Sutra : Tasya Vcakah Praavah
Translation: Isvara is the Sanskrit word for pure awareness, and is represented by the sound of OM, the universal vibration that connects us all.
In a world of T-shirts proclaiming Namaste Bitches and a focus on the physical side of yoga rather than a full practice, it is important to build a foundation of pure awareness. OM is more than the sound you make when meditating. It is a reminder of the source of knowledge and creativity.;
To Begin To Live Your Yoga
Learning the Sutra isnt just about putting asana into the wider perspective of yoga, though. Its also about looking at what it means to practice yoga within the context of life as a whole. Yoga is not only a practice, but also a state of being. Patanjali provides us with guidelines for living a yogic life, including standards of ethics and self-conduct, so that we can know what it feels like to live and act in harmony and integrity with our highest values, even when we face difficulty. This may be the greatest gift of all.
About Our ExpertsJudith Hanson Lasater, PhD, PT, has been teaching yoga since 1971.;She;trains;students and teachers throughout the United States as well as abroad, is one of the founders of;Yoga Journal;magazine, and is president of the California Yoga Teachers Association. She has written eight;books. Learn more at;judithhansonlasater.com.
Raised in San Francisco and trained as a designer,;Lizzie Lasater, MArch, RYT, teaches yoga internationally and online. She sometimes jokes that shes been practicing yoga since the womb because her mom, Judith Hanson Lasater, has been teaching since before Lizzies birth. Lizzie lives in the Alps with her Austrian husband. You can find her schedule and classes at;lizzielasater.com.
The Yoga Sutras Today
Knowing more about how and why yoga developed the way it did doesnt discredit a contemporary version of the teachings. The interpretation of philosophy, just like asana, must be allowed to evolve to suit the modern yogi or else it will become obsolete.
Perhaps the best known of the sutras is the second one: yoga citta vritti nirodha. While each of these words has a number of possible translations, Millers is Yoga is the cessation of the turnings of thought. Although Patanjali was almost certainly not talking about the effects of the physical practice as we know it, this definition is a very apt description of the effect yoga asana has on the mind. Perhaps the Yoga Sutras continue to be taught today because they continue to resonate with us, regardless of their indirect route to the mat.
Liv x For much more information, check out these sources:
Miller, Barbara Stoler. Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali. University of California Press, 1996.
Singleton, Mark.;Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. Oxford University Press, 2010.
White, David Gordon. The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography. Princeton University Press, 2014.
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Above And Beyond The Eight Limbs
There is a phase in Patanjalis teaching that does not appear in most modern teachings that leads to release from torture.;
This condition is known as nirbija-samadhi, which is now translated as seedless contemplation, with the seeds being thoughts that produce more thoughts. While we may assume that this is the cosmic unity we connect with the completion of the eight limbs, sources clarify that the goal of Patanjalis Yoga is the complete separation of the human spirit from the materiality of the world.
When this happens, the spirit can extend indefinitely and perform what we would consider supernatural activities.
Book One: Samadhi Pada Contemplation
On starting a journey towards becoming a yogi, we have to at least be aware of how our perception and others perceptions have made an impression on how we make up our mind up about things, judge things and then make decisions or act based on these perceptions.
We may directly experience something for ourselves or trust in the recounting or hearsay from another whom we trust. We may also not know something as we think we do if we have wrongly perceived something. We may believe in something that simply is not fact. We may recall or recollect something, which as we know, can be selective.
It is the goal of the yogi to base perception on truth. This could mean that we are not to be influenced by external stimuli, wants or desires with the aim of hearing something, observing something and not drawing erroneous conclusions. It might mean to see something for what it is and not be swayed by a perceived connection or feelings of attachment.
We can strive to practice non-attachment in order to be free from influence and to steady the mind. This can become easier by balancing the Gunas, which are qualities of energy and represented by Tamas , Rajas and Sattva . The eventual outcome might be to even become free from the Influence of the Gunas to reach a state of Samprajnata Samadhi or distinguished contemplation.
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Sutra : Yoga And Focus Of The Mind
Questioner: Sadhguru, Patanjalis second Yoga Sutra says, yogash chitta vritti nirodhah, which could be translated as Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively towards an object and sustain that direction without any distractions. What does this really mean?
Sadhguru: This is called . Dharana means there is you and an object, and you are entirely focused on that object. If you focus on it absolutely, after some time, only you will be there, or only the object will be there. This is called , which is the next stage of focus. If you can hold the state of dhyana, after some time, neither you nor the object will be there. There will be some other huge presence. This is called . These are progressive states of practice.
When we say, Hold your attention on an object, people think they have to worship a god or do something in particular. No, you can focus on a flower, a leaf, a grain of sand, a worm it does not matter. But if you want to hold your attention on something, it must inspire a certain level of passion and emotion in you. Only then will your attention stay there. Why is it that it is so difficult for students to keep their attention on the textbook, but if there is a girl in the neighborhood that a boy is interested in, you do not have to tell him, Think about her? He anyway stays focused on her, because there is a certain emotion behind it.
A version of this article was originally published in Forest Flower, August 2018.
Who Was Patanjali The Sage Behind The Yoga Sutra
The truth is that nobody really knows much about Patanjali. We dont even know exactly when the sage lived. Some practitioners believe he lived around the second century BCE and also wrote significant works on Ayurveda and Sanskrit grammar, making him something of a Renaissance man.;
But based on their analyses of the language and the teaching of the sutras, modern scholars place Patanjali in the second or third century CE and ascribe the medical essays and grammar to various other Patanjalis.
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But Who Was Patanjali
We dont know a lot about Patanjali. It is possible that he was a sage who wrote or channeled the Yoga Sutras. It is also possible that Patanjalis teachings were actually compiled by his students who attributed the Yoga Sutras to him. It also could be that Patanjali himself was a mythological figure. The people living in the Indus Valley at the time were not as concerned with historically accurate data as we are. Through their writings they were concerned with communicating a deeper universal truth. Simply because something was not factually accurate did not mean it was not true.
Of course, it could also be that the following legend is true.
Once upon a time there was a lovely woman named Anjali who wished for a child. She prayed and prayed to the god Vishnu, the Sustainer, that he would bless her with a child.
Well, on this particular day it had come to Vishnus attention that the world was in distress. Things were not so bad that Vishnu felt the need to go to earth himself as an avatar, but they were bad enough that the other deities were pressuring him to do something. In his frustration, he pushed Ananda, his serpent-couch, over the edge of heaven.
Ananda was so surprised; he did not have time to fully change into human form as he descended to earth. He fell farther and farther. Right into Anjalis praying hands!
The Four Chapters Of Patanjali Sutras
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are divided into the following four chapters:
1. Samadhi pada: Defines yoga but is intended to help individuals who are near to achieving samadhi, or self-realization.
2, Sadhana pada: Describes the eight stages that must be followed to progress spiritually. This chapter is written for the average individual.;
Most yogis utilize the eightfold path as a guide for yogic life; therefore, its arguably the most essential of all the chapters. This encompasses ethical, moral behavior, asana, pranayama, sensory mastery, concentration, meditation, and self-realization, all of which are completed in this order.
3. Vibhuti Pada The eight siddhis or supernatural powers that a yogi can obtain in the highest degrees of spiritual development are described and warned against in Vibhuti pada.
4. Kaivalya pada: Defines how to exist in the world without being influenced by the three gunas or energy qualities.;
These four chapters, taken together, look at a persons total development in action, thought, and speech. Patanjalis Yoga Sutras are one of the most widely cited sources of yogic wisdom since they give the ultimate instruction manual for yoga and spiritual development.
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What Actually Means Sutra In Ysp
Sutra is a term that is used in various traditions to denote the teachings of spiritual masters. In Sanskrit literature , the literal translation of the term Sutra is Aphorism.
According to Yourdictionary :
An aphorism is a brief saying or phrase that expresses an opinion or makes a statement of wisdom without the flowery language of a proverb.
A Common AnalogySutra of YSP can be compared to a mathematical formula. Just like a mathematical formula is a short, definitive, & descriptive but brief form of large expression, the same way, Sutra of YSP has written in a short form of aphorisms that is easily memorable. One can elaborate it according to their understanding once Sutras meaning has known.
Sadhguru explains the term Sutra of YSP in the form of Thread.
Just like a thread is a base of a garland, no matter what kinds of flowers, beads, or diamonds you add into it, the thread is the most significant entity, But the beauty of a garland is because of flowers, beads, or diamonds, not because of thread.
In the same way, Sutra in YSP is the base of knowledge. But until you dont know how to apply this knowledge in your life, its just like an empty garland or a garland with thread only.
Patanjali Yoga Sutras Explained With Meanings
Yoga is one of the prominent forms of exercise that not only feeds our body but our mind and soul. Yoga has gained immense popularity in the 21st century, and every day we hear of some new form of yoga coming up. But ever heard of yoga sutras? Did you know that the root of the Yoga lies back in 400 CE or even before that? Sage Patanjali synthesized and organized the knowledge of yoga from the older tradition in the book called Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
It is a collection of 196 Sutras which have been further classified into 4 chapters namely the Samadhi Pada, the Sadhana Pada, the Vibhuti Pada, and the Kaivalya Pada and revolve around the 8 limbs of Yoga which is a detailed description on the theory and practice of Yoga. Translated into 40 Indian languages and 2 non-Indian languages the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the highest translated book of the medieval age. In this article, we have discussed the 8 significant limbs of Yoga. Here are yoga sutras explained for you.
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Book Two: Sadhana Pada Practice
In this book, Patanjali gives directions on how to lay the foundations for Samadhi by starting to build the layers brick by brick, and then to have your house in order to be ready to sit and receive. We can try to minimize and overcome obstacles to realize life for what it is and to let go of attachment and aversions by dissipating the ego through meditation.
The Karmas are our experience, present and future, determined by our actions. A constant fluctuation of the Gunas results from discrimination between this and that and what we may like at one moment and have an aversion to the next. Suffering can be avoided with steady practice of non-attachment balanced in the Gunas. We can also detach from our perceptions to try to be free from ignorance less attachment, manipulation, and influence to live our real truth.
Practicing the Eight Limbs of Yoga can ready the mind, body and spirit for Samadhi or the superconscious state. We can practice Pratipaksha Bhavan, to cultivate a positive thought every time a negative thought enters the mind, in order to manifest and experience supreme joy and self-realization. We can practice asana to ready the body to sit with concentration for meditation to withdraw the senses focus on the external world of stimuli and come into the Self.
You Might Have Heard A Myth Or Two About Patanjalis Birth
Like many tales about the worlds spiritual heroes, the story of Patanjalis birth has assumed mythic dimensions. One version relates that in order to teach yoga on earth, he fell from heaven in the form of a little snake, into the upturned plans of his virgin mother, Gonika, herself a powerful yogini. Hes regarded as an incarnation of the thousand-headed serpent-king named Remainder or Endless , whose coils are said to support the god Vishnu.
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Pantanjali Might Have Been Several People
It seems odd to us, in this time of superstar teachers with their eponymous schools of So-and-So Yoga, that so little is known about Patanjali.;
But anonymity is typical of the great sages of ancient India. They recognized that their teaching was the outcome of a cooperative group effort that spanned several generations, and they refused to take credit for themselves, often attributing their work to some other, older teacher.
A Beginners Guide To Patanjalis Yoga Sutras
By Sarah Di Ganci for Yoga Medicine®.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali offer a succinct reference outline for the practitioner of yoga to mark their progress in their unique spiritual experience. Its a really comprehensive list of aims with which we can discover our Self in this world. If we see the world and all beings in it as one with our Self, then we can potentially be free from suffering and find even more freedom in remembering who we are really.
You could think of the Yoga Sutras as a reference book to pick up and find whichever Sutra may be more relevant in our lives at that moment. Sometimes we can read a whole book and remember a fraction of the content or misread something over and over again, but the information only reveals itself when were actively seeking knowledge in the context of lifes demands.
One of the beautiful things about Patanjalis writings is that they provide a unified multifaceted container of principles for the many schools of yoga and can be an encouragement to the enlightened or to the diamond in the spiritual rough. The text is always there to help us polish our practice of yoga, and this is my humble summary of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
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What Do The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali Mean
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a collection of four books written by Sage Patanjali to guide the reader through the trials and tribulations of self-discovery through yoga. The goal is to reconnect the mind and soul back to the physical body through self-reflection, mantras, and spiritual practices.;
Because the Yoga Sutras are more of a guide rather than an answer, they do not have a specific, universal meaning to them. Instead, they are welcoming to the fact that each person will have their own takeaways from the lessons and teachings. Regardless, one goal remains throughout the spiritual process: reconnection with the Self and liberation from stress caused by the disconnect of the spirit and the universe.
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History Of The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali
As far as the origin of the teachings that the sutras are based on, that remains a bit of a mystery. The assumption is that Patanjali collected all the thoughts, mantras, and teachings of yoga from generations before him.;
From these understandings, he organized the knowledge and applied his interpretation of the lessons he wished to instill in his students. It was from this gathering of knowledge that the Yoga Sutras were written by Patanjali around 400 BCE in India.;
Once the texts were complete, and people began following their guidance, it quickly became the most influential teaching of yoga and self-discovery. In the medieval era, it was translated into 42 languages, including Old Javanese and Arabic.;
Unfortunately, the teachings fell out of popularity for about 700 years. It wasnt until the 19th century that the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali gained fame once more thanks to the efforts of Swami Vivekananda, the Theosophical Society, and others. In the 20th century, along with the growing popularity of yoga as a practice of meditation and stress relief, it gained popularity once more and is now available to the general public. .
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