In General use, we may have used the terms ‘Good’ and ‘pleasant’ in the same sense. But, philosophically, they have got a huge difference. Let’s check this out.
Vedas and Upanishads are considered as a very important part of the Hindu religion. Vedas consists of Hymns and Mantras. Upanishads is defined as a series of Hindu sacred treatises written in Sanskrit c 800-200 BC. Upanishads are also called as ‘Vedanta’ or ‘end of Vedas’.
According to Katha Upanishad(II), “Good is Shreyas and pleasant is preys”. Virtues, strength and self-denial are qualities of Shreyas; prosperity, pleasure and power are qualities of Preyas.
Arjun in Mahabharata has given up the Preyas guna and chosen the Shreyas guna. So, this makes us clear the higher status of Shreyas Gunas.
My motto is to make you aware of the Shreyas and Preyas Gunas and also to clear the connection between Shreyas quality and Yoga.
What is yoga? It is called as Brahma Vidya or self-knowledge. We should make yoga shastra an integral part of our lives. In the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita, 18 types of yoga are defined. These 18 types are reduced to four types and i.e., The Karma Yoga, The Bhakti Yoga, The Raja Yoga and The Jnana Yoga. We all know that yoga is very important for a healthy mind and body. I would like to state in brief the four types of yoga:
- Karma Yoga or Yoga of Action- Karma means ‘to act selflessly’. Ignite your hidden potential by adding the karma yoga in your daily routine. To a karma yogi, a selfless work is considered as a form of prayer. A yogi should be well aware of his dharma or duties without being attached to the fruits of action or consequences.
- Bhakti Yoga or Yoga of Devotion- It is one of the paths for spiritual practices and self-awareness. It is limitless love and devotion towards God. It is kind of making a connection with God. It is attachment, love, willingness and a way of emotional development.
- Raja Yoga or Yoga of Meditation- It is a path of self- discipline and practice. Raja Yoga or royal yoga is also called as Ashtanga yoga or “eightfold path” that leads to spiritual liberation. To develop a strong will and attain unity with mind-body-spirit, one should practice Raja Yoga.
- Jnana Yoga or Yoga of wisdom- In this yoga, a mind is trained to receive the knowledge of Brahman and atman. According to Bhagavad Gita, it is a means to attain liberation. For practising this yoga, one needs to have an extremely strong will-power and intellect.
Why we are supposed to accept yoga in our life? How beneficial it is? How could we achieve over-all health and wellness? Why Yoga is considered as Shreyas? All such questions would be clarified if you go through the above mentioned texts. Shreyas or goodness are relatable to Yoga-shastra, and so it makes sense to identify the difference between good & pleasant and choose good over pleasant.