Yoga as per Patanjali Yoga Sutra

Yoga as per Patanjali Yoga Sutra

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Yoga as per Patanjali Yoga Sutra

Today we are going to discuss the Meaning of Yoga as per Patanjali Yoga Sutra. In today’s Modern world, Yoga has become an alternate fitness activity for many fitness freaks. But very few practitioners know the true meaning of Yoga. We generally define yoga as Asanas or Yoga Postures, which helps us to stay fit, cures many physical disorders, improves flexibility and so on.

But my friends, Yoga is far more than that.

Yoga is a complete journey from your body to your soul.  Yoga is not just a fitness activity. It is a Science to keep your Body healthy, Philosophy to Purify your mind and a Way of Living that takes your soul to the state of Enlightenment.

Why yoga is called a journey from the body to the soul? Because without knowing your body well and controlling its activities you cannot control your mind. And without complete mind control, your soul cannot achieve the state of Enlightenment.

Many yoga institutes and teachers teach only the physical part of the Hatha yoga and Yogasanas under the pretext of yoga training. Even while explaining the logical Part, the emphasis is laid upon diseases, which can be eliminated through yoga. Which physical part of the body will get benefited with the performance of certain asanas is also explained. But the most important benefits of yoga for the common people are Mental and Spiritual Benefits, which are more meaningful than the physical benefits, are not mentioned.

History of Yoga

As per many ancient spiritual texts, Lord Shiva is considered as the first yogi of this universe, also known as Adiguru (First Teacher) of Yoga. Since then the knowledge of Yoga has been passed through many Gurus to their Shishyas, as per their beliefs and understandings. This made yoga, scattered and conflicted knowledge throughout the period.

Meaning of yoga as per Patanjali Yoga Sutra: 

Around 2000 years back great Sage Patanjali gathered all the knowledge of yoga and presented it in a codified and organized manner through Patanjali Yoga Sutra. For the first time, Yoga was given a definition and structure that guilds us even today. Patanjali Yoga Sutra explains the true meaning of Yoga in Eight Limbs. These Eight Limbs reveals the true meaning of Yoga, that takes us to the state of Enlightenment. Patanjali introduces Yoga Sutra through its first Aphorism or Sutra as:

Atha Yoganushasanam’. 

That means, the anushasan (discipline) of yoga is narrated henceforth, and this has to be understood and followed.

The next aphorism states the purpose of the yoga or I will say the definition of yoga in four eloquent, terse words.

‘Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodhah’

This means that Yoga means controlling the thought waves (Vrittis) of the mind (Chitta). The thoughts, feelings, emotions arising in the mind are vrittis, which should be controlled. This is called Yoga.

A few centuries later, some yoga masters rejected the teaching of ancient vedas. They created a new system of yoga practices, Which mainly embraced the physical body as a means to achieve Enlightenment. Which is now popularly known as Hatha Yoga.


Deepak P

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