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Yogakshema In Hinduism

Yogakshema is the assurance of protection promised by God in Hinduism. The assurance of protection is given by Bhagavan Sri Krishna in verse 22 of chapter 9 of the Bhagavad Gita. “To those who worship Me and meditate on Me alone, and persevere, I give attainment of what they have not and security in what they have.”

Men have material as well as spiritual needs. Their acquisition involves effort. God takes care of the earthly needs as well as spiritual aspirations. Scriptures seek to regulate human desires by enjoining on the individual to act always as if God sees all that one does because He is antaryami (indwelling) – a witness to everything.

One is free to devise one’s own means and measures of acquisition. But there should be no violation of morality and righteousness. Artha (material wealth) is a value and a purushartha (goal). But one must not be artharthi, running after it as the sole goal. Besides, employment of improper means in the acquisition of wealth will render the wealth polluted and repugnant to scripture. Yoga may, in this context, mean the acquisition of spiritual goods, also moral and spiritual values. This is as important as, if not measurelessly more important than, the acquisition of material goods. God says that he who acquires wealth improperly is a thief.

Kshema (preservation) is no less important. It involves not setting up security guards or throwing a police cordon. Wealth properly used for noble, humane and scripturally ordained purposes is wealth properly guarded on its own. This is the true kshema (preservation). Atithi satkara (caring of guests) is an important means of kshema. One fifth of all that one has is to be set apart for charity. But it does not follow that the remaining four-fifths can be spent as one pleases. Self-control and non-attachment are integral elements in all acquisition and preservation. Righteousness is a paramount obligation and has overwhelming importance in the pursuit of yogakshema (acquisition and preservation).

God’s protection of the devotee solely dependent on Him is compared to a mother’s care of her child. The mother knows what the child wants and takes care to satisfy its needs. Love of God should be that of the child for its mother.

The words yoga (acquisition) and kshema (preservation) are interpreted in two senses, material and spiritual. The Vaishnava doctrine of prapatti (surrender) is reinforced by; assurance of acquisition and protection of what is acquired – material means or spiritual merit.