Q57. What is Sahaj Yoga?
“Yoga” means union, and therefore, means of merger with Divinity. Guru Nanak’s way is called – Nam Yoga or Sahaj Yoga. The word Sahaj means the natural or gradual process. Just as vegetables cooked over a slow fire retain their flavour, so in the same way, the sahaj discipline of mind and body, will bring out the essential goodness of a human being. Sahaj Yoga differs radically from Hath Yoga.
Sahaj Yoga is peculiar to Sikhism. It is the best form of three traditional Yogas – Karam Yoga, Gian Yoga, and Bhagti Yoga. Here the three types merge to form an ideal one. Actions which are noble and righteous, along with meditation on “The Name” and the elimination of the ego, pave the way to God realization. In the Guru Granth Sahib it is called the Fourth stage, Chautha Pad, which means that it is beyond the three Gunas of Rajas(activity), Tamas(darkness), and Satav(peace), and the three states – Awakening, Dream and Dreamless sleep. It is a state of equipoise, called Turiya.
The maladies of the soul must be cured in this life, otherwise they are carried over to the next life. For this a dedicated life of self- discipline is essential;
“I have placed the five senses under the control of my conscience,
By making my five organs of perception and my five organs of action also obedient to it, I became a perfect yogi.” (A.G. p 208)
Just as the lotus remains in water and is not made wet by it, so the devotee may remain undefiled by Maya or worldy things. Sahaj also creates contentment and desirelessness. Man is, in essence Divine. No sooner does he realize this than he wishes to merge into the Universal Source. The wall of egoism may only be destroyed with the Guru’s guidance and God’s grace.
The union of man with God is like the consummation of marriage or like the confluence of two streams – Sangam. Such a union is possible, while living in the midst of worldly things and performing daily duties.