The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a collection of 196 Sutras, (aphorisms) dictionary translation ‘i quote’ a concise statement of a scientific principle, typically by a classical author.
The Yoga Sutras were composed before 400CE by Sage Patanjali who arranged the knowledge of Yoga from older traditions.
In the 20th century, modern day yogi raised the Yoga Sutras to a position it never knew before.
Prayer Of Pantanjali:
I will quote the prayer verbatim hopefully it will give some insight.
Normally like to give my opinion on things but i will keep it to my final thoughts at the end, due to the importance of the scriptures may i say in some ways similar to the religious scriptures of western civilization.
“I bow before the noblest of sages, Pantanjali, who brought serenity of mind by his work on yoga, clarity of speech by his work on grammar and purity of body by his work on medicine”.
“I salute Adisvara (the Primeval Lord Siva) who taught first science of Hatha Yoga – a science that stands out as a ladder for those who wish to scale the heights of Raja Yoga”.
What Is Yoga?
The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning to bind, join, attach and yoke, to direct one’s attention on, to use and apply.
It also means union or communion.
Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy.
It was Patanjali who compiled all the information in to his classical work, the Yoga Sutras.
One who follows the path of Yoga is a yogi or yogin.
In the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita which is the most supreme authority on Yoga philosophy, Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna the meaning of Yoga as a liberation from contact with pain and sorrow.
The study of Yoga is not like working for a university degree it is a life long journey which can be assisted by a Guru (The syllable gu means darkness and the ru means light.
The Guru is the one alone ,who removes darkness, and brings enlightment.
The Guru is a significant person, and is not an ordinary guide, he is a spiritual teacher who teaches a way of life.
In the second aphorism of the first chapter of the Yoga Sutras,
Pantanjali describes Yoga as “chitta vrtti nirodhah”. “K. Taimni translates this as:
“Yoga is the silencing of the modifications of the mind”.
The difficulty of controlling the mind is not competent of easy solution, is carried out by the following communication in the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.
Arjuna asks Sri Krishna: “Krishna, you have told me of Yoga as a communion with Brahman ( the Universal Spirit), which is ever one.
But how can this be permanent, since the mind is so restless and inconsistent?
The mind is impetuous and stubborn, strong and willful, as difficult to harness as the wind.
“Sri Krishna replies: “Undoubtedly, the mind is restless and hard to control. But it can be trained by constant practice (abhyasa) and by freedom from desire (vairaggya).
A man who cannot control his mind will find it difficult to attain this divine communion; but the self-controlled can attain it if he tries hard and directs his energy by the right means.”
The Stages Of Yoga:
The right methods are just as crucial as the end perspective.
Patanjali list these means, as the eight limbs or stages of Yoga in the search for the soul.
1. Yama: (universal moral commandments);
2. Niyama (self purification by discipline);
3. Asana (posture);
4. Pranayama (rhythmic control of the breath);
5. Pratyahara (withdrawal and emancipation of the mind from the domination of the senses and exterior objects);
6. Dharana (concentration);
7. Dhayana (meditation) and
8. Samadhi (a state of super-consciousness brought about by profound meditation, in which the individual aspirant (sadhaka) becomes one with the object of his meditation –
Paramatma or the Universal Spirit).
These 8 limbs are the foundation of the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali.
Song Of The Soul:
“I am neither ego nor reason, I am neither mind nor thought,
I cannot be heard nor cast into words ,
nor by smell nor sight ever caught:
In light and wind I am not found, nor yet in earth and sky-
Consciousness and joy incarnate, Bliss of the Blissful am I.
I have no name, I have no life, I breathe no vital air,
No elements have moulded me, no bodily sheath is my lair:
I have no speech, no hands and feet, nor means of evoloution-
Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss in dissoloution.
I cast aside hatred and passion, I conquered delusion and greed;
No touch of pride caressed me, so envy never did breed:
Beyond all faiths, past reach of wealth, past freedom, past desire,
Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss is my attire.
Virtue and vice, or pleasure and pain are not my heritage,
Nor sacred texts, nor offerings, nor prayer, nor pilgrimage: I am neither food, nor eating, nor yet the eater am I-
Consciousness and joy incarnate,
Bliss of the Blissful am I.
I have no misgiving of death, no chasms of race divide me,
No parent ever called me child, no bond of birth ever tied me:
I am neither disciple nor master, I have no Kin, no friend-
Consciousness and joy am I, and merging in Bliss is my end.
Neither knowable, knowledge, nor knower am I, formless is my form,
I dwell within senses but they are not my home:
Ever serenely balanced, I am neither free nor bound –
Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss where i am found”.
The Study of the Yoga Sutras is for some of us a lifelong practice, are way of life most of us may never understand.
While researching the Yoga Sutras i came across considerable information, which is relevant to this blog needless to say, i would love to include this information in further blogs.
As the subject could stand alone as the compelleing history of the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.
I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.
I’m happy to help any way that I can.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet