Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga:

Our sages have told eight types of means for the purification of the body, mind and soul and the attainment of God through yoga, which is called ashtanga yoga.

These are the eight parts of yoga – yama, niyam, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, meditation, dharna and samadhi. Of these, the first five instruments are mainly concerned with the gross body. These touch only with the subtle, while the latter three instruments touch the body deep and subtle and refine it.

That is why the first means – yama, niyam, asana, pranayama and pratyahara, have been called outward instruments and perception, meditation and samadhi are intimate means. Now we will discuss these one by one here, some in general and some in special form.

Ashtanga means “eight limbs” This is the eight limbs or branches of yoga. Which is described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, of which the asana or physical yoga posture is a branch and pranayama is a separate branch. All the impurities in the body and mind can be destroyed by practicing each of the organs. According to Patanjali, internal purification involves the following eight spiritual practices:

  1. Yama
  2. Niyama
  3. Asana
  4. Pranayama
  5. Pratihara
  6. Dharana
  7. Dhyan
  8. Samadhi

The first four are externally related and how we are connected to the world, this includes various methods (yama and niyam), control of the body through asana and control of breath through pranayama.

The last four limbs are to be followed automatically after many years of practice: pratyahara, dharana, meditation and samadhi (liberation).

Yama: 
Yama means the means of keeping the mind situated in religion. These five are:

1. Ahimsa: Non-violence is the feeling of not causing any kind of pain to any creature by mind, speech and action. In other words, love with the last is non-violence.

2. Truth: As the mind understood, eyes saw and ears heard, it is true to say the same. But truth should not only be external but also internal.

3. Asteya: It is unhealthy not to steal from the mind, words, deeds, not to covet other’s wealth and to accept the other’s essence.

4. Brahmacharya: Restraining the Gupta senses along with all other senses – especially not achieving sexual pleasure from mind, speech and body – is Brahmacharya.

5. Aparigraha: Aparigraha is the renunciation of the means of unintended happiness. In Astey, theft is sacrificed, but charity is accepted. But charity is also rejected in aparigraha. Accumulation of wealth, property and material is self-interest for selfishness and not to do so.
The above five instruments are linked to the morality and development of the individual, not only his stability (consistency), but also play an important role in the context of society, especially when development and progress are on the axis of materiality, ie In today’s time.

Niyama:
There are also five types of rules, which relate to the personal. These are:

1. Defecation: The purity of body and mind is defecation. The body can be kept clean by bathing, sattvic food, health etc. Inner purification of the mind is done by sacrificing the mental instincts after abandoning raga, malice etc.

2. Satisfaction: It is a satisfaction to be satisfied with what you receive while performing your duty, or to accept it happily only by what you get by the grace of God.

3. Tapa: Meditating mind and body is austerity while enduring duality like pleasure-sorrow, cold-summer, hunger-thirst etc.

4. Swadhyaya: Swadhyaya is the practice of knowledge, study of theology, satsang and exchange of ideas for purification and attainment of knowledge.

5. Ishvara Pranidhan: The devotion of God through mind, speech, deeds and hearing of his name, form, qualities, leela, etc., is the ‘Ishwar Pranidhan’, the embellishment of Kirtan, contemplation and all deeds.

Asana:
Till the attainment of high power, one has to perform physical and mental asanas. Yogis have described such types of asanas, pranayam etc., by doing which there is restraint on body and mind.
With the accomplishment of the posture, purification of the nerves, growth of health and body and mind are energized.

These postures fall into two categories due to the distinction of objectives; One whose purpose is the practice of pranayama or meditation and the other which is done to keep the body healthy. Because the relation of body and mind is gross and subtle, both these categories cannot be seen separately from each other.

In other words, the person possessing pranayama and meditation is the one who has thoroughly refined the body, and this refinement is not possible without rugs. The power and patience required to sit still and comfortable is also provided by rugs.

Pranayama:
Many people apply Prana meaning breathing or air and Pranayama means breathing exercise, but this notion is wrong and misleading because Prana is the power that is present in all the living and non-living things of the world, whether in the air. The aim is to catalyze, transmit, control and balance the prana shakti present in the body. This brings our body and mind under control. Our decision making power increases and we are in a position to make right decisions.

As a bath is needed for the purification of the body, so for the purification of the mind, for pranayama. By pranayama we are healthy and healthy, get longevity, our memory power increases and brain diseases are removed.

Pratyahara:
When the senses turn from their subjects, they are introverted, that state is called pratyahar. Generally, mastery of the senses prevails. With the attainment of pratyahar, the seeker gains authority over the senses, cleanness of mind, growth of tenacity, loss of lowliness, physical healing and the ability to enter samadhi.

By practicing Yama, Niyam, Asana, Pranayama, the body of the seeker becomes pure and healthy, the mind and senses become calm, concentration comes in them.

Dharana:
It is called dharna to put the mind in external subjects like the gross and subtle in any subject, that is, the heart, the heart, the tongue, the nasal, the spiritual region, and the idol of the favored deity. After proper practice of Yama, Niyam, Asana, Pranayama etc. this work is done easily. Being subdued by pranayama with pranayama and pratyahara does not cause any disturbance in the mind, as a result, quiet mind can be successfully applied to any one goal.

Dhyan:
Meditation implies living in the present. Only by living in the present time, the versatility of the mind can be eliminated, concentration can be brought. This opens all the stores of mental strength. There are many methods of meditation for the same

Samadhi:
Concentration of the mind by removing the deflection is samadhi. In meditation, when the mind takes only the shape of the object, except the meditator, then it is called samadhi, that in this state the meditator does not even remain, he forgets himself. Remains the only goal, this is the ultimate state of meditation.

This is samadhi. Samadhi is the culmination of meditation. When meditation is in a certain state, then the duality of the meditator and the attitude related to it is lost from the mind.
The community of Dharna, meditation and samadhi is called restraint in Yogasastra.

Yoga Guru Dr. Shakya says that in maturity, growth is stabilized only in the goal by the master of the shut, the rise of wisdom and knowledge in it.

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