Patanjali Yoga Sutras

If you are interested in yoga, you might be interested in learning more about Patajali’s Yoga Sutras. Comprised of 195 and 196 sutras, these ancient texts were compiled by the sage Patanjali during the early centuries CE. Patanjali synthesized the knowledge of yoga from several older traditions to create this collection. The Sutras teach a system for the practice of yoga.

Paths to kaivalya

The final stage of enlightenment is called Kaivalya, also known as moksha. The word kaivalya means fearless, from the Sanskrit root kevala, meaning alone or isolated. The end result is a state of total separation between prakriti and purusha. The sutras are rich in details about kaivalya, including how to attain it.

Tri-gunas

The Patanjali Yoga Sutras describe three distinct types of consciousness called gunas. Prakriti is the physical body, and the gunas are the three different states of consciousness in human beings. Each guna has its own purpose and function, but the true Self is hidden underneath. The three gunas work together to create an individual’s personality and state of mind.

Prakriti

What is Prakriti? Prakriti is the creative energy of the female. It erupts from the subtle realm to create the five physical elements: air, fire, water, and earth. These five elements, known as tanmatras, then manifest as bhutas, or planetary energies. When the five elements merge and become one, they become the kundalini, or the ‘highest’ state of mind.

Samadhi

The word “samadhi” in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras carries various adjectives. According to I.K. Taimni, there are ten kinds of samadhi. Each kind is characterized by different levels of consciousness, including the one that is based on ego and the one that is based on non-ego.

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is a text of ancient Hindu origin, and Patanjali, the author of the Yoga-sutras, sought to gear an increasingly diverse audience toward the worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As such, Patanjali’s system was not a self-help manual, but a guide to assist the guru in his teachings.

Restraint samskaras

In the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, the word nirodha refers to a type of mind control technique known as samadhi. This technique is a type of concentration and is a binding to a place. Nirodha samskaras influence the mind by binding it to a single object.

Symbol for un-manifested energy

The Symbol for un-manifested energies in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras appears to refer to the energy we all possess as an individual. As a practitioner of yoga, you have the ability to tap into the energy within yourself and transform it into useful energy to assist in your practice. You may have heard of the term “prana” in relation to yoga, but did you know it’s a Sanskrit word? In Sanskrit, it means “mind,” while in English, it’s “sutra” or “mala” (the thread used for strung-up yoga aphorisms).

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