Bhoga

Definition - What does Bhoga mean?

Bhoga is a Sanskrit word that means “indulgence,” “enjoyment,” “consumption,” “experience” and “sensual pleasure.” In yogic philosophy, bhoga is a term used in several ways. Some see bhoga as the enjoyment of earthly pleasure that prevents self-realization. Others see it as a type of pleasure without attachment that is necessary for a healthy mind and body. Without attachment, bhoga does not prevent self-realization.

Bhoga is also used as a term to describe using yoga asana practice simply for the physical benefits and enjoyment, as is often the case in the West, rather than as a path to enlightenment. In India, those who practice yoga in this way are referred to as bhogis, rather than yogis.

Yogapedia explains Bhoga

While yogic philosophers generally accept the definition of bhoga as some form of pleasure or enjoyment, they disagree on the nature of that pleasure. On one hand, bhoga is seen as overindulgence in biological needs and material desires. Such overindulgence is at odds with the yogic goal of union with the higher Self.

On the other hand, some yogic philosophers believe bhoga does not refer to superficial pleasure or enjoyment. Rather, it describes experiencing enjoyment on all planes of existence without attachment to the pleasure or to that which provides the enjoyment. Aparigraha, or non-attachment, is one of the five yamas, which comprise one of the eight limbs of yoga as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. The eight limbs culminate with the state of samadhi, which is described as the highest state of consciousness and inner bliss. Some sources refer to bhoga as a synonym of bliss.

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