What is the meaning of yoga? Yoga means unity. What is the meaning of religion? Religion comes from the Greek word religio, which means to bind back, to be in harmony, to be in unity. Every living being has a body, has a mind, and has consciousness. Consciousness is the energy emanating from the soul or the atma. So to harmonize the body, the mind, and the soul is the art of yoga. If we don’t have unity within ourselves, then is it possible for us to create unity in the world around us? You can’t give something you don’t have, even if you have all good intentions.
If we have unity, we can create unity. If our mind is in conflict, if our mind is not balanced with our body and with the needs of the soul, then there is a fundamental disunity in our life. And when there are so many dysfunctional people—they may be simple people in the streets, they may be big politicians or wealthy industrialists—but if they are not in harmony with their own consciousness, if their mind, body and soul are not one in interest, in purpose, if they are not unified, then there will be problems. There can be no real peace, there can be no real happiness, there can be no real love. That is what yoga means – simply to unite. To unite the body with nature – that is Hatha-yoga. To create unity within the mind and the body – that is Pranayama. To create unity with the mind and the atma – that is Jnana. To create unity between the soul and God – that is Bhakti. That is the complete yoga system – unity. And in that unified condition, we can actually express that natural innate love, that we have found in our own life, in everything we do in the world.