by Swami Sivananda
Yoga of Synthesis is suitable for the vast majority of persons. It is a unique Yoga.
Man is a strange complex mixture of will, feeling and thought. He is a triune being. He is like a tricycle or a three-wheeled chariot. He wills to possess the objects of his desires. He has emotion; and so he feels. He has reason and so he thinks and ratiocinates. In some the emotional element may preponderate, while in some others the rational element may dominate. Just as will, feelings and thought are not distinct and separate, so also, work, devotion and knowledge are not exclusive of one another. He must, therefore develop his heart, intellect and hand. Then alone can he attain perfection. Many aspirants have lop-sided development. They do not possess an integral development, as they neglect one or the other of these aspects of their personality.
One-sided development is not commendable. Religion and Yoga must educate and develop the whole man – his heart, intellect and hand. Then only he will have integral development.
In the mind there are three defects, viz., Mala or impurity, Vikshepa or tossing, and Avarana or veil. The impurities of the mind should be removed by the practice of Karma Yoga, by selfless service. The tossing should be removed by worship or Upasana, by Japa and devotion. The veil should be torn down by the practice of Jnana Yoga, i.e., by study of Vedantic literature, enquiry, self-analysis, service to the Guru, and deep meditation. Only then Self-realization is possible.
If you want to see your face clearly in a mirror, you must remove the dirt in the mirror, keep it steady, and remove the covering also. You can see your face clearly in the bottom of a lake only if the turbidity is removed, if the water that is agitated by the wind is rendered still, and if the moss that is lying on the surface is removed. Even so is the case with Self-realization.
Action, emotion and intelligence are the three horses that are linked to this body-chariot. They should work in perfect harmony or unison. Then only the chariot will run smoothly. There must be integral development. You must have the head of Sankara, the heart of Buddha, and the hand of Janaka.
The Yoga of Synthesis alone will develop the head, heart and hand, and lead one to perfection. To become harmoniously balanced in all directions is the ideal of religion and of Yoga. This can be achieved by the practice of the Yoga of Synthesis.
To behold the one Self in all beings is Jnana, wisdom; to love the Self is Bhakti, devotion; to serve the Self is Karma, action. When the Jnana Yogi attains wisdom, he is endowed with devotion and self less activity. Karma Yoga is for him a spontaneous expression of his spiritual nature, as he sees the one Self in all. When the devotee attains perfection in devotion, he is possessed of wisdom and activity. For him also, Karma Yoga is a spontaneous expression of his divine nature, as he beholds the one Lord everywhere. The Karma Yogi attains wisdom and devotion when his actions are wholly selfless. The three paths are, in fact, one in which the three different temperaments emphasize one or the other of its inseparable constituents. Yoga supplies the method by which the Self can be seen, loved and served.
Hence everyone should have one Yoga as the basic Yoga and combine other Yogas. You can combine Nishkama Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Sankirtan Yoga, etc., with Jnana Yoga as the basis. This is my Yoga of Synthesis, which will ensure rapid spiritual progress.
A little practice of Hatha Yoga (Asanas and Pranayamas) will give you good health. Raja Yoga will steady your mind. Upasana and Karma Yoga will purify your heart and prepare you for the practice of Vedanta. Sankirtan will relax your mind and inspire you. Meditation will take you to liberation.
Such a Yogi has all-round development. The Yoga of Synthesis will help you to attain God-realization quickly. Upanishads, Gita and all other scriptures speak of this Yoga. Therefore, O Mokshapriya, practice this unique Yoga of Synthesis and attain Self-realization quickly.
Here is my little song of the Yoga of Synthesis, for your daily practice:
Eat a little, drink a little
Talk a little, sleep a little
Mix a little, move a little
Serve a little, rest a little
Work a little, relax a little
Study a little, worship a little
Do Asana a little, Pranayama a little
Reflect a little, meditate a little
Do Japa a little, do Kirtan a little
Write Mantra a little, have Satsang a little
Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize
Be good, Do good; Be kind, Be compassionate
Enquire ‘Who am I ?’, Know the Self and be Free