The Bhagavad Gita, which has 18 chapters, is called a book of yoga. It teaches eighteen different techniques of the practice of yoga What does one hope to achieve by practicing yoga? For this, one has to see the most authentic ancient scripture on yoga, the Yogasutras of Patanjali. He defines yoga as ‘yogas chittha vritthi nirodha’; the stilling of all the distractions or vibrations of the mind stuff…
Is it necessary to become a renunciant, a sanyasin, to reach spiritual perfection? The fifth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita begins with Arjuna asking a similar question, ‘O Krishna, you praise the giving up of acitons. You also praise yoga which does not necessitate giving up of actions. Confused as I am, tell me, which one is the better of the two?’ Sri Krishna answers, ‘Renunciation and the yoga of action, both lead to incomparable bliss. Of the two, however, the yoga of action is superior to the renunciation of action. What one must renounce is rather, the fruits of action…’
Sri M, as Sri Mumtaz Ali is popularly known, is a social activist, educationist and a crusader for inter-religious harmony with a deep knowledge of world religions. At the young age of 19, he travelled to the Himalayas from Kerala, and there he met and lived for several years with a ‘real-time’ yogi, Babaji. This is part of his unique persona, given his non-Hindu birth and antecedents. The bonus for those interested in the secrets of yoga, meditation and sankhyan metaphysics is that Sri ‘M’ is amongst us and is easily reachable. He leads a normal life, married with two children, wears no special robes and conducts himself without pomp or paraphernalia. He needs no precondition to help people, nor does he have any formula for masses. Sri M lives in a valley on the outskirts of Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh but is often on the move travelling far and wide for lectures.