Patanjali Yoga Sutras
Legend says that Patanjali descended to Earth in the form of a snake, into his virgin mother, Gonika, herself a powerful yogini. He is generally depicted as half human and half serpent. His hands are blessing and greeting the ones who have approached him for yoga guidelines. He is the patron saint of dance. Some believe that he wrote a treatise on ayurvedic medicine. He is the Author of the Yoga Sutras.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is a collection of 196 Indian sūtras (aphorisms) that are the foundation of Rāja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation.
This ancient Hindu text became the most important text on Yoga, teaching
The eight limbs (steps) as a path of realization of the Divine
- Restraint: nonviolence, not lying, not stealing, not lusting, and non-attachment
- Observances: cleanliness, contentment, discipline, self-study, and surrender to the Supreme
- Posture or physical exercises
- Breath control
- Sublimation or withdrawal from the senses
Sutras are considered to have the most concise and precise definitions of Yoga practices and the ways of how to practice meditation.
Patanjali About the Science of Yoga
- Yoga is the cessation of the movements of the mind. Then there is abiding in the Seer's own form
Patanjali About Wisdom
- For those who have an intense urge for wisdom, it sits near them, waiting
Patanjali about practices that lead to God
- Purification, self-inquiry, and surrender to god are the practices that lead to Unity. These practices cultivate awareness and remove the afflictions that obstruct Realization of Truth.
Patanjali About Calmness of Mind
- Undisturbed calmness of mindis attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.
Patanjali About Consciousness Silence and Knowldge
- When consciousness is silent, the seer (atma) radiates in his own grandeur.
- Correct knowledge is dependent upon direct perception, inference and authoritative scriptural testimony.
- Incorrect knowledge is mistaking the identity of one thing for the other or one object for another.
- Practice and detachment are the means to still the consciousness.
- Practice is an effort to still the mind’s fluctuations in order to silence the consciousness.
- Long, uninterrupted, alert practice is the firm foundation for stabilizing the consciousness.
Patanjali About Awareness
- The witness is Self, pure awareness, which, though boundless and unchanging, appears to perceive creation through the construct of mind.
- The identification of pure awareness with the mind and the creations of the mind causes the apprehension of both an objective world and a perceiver of it.
Patanjali About eight limbs of yoga
- The eight means of yoga are self-restraint, faithful observance, right posture, intentional breathing, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation and awareness.
Patanjali About Meditation
- When the mind withdraws attention from sense experience, the senses receive no impressions from sense objects, and awareness rests in its essential nature.
- Concentration, meditation, reflection. These three constitute samyama—detached awareness. Through mastery of samyama, the essence of wisdom is illuminated.
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