Yogi, Bhogi & Rogi

Exclusive to Vedic Management Centre by U. Mahesh Prabhu

As per Yogic teachings, there are mostly three types of people: Yogi (One who’s involved in a persistent effort to better oneself to better the world), Bhogi (One who’s hugely involved in satisfying his/her carnal pleasure) and Rogi (One who has incurred unbearable pain through illness by abusing one’s own body and mind).

Among the Himalayan yogis, there’s a saying “Three people can seldom sleep at night, they’re: Yogi, Bhogi, and Rogi.” Yogi, because (s)he’s persistently engaged in Yoga Sadhana (better understood as meditation), Bhogi being addicted to some or the another kind of material pleasure is ever engaged in pleasing his senses and Rogi (once a Bhogi) has through his addictions has abused his body and mind so much that they’ve incurred damages resulting in unbearable pain and is, therefore, unable to sleep.

Unfortunately, these days, there are ignorant individuals who, just by studying Astanga Yoga (Yoga as most people know it today, physical exercises), call themselves as Yogi (male) or Yogini (female). But then, what these self-styled “Yogis” and “Yoginis” don’t understand is the true meaning of Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga is only a small step in the path of Yoga.

Since Yoga teaches “Healthy body leads to a healthy mind,” most yogic teachings are focused on better one’s mind through a series of actions (karma), including exercises and meditations. But once you have a healthy body and a healthy mind, you need to know what to do with it. If you’re making your body and mind healthy only to abuse it – yet again – what’s, is the point? It’d be just like going through a long process of deaddiction only to get back to addiction once the course is complete. It’s pointless, useless and vain.

As said in Yoga Vashistha, “A person who either eats too much or too less, who engages in persistent carnal pleasures and is extreme in his emotional inclinations can seldom be a Yogi.”

Vedic teachings warn against extremes. If you eat too much or too less you are verily abusing your body; you need to give your body what it justly needs. Sex is not an act of Sadhana – never. While there are books, cults as well as self-styled “Gurus” who propagate a “healthy sex life”; they have not even the faintest clue about YoYoga

Yogi is a person who’s well balanced and is persistently on the path of universal welfare. Yogi cannot be the person who’s either egoistic or inflicted with an inferiority complex. Yogi cannot be the one who finds ultimate pleasure in sex. Yogi is also not that person who suppresses his sexual impulses. Yogi is he who has transcended his sexual urges and has realized bliss in his Sadhana.

Adi Shankaracharya puts this in better perspective “When we are a baby we think our life is nothing without our mother. Then we grow up and make finds – finding pleasure in playing with them. At this point, it seems as if life is boring without friends. Then comes the teenage, we see the pleasure in watching and enjoying the company of the opposite sex. The problem is that many are caught in it. Even as they grow old, instead of finding joy in knowledge and good deeds they find ways to stay young – in vain – to enjoy the carnal pleasure…”

In today’s world to tell people not to have too much sex; is an open invite for attracting criticisms. But sex is a Bhoga (addiction) that results in Roga (illness). Therefore, it’s never Yoga.

Bhoga (addiction) are of several kinds, but their effects are the same – they result in Roga (illness). There’s only a set period in a person’s life suited for having sex. Sex is the way of progeny, the continuance of our race. It’s nevertheless important, but to make it the supreme objective is to invite pains of different hues and colors.

No person has ever been satisfied with the sex. It’s a momentary pleasure. It’s Bhoga when you have a constant craving for it and makes you think about it all the time. To focus our mental energies on something that gives us a momentary pleasure is to waste our vital energies – emotional as well as physical.

Only true Yogi knows of that thing which can give deliver perpetual bliss. In Yogic scriptures, it’s called Sadhana. If a person is beginning on the path of Yoga (even if one has mastered Astanga Yoga) he’s a Sadhak – at best – not ‘Yogi’ or ‘Yogini’.

Yogi or Yogini is one who has genuinely attained a state of perpetual bliss – and has transcended the very idea of Bhoga (addictions). Yogi is also someone who’s seldom afflicted with Roga.

All Roga originate from Bhoga. A healthy mind is that which is free of addictions. Since “a healthy mind leads to a healthy body” – a healthy body is that which is seldom addicted. If you are too much emotionally invested in any work, that counts as a Bhoga. In the absence of detachment, yoga is hardly possible. True, Yogi is persistently engaged in some work. But since a Yogi is not emotionally attached to that work or its result, he’s not a Bhogi. What’s also important to know is that Yogi ceases to be a Yogi when he’s attached to his Sadhana or even develops ego (Ahankar) about it.

Yoga is a way of prosperous as well as the happy living. A life where living is by the way of Ahimsa (without hurting anyone, first). Since meat is a result of cruelty to life – a person can seldom claim to be even a Sadhak – let alone Yogi or Yogini – if she eats meat. If you cannot tell the truth for the fear of retribution – you are never on the path of yoga. Appeasement is a Bhoga. Falsification, as well as negation, is Bhoga. Seeking publicity, appreciation as well as awards and rewards is a Bhoga. Bhoga guarantees Roga. It’s only when we realize our Bhoga can we understand our Roga.

Yoga does not mention a destination per se. It’s a relentless path. In Yoga, Sadhana is a journey. You enjoy bliss the moment you understand and start practicing Yoga. Rewards of Sadhana in Yoga is phenomenal. It’s instantaneous. It’s also perpetual. There’s no waiting for joy, only joy all the way.

As said by Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, Yoga is that in which “a person performs his activities by staying detached and is equipoised in success as well as failure.” This state of equipoise is undoubtedly the path as well as the destination of Yoga. A way that liberates you from all illness (Roga) as well as an addition (Bhoga).

5 responses on "Yogi, Bhogi & Rogi"

  1. you can eat meat and still be a yogi. very much personal bias in this post

    • By all means eat what you what and do as per your very own whims and fancies – but please don’t distort the Vedic teachings to justify your crimes against mute creatures.

    • If you’re eating meat to survive because of unavailability of vegeterian options (like the Tibetan monks) then it is a different matter. However, if you kill a mute creature and torture it all its life (that’s what modern farming practices do) just for the taste or for building muscle or for any such petty reason, you can never be a Yogi as by definition, you are indulging in bhog (and eventually, rog).

      A true Yogi has to be vegan, although he may consume milk products if he knows that the cow from whom the milk is coming and her calf are treated well.

      • Thank you for your comment. However, you may want to learn more about Tibetan Buddhism and its adherent’s meat eating habits. They don’t eat for survival anymore – but for the sheer pleasure of it. Their colonies in India continue to consume beef, mutton like staple diet. 🙂

  2. Nice article and beautifully explained.Bhoga results in Roga.Very True.

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