PATANJALI YOGA

YOGA DARSHAN

 

YOGEN CHITTASYA PADEM VACHAAM MALAM SHARIRASYA CHA VAIDYAKEN |
YOAPAAKAROTAMPRAVARAM MUNINAAM PATANJALIN PRAANJALI RAANTOASMI ||

Yoga Darshan is one of the six streams of Vedic philosophies that developed in the ancient India. Yoga is a powerful means of introspection through which we explore our inner self deeply. Thus, it is a unique philosophy that has both hypothetical and practical aspects. Hence, it has more importance and relevance than the mere spiritual means.

In other words, we may say that Yoga has a unique confluence of wisdom, devotion, action as well as a means to attain salvation. Everyone accepts its utility. Not only in India, but also in the whole world, philosophers have used Patanjali Yoga to achieve physical as well as spiritual perfection. Yoga even today shows the way for the human society to get rid of sorrow, disputes, miseries etc. Yoga believes in the philosophy of benefit of all and comforts for all. It is far above the boundaries of region, time, caste, creed, poverty, richness, lower and upper etc.

In the modern age, human society has totally neglected spirituality. A human being today thinks that only the physical achievements are all that our society requires. At the same time he is also afflicted by physical and mental disturbances. Attainment of peace is a far cry for him. Stability of mind is what is known as comfort. Physical comforts provide momentary stability to mind; and we mistake it with the real comfort. But in fact it is not comfort; it is only a short-lived feeling of comfort, a mirage. When mind attains contemplation for a bit longer period of time; it experiences a strange kind of divine joy. It experiences the existence of soul in the ephemeral body. This is the ultimate truth that mind cannot concentrate anywhere other than the soul. Soul is the ultimate recluse of mind. Therefore, all those who wish to have joy have to take shelter in Yoga.

It is unfortunate to see that now a days that Yoga is being used in a very narrow range of meaning. More than often, its use is seen in totally contradictory context. More and more people are taking Yoga as a means to remain healthy and enjoy carnal pleasures. Thus, their ultimate objective is to attain physical pleasure and not the spiritual upliftment.

It is the greatest irony for the Indian Yoga is that in the hands of western trainers, it has assumed a title of Yoga and thus has lost sight of its original meaning, purpose, and results. Most of the people believe that Yoga is a set of certain physical postures and exercises that help attain healthy and sound body. This is a misconception. In fact, Yoga is an infallible way to get rid of all the earthly hurdles.

Yoga is principally famous for refraining the otherwise unstable impulses of the mind. Thus, Yoga is powerful means to practice reconciliation. Contemplation of mind is the supreme state of Yoga.

PAROHI YOGOMANSAH SAMADHIH | YOGASHCHIT VRITI NIRODHAH

Yogasutra of Patanjali says that although it is highly difficult to control the mind that drifts like air, still with continuous practice and taking refuge at indifference, it becomes possible. Practice is the thing that trains the mind to concentrate. Thus, practicing for a long time faithfully, the unstable mind can be trained to concentrate. Indifference is the thing that refrains the practitioner to be drawn by physical as well as heavenly comforts. As long as the mind is inclined towards comforts, a person is unable to pay his attention to religious preaching and practice of Yoga. Hence, apparently, faithful practice of Yoga and indifference to physical comforts, both are necessary and important for a person. But unfortunately, these two things seem to be absent from the so-called Yoga centers of today and the miseries of the people are increasing instead of decreasing.

Unshakable faith is the first and foremost thing for the practice of Yoga. Without faith, even practice of Yoga leads to nowhere. In the words of Patanjali, four feelings- friendship, mercy, happiness and negligence are also necessary for the practitioner of Yoga. He should be friendly with his fellow practitioner. He should be merciful for creatures inflicted with sorrow. He should be happy with well to do people and negligent to those who are envious to him. With these feelings, a Yogi feels light-hearted and peaceful. A Yogi must not give up the practice of Yoga even after achieving perfection. Yogasutra says -

STHAANYUPNIMANTRANE SANGASYAAKARANAMPUNARNISHTAPRASANGAAT|

Meaning - After achieving certain perfection, a Yogi must not be lured by comforts nor should he allow slightest ego to enter his mind. Such tendencies drag a Yogi into mundane cycles again. For such a Yogi, hell is the only refuge ultimately. Hence, a Yogi must keep himself engaged in the practice of Yoga until he achieves reconciliation. This is the ultimate goal for a Yogi.

Yoga is an art of introspection. Through the practice of Yoga, a Yogi can separately and distinctly experience Prakriti and Purush, the two highly creative forces. The ephemeral body of Yogi, which is composed of by five major elements, has one and only one purpose that through it, a Yogi recognizes the holy existence of supreme spirit within his body. But the modern concept of Yoga has only one target:

"How to enjoy the earthly comforts through a healthy body?"

ASHTANGA YOGA

 

Lord Patanjali, the exponent of Yoga Shastra has integrated the entire Yoga Shastra into various sutras, which circle around Samadhi (reconciliation), Sadhana (means), Vibhuti and Kaivalya. In the first part, reconciliation to achieve control of mind and the means to perfect reconciliation have been discussed. In the second part, Ashtaang Yoga, which is required to achieve reconciliation, has been discussed. In the third part, Vibhutis of Yoga and in the fourth part, establishment of Kaivalya have been discussed.

Ashtaang Yoga has an important role in the perfection of Yoga. These eight parts of Yoga are as follows -

Yama (restraints).

Niyam (regulations)

Aasan (postures)

Pranayam (control of breath)

Pratyaahaar (restraining of sense organs)

Dhaarna (contemplation)

Dhyaan (meditation)

Samadhi (reconciliation).

YAMA (restraints):

Non-violence, truth, not stealing the wealth of others, celibacy and renunciation, these are five parts of Yama or restraints.

Ahimsa (non-violence): Not tormenting any creature through our mental, verbal and physical action. Non-violence is a very powerful virtue. In the company of a true non-violent Yogi, even the snake and mongoose give up their natural hostility.

Satya (Truth): Mind must think without jealousy and craftiness and the words should reflect this state of mind truly.

Asteya (not stealing the wealth of others):
Mind must not think about the wealth of the others, eyes must not see the wealth of the others and the body must not make efforts to steal the wealth of the others.

Brahmacharya (celibacy): Mind must not think about women, eyes must not see the women and the body must not make efforts to come in contact with women. Celibacy preserves semen- the wonderful force of creation and thus helps Yogi to achieve extra-ordinary perfection.

Aparigraha (Renunciation):
Non-accumulation of things that provide comforts in the way of sight sound, smell, taste and touch as well as controlling the desire of getting others? wealth. When a Yogi achieves perfection in renunciation, he automatically comes to know about his own past, present and future births as well as those of the others.

NIYAM (regulation)

Regulation too has five kinds- purity, satisfaction, expiation, recitation and devotion. Shaucha (purity): Purity is of two kinds- external and internal. External purity involves cleansing of body through water and soil, of conduct through desertion of selfishness and of food through consumption of plain edibles earned through just means. Internal purity involves cleansing of inner self through cultivation of pious feelings. It also involves destruction of self-defeating feelings like ego, anger, jealousy, fear, lust etc. Through the practice of purification means, mind feels happy and concentrates easily.

Santosh (satisfaction): Always being happy with what one has received and remaining sated in favorable and unfavorable situations are the features of satisfaction.

Tapa (expiation): Expiation begins from the mind when one learns to control the ever- conflicting thoughts. With that, a Yogi develops the capacity to tolerate hunger and thirst, coldness and heat etc.

Swadhyay (Reading and reciting): Reading of benevolent scriptures and reciting the name of almighty God are included in this head.

Pranidhaan (devotion): Devotion involves dedicating our every action- mental, verbal and physical at the feet of God. Devotion helps one to win his ego and is an efficient means to practice reconciliation.

ASANA (postures)

Gestures in which a Yogi can sit for long without straining his limbs is what we call as postures or Asanas. In a particular posture, arms, legs and other parts of the body are kept in a comfortable position without feeling least pain. When a Yogi achieves perfection, he can sit up to three hours in a posture continuously. Postures are good means to control the body and make it indifferent to the effects of heat and cold. Some of the prominent Yogic postures have been described here.

PROMINENT POSTURES AND THEIR BENEFITS

Ancient Indian sages and scholars have developed certain means for the benefit of humanity. Gyanyoga, Karmyoga, Bhaktiyoga, Mantrayoga, Rajyoga, Layayoga, Hathayoga etc. are some of such prominent means. In Yoga, Hathayoga has received major attention. It has essential use in all the other means. Hence, Hathayoga plays the role of an assistant in the practice of all other means. Hathayoga has four parts- postures, control of breath, gesture and Naadaanusandhaan (production of sounds from the navel). With the practice of postures, nerves get purified and smooth, body gets lighter, the mind achieves contemplation and the vital force of life (Praana) moves upwards in the body making it free from diseases.

Different postures have different effects, hence a practitioner must select those postures which suit his nature and ability. He must practice the main postures regularly. Use of less important and difficult postures must be limited to the excretion purposes only. People of every age and sex can practice Yogic postures. Control of breath (Pranayam) must be practiced by those who wish to attain salvation, for it requires far stern regularity.

Postures must be practiced at an isolated and holy place free from the disturbances and noises. One must avoid the breezes also during the practice of postures. One must practice the postures with concentrated mind. Some of the prominent postures have been given here.-

SIDDHASANA 

Among the all eighty-four postures, Siddhasana is considered as best. Rest the heel of left foot in between the anus and reproductive organ and put the right foot on the reproductive organ in such a way that it doesn’t hurt the organ. Toes of both the feet should stay between the thigh and the hip girdle. This is the basic posture of Siddhasana.
It resembles crossed-legged position popular among the students. While practicing this posture, rest your chin against the lower part of the neck. Now you are in ‘Jalandhar-bandha’. Now, draw the air in your belly upward. This is ‘Moola-bandha’. Focus your sights between the eyebrows but start this posture only when you have practiced ‘Traatak’ for more than one hour or your eyesight will weaken. Put both your palms on the thighs but fold the index finger inward so that it comes to touch the base of the thumb. It will prevent the life from flowing out of your hands.
Utility -
Continuous practice of Siddhasana helps a Yogi attain full control on his mind even if he doesn’t resort to means like Pranayam.
Siddhasana can be practiced both in the morning and in the evening. Its time can be stretched from a few minutes a day to up to an hour.
Sushumna, the main nerve of the body remains straight during Siddhasana and breaths become regular.
All the major nerves of the body get purified through Siddhasana.
Both the lungs and the heart get stronger and as a result breathing becomes regular and deep.
Motility of the intestine increases. Hence, digestion improves and one gets rid of constipation.
Common diseases like cough, cold, enlargement of liver and fever because of it, chronic fever, indigestion, loose motions, fall of semen in sleep, impotency, frequent urination, disorders of the urinary bladder etc. are corrected automatically through the practice of Siddhasana.

SIMHASANA

Place the ankle of right foot beneath your left hip and the ankle of left foot beneath the right hip. Now, you will feel that you are sitting on your toes. Put your both palms on the knees with fingers stretched. Expel the air from your mouth lolling your tongue as far out as possible. Practice focusing your sight between the eyebrows.
Utility -
All the three types of bandh- Mool-bandha, Jalandar-bandha and Uddiyan-bandh are trained easily to the practice of Simhasana.
Practice of this posture is beneficial to correct the ill effects of Jalandar-bandha. This posture softens the nerves and helps Yogi in awakening of ‘Kundalini’ (serpent power). This posture strengthens the neurons.

This posture expels the air from within the intestines and makes them strong. Thus, complaint of indigestion and constipation is removed.

PADMASANA 

Put the right foot on your left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh and take the cross-legged posture. You can reverse the order of placing the feet on your thighs i.e. put your left foot first. Heels of both the feet must come to rest against the abdomen on the sides of the navel and both the thighs must comfortably touch the ground. Now, taking your right hand behind the back and hold the thumb of right foot. In the same fashion, hold the thumb of left foot with your left hand. Now practice Jalandar-bandha and focus your sight at the tip of your nose. While sitting in Padmasana, roll your tongue back so that its tip comes to touch the tonsils. This is ‘Khechuri Mudra’ that automatically leads to Moola-bandha.

Utility -
Padmasana is a sure way to awaken the Kundalini.
Sushumna nerve remains straight during this posture.
Inhalation and exhalation of breath become regular. That is why this posture is considered as the best to practice Pranayam.
This posture corrects common ailments like weakness of heart and lungs, abdominal disorders, constipation, blood disorders, skin diseases, flatulence, cough, chronic fever, liver disorders, mal-functioning of spleen.
N.B.- While you are practicing Padmasana, avoid long distance walk.

PASCHIMUTANASANA

Bring your heels together and keep your legs straight. Now, bending forward, hold the thumbs of your feet and bring your forehead to rest against the knees. Don’t let the knees fold. Warming up exercise is necessary before you practice this posture. Spread your legs away from each other and stretching your hands, try to touch your toes bending as far as possible. An initial practice of half an hour is in enough to train this posture in eight to ten days.
Utility -
Toxins present in the blood vessels are removed.
It stimulates hunger.
Cough, fat and acids are destroyed.
Common ailments like indigestion, constipation, intestinal worms, common cold etc. are corrected.
With the practice of this posture, the vital force of life begins to flow through Sushumna nerve from behind the brain.

MAYURASANA 

Put both your palms on the ground and rest your elbows on the abdomen. Now, raise your whole body in the air keeping it perfectly straight like a stick. After your nerves are soft enough through the practice of other postures, only then try this posture. As long as the intestines and nerves are hard, Mayurasana may lead to severe abdominal pain and scars in the intestine.

SHEERSHASANA

Put a soft cushion on the ground or a length of cloth twirled in turban like fashion. Rest your head on this cushion and raise your legs up in the air. Now, you are standing on your head and your feet point up in the air. Initially, practice this posture for a minute or two and raise the period slowly up to an hour.
Utility -
With this posture, blood flow to the brain increases. Hence, Shavasana must be practiced for half an hour after Sheershasana to balance the flow of blood.
Circulation of blood improves and disorders related to blood are removed.
The vital force of life begins to flow towards Mooladhar chakra through Sushumna nerve. This helps in awakening of Kundalini without Pranayam.
Echo begins to appear loudly within the body and contemplation of mind is achieved easily.
Common ailments like cough, wind, bile disorders, fever, irregular breath, abdominal diseases, backache, migraine, enlargement of testis, sclerosis of the veins, dropsy, leprosy, jaundice, enlargement of liver and intestines are removed. During the practice of Sheershasana, one must consume milk and ghee lavishly.
Precautions -
Those whose brain is weak or whose head remains warm, whose eyes remain red and those who are suffering from ailments like tuberculosis, uncommon heart-beats, fever, bronchitis, bile, vomiting, hiccups, insanity, insomnia etc. must not practice Sheershasana. Sheershasana must be practiced early in the morning before breakfast.
Its practice in the night after dinner will be very harmful. Even in the morning, Sheershasana must not be practiced twice. The brain experiences intense heat in Sheershasana. Hence, it must be cooled with the help of plain food. Sheershasana must not be practiced before attending nature’s call and after taking bath. After Sheershasana, washing of hands and face or walking in open air is very harmful. The practice of Sheershasana is also forbidden after Pranayam. It is better to practice other postures well, before you start Sheershasana.
If you feel intense heat after Sheershasana, at once quit the posture and take milk or ghee only and do not eat anything else including medicines. Complete rest or Shavasana shall be helpful at this stage. Do not try to move your head during Sheershasana because it may cause hemorrhage in the brain.

MATSYENDRASANA

Put your right foot below the left hip and folding the left leg at the knee, bring your left foot to rest on the ground beside the right thigh. Now, bring your left hand from behind your back and hold the left foot with it. Knee of the left foot must touch your chest. Turn your face to the right and fix the sight between the eyebrows. This posture can be practiced reversing the order of the legs also. (See the figures to understand the posture better).
Utility -
Matsyendrasana must be practiced with changing the position of both the legs in a go. Practicing only with one style is harmful.
Practice this posture only when your nerves and veins are soft enough with the practice of other postures. This posture stretches your belly, waist, spine, chest, neck and hip girdle and removes disorders related to these organs. With the daily practice of Matsyendrasana for one hour each day, all the toxins present in the nerves and veins are removed and all the disorders connected to cough, wind and bile are corrected.
Contemplation of the mind is achieved easily through this posture.
This posture is very helpful in awakening Kundalini without Pranayam.
Ailments like loose motion, constipation, blood disorders, intestinal worms, breathing disorders, fats, enlargement of intestines and many other diseases related to blood and other body fluids are corrected.

SHAVASANA

Lie on the ground straight like a dead body. Bring both your feet together and stretch the fingers of the feet and your hand. Now, release the tension present in every part of your body.
Utility -
Shavasana is used after practicing other postures or Pranayam to quieten the impulses of nerves.
During half an hour practice of Shavasana, all the veins remain straight facilitating the blood circulation as per the nature.
During Shavasana, the vital force of life begins to flow towards the brain and mind feels peaceful.

VIPREETKARANI 

Lie straight on the ground. Put both your hands stretched along your body. Now raise your legs in the air up to 30 degrees. Stop for a moment and again raise your legs up to 60 degrees and stop. Again raise your legs up to 80 degrees and stay in this position. Now resting your palms on your hips and elbows on the ground, raise your body further with the help of your hands.
Utility -
Vipreetkarani is a potential substitute for Sheershasana. Thus, people who are unable to practice Sheershasana can practice Vipreetkarani.
Vipreetkarani strengthens the sense organs and increases the radiance of the body.

HALASANA

When you have practiced Vipreetkarani posture, you can go for the Halasana, for it is the next stage of Vipreetkarani. From your position in Vipreetkarani, bend your legs above your head and touch the ground with the fingers of your feet. Try to stretch your leg as far as possible. Now, bring your hands below your head and lock your fingers.
Utility -
1) With the practice of Halasana, painful diseases like spondilitis etc. are corrected.
2) Halasana is an efficient posture to do away with obesity and other abdominal disorders. The Halasana is also helpful in correcting the diseases of neck, chest and waist.

PROMINENT POSTURES AND THEIR BENEFITS

    SOME OTHER MAIN POSTURES

BHUJANGASANA

Lie straight on the ground facing down. Put both your palms on both the sides of your chest on the ground. Now, raise your head first and then shoulder, chest and belly in a sequence. Stretch your head as far back as possible. Bhujangasana is helpful in combating the disorders related to abdomen, chest, waist, hips and spine.

DHANURASANA 

Lie down on the ground facing downwards. Stretch your hand along your body. Now, raise your heads and legs simultaneously and hold your legs at the ankles and drag them as far back as possible (See the figures). Dhanurasana stretches your belly, waist, spine, chest, neck and hip girdle and removes disorders related to these organs.

MATSYASANA

Take Padmasana and lie down supine. Bend your spine slightly and rest your head on the ground. Hold thumbs of both your feet. Matsyasana is helpful in correcting the disorders related to hip, waist, spine, neck, chest and abdomen.

SODDIYAAN PADMASANA

This is a very famous posture. Sit in Padmasana and put your hands on the knees. Now, expel your feet completely and pull your belly deeply and again push it. Repeat the process rapidly in succession as long as you can hold the breath out. Now inhale deeply and exhale deeply and repeat the process of pulling and pushing your belly. This posture dissolves away the excess fat present around the belly. Disorders related to liver and spleen and in fact all the abdominal diseases are also corrected.

BADDHA PADMASANA:

Sit in Padmasana and reach your hands from behind your back to hold the thumbs of your feet. You will hold the thumb of your right foot with your right hand and that of left foot with your left hand. With regular practice of this posture, bad habit of sitting in bent position is replaced by a healthy habit of sitting straight. Common disorders of the belly, waist, chest etc. are also corrected. The spine must be kept straight during this posture. This posture is highly beneficial if practised early in the morning before breakfast.

BADDHASANA

Bring together both your feet and raising your knees in the air come to sit entirely on your hips. Stretch your hands through the legs and hold the toes bringing your feet as close to your hips as possible and sit straight. Through this posture, belly, waist and rectum get strength.

ARDHAGARBHAASANA

Sit in Padmasana and stretch your hands through the fold of your legs and touch the ground with your hands. Nerves of the belly gain strength and wind problems are corrected.

GARBHAASANA

In the posture of Ardhagarbhaasana, twist your hands in such a way that the palms come to face outwards. Now fold your hands at the elbow and bring your palms, in fist form, near your ears. Disorders related to the belly, groin, waist, liver, spleen, heart, chest etc. are corrected by this posture.

URDHVAHASTAPASCHIMTANAASANA:

Sit in normal Paschimtaanasana (see the figure) and lift your right hand, stretch it back as far as possible. Now bring it back and lift your left hand and stretch it back as far as possible. This posture helps in strengthening the chest and shoulders.

VRISTRITPAADBHUNAMUNAASANA

Sit down on the ground and spread your legs as far away from each other as possible. Now, stretching the hands, hold the thumbs of your feet. Now bend forward and rest your head on the ground. This posture stretches the hips and the thighs and removes the disorders related to legs, waist, back and abdomen as well as those related to semen.

PRISHTASANA

Lie supine and fold your legs at the knees so those knees come to touch the chest. Now hold your legs near the ankles and come into a sitting posture. Now roll down and come again in sitting posture. Thus, change your position alternatively in succession. Disorders related to waist, back and abdomen are corrected with this posture.

VIPREETDANDAASANA

This posture resembles a stick kept in reverse direction. Sit on the ground stretching your legs straight in front of you and support your hands behind your back. Now, raise your body from abdominal area into the air, supporting it on your hands. Raise your body until it assumes a straight stick- like posture. Repeat the process four or five times.

NAUKASANA

Lie on the ground facing down and lock your hands around your buttocks. Now, raise your legs in the air and move them up and down as if swimming. Such a posture is very beneficial for heart, lungs, chest, spine, hips, legs, neck and abdomen.

ARDHACHAKRAASANA

You can perform this posture both in standing position and lying down on the ground. If you prefer to practice it lying down on the ground, it is extension of Naukasana. In Naukasana when you have raised your legs to the highest point, unlock your hands and raise them above in the air, simultaneously raising your head and chest also. This posture is very useful to remove the disorders of the waist and belly.

CHAKRASANA 

It is an extension of Ardhachakraasana but it is performed standing on the ground. The whole body is bent backwards along the waist and palms are supported on the ground behind the feet, both pointing away from each other. If you have a problem to take this posture in standing position, lie down supine on the ground and holding your legs and arms, support the feet and palms on the ground. Take care that palms point in the direction of your head and are placed on both sides of it. Now, raise your body from the middle part as high as you can so that ultimately it assumes a circular shape. This posture is also beneficial to correct disorders related to waist and belly.

MADHYAMNAULI

Bend forward along the waist and pull your belly tightly in such a way that contours of spine appear on it. Repeat this process rapidly four or five times. If you are pot-bellied, you might face some difficulty initially in performing this action. So, you should practice Uddiyaan first. (See the process described in Uddiyaan-bandh)

DAKSHINANAULI

Pull in your belly tightly and make it appear as if deflated. Now, move all the contents of the belly on to the right side of your abdomen.

BAAMANAULI

As described in the above process, move all the contents of the belly on to the left side of the abdomen. All these three processes are involved in Nauli (pulling the belly tightly and making it appear as if deflated). With practice of this process, no abdominal diseases can ever afflict a person. Besides diseases already present are done away with through this practice.

SOME USEFUL BANDHA AND POSTURES

BANDHA and POSTURES have important place in the practice of Yoga.

MULA-BANDHA

Closing or contracting the openings of anus and genitals is known as Mula-bandha. Rest the heel of your left foot against the region between anus and genitals firmly. Now, contract the anus and try to pull the air present in your belly upwards. Siddhasana is the best posture to practice this bandha.

Benefits:

The air present in the belly rises upwards and unites ?Praanvayu?.

Kundalini straightens and rises up in the belly.

Constipation is removed, digestion improves and retention of semen increases.


UDDIYAAN-BANDHA

Folding the legs, support both the feet against each other. Now, pull in your belly just above and below the navel region and press it hard against the spine. The more you can pull in the belly, the better result will you get. In this posture, vital force of life begins to fly towards Sushumna nerve. This posture can be practised without supporting the feet as well.

Benefits -

Retention of semen increases.

Appetite is stimulated and digestion improves.

Lungs become stronger.


JALANDAR-BANDHA 

Contracting the throat, rest your chin against the depression just below the neck. The chest should expand so you should inhale deep breath before taking Jalandar-bandha. Since this posture ties the group of nerves in the neck region, hence it is known as Jalandar-bandha.

Benefits -

Voice improves and becomes sweet and attractive.

With the contraction of throat, Ida and Pingla nerves are closed so that the vital force of life enters Shushmna nerve.

Almost all the postures and Pranayam are practiced in Mool-bandha and Uddiyaan-bandha. Jalandar - bandha is rarely used in meditation.



POSTURES

KHECHURI

Roll your tongue upwards and pull it in so that it comes to rest against the tonsils. Usually, our tongue is tied to the lower jaw with a thin but strong nerve. Hence, lolling out or rolling in of the tongue is difficult. To facilitate the process, this connection is cut first. A sharp blade of diamond or other crystal is used to cut this nerve. The process is not painful simply rub the nerve four or five times daily with this blade. Thus, in a few days, the nerve is cut, then slowly continue to cut the remaining connection of the tongue with the jaw up to the base of the tongue.
With continuous practice, your tongue will be so long that it will reach up to junction of eyebrows. This posture is very helpful in attaining complete meditation.

MAHAMUDRA

In Mool-bandha posture, press the heel of your left feet against the place between your anus and testis. Spread out your left leg and hold its fingers with both your hands. Now touch the knees of right leg with your nose and inhale deeply through left nostril and take Jalandar-bandha. After a few minutes, open the bandha and exhale through the right nostril. Now, repeat the process inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril. Now, unfold your left leg and stretch it straight and fold your right leg and press its heel against the suture between anus and testis. Now, repeat the process as described above.

Some experts suggest practice of this posture along with Mool-bandha also. Benefits- With the practice of Mahamudra, indigestion, loss of appetite and scores of other diseases like diabetes are corrected and Kundalini is awakened.

YONIMUDRA

Sit in Siddhasana. Now, close both the ears with your thumbs, your eyes with your index fingers, your nose with your middle fingers and place ring and little fingers near your lips. Now roll your tongue along the sides and protrude it out like a small pipe. Now suck air through the tongue and mix it with the air present in your belly. Now recite ?OM? and feel that as if its sound and the air you have sucked both are awakening your Kundalini. With continuous practice of this posture, you will experience bright light with your closed eyes.

YOGAMUDRA

Sit in Padmaasana and take Mool-bandha. Now, inhale deeply through both your nostrils and take Jalandhar-bandha. Now lock your hands behind your back and bend forward and ultimately rest your head on the ground. Stay in this posture as long as possible. Then regain your original sitting posture and exhale through both your nostrils. Yogamudra is very helpful in correcting abdominal diseases and awakening Kundalini.

VIPREETKARANIMUDRA:

Take Mool-bandha and Uddiyaan-bandha in Sheershaasana. Padmaasana and Urdhva-Padmaasana can also be practiced in Sheershaasana. With this posture, brain, eyes and heart become stronger. Breathing becomes regular and calm. Diseases like constipation, common cold, headache etc. are corrected and disorders related to blood and cough are removed.

PRANAYAM

With the perfection of postures, one can hold his breaths as long as he wishes and can stay in this position for long at his will. Pranayam can be defined as a state of suspension of breaths. There are three stages in Pranayam- Purak (inhalation), Kumbhak (retention) and Rechak (exhalation). These stages can be small as well as large.

BAHYA KUMBHAK (external retention):

It is marked by exhalation of breath and retention or suspension of the breathing process. Thus, during the retention, there is a lack of air in the body. It is practised with exhaling repeating ‘OM’ eight times. Then, retention reciting OM sixteen times and ultimately inhaling reciting OM four times.

ABYANTAR KUMBHAK (internal retention):

Breath is inhaled deeply and retained in the body. Inhale the breath reciting OM four times and retain it in the body reciting OM sixteen times. Ultimately, exhale the breath reciting OM eight times.

STAMBHAVRITTI PRANAYAM:

Breath is retained comfortably either outside or inside the body. Here again, inhalation is done reciting OM four times and exhalation reciting OM sixteen times. Retention is left at the discretion of the practitioner.

In the practice of Pranayam, it is important that retention of breath must be double in duration than exhalation and four times than inhalation.

FOURTH PRANAYAM:

With the regular practice of Pranayam or physical control of breaths, one is now prepared to practice the fourth kind of Pranayam, which is more spiritual in nature. When one attains a state of fourth Pranayam, his mind automatically begins to abstain from the reflection of earthly matters and his breaths are suspended automatically. Thus the fourth Pranayam is a powerful means to control the mind and sense organs. There is no limit of retaining the breaths here.

Benefits of Pranayam- With continuous practice of Pranayam, sinister feelings and ignorance are destroyed, that tarnish one’s conscience. The mind becomes stable.

RESTRANING OF SENSE ORGANS

Deserting the longings for physical comforts and following one’s conscience is the main feature of restraining sense organs. It is our conscience that causes the sense organs to be indifferent for comforts. When the conscience is fully trained, sense organs are also controlled.

Once trained, the practitioner does not have an awareness of his surroundings. But, during mundane interactions, this awareness is regenerated for practical purposes.

All the five measures discussed so far are the external means of practicing Yoga. Now, a practitioner is ready to enter the state of reconciliation. But before that, he has to perfect two more parts of Yoga.

CONTEMPLATION

Last three parts of Yoga are contemplation, meditation and reconciliation. These are all internal means. Contemplation involves concentration of conscience around navel, tip of the nose or heart. Alternatively, a practitioner may practice contemplation by concentrating his conscience externally at an idol of God.

MEDITATION

With the perfection of contemplation, one’s conscience immediately attains a state of meditation. Initially, a practitioner faces difficulty in concentrating and achieving meditation but with practice, state of meditation becomes easy to achieve and there is virtually no gap between contemplation and meditation.

RECONCILIATION

The process that begins with contemplation culminates in reconciliation. Initially, the contemplator and the contemplative have distinct existence. Through continuous practice, such a state is reached when contemplator and contemplative unify. At this stage, the contemplator is fully engrossed in contemplative. He has no knowledge or feeling of his own existence. This is the stage of reconciliation in which the practitioner attains eternal emancipation.

When reconciliation is centred at macro objects, it is known as illogical reconciliation. However, reconciliation centred at micro-objects is known as thoughtless reconciliation for it lacks thoughts of material objects. State of reconciliation in earthly matters is harmful in spiritual point of view. And reconciliation directed to God provides salvation. Hence, all those who wish their welfare must reconcile at God. Perfection of method of reconciliation completes the perfection of all eight parts of the Yoga. At this stage, physical impurities and ignorance that veils one’s conscience are removed and torch of wisdom is lighted in one’s mind. The practitioner attains salvation then.

RESTRANING OF SENSE ORGANS

Deserting the longings for physical comforts and following one’s conscience is the main feature of restraining sense organs. It is our conscience that causes the sense organs to be indifferent for comforts. When the conscience is fully trained, sense organs are also controlled.
Once trained, the practitioner does not have an awareness of his surroundings. But, during mundane interactions, this awareness is regenerated for practical purposes.
All the five measures discussed so far are the external means of practicing Yoga. Now, a practitioner is ready to enter the state of reconciliation. But before that, he has to perfect two more parts of Yoga.

CONTEMPLATION

Last three parts of Yoga are contemplation, meditation and reconciliation. These are all internal means. Contemplation involves concentration of conscience around navel, tip of the nose or heart. Alternatively, a practitioner may practice contemplation by concentrating his conscience externally at an idol of God.

MEDITATION

With the perfection of contemplation, one’s conscience immediately attains a state of meditation. Initially, a practitioner faces difficulty in concentrating and achieving meditation but with practice, state of meditation becomes easy to achieve and there is virtually no gap between contemplation and meditation.

RECONCILIATION

The process that begins with contemplation culminates in reconciliation. Initially, the contemplator and the contemplative have distinct existence. Through continuous practice, such a state is reached when contemplator and contemplative unify. At this stage, the contemplator is fully engrossed in contemplative. He has no knowledge or feeling of his own existence. This is the stage of reconciliation in which the practitioner attains eternal emancipation.
When reconciliation is centred at macro objects, it is known as illogical reconciliation. However, reconciliation centred at micro-objects is known as thoughtless reconciliation for it lacks thoughts of material objects. State of reconciliation in earthly matters is harmful in spiritual point of view. And reconciliation directed to God provides salvation. Hence, all those who wish their welfare must reconcile at God. Perfection of method of reconciliation completes the perfection of all eight parts of the Yoga. At this stage, physical impurities and ignorance that veils one’s conscience are removed and torch of wisdom is lighted in one’s mind. The practitioner attains salvation then.

RESTRANING OF SENSE ORGANS

Deserting the longings for physical comforts and following one’s conscience is the main feature of restraining sense organs. It is our conscience that causes the sense organs to be indifferent for comforts. When the conscience is fully trained, sense organs are also controlled.
Once trained, the practitioner does not have an awareness of his surroundings. But, during mundane interactions, this awareness is regenerated for practical purposes.
All the five measures discussed so far are the external means of practicing Yoga. Now, a practitioner is ready to enter the state of reconciliation. But before that, he has to perfect two more parts of Yoga.

CONTEMPLATION

Last three parts of Yoga are contemplation, meditation and reconciliation. These are all internal means. Contemplation involves concentration of conscience around navel, tip of the nose or heart. Alternatively, a practitioner may practice contemplation by concentrating his conscience externally at an idol of God.

MEDITATION

With the perfection of contemplation, one’s conscience immediately attains a state of meditation. Initially, a practitioner faces difficulty in concentrating and achieving meditation but with practice, state of meditation becomes easy to achieve and there is virtually no gap between contemplation and meditation.

RECONCILIATION

The process that begins with contemplation culminates in reconciliation. Initially, the contemplator and the contemplative have distinct existence. Through continuous practice, such a state is reached when contemplator and contemplative unify. At this stage, the contemplator is fully engrossed in contemplative. He has no knowledge or feeling of his own existence. This is the stage of reconciliation in which the practitioner attains eternal emancipation.
When reconciliation is centred at macro objects, it is known as illogical reconciliation. However, reconciliation centred at micro-objects is known as thoughtless reconciliation for it lacks thoughts of material objects. State of reconciliation in earthly matters is harmful in spiritual point of view. And reconciliation directed to God provides salvation. Hence, all those who wish their welfare must reconcile at God. Perfection of method of reconciliation completes the perfection of all eight parts of the Yoga. At this stage, physical impurities and ignorance that veils one’s conscience are removed and torch of wisdom is lighted in one’s mind. The practitioner attains salvation then.

RESTRANING OF SENSE ORGANS

Deserting the longings for physical comforts and following one’s conscience is the main feature of restraining sense organs. It is our conscience that causes the sense organs to be indifferent for comforts. When the conscience is fully trained, sense organs are also controlled.
Once trained, the practitioner does not have an awareness of his surroundings. But, during mundane interactions, this awareness is regenerated for practical purposes.
All the five measures discussed so far are the external means of practicing Yoga. Now, a practitioner is ready to enter the state of reconciliation. But before that, he has to perfect two more parts of Yoga.

CONTEMPLATION

Last three parts of Yoga are contemplation, meditation and reconciliation. These are all internal means. Contemplation involves concentration of conscience around navel, tip of the nose or heart. Alternatively, a practitioner may practice contemplation by concentrating his conscience externally at an idol of God.

MEDITATION

With the perfection of contemplation, one’s conscience immediately attains a state of meditation. Initially, a practitioner faces difficulty in concentrating and achieving meditation but with practice, state of meditation becomes easy to achieve and there is virtually no gap between contemplation and meditation.

RECONCILIATION

The process that begins with contemplation culminates in reconciliation. Initially, the contemplator and the contemplative have distinct existence. Through continuous practice, such a state is reached when contemplator and contemplative unify. At this stage, the contemplator is fully engrossed in contemplative. He has no knowledge or feeling of his own existence. This is the stage of reconciliation in which the practitioner attains eternal emancipation.
When reconciliation is centred at macro objects, it is known as illogical reconciliation. However, reconciliation centred at micro-objects is known as thoughtless reconciliation for it lacks thoughts of material objects. State of reconciliation in earthly matters is harmful in spiritual point of view. And reconciliation directed to God provides salvation. Hence, all those who wish their welfare must reconcile at God. Perfection of method of reconciliation completes the perfection of all eight parts of the Yoga. At this stage, physical impurities and ignorance that veils one’s conscience are removed and torch of wisdom is lighted in one’s mind. The practitioner attains salvation then.

IMPORTANCE OF YOGA

In the form of Yoga, sage Patanjali has created such an unparalleled ladder to climb the heights of salvation. Yoga is the best means to achieve the benefaction of the self. It helps common as well as learned people to unify with the supreme soul. In fact Yoga helps attain a healthy body, a sound mind and a delighted spirit. It is the base of all upliftment and an unending source of spiritual joy. Its continuous practice removes all the doubts that haunt ones mind. Even the bodily postures, which are most prevalent and regarded as Yoga itself, are enough to give someone a healthy body. It is now-a-days widely used in modern medicine the world over to treat large number of diseases successfully.
In the entire ancient Indian literature, deep contemplation on Yoga is found. Yoga has been an ideal way for our great sages who achieved perfection. With the continuous practice and training, they gained unlimited powers. On the importance of Yoga, Uttar Gita says- those who achieve reconciliation through Yoga get freed from the sins of hundreds of births.
Yoga has supreme importance in the building of ones character. Yoga awakens human values in the practitioner. Feelings like forgiveness, mercy, kindness, wisdom and indifference arise naturally in the practitioner of Yoga. Thus, there is no force like Yoga and no friend like Yoga. Thus in a way, Yoga is a rich tradition of Indian culture.
Importance of Yoga is increasingly accepted in the modern education system also. Education is an integral part of life in the society. Since long, our country has led the world in terms of religion, culture, spirituality and education. Unfortunately, under the influence of unmindful aping of western culture, religion, spiritualism and moral education are facing extinction in India today. Like our ancestors, leaders of modern age also insist upon the necessity of moral education for the all-round development of the pupils. Need of integrating Yoga in the modern system of education has been felt. It is a good sign. Children are the true wealth of a nation. By imparting moral education in our children through compulsory teaching of Yoga in our schools, we can be sure of a golden future for our country.

YOGA FOR THE BENEFACTION OF THE WORLD

Yoga is also a part of religion. In Yagyavalkya smriti, sage Yagyavalkya says:
AYAM TU PARMAU DHARMAU YAGYOGENAATMA DARSHANAM |

Meaning -It is the highest duty of a human being that he should introspect his inner self through the perfection of Yoga.

Shruti also says :
ATMAAVAA AREDRISHTAVYAHA |

One must practice Yoga abstaining from falling into the temptation of achieving miraculous perfection. Path of Yoga is certainly difficult to train but it is attainable by the grace of the Lord. The supreme soul is not far from us. He stays within our conscience. Calling him with simple conscience and treading the path shown by Him, everything becomes attainable. Yoga is also a perfect way for the benefaction of the world. Practitioner of Yoga acquires complete restraints on his sense organs, mind and develops a holy conscience. Then, nothing but a feeling of benefaction for all, stays in his mind.

ESSENSE OF YOGA

Yoga is an integral part of Sanatan Dharma and philosophy of India. Originally, it was present cryptically in the stanzas of Vedas. Its basic philosophy is that, Almighty God is full of richness and creatures have nothing, but desires. Craving and striving for the absent objects is a natural instinct of every living being.

An unwealthy person craves and strives for the money. An ignorant person craves and strives for knowledge. Thus, everybody craves for those things, which he is lacking or does not possess. He makes every efforts to acquire the things of his desires. But Almighty God is the treasure of all these things. He has endless luxuries, endless power, endless knowledge etc. Hence, a desire naturally arises in the heart of human beings to reach God, to see Him and to mingle with Him in order to achieve supreme joy. The same desire is known with different names like worship, devotion or Yoga. Stay of every creature is very brief on earth. Eternity of life is assured in the unification with God. Yoga is such a unification.

Human beings have the ability to unify their microcosm soul with that eternal supreme soul. A man, who has attained unification with God, acquires divine powers. Now he is free from all the illusions. God is not bound to expressions; hence an ordinary person cannot feel His existence. Yoga is a powerful tool for introspection and feeling the existence of God. This stream of Yoga has four parts.

Mantra Yoga.

Hathha Yoga.

Laya Yoga.

Raja Yoga.


Of them, Mantra Yoga is the most primitive and crude whereas Raja Yoga is the most refined. Other two lie in between.

MANTRA YOGA : Verbal mantra and an idol are required to train this stream of Yoga. During the training, adherence to celibacy is insisted specially.

HATHA YOGA : It involves physical postures to control the whimsical flights of mind. These postures involve control of airflow, related to our body.

LAYA YOGA : Rhythm of Prakriti with Purush constitutes Laya Yoga. It is basically mental actions.

RAJA YOGA : It is entirely trained through the powers of our conscience. It is the supreme kind of Yoga.

Yoga is a valuable heritage of ancient India. Since antiquity, tradition of Yoga has flourished through the system of Gurukulas. Continuous efforts of our great and learned sages have refined the ways to practice Yoga. Exponent of Yoga, sage Patanjali embodied a cryptic philosophy of essential knowledge within the stanzas of Yoga Darshan. Yoga is thus, an efficient way of having introspection and a unification with God. And there is no other way to come over the sorrow.
Literally, Yoga has two roots- Yuja and Samadhau which mean joining with reconciliation. Words Yujir and Yoga also make Yoga that means to join. Unification of microcosm soul with the supreme soul is also inferred from the word Yoga. In fact, microcosm and supreme souls are not different from each other. In fact, they are two different faces of the same coin. It is by ignorance that human being has come to differentiate between the two. But, with perfection of Yoga, such a difference ceases to exist. It is only then that the unification of microcosm and supreme soul takes place.
According to the sage Patanjali, the successful control of unstable mind is Yoga. Mind has five stages-Chhipta, Moorh, Vikshipta, Ekaagra and Niruddha. Last two stages of these five distinguish Yoga.
According to the philosophy of Yoga, mind is itself capable of attracting all the things. It is omnipresent also but because it is veiled by darkish virtues that it fails to manifest its powers. In contemplative state, darkish and royal virtues fade out and the mind is able to manifest the things of its desires. Reconciliation is the major part of Yoga. In reconciliation, all the earthly illusions are destroyed and microcosm unifies with the supreme soul. The joy one feels in the state of reconciliation is beyond the words.

 

IMPORTANCE OF YOGA

In the form of Yoga, sage Patanjali has created such an unparalleled ladder to climb the heights of salvation. Yoga is the best means to achieve the benefaction of the self. It helps common as well as learned people to unify with the supreme soul. In fact Yoga helps attain a healthy body, a sound mind and a delighted spirit. It is the base of all upliftment and an unending source of spiritual joy. Its continuous practice removes all the doubts that haunt ones mind. Even the bodily postures, which are most prevalent and regarded as Yoga itself, are enough to give someone a healthy body. It is now-a-days widely used in modern medicine the world over to treat large number of diseases successfully.
In the entire ancient Indian literature, deep contemplation on Yoga is found. Yoga has been an ideal way for our great sages who achieved perfection. With the continuous practice and training, they gained unlimited powers. On the importance of Yoga, Uttar Gita says- those who achieve reconciliation through Yoga get freed from the sins of hundreds of births.
Yoga has supreme importance in the building of ones character. Yoga awakens human values in the practitioner. Feelings like forgiveness, mercy, kindness, wisdom and indifference arise naturally in the practitioner of Yoga. Thus, there is no force like Yoga and no friend like Yoga. Thus in a way, Yoga is a rich tradition of Indian culture.
Importance of Yoga is increasingly accepted in the modern education system also. Education is an integral part of life in the society. Since long, our country has led the world in terms of religion, culture, spirituality and education. Unfortunately, under the influence of unmindful aping of western culture, religion, spiritualism and moral education are facing extinction in India today. Like our ancestors, leaders of modern age also insist upon the necessity of moral education for the all-round development of the pupils. Need of integrating Yoga in the modern system of education has been felt. It is a good sign. Children are the true wealth of a nation. By imparting moral education in our children through compulsory teaching of Yoga in our schools, we can be sure of a golden future for our country.

YOGA FOR THE BENEFACTION OF THE WORLD

Yoga is also a part of religion. In Yagyavalkya smriti, sage Yagyavalkya says:
AYAM TU PARMAU DHARMAU YAGYOGENAATMA DARSHANAM |

Meaning -It is the highest duty of a human being that he should introspect his inner self through the perfection of Yoga.

Shruti also says :
ATMAAVAA AREDRISHTAVYAHA |
One must practice Yoga abstaining from falling into the temptation of achieving miraculous perfection. Path of Yoga is certainly difficult to train but it is attainable by the grace of the Lord. The supreme soul is not far from us. He stays within our conscience. Calling him with simple conscience and treading the path shown by Him, everything becomes attainable. Yoga is also a perfect way for the benefaction of the world. Practitioner of Yoga acquires complete restraints on his sense organs, mind and develops a holy conscience. Then, nothing but a feeling of benefaction for all, stays in his mind.

RIGHT TO PERFORM YOGA AND MEANS

Three kinds of peoples have right to perform yoga. These are inferior, superior and supreme. Different types of means have been described for these three kinds of practitioner.
Inferior Practitioner: Such practitioner may perform Ashtang Yoga. Yama, Niyam, Ashan, Pranayam, Pratyahar, Dharana, Dhyaan, and Samadhi, these are the eight parts of Yoga. Samadhi is the ultimate goal for which the practitioner strives. These parts of Yoga help the practitioner to achieve total restraints of senses. Provision of Ashtang Yoga has been evolved for the entire practitioners because they are beginners on the great path of Yoga. They start practices of yoga in there present birth.
Superior Practitioner: Such kind of practitioner has already perfected the eight parts of Ashtang Yoga in their previous births but could not attain salvation. They are naturally inclined for the practice of Yoga, however they don't have to start right from the beginning. Because of experiences from their previous birth, they instinctively start the practice of Yoga. Thus superior practitioner may attain the state of reconciliation merely through Kriya Yoga that involves penance, the study of Vedas and devotion for God.
Supreme Practitioner: For the supreme practitioners, external means of performing yoga have no meaning. Practice and asceticism are the only means required for such practitioners to attain state of reconciliation and salvation.
Yoga recognizes two kinds of asceticism- Apar, Vairagya (simple asceticism) and Param Vairagya (Supreme asceticism). Simple asceticism is in fact a way to achieve supreme asceticism. Supreme asceticism is a state of supreme consciousness.
By practice means making repeated attempts to achieve total restrains of the senses. Contemplation, meditation and reconciliation are the means to achieve perfection in practice.
During the practice of meditation, a state arrives when there is virtually no difference between the contemplator and contemplative. The whole conscience of contemplator appears like the contemplative. This state marks the stage of reconciliation.

Mainly two kinds of reconciliation have been identified.
1) Sampragyat .
2) Asampragyat.

SAMPRAGYAT SAMADHI :

It has four sub-kinds:

1) Vitrakaanughat (logical reconciliation) 

2) Vicharaanughat (thoughtful reconciliation). 

3) Anandanughat (joyful reconciliation). 

4) Asmitaanughat (unifying reconciliation).

Logical reconciliation: The practitioner experiences the existence of all the materials of tangible worlds. Absence of words and logic is the main characteristic of this reconciliation.

Thoughtful reconciliation: After experiencing the existence of tangible objects, the practitioner enters the stage of thoughtful reconciliation. Experience of all the micro and divine objects characterizes this stage. The practitioner has now raised the above the level of dilemma, logic and arguments.

Joyful reconciliation: Feeling joyful because of experiencing all the macro and micro objects marks this stage of reconciliation.

Unifying reconciliation: In this stage, the conscience of the contemplator unifies with the contemplative. With perfection, the practitioner begins to experience the presence of a divine self. Some scholars say that at this stage the practitioner actually sees his own spirit or soul.

ASAMPRAGYAT RECONCILIATION

This is the supreme state of reconciliation and follows the Sampragyat reconciliation. Actions or Karma have no meaning in this stage.
It is the human conscience that enables him to distinguish between the self and the supreme soul. But during supreme asceticism, this conscience no longer exists. When this state of supreme asceticism attains stability, the spirit comes to stay in its original form and illuminates the inner ambience of the practitioner. All the miseries, sorrows, and sins are destroyed at this stage.
Such practitioners, who have attained unification with the supreme soul remain free from miseries of mundane matters and attain salvation after death.

PERFECTIONS OF YOGA

A practitioner of Yoga spontaneously acquires certain perfections. Though these perfections are more like hurdles in the way to salvation, nor are they the goal of the practitioner, yet he acquires them spontaneously. Moreover, perfections have more prestige in the society. Lord Himself is a treasure of all the perfections; hence He is worshipped by all. But, a practitioner of Yoga must see that no ego or superiority complex should ever enter his mind. He should not use his perfections to show miraculous tricks. Such practices cause deviation of the practitioner from the path to reconciliation and salvation. He, if ever, should use his perfections for the benefit of humanity only and for no other purpose. It would be better however for a practitioner to keep his perfections secret.
Perfection is nothing but extraordinary changes in the body, sense organs and conscience of the practitioner. Perfection has different kinds as per its origin. Perfection present from the birth is congenital perfection.
As for example, flying in the air is congenital perfection of the birds. Some perfections arise due to the effect of previous births. Specific use of certain medicinal compounds can also give rise to perfection. Mantras also have power to give rise to perfection. Penance and postures are other means to acquire perfection in reconciliation state.

HURDLES IN THE PATH OF YOGA

In reconciliation state, many kinds of hurdles forcibly arise in the mind of the practitioner. It is advisable that, the practitioner should ignore and slowly abandon these hurdles. Maharshi Patanjali has recognized nine hurdles. These are- diseases, inability of mind, doubt, procrastination, laziness, over-indulgence in comforts, confusion, non-attainment of reconciliation and amazement.

DISEASE :

Presence of even slightest form of diseases puts great hurdles in the path of Yoga. Most of the diseases arise due to imbalance between cough, bile and wind in the body. When a disease is present in the body, the body puts its whole strength fighting against the disease. Mind also assists the body in combating the disease and hence cannot be inclined towards Yoga.

INABILITY OF MIND :

Despite having a desire of training Yoga, a practitioner finds himself unable to concentrate on the practice of Yoga. It is because of inability of the practitioners mind that thinks more about the adversities than concentrating on Yoga.

DOUBT :

Disbelief in the competence of a discipline is doubt. A doubt in the whole discipline of Yoga keeps a practitioner away from its practice.

PROCRASTINATION :

Not making efforts to practice Yoga or putting it off to take it up on some fine day or at some fine moment keeps the practitioner from starting the practice of Yoga.

LAZINESS :

An imbalance in the three major elements- Vaata (wind), Pitha (bile) and Kapha (cough) results in lethargy. Lethargy in turn disinclines the practitioner from the practice of Yoga.

OVER-INDULGENCE IN COMFORTS :

If someone tries to practice Yoga surrounded by scores of comforts, he is prone to be drawn by them. Such a temptation for comforts has always been a main hurdle in the path of Yoga. It prevents the conscience of the practitioner from introspecting. Even if, with great efforts, he manages to achieve some retrospection, comforts stimulate him and make him seek for comforts. Even perfection achieved through Yoga is not totally immune from the attraction of comforts. Hence, as far as possible, a practitioner of Yoga must not even imagine about the comforts.

CONFUSION :

Sometimes, a practitioner comes to believe in some kind of prejudiced thought and is not ready to change it even when he faces the truth. Such a kind of belief always tends to disincline the practitioner from the path of Yoga. Yoga therefore demands unconditional faith in its philosophy before someone begins to practice it.

NON-ATTAINMENT OF RECONCILIATION :

More than often, despite continuous practice, a practitioner fails to attain reconciliation. Such failure causes dissatisfaction in the mind of the practitioner. And a dissatisfied practitioner can never be able to introspect.

AMAZEMENT :

Occasionally, a practitioner finds himself amazing on the attainment of perfection through continuous practice of Yoga. Such a condition also leads to an unstable mind of the practitioner. Such a practitioner is not able to concentrate further on his efforts to practice Yoga and achieve more perfection.

UNIFICATION WITH SUPREME SOUL

The significance of Yoga has been accepted by all the disciplines. Yoga is itself, supreme soul or an equivalent to Him.

According to Patanjal Yoga, complete restraining of all the tendencies and unifying the mind and soul with that supreme soul is the ultimate state of Yoga. This condition marks the true state of reconciliation. Treatises of Yoga describe the significance of reconciliation thus -

PRASANKHYAANE API AKUSIDASYA SARVATHAAVIVEKHYATEH
DHARMAMEGHAH SAMAADHIH ||


Meaning- Attaining of reconciliation through continuous practice of Yoga causes thousands of religion-like streams to flow in the mind of the practitioner. Authorities therefore term reconciliation as Dharma Medha.

According to the scholars, the practice of Yoga is highly beneficial for all types of practitioners. They regard introspection through Yoga as the supreme religion.

AYAMTU PARMO DHARMOM YAD YOGENAATMADARSHANAM

Introspection is synonymous with unification with God. A true Yogi, who has succeeded in introspection, always sees the supreme soul everywhere. Earthly objects and desires are then meaningless for him. There is no sin or grace for him. The supreme soul is all that matters for a true Yogi. Hence, Yoga is the only way to achieve salvation from the world that is full of sorrows and miseries. Achievement of complete Yoga is the supreme goal of human life.

MAHARSHI PATANJALI ORIGINATOR OF YOGA

Maharshi Patanjali is the proto-originator of Yoga Darshan. He has a place of repute among all the sages. Scriptures describe his birth as direct descend from the heaven. As the tale says, once, when his father was offering oblations to his ancestors, Maharshi Patanjali descended from the heaven and fell on his palms.
Maharshi Patanjali has many treatises to his credit among which, Yoga Darshan is the main. He has even authored Charak Samhita, the great treatise devoted to ancient Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda. Patanjali has also written a commentary on Ashttadhyaayi, the authentic Sanskrit grammar. This commentary is so vast that, it has come to be known as Mahabhashya.
Yoga Darshan of Patanjali is the basic treatise of the philosophy of Yoga. None other than Vedvyasa has written a commentary on Yoga Darshan. This commentary is known as Sankhya Pravachan Bhashya. Not satisfied with this work alone, Vedvyasa integrated Yogasutra into Puranas also. All these works establish Maharshi Patanjali as the originator of Yoga.
No doubt, Yoga Darshan is an ancient philosophy and a practical discipline that enables its practitioner to achieve many spiritual, physical and metaphysical perfection. Through these perfections, a person can learn about his previous births and future life.
All the evidences as well as scriptures authored by him clearly show that Maharshi Patanjali was immortal and ever-youth personality. For the benefit of people only, he embodied his philosophy in treatise form. Practical application of Yoga is being accepted not only in modern India but also in the whole world. More and more people are now taking to the practice of Yoga to improve the quality of their lives. In fact, there is nothing wrong or harmful in Yoga.
All the religions also preach about non-violence, truthfulness, celibacy, holiness, and love for all. These same things are the primary teachings of Yoga. It is the divine duty of whole humanity to take up Yoga and march towards supreme joy. Only then, success of human life can be assured.

PHILOSOPHY OF YOGA IN CHARAK SAMHITA

Charak Samhita is also accepted as the creation of Maharshi Patanjali. Basically, it is an Ayurvedic treatise but it contains profuse description of Yoga Darshan.
FORM OF YOGA :
Total control of the mind is Yoga. Hence, in complete reconciliation, ones mind unifies with the supreme soul and the practitioner achieves total control of his desires. Ayurveda generously accept the principles of Yoga.
As long as, the soul ha a contact with the mind and the sense organs, one feels sorrow and happiness. When, mind takes refuge in the soul, feelings of sorrow and happiness exist no longer. This annihilation of mind in the soul and through it in the supreme soul has been termed as Yoga. Thus, the mind and the soul remain in continuous contact. Only, at the time of salvation does the soul get free from the shackles of mind. When a soul deserts a body and finds a new one, it takes the elements of the previous body with it. Only a true Yogi can see this. Ordinary people can't even experience this transformation.
Mind is not as pervasive as the soul but appears so because of its fickle nature. The mind, sense organs and the soul have a deep inter-relation and this is the main reason why the soul experiences sorrow and joy. Ayurveda describes control of sense organs as the main means for freedom from diseases.
Wherever the mind goes, one feels the sorrow and joy. The mind has a presence in the whole body. Hence, the body experiences pains. The mind is not present in the head and body hairs and the tips of the nails. Hence, these organs do not feel pain. According to Ayurveda, the whole body including the mind is an abode of pains. In Yoga, when one attains salvation, all the pains are destroyed. Hence, Yoga is a means to achieve salvation as well. But, it is not salvation in itself.

STAGES OF THE MIND :
Maharshi Patanjali describes about five stages of the mind. These are- Murha,Kshipta, Vikshipta, Ekagra and Niruddha. Our mind continuously works on the inputs received as sound and sight and intelligence. In fact, the whole world is a manifestation of a human mind. All the great inventions and discoveries first took shape in the mind of a human being. In fact, human mind continuously changes its stage through Satva, Raja and Tama virtues. In these different stages, the mind has different characteristics. Ayurveda extensively describes about these stages of mind. This psychology had as much importance in the past as it has today.
SYMPTOMS OF THE MIND :
Having knowledge or not having it is the main characteristic of the mind. The mind gains knowledge through its continuous contact with the soul, the sense organs and the various objects that the sense organs perceive. Thus, it acts as a bridge in the process of gaining knowledge. Sense organs too are dictated by the mind to gain knowledge about the earthly objects.
WORK OF THE MIND:
Mind is itself senseless and unable to act on its own. Yet, because of having a contact with the soul, the mind is regarded as the center of all the actions. Mind is highly fickle and motile and it constantly controls the body and the sense organs. Hence, human being never feels at peace.
Ayurveda describes the work of the mind as follows- gaining knowledge through contact with the sense organs, controlling the body and the sense organs, reflecting and contemplating, meditating etc. All the things start as a thought in the mind. Mind then stimulates the intelligence.
The body comes into action at the last. Minds work has been described as of two kinds- Praakrit (natural) and Vikrit (unnatural). Praakrit work has constructive consequences whereas Vikrit work has destructive consequences. Feelings like Kama,(indulgence in pleasures), Krodh (anger), Ahankar (ego), Irshya (jealousy), Lobha (greed), Moha (affection), Bhaya (fear) and Chinta (anxiety) are the kinds of unnatural work and the cause of most of the mental disorders.
THE PATH TO SALVATION :
Maharshi Patanjali describes Yoga as the path to salvation. According to him, Yoga is nothing but total restraining of the motion of the mind. He has been preached Ashtang Yoga for the controlling of mind. The exponents of Ayurveda also instruct these same principles for the treatment of physical and mental diseases. Yama (restraints), Niyama (regulations), Aasana (postures), Pranayam (control of breath), Pratyahar (control of sense organs), Dhyaan (meditation) and Samadhi (reconciliation) are the eight rungs of the ladder called Yoga.
Charak Samhita describes some simplest ways to achieve salvation. These include serving gentle people, deserting bad company, observing fast, following pious regulations, studying religious scriptures, liking for solitude, observing patience and unifying the mind with God. Ones behavior encompassing all these things automatically embraces the eight parts of Yoga.

PRACTICE AND ASCETICISM

The supreme soul is present in every living creature as the microcosm. But, the creature believes that his soul is the property of his body. Such a kind of belief cultivates ego. Emergence of ego in ones conscience is the first symptom of an inevitable fall. By continuous reflection and contemplation that the soul is a part of the supreme soul, the creature can be free of the ego. He then begins to see the God everywhere. He dedicates all of his actions to the God.
Determined controlling of the desires is the true asceticism. Reflection and contemplation about desires are the radical causes of sorrow. Hence, desires must be expelled out of the mind. One must cultivate the feeling of friendship with well-to-do people and a feeling of pity for less fortunate people. Similarly, one must be pleased with pious people and ignore the evil ones. Such a practice removes the blemishes of the mind and purifies it. Charak Samhita and Yoga Darshan equally emphasize on this behavior.

PHILOSOPHY OF YOGA IN CHARAK SAMHITA

Charak Samhita is also accepted as the creation of Maharshi Patanjali. Basically, it is an Ayurveda treatise but it contains profuse description of Yoga Darshan.
FORM OF YOGA :
Total control of the mind is Yoga. Hence, in complete reconciliation, ones mind unifies with the supreme soul and the practitioner achieves total control of his desires. Ayurveda generously accept the principles of Yoga.
As long as, the soul ha a contact with the mind and the sense organs, one feels sorrow and happiness. When, mind takes refuge in the soul, feelings of sorrow and happiness exist no longer. This annihilation of mind in the soul and through it in the supreme soul has been termed as Yoga. Thus, the mind and the soul remain in continuous contact. Only, at the time of salvation does the soul get free from the shackles of mind. When a soul deserts a body and finds a new one, it takes the elements of the previous body with it. Only a true Yogi can see this. Ordinary people can't even experience this transformation.
Mind is not as pervasive as the soul but appears so because of its fickle nature. The mind, sense organs and the soul have a deep inter-relation and this is the main reason why the soul experiences sorrow and joy. Ayurveda describes control of sense organs as the main means for freedom from diseases.
Wherever the mind goes, one feels the sorrow and joy. The mind has a presence in the whole body. Hence, the body experiences pains. The mind is not present in the head and body hairs and the tips of the nails. Hence, these organs do not feel pain. According to Ayurveda, the whole body including the mind is an abode of pains. In Yoga, when one attains salvation, all the pains are destroyed. Hence, Yoga is a means to achieve salvation as well. But, it is not salvation in itself.
STAGES OF THE MIND :
Maharshi Patanjali describes about five stages of the mind. These are- Murha,Kshipta, Vikshipta, Ekagra and Niruddha. Our mind continuously works on the inputs received as sound and sight and intelligence. In fact, the whole world is a manifestation of a human mind. All the great inventions and discoveries first took shape in the mind of a human being. In fact, human mind continuously changes its stage through Satva, Raja and Tama virtues. In these different stages, the mind has different characteristics. Ayurveda extensively describes about these stages of mind. This psychology had as much importance in the past as it has today.
SYMPTOMS OF THE MIND :
Having knowledge or not having it is the main characteristic of the mind. The mind gains knowledge through its continuous contact with the soul, the sense organs and the various objects that the sense organs perceive. Thus, it acts as a bridge in the process of gaining knowledge. Sense organs too are dictated by the mind to gain knowledge about the earthly objects.
WORK OF THE MIND:
Mind is itself senseless and unable to act on its own. Yet, because of having a contact with the soul, the mind is regarded as the center of all the actions. Mind is highly fickle and motile and it constantly controls the body and the sense organs. Hence, human being never feels at peace.
Ayurveda describes the work of the mind as follows- gaining knowledge through contact with the sense organs, controlling the body and the sense organs, reflecting and contemplating, meditating etc. All the things start as a thought in the mind. Mind then stimulates the intelligence.
The body comes into action at the last. Minds work has been described as of two kinds- Praakrit (natural) and Vikrit (unnatural). Praakrit work has constructive consequences whereas Vikrit work has destructive consequences. Feelings like Kama, (indulgence in pleasures), Krodh (anger), Ahankar (ego), Irshya (jealousy), Lobha (greed), Moha (affection), Bhaya (fear) and Chinta (anxiety) are the kinds of unnatural work and the cause of most of the mental disorders.
THE PATH TO SALVATION :
Maharshi Patanjali describes Yoga as the path to salvation. According to him, Yoga is nothing but total restraining of the motion of the mind. He has been preached Ashtang Yoga for the controlling of mind. The exponents of Ayurveda also instruct these same principles for the treatment of physical and mental diseases. Yama (restraints), Niyama (regulations), Aasana (postures), Pranayam (control of breath), Pratyahar (control of sense organs), Dhyaan (meditation) and Samadhi (reconciliation) are the eight rungs of the ladder called Yoga.
Charak Samhita describes some simplest ways to achieve salvation. These include serving gentle people, deserting bad company, observing fast, following pious regulations, studying religious scriptures, liking for solitude, observing patience and unifying the mind with God. Ones behavior encompassing all these things automatically embraces the eight parts of Yoga.

PRACTICE AND ASCETICISM

The supreme soul is present in every living creature as the microcosm. But, the creature believes that his soul is the property of his body. Such a kind of belief cultivates ego. Emergence of ego in ones conscience is the first symptom of an inevitable fall. By continuous reflection and contemplation that the soul is a part of the supreme soul, the creature can be free of the ego. He then begins to see the God everywhere. He dedicates all of his actions to the God.
Determined controlling of the desires is the true asceticism. Reflection and contemplation about desires are the radical causes of sorrow. Hence, desires must be expelled out of the mind. One must cultivate the feeling of friendship with well-to-do people and a feeling of pity for less fortunate people. Similarly, one must be pleased with pious people and ignore the evil ones. Such a practice removes the blemishes of the mind and purifies it. Charak Samhita and Yoga Darshan equally emphasize on this behavior.

 

 

Patanjili Yoga