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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 certain 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)