Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: Action (or Kriya) Yoga

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is a superb exposition of the philosophical ideas, deep truths, and disciplines of yoga. It organizes the disciplines into eight “limbs,” or classes, of yoga follow. Particular meditation strategies should not given; solely sorts of disciplines are mentioned. Lots of its sutras (aphorisms) describe and touch upon these practices. This timeless treatise by an enlightened yogi addresses the common human situation of obvious separation from God (avidya, not understanding the Supreme Actuality) and reveals us the right way to overcome the psychological tendencies and illusions that maintain us on this situation.

Like tree limbs, which emerge in sequence, the primary disciplines come first. As they develop, mature and bear fruit, the subsequent ones are practiced. For instance, yama prepares one to follow niyama. Patanjali calls the final three parts of niyama “kriya yoga” (“kriya” means motion). Marshall Govindan takes the place that these three parts of kriya (or motion) yoga represent the entire of Patanjali’s yoga. Nevertheless, all eight limbs are mentioned in nice element in verses 2.30 by way of 3.8 of the Sutras and supply a much more full description of yoga.

In verse 2.1, Patanjali says: “Kriya yoga consists of tapas (austerity, self-discipline), svadhyaya (self-study), and Ishvara pranidhana (devotional give up to God).” (Observe: The phrases in parentheses are generally accepted translations of the Sanskrit phrases.) Within the “eight-limbed” path, the kriya yoga practices of niyama precede asana (meditation posture), pranayama (breath management), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from their objects), dharana (focus), dhyana (uninterrupted, deep focus), and samadhi (oneness with the article of meditation). Because of this, “kriya yoga” is usually interpreted “preliminary yoga.” Nevertheless, the primary of the eight limbs, yama, consists of 5 abstentions (don’ts), and the 5 parts of niyama are observances (dos), so the kriya yoga practices of niyama will also be interpreted “motion yoga,” which means doing one thing.

The next feedback from Govindan’s e book on the Sutras contradict Yogananda and different enlightened yogis, who concur that the yoga of Patanjali is the “eight-limbed” path.

Foreword (xiv, xv) by G. Feuerstein: “… whereas Patanjali’s educating has turn out to be just about equated with eight-limbed yoga (ashtanga yoga), he himself referred to as his path that of motion yoga (kriya yoga) in pada 2.1.” “The aphorisms within the Yoga Sutras dealing particularly with the eight limbs seem to have been quoted by Patanjali or subsequently added to his textual content. There isn’t a actual passable clarification for why Patanjali used the label kriya yoga for his teachings.”

Introduction Half 2 (xxiii) by M. Govindan: “Feuerstein has identified, nevertheless, that Patanjali’s yoga was not the “ashtanga” or “eight-limbed” yoga, described in verses 2.28 to three.8, as has been generally thought by most translators. Textual evaluation has revealed that these verses have been merely quoted from one other unknown supply.”

Quite the opposite, Patanjali by no means referred to as his path that of motion (or kriya) yoga; not in verse 2.1 (pada 2.1), nor in every other verse, nor did he say it consisted of something apart from ashtanga yoga. And if he had quoted the verses pertaining to ashtanga yoga, it could point out that he agreed with them.

In Chapter Three of The Holy Science by Swami Sri Yukteswar a yoga educating that features the practices of ashtanga yoga is offered, however it’s considerably totally different from that of the Yoga Sutras and seems to signify a unique college of yoga. This illustrates that the ideas, truths and practices of yoga are common and will be found by yogis independently of one another. In fact, two totally different folks would by no means understand, categorize or clarify these ideas, truths and practices in precisely the identical manner, so except verses 2.28 to three.8 of the Sutras have been compiled from varied sources, they’re the distinctive creation of a single particular person. That particular person seems to be Patanjali as a result of there may be good settlement and concord between these verses and the opposite verses within the Sutras.

With regard to the concept Patanjali’s yoga was not the eight-limbed path however solely kriya yoga and that verses 2.28 to three.8 have been both quoted by him or added to his textual content in a while, the next factors must be thought of. If Patanjali had quoted these verses it could imply that he agreed with what they are saying. Certainly one of them, verse 2:29, states that yoga consists of eight limbs, and different verses talk about every of the practices of kriya yoga, treating them as parts of the second limb. Furthermore, aside from the verses about ashtanga yoga, which in accordance with Govindan and Feuerstein, didn’t come from Patanjali, there are solely two verses within the Yoga Sutras about kriya yoga. If Patanjali’s path was kriya yoga and the verses pertaining to ashtanga yoga have been added to his textual content in a while, we’d anticipate him to have devoted greater than two verses to describing and commenting on his path.

As talked about earlier than, kriya yoga consists of tapas, svadhyaya and Ishvara pranidana. The austerities or self-disciplines of tapas contain rising above bodily wishes and enduring ache or discomfort, by the use of willpower and can; “svadhyaya” means deep examine of the character of the Self; and Ishvara pranidhana contains each devotion to God and acceptance of God’s will.

Verses 1.23, 2.2, and a couple of.45 of the Sutras inform us that Ishvara pranidhana and kriya yoga result in samadhi. By means of devotional give up to God one rises above the affect of ego, dangerous wishes, and illusions, which darken the thoughts and maintain one from understanding God. The guts’s pure love shines forth and illumines one’s interior life. One follows the steerage of Spirit and practices the ethical disciplines of yama with larger resolve. Not solely do the blessings of yama come into one’s life, however as well as, the primary two phases of niyama naturally come up: one’s ideas and physique turn out to be extra pure and one finds contentment inside. By means of devotional give up to God, one ultimately turns into completely absorbed in God. Nonetheless, in accordance with the Yoga Sutras, limbs three by way of seven, practiced together with the primary two limbs, additionally result in samadhi, and all eight limbs represent yoga. (The seventh limb of yoga, “dhyana,” is normally translated as “meditation,” however in trendy, on a regular basis utilization “meditation” is usually taken to imply all or a number of of the limbs that observe niyama: assuming an appropriate posture, controlling breath and life pressure, withdrawing consciousness from objects of the senses, calming and focusing the thoughts, deep focus on a specific side of God, and totally uniting with God in blissful oneness.)

In verses 3.16 to three.54, verses that Govindan and Feuerstein attribute to him, Patanjali feedback on varied capabilities of samyama, which consists of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Inasmuch as his teachings included these closing, culminating limbs of ashtanga yoga, to be full they will need to have additionally included the 5 disciplines that precede samyama and facilitate its follow. As a result of he by no means stated his path was kriya yoga and since the verses about ashtanga yoga describe what are usually thought of to be important parts of jain yoga and slot in along with his teachings in different elements of the Sutras, it appears extremely unlikely that his path was kriya yoga moderately than ashtanga yoga, and that these verses have been quoted by him or in a while added to his textual content. They’re an integral a part of his masterful treatise, completely in accord with the opposite aphorisms within the Sutras, and look like his personal teachings.

George Johnston and his spouse, Mary Ann, have been married at Tune of the Morning retreat within the yr 2000 and moved to Onekama, Michigan in 2016. Collectively they write about teachings which were acquired in our time from Jesus, Yogananda and different masters to information us in our trendy world of advanced know-how and an ever-changing lifestyle, and to open our hearts and minds as we enter an age of larger religious consciousness and understanding of everlasting reality.

Christians shall be amazed and blessed after they notice that Christ remains to be guiding us by way of those that are in a position to spiritually talk with Him and obtain His inspiring messages of affection and reality.

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