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Yoga

  • Yoga deals with providing answers (based on practice) to the basic quests of life.
  • It leads to the unification of the web of dualities and bipolar existence.
  • Various aspects of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) namely rituals, mantra japa, music, dance, etc. are also connected to the process of Yoga.
  • The important tools of a human being namely mind, breath, speech, and body are used in the process of yoga to achieve God Realization, thereby, resulting in pure bliss.
  • Yoga is not merely restricted to poses or asanas and acrobatic postures with impressive demonstrations. Indeed, the sole purpose of yoga is to meditate and start the journey for self-realization.

Yoga can be explained in different forms. They are:

  • Bhakti Yoga (Devotion)
  • Karma Yoga (Selfless effort to achieve)
  • Mantra Yoga (Mantra chanting)
  • Naada Yoga (hearing transcendental sacred cosmic vibrations)
  • Raja or Ashtanga Yoga (eight-limb methodology)
  • Jnana Yoga (self-realization and identifying)

Another way of differentiation is explained as:

  • Yama – Human conduct towards others
  • Niyama – Ethical conduct towards own self
  • Asanas – Aim to increase focus by different poses
  • Pranayama – Breathing exercises used to control mind
  • Pratyahara – Effort to withdraw one’s attention from self(body and senses)
  • Dharana – Concentration of mind
  • Dhyana – Practice of Meditation
  • Samadhi – Uninterruptable introspection of self and reality

The five modes of acquiring knowledge described by Patanjali Maharishi in his book “Patanjali Sutra” are:

  • Pramana (true cognition based on three means of validity namely direct perception, inference and verbal testimony from a trustworthy person)
  • Viparyaya (false cognition)
  • Vikalpa (merely verbal-based cognition)
  • Nidra (through sleep)
  • Smriti (through memory)gh sleep)
  • Smriti (through memory)

Also, various operations of the mind (referred as vrittis) are given by five modes. Among these, the three undesirable modes are:

  • Kshipta in which mind is wavering through happy, turbulent and unhappy states.
  • Moodha in which mind is operating in negative states.
  • Vikshipta in which mind appears positive but can be taken over by the negative tendencies.

The two desirable states are:

  • Ekaagra in which single-minded absorption in God (Paramaatman).
  • Niruddha, which is beyond the state of single-mindedness with a total restraint of mental operation.
  • It is also important to note that Maharishi Patanjali has given the various obstacles that a seeker would face in one’s own all-round development and the final realization through Yoga.

The two desirable states are:

  • Disease (Vyaadhi)
  • Mental laziness (Styana)
  • Doubt (Samshaya)
  • Lack of enthusiasm and delusion (Pramaada)
  • Lethargy (Aalasya)
  • Reluctance to give up the craving for sense pleasures (Avirati)
  • Erroneous perception (Bhranti-Darshana)
  • Despair due to progress in concentration (Alabdha Bhoomikatva)
  • Inability of retaining a level of concentration once obtained (Anavasthitatva)