8 limbs of yoga
The Patanjali Yoga Sutras were written by… guess who? Patanjali! A “sutra” is etymologically similar to the English word “suture”.
You will most often hear it described as a “thread”.
But that’s what a sutra is, it is a thread or suture that ties things together and helps them become coherent and comprehensible.
So the yoga sutras of Patanjali are threads or lines of thought about yoga compiled into one structure by this Indian fellow Patanjali of the Hindu religion. Do those words seem less foreign and strange now?
I hope so because there are plenty more to go.
The Patanjali Yoga Sutras include a total of 196 sutras that Patanjali delineated for us.
He expounded the details of the entire school of yoga and made it very simple and accessible for all of us in one easy place.
To the best of our knowledge, we suspect the sutras were written around 200-100 BCE in the time of the Maurya Empire in India.
However, remember that yoga is much older than this, and this is only the writings of one guy compiling the knowledge of the time into one tome.
8 limbs of yoga
This yoga sutra essentially summarizes the goal, the results or consequences of yoga practice, and how to go about being a yoga practitioner.
Many people in the West think yoga is simply about exercising and stretching, but that is only one small aspect of the yogic discipline.
A yogi does use his or her body as a tool for achieving the goal, but there are other aspects to be trained as well, such as the mind and spirit.
The yoga sutra is not an instruction manual for stretching. It is a philosophically complex lecture in addition to the clarification it offers to subjects such as Hinduism and Raja Yoga themselves.
It is a fundamental and important piece of work to many schools of philosophical thought and should be respected as such.
Yama means restraint. Yama refers to the five abstentions: things should be avoided. This is similar to the five vows of Jainism.
The seeker of yoga should follow non-violence. Non-violence is as much about non-violence in thought, word, and deed as hurting or harming another or one’s own.
Truth is the form of life, truth in word and thought.
There is no greed, no stealing: to the extent that one should not even desire something that is not one’s own.
Yoga and sacrifice are mutually exclusive, abstaining from sexual intercourse; Celibacy in the case of unmarried people and monogamy in the case of married people. This is also to the extent that a person should not have sexual thoughts towards any man or woman other than his or her spouse. It is common to associate celibacy with celibacy.
That is the abandonment of hoarding, self-reliance: limit wealth to necessary or important matters, which vary with one’s life span. Parents need more wealth than their grandparents. The monk has nothing.
Niyama refers to the five observances, the things that should be done.
cleanliness of body & mind.
Satisfaction; To be satisfied with what one has.
Tapas: Tapas is the sadhana of body and mind which is done by enduring hardships like happiness-suffering, cold-heat. Austerity implies self-discipline or asceticism, restrains bodily desires, and is actively futile for life. Through tapas, the yogi or spiritual seeker can “burn” or save the accumulation of negative energies, clearing the path to spiritual evolution.
The exchange of ideas for the purification of thoughts and the attainment of knowledge is called Swadhyaya, the study of the Vedic scriptures to know about God and the soul, which leads to introspection to become more aware within the soul and God,
surrender to, worship of, and love for, the divinity within oneself.
Ashtanga is the third step of yoga, body discipline: rules and postures to keep it disease-free and save vital energy.
True posture is a physical aid to meditation, as it controls the organs and nervous system and prevents disturbance.
This is what is known as ‘yoga’ in the West.
Pranayama means ‘overcoming prana par’, breath control. Beneficial for health stabilizes the body and is very conducive to the concentration of the mind.
Just as the body needs a bath to purify itself, so the mind needs pranayama to purify itself.
The state in which the senses are freed from their external objects and become introverted is called pratyahara, it calms the dominant mind and the arbitrary senses.
Pratyahara allows the senses to be completely subdued. Not only that but the immense powers of God are realized and the seeker is absorbed in God.
A form of meditative action.
The last three levels are called the inner helpers (intimate sadhana) of yoga
The word perception means concentration. The tool used to increase the concentration of the mind in this way is called perception.
With the help of perception, a calm mind can be successfully concentrated in one place.
the concentration of the consciousness upon a physical object, such as a flame of a lamp, the midpoint of the eyebrows, or the image of a deity.
Persistence in the subject in which the mood is imposed by perception is called ‘meditation’.
With the help of meditation, the rajas of the mind as well as the tamas ‘mal’ are destroyed and sattvic qualities are developed.
The practice of meditation awakens the power to discern what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad.
The power to observe neutrally is awakened.
When only the goal-form is realized, the state of ‘samadhi’ is created by meditation.
Unity with the object of meditation. There is no difference between the act of meditating and the object of meditation.
Samadhi is the culmination of meditation.
There are two types of samadhi:
1. Samprajnata Samadhi
Samprajnata Samadhi is Chetan Samadhi, the mind is focused on the object of meditation (Ekagra), so the consciousness of the object of meditation is maintained.
Mental changes only occur in the context of the object of this meditation. There are four types of this state:
* Savitaraka: Citta (or consciousness) focuses on the gross object of meditation such as the flame of a lamp, the tip of a nose, or an idol of a god.
* Savichara: Citta focuses on the subtle object of meditation, such as Tanmatras (the five Tanmatras are sound, touch, form, taste and smell or smell).
* Sananda: Citta is still focused on the subtle object of meditation, like the senses themselves: smell comes instead of smell.
* Sasmita: Citta focuses on the ego-object with which the self is commonly identified.
2. Asamprajnata Samadhi
Asamprajnata Samadhi is subconscious. Citta and meditation are linked together by purpose.
The consciousness of the purpose of meditation is transcendent.
All mental changes are examined (contraindicated), although latent impressions may persist.
The first five limbs of yoga – Yama. Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, and Pratyahara are called ‘Bahirang Yoga’, while Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are the group of the three called ‘Samyam’ in Yoga.
This post was last modified on July 30, 2020