trust in the words of the teacher and scriptures/teachings vi. Ability to focus on a single object of mind 4. The burning desire for liberationShankaras List -- Do I Have To?Perhaps not. But quite often the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If the yogas are practicedin an unbalanced manner, the aspirant will tend to cultivate impressive strengths in someareas while developing weaknesses in other areas. The weaknesses can later arise as thesqueaky wheel that turns, calling for attention just when the nondual inquiry is beingattempted.Each of the yogas emphasizes different aspects of the person with all its various strengths,weaknesses, and imperfections. Each yoga cultivates different personality qualities. By thetime one has cultivated karma, bhakti and raja yoga, one has developed the equivalents ofShankaras four qualifications. For example, karma yoga cultivates a sense of selflessness,generosity, a moral approach in dealing with others, energy and a motivation to do onesduty. Bhakti yoga cultivates a sense of love, devotion, morality, generosity, gratitude,serenity and joy. Raja yoga cultivates moderation, constraint, morality, discipline, fortitude,meditation, concentration and confidence. Jnana yoga cultivates peace, sharpness ofintellect, contemplation, joy, and the ability to see all as the Self.The four yogas and their personality traits work in a sort of progressive and cumulative way,like Maslows Hierarchy. Jnana yoga is easier if one has the personality traits from raja,bhakti and karma yoga. Raja yoga is easier if one has the traits from bhakti and karmayoga. Bhakti yoga is easier if one has the traits from karma yoga. All of the yogas interactwith all the others, but the main cumulations are in the direction indicated.Qualifications - How Do I Go About Them?How are these qualifications attained? According to advaita vedanta, it is by practicing theother yogas -- karma, bhakti and raja yoga. These paths cultivate the qualifications in theform of personality and character traits that help stabilize the mind for the pursuit of anondual path. The more preparation one has had in these other paths, the more ready onewill become like Ramana Maharshis example of the “dry wood,” ready to ignite in a flash.The Yogas and Personality Traits (Chart)The links below will display a chart depicting karma, bhakti, raja and jnana yoga. Each yogais briefly explained, along with its concept of liberation, the character attributes it cultivates,and the excesses that can happen if at some point that yoga is not balanced with the otheryogas.
  71. 71. Yoga (Sanskrit, Pāli: , yoga) is a physical, mental,andspiritual discipline, originating in ancient India.[1][2] The goal ofyoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a stateof perfect spiritual insight and tranquility whilemeditating on theHindu concept of divinity or Brahman.[3]The word is associatedwith meditative practices in Hinduism,Jainism,and Buddhism.[4][5][6]Within Hindu philosophy, the word yoga is used to refer to one ofthe six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy.[7][8] Yoga inthis sense is based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and is alsoknown as Rāja Yoga to distinguish it from laterschools.[9] Patanjalis system is discussed and elaborated upon inmany classical Hindu texts, and has also been influentialin Buddhism and Jainism. The Bhagavad Gita introducesdistinctions such as Jnana Yoga ("yoga based on knowledge")vs. Karma Yoga ("yoga based on action").Other systems of philosophy introduced in Hinduism during themedieval period are bhakti yoga, and hatha yoga.[10][11][12]The Sanskrit word yoga has the literal meaning of "yoke", from aroot yuj meaning to join, to unite, or to attach. As a term for asystem of abstract meditation or mental abstraction it wasintroduced by Patañjali in the 2nd century BC. Someone whopractices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level ofcommitment is called a yogi oryogini.[13]
  72. 72. The goals of yoga are varied and range from improving health toachieving moksha.[14] Within the Hindu monist schools ofAdvaitaVedanta, Shaivism and Jainism, the goal of yoga takes the formof moksha, which is liberation from all worldly suffering and thecycle of birth and death (samsara), at which point there is arealization of identity with the SupremeBrahman. In theMahabharata, the goal of yoga is variously described as enteringthe world of Brahma, as Brahman, or as perceiving the Brahmanor Ātman that pervades all things.[15] For the bhakti schoolsof Vaishnavism, bhakti or service to Svayam Bhagavan itself maybe the ultimate goal of the yoga process, where the goal is toenjoy an eternal relationship with Vishnu.[16] Contents [hide]1 Terminology2 History o 2.1 Before Patanjali  2.1.1 Prehistory  2.1.2 Upanishadic and Early Buddhist era o 2.2 Indian Antiquity  2.2.1 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali  2.2.2 Yoga Yajnavalkya  2.2.3 Yoga and Samkhya  2.2.4 Bhagavad Gita  2.2.5 Yoga and Jainism  2.2.6 Yogacara school o 2.3 Middle Ages
  73. 73.  2.3.1 Yoga in classical Jain literature  2.3.2 Bhakti movement  2.3.3 Hatha Yoga o 2.4 Modern history  2.4.1 Hindu revivalism  2.4.2 Reception in the West3 Yoga compared with other systems of meditation o 3.1 Tantra o 3.2 Buddhism  3.2.1 Zen Buddhism  3.2.2 Tibetan Buddhism o 3.3 Christian meditation o 3.4 Sufism4 References o 4.1 Notes o 4.2 Bibliography5 Further reading6 External links[edit]TerminologyStatue of Lord Shiva in Bangalore, India, performing yogic meditation inthePadmasana posture.
  74. 74. The Sanskrit word yoga has the literal meaning of "yoke", or "theact of yoking or harnessing", from a root yuj. A serious practitionerof Yoga (someone pursuing the higher spiritual and religiousgoals of Yoga) takes upon themselves a life of austere self-discipline common to nearly all forms of mystical and religious life.The practices that constitute this self-disciplined life are called inyogayama and niyama. This self-discipline is the yoke that oneputs upon oneself for the purpose of attaining moksha. Analternative definition is that Yoga is the method of yoking, orunifying, the ―lower‖ (egoistic) personality (those inclinations thatin Hellenistic philosophy and Christianity are called passions) tothe ―higher‖ via a process of sublimation.[17] In Vedic Sanskrit, theterm "yoga" besides its literal meaning, the yoking or harnessingof oxen or horses, already has a figurative sense, where it takesthe general meaning of "employment, use, application,performance" (compare the figurative uses of "toharness" as in "toput something to some use"). All further developments of thesense of this word are post-Vedic. A sense of "exertion,endeavour, zeal, diligence" is found in Epic Sanskrit. The moretechnical sense of the term "yoga", describing a system ofmeditation or contemplation with the aim of the cessation ofmental activity and the attaining of a "supreme state" ariseswith early Buddhism (5th century BC), and is adoptedin Vedanta philosophy by the 4th century BC.There are a great many compounds containing yog in Sanskrit,many of them unrelated to the technical or spiritual sense the
  75. 75. word has taken in Vedanta. Yoga in these words takes meaningssuch as "union, connection, contact", or "method, application,performance", etc. For example, guṇ á-yogameans "contact with acord"; cakrá-yoga has a medical sense of "applying a splint orsimilar instrument by means of pulleys (in case of dislocation ofthe thigh)"; candrá-yoga has the astronomical sense of"conjunction of the moon with a constellation"; puṃ-yoga is agrammatical term expressing "connection or relation with a man",etc.Many such compounds are also found in the wider field ofreligion. Thus, bhakti-yoga means "devoted attachment" inthe monotheistic Bhakti movement. The term kriyā-yoga has agrammatical sense, meaning "connection with a verb". But thesame compound is also given a technical meaning in the YogaSutras (2.1), designating the "practical" aspects of the philosophy,i.e. the "union with the Supreme" due to performance of duties ineveryday life.[edit]History[edit]Before Patanjali[edit]PrehistorySeveral seals discovered at Indus Valley Civilization sites, datingto the mid 3rd millennium BC, depict figures in positionsresembling a common yoga or meditation pose, showing "a formof ritual discipline, suggesting a precursor of yoga," according toarchaeologist Gregory Possehl.[18] Some type of connection
  76. 76. between the Indus Valley seals and later yoga and meditationpractices is speculated upon by many scholars, though there is noconclusive evidence.[19]Techniques for experiencing higher states of consciousness inmeditation were developed by theshramanic traditions and inthe Upanishadic tradition.[20] While there is no clear evidence formeditation in pre-Buddhist early Brahminic texts, there is a viewthat formless meditation might have originated in the Brahminictradition. This is based on strong parallels between Upanishadiccosmological statements and the meditative goals of the twoteachers of the Buddha as recorded in early Buddhist texts.[21] Aswell as some less likely possibilities,[22] the view put forward isthat cosmological statements in the Upanishads reflect acontemplative tradition, and it is concluded that the NasadiyaSukta contains evidence for a contemplative tradition, even asearly as the late Rg Vedic period.[21]The Vedic Samhitas contain references to ascetics, while asceticpractices ("tapas") are referenced in the Brāhmaṇas (900 to 500BCE), early commentaries on the Vedas.[23][edit]Upanishadic and Early Buddhist eraFurther information: Buddhism and Hinduism#MeditationSee also: Pranayama#Buddhism
  77. 77. The Buddha depicted in yogic meditation,Kamakura, JapanThe more technical linguistic sense of the term "yoga", describinga system of meditation or contemplation with the aim of thecessation of mental activity and the attaining of a "supreme state"arises with early Buddhism. In Hindu scripture, this sense of theterm "yoga" first appears in the middle Upanishads, such asthe Katha Upanishad (ca. 400 BCE).[24] ShvetashvataraUpanishad mentions, "When earth, water, fire, air and akasaarise, when the five attributes of the elements, mentioned in thebooks on yoga, become manifest then the yogis body becomespurified by the fire of yoga and he is free from illness, old age anddeath." (Verse 2.12). More importantly in the following verse(2.13) it mentions, the "precursors of perfection in yoga", namelylightness and healthiness of the body, absence of desire, clearcomplexion, pleasantness of voice, sweet odour and slightexcretions.[25]The early Buddhist texts describe meditative practices and statesthat existed before the Buddha, as well as those first developedwithin Buddhism.[26][27][28] One key innovative teaching of theBuddha was that meditative absorption must be combined with
  78. 78. liberating cognition.[29] Meditative states alone are not an end, foraccording to the Buddha, even the highest meditative state is notliberating. Instead of attaining a complete cessation of thought,some sort of mental activity must take place: a liberatingcognition, based on the practice of mindful awareness.[30] TheBuddha also departed from earlier yogic thought in discarding theearly Brahminic notion of liberation at death.[31] Liberation for theBrahminic yogin was thought to be the realization at death ofa nondual meditative state anticipated in life. In fact, oldBrahminic metaphors for the liberation at death of the yogic adept("becoming cool," "going out") were given a new meaning by theBuddha; their point of reference became the sage who is liberatedin life.[32]Many of the Yogic practices that came in later ages synthesizedthe multiple approaches seen in this era, incorporating elementsfrom Jainism and Buddhism into the Hindu Samkhya philosophy.[edit]Indian AntiquityClassical Yoga as a system of contemplation with the aim ofuniting the human spirit with Ishvara, the "Supreme Being"developed in early Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism during IndianAntiquity, between the Mauryan and the Gupta era (roughly the2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE).[edit]Yoga Sutras of PatanjaliMain articles: Raja Yoga and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Yoga Sutras of Patanjali[33]
  79. 79. Pada (Chapter) English meaning Sutras Samadhi Pada On being absorbed in spirit 51 Sadhana Pada On being immersed in spirit 55 Vibhuti Pada On supernatural abilities and gifts 56 Kaivalya Pada On absolute freedom 34In Hindu philosophy, Yoga is the name of one of thesix orthodox philosophical schools [34][35]founded by Patanjali withheavy Buddhistinfluence[36]. This school accepts the Samkhyapsychology and metaphysics, but is more theistic than theSamkhya, as evidenced by the addition of a divine entity to theSamkhyas twenty-five elements of reality.[37][38] The parallelsbetween Yoga and Samkhya were so close that Max Müller saysthat "the two philosophies were in popular parlance distinguishedfrom each other as Samkhya with and Samkhya without aLord...."[39] The intimate relationship between Samkhya and Yogais explained by Heinrich Zimmer:These two are regarded in India as twins, the two aspects of asingle discipline.Sāṅkhya provides a basic theoretical expositionof human nature, enumerating and defining its elements,analyzing their manner of co-operation in a state of bondage("bandha"), and describing their state of disentanglement orseparation in release ("mokṣa"), while Yoga treats specifically ofthe dynamics of the process for the disentanglement, and outlinespractical techniques for the gaining of release, or "isolation-integration" ("kaivalya").[40]
  80. 80. Patanjali is widely regarded as the compiler of the formal Yogaphilosophy.[41] Patanjalis yoga is known as Raja yoga, which is asystem for control of the mind.[42] Patanjali defines the word"yoga" in his second sutra, which is the definitional sutra for hisentire work: : - :(yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ)- Yoga Sutras 1.2This terse definition hinges on the meaning of three Sanskritterms. I. K. Taimni translates it as "Yoga is the inhibition(nirodhaḥ) of the modifications (vṛtti) of the mind (citta)".[43] Theuse of the wordnirodhaḥ in the opening definition of yoga is anexample of the important role that Buddhist technical terminologyand concepts play in the Yoga Sutra; this role suggests thatPatanjali was aware of Buddhist ideas and wove them into hissystem.[44] Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as "Yoga isrestraining the mind-stuff (Citta) from taking various forms(Vrittis)."[45]