Legend of Patanjali
Patanjali compiled the Yoga Sutras, which contain aphorisms regarding the philosophy of consciousness and mind. In recent times, the Yoga Sutras have become popular all over the world as they deal with the philosophy and practice of Raja Yoga. In Hinduism, yoga refers to the practice of inner contemplation, meditation, ethics and devotion to Brahman or God. This article reveals the fascinating
legend of Patanjali.
Story of Patanjali
Patanjali is believed to have lived in India around 150 B.C. He based his Yoga Sutras loosely on the Upanishads. The Yoga Sutras contain 196 concise sayings delineating yogic principles. This tome reveals the physical and moral discipline required for a person to attain freedom from the self and the body.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
This invaluable tome is divided into four chapters:
1. Samadhi Pada
– Samadhi means a state of bliss in which the meditator is absorbed in his consciousness. This chapter reveals what is samadhi and the means to attain it. Samadhi Pada contains the famous verse: Yoga is restraining mental modifications.
2. Sadhana Pada
– Sadhana means discipline or practice. In this chapter, Patanjali reveals two types of yoga: karma yoga (yoga of action) and ashtanga yoga (eight-limbed yoga). Karma yoga features in the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna exhorts Arjuna to act selflessly, without hankering for the fruits of his actions. Ashtanga yoga consists of eight limbs that make up Raja Yoga.
3. Vibhuti Pada
– Vibhuti means manifestation or power. It is believed that a conscientious yoga practitioner can get supranormal powers. But, one should avoid hankering after such powers and focus solely on attaining liberation.
4. Kaivalya Pada
– Kaivalya means moksha or liberation. This is the ultimate aim of yoga. Kaivalya Pada reveals the true nature of liberation.
The eight steps of ashtanga yoga are given below:
This refers to five abstentions, which are the same as the five Jain vows.
refers to five observances such as cleanliness, austerity, etc.
This refers to yogic postures that keep the body disease-free and preserve vital energy.
These are breathing techniques that control the breath and mind. Pranayama steadies the body and mind, and helps concentration.
This is sense withdrawal from external objects.
This is concentration and focus on a particular object, such as candle flame or a divine image.
This refers to steadfast meditation.
This is a state in which the meditator becomes one with their object of meditation.