What is the interaction between Patanjali yoga sutra and Ashtanga Yoga sutra?
Both Patanjali yoga sutra & Ashtanga yoga sutra are written by yogi Patanjali, the father of Yoga. Patanjali explains how one should know to concentrate and then step into dhyana state (the state of concentration) and then attain Samadhi (unification of mind, body and soul) altogether. As I state below there are 4 steps in Patanjali yoga sutra but one must have Sadhana(determination) to remain in that state of mind. Ashtanga yoga sutra is the means to enter Patanjali yoga sutra. It introduces the yogi–to-be to the 8 steps that finally lead to the 4 steps of Patanjali yoga sutra.
We should first understand what is Ashtanga yoga in sanskrit?
It means 8 limbs or 8 steps of yoga which is explained by yogi Patanjali. Ashta – eight, anga- parts or limbs.
What are the Eight limbs of Yoga (ashtanga yoga)
- Yamah – External discipline.
- Niyama- Internal discipline.
- Asana – Successive Postures.
- Pranayama- Breathing technique to control the senses.
- Pratyahara – Absorption and withdrawal of internal self from external world.
- Dharana – Concentration.
- Dhyana – Meditation when concentration is achieved.
- Samadhi – Integration or union.
- Yamah which is an external discipline.
- Niyama which is internal discipline –
“Yamah and Niyama” is external and internal duty we perform”.
For me personally, Yamah and Niyama before I got married were to wake up, make my bed, take a shower, do my yoga practice and go to work or school and respect others as I do myself what my parents always told me. But now after my marriage “Yamah” and “Niyama” apart from waking up early morning and cleaning the house , include feeding the kittens I adopted , do my practice of Pranayama, Asana and dhyana and then start the day fresh and go to the studio to share this amazing gift of yoga with others around me.
3.Asana : Movements or postures.
Asana is a set of postures to flow with awareness and focus by breathing. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Connect the drishti (gaze) , bandas (locks) and movements part of Tristhanam (3 things that stay) to Ashtanga tradition. In Hatha yoga –Pranayama is practiced with awareness of drishti (gaze) and asana helps us learn movement and have stability and grounding.
4.Pranayama literally translates to prana vital energy.
Pranayama is the base of yoga from which one can understand the art of breathing. Breathing in asana helps ease the pose. It helps the nervous system and withdraws the senses from external to internal self which simply means developing the art of breathing to bring awareness and focus. Prana is closely related to the English word energy and we know the source we get energy from is food, water and oxygen. Pranayama is a breathing technique where we pull the oxygen in and carbon dioxide out to cleanse our body which is called kriya (cleaning from inside).
Note- Asana and pranayama go hand in hand. If one doesnt learn breathing while doing asana it may cause some damage to the body and to sit in meditation one should have focus and stillness, so we practice asana to focus our mind on being still and balance or flex through concentrating. Focus on the senses of the body and direct the mind to achieve what we focus on.
- Pratyahara : Prati means opposite direction and ahara is feeding or food. Here Patanjali refers to feeding prana and absorbing to the internal self from external world.
- Dharana: Getting into the state of concentration.
- Dhyana -The state of concentration is achieved by dhyana ( meditation)
- Samadhi- to explore their journey of being absorbed by themselves to find the immersion or union through “Samadhi”.
What does word samadhi and samaadhi mean?
We need to understand – Samadhi pronounced sam-adi – means equal to be dead or cremation. For most Hindu people cremation is the traditional funeral. Samadi is generally reserved for very advanced souls, such as yogis and saints, who have already been “purified by the fire by practice of yoga” or who are believed to have been in the state of samadhi at time of their death. Samadhi may not involve cremation. It almost means like you are “reborn” and born as an energy or soul . For a Yogi attaining samadhi is like a goal just like all of us having goals in life. For them the goal is to be liberated(moksha).
I come from Mangalore which is called smart city in India, where we speak the Tulu language. We often use sama word for balance and adi means beginning. For example the first day of the week in Sanskrit is called ‘aditya-vara’ which means first day of the week. Adi refers to the beginning.
If I had to translate it to tulu which is also a dilect of sanskrit language samadhi means Sama – balance, Adhi – beginning, root or first.
In Yogic Tradition and ancient writing of Sanskrit aadhi is a disease of the mind. Rajasic mind (raja yoga) and vyadhi (body) in hatha yoga refer to asana, kriya and mudra to clear the vyadhi (body) so the adhi(mind) gets balanced.
Dhi also means barrier between intelligence and mind. Its root is chitta (mind). Adhi and vyadhi came from the root word dhi.
Adi is the beginning, aadhi is mind and vyadhi is body in yogic tradition. In ayurveda they say disease of the mind -adhi and vyadhi. After balancing the mind we release ourselves from it and that is called Samadhi. Like dhija (born twice).
When aadhi gets balance its sama-adhi. So once your body is in tuned with the mind or balanced then you get in tuned with the planets and vibrations.
Per my research samadi meaning is cremation, dead or corpse but for yogis it is a contemplation through dhyana(meditation), transcendental experience to feel one with everything, leave the body with ease learning all the kriyas (cleansing) , nadis (like nerves in the psychic body) and taking a journey through body and mind as “one” energy. In Indian tradition when a person is dead they call it samadi too and then after 10 days they perform kriya(cleansing). In Hindu tradition they believe burning the body after a person is dead so the God “Agni” (fire) will purify them by consuming the physical body and create its essence in heaven in preparation for transmigration. Cremations are still associated with sacrifices. The god Pushan is asked to accept the sacrifice and guide the soul to its proper place in the afterlife.
So, Cremation is an extremely important ritual for Hindu’s. They believe it releases an individual’s spiritual essence from its transitory physical body so it can be reborn. If it is not done or not done properly, it is thought, the soul will be disturbed and not find its way to its proper place in the afterlife and come back and haunt living relatives. Fire is the chosen method to dispose of the dead because of its association with purity and its power to scare away harmful ghosts, demons and spirits.
In Yoga it isn’t samadi but samaadhi with tone on the second syllable, because in yogic tradition one is performing the kriyas before the sam-aadhi through purification from inside (antarkriya) by doing Vyadhi pranayama, asana and kriya to withdraw the senses and concentrate on meditation (dhyana).
In Hindu tradition after samadi kriya is performed to purify the soul with fire, water, earth, ether and presence of air. The ashes are left in the water, so that if one has done any sin or good to pray to all gods like the god of fire to consume the body, the god of air accept the sacrifice & take the soul to a proper place and water to dissolve their sin, protect their soul and let them rest in peace.
If you visit Wikipedia or look up the meanings of kriya performed in different states of India you may find your clues about people who choose different paths of Yoga like Buddha, Basavanna, Swami ramanamaharshi and many great sages who have changed the Indian society, enlightened us through their words and changed our way of thinking about life, god and humanity as one.
(I quote from Wikipedia) “Basavanna was an Indian 12th-century statesman, philosopher, poet, Lingayat saint in the Shiva-focussed Bhakti Movement, and Hindu Shaivite social reformer during the reign of the Kalyani Chalukya/Kalachuri dynasty. Basavanna was active during the rule of both dynasties but reached his peak of influence during the rule of King Bijjala 2 in Karnataka, India.
Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas. Basavanna rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals but introduced Ishtalinga necklace, with an image of the shiva linga to every person regardless of his or her birth, to be a constant reminder of one’s Bhakti (devotion) to Shiva. As the chief minister of his kingdom, he introduced new public institutions such as the Anubhava Mantapa (or, the “hall of spiritual experience”), which welcomed men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds to discuss spiritual and mundane questions of life, in open.”
ಕಳಬೇಡ, ಕೊಲಬೇಡ, ಹುಸಿಯ ನುಡಿಯಲು ಬೇಡ,
ಮುನಿಯಬೇಡ, ಅನ್ಯರಿಗೆ ಅಸಹ್ಯಬಡಬೇಡ,
ತನ್ನ ಬಣ್ಣಿಸಬೇಡ, ಇದಿರ ಹಳಿಯಲು ಬೇಡ.
ಇದೇ ಅಂತರಂಗಶುದ್ಧಿ, ಇದೇ ಬಹಿರಂಗಶುದ್ಧಿ
ಇದೇ ನಮ್ಮ ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮದೇವರನೊಲಿಸುವ ಪರಿ.
Kalabeda Kollabeda, Husiya nudiyalubeda,
Muniyabeda, Anyarige asahya padabeda,
Thanna bunnisabeda, Idira haliyalubeda,
Ide antharanga shuddhi, Ide bahiranga shuddhi,
Ide namma Kudalasangamana olisuva pari.
Do not steal, do not kill,
do not lie, do not rage,
do not loathe the other,
do not brag of yourself,
do not revile the opponent.
This itself is inner purity,
this itself is outer purity.
This alone is the way to win
our Koodalasangamadeva(ishvara or god)
He said about the purification of inside and outside in his poems or vachana ( In hindu ancient texts its called antatanga and bahiranga shuddhi) clearly through his wise words which even today i can not forget. I learned this when i was 6 or 7 years old. He mentioned god is not not in ganges, God is not in temples, God is within us so look within to perform the kriyas from before so you see your reflexion within yourself. As a child just this knowledge educated me to understand and grow wiser and accept the traditions which is in our culture but not the superstitious belief.
I personally believe in god, i dont deny it, I dont follow few rules in culture that prohibits me to do my duty right. For instance – killing animals, during festival they fast with vegetarian food and later kill the animal and say its feast. I decided not to alter my state of mind. Three states of mind are Tamas, Rajas and satvic. Atleast, being true to myself, I am not reasoning every day for a event and then to clean my sins visiting to temples or pilgrimage.
Buddha was a king before and later monk. He and his family have killed people during war in order to defend his citizens, question is- Can anyone be monk to clear his sins?
Everyone have their individual experience of life, only they can help themselves through power of mind. Buddha wished to explore it himself because he knew that he had to take this journey alone. He preached non voilence not because he did any pujas (rituals) or he was Hindu but he explored life outside his comfort zone, breaking many of the rules which were agaist his principle as a human.
I travelled last year to rishikesh and met one Aghori (saints) named Mahakal. I met him coincidently in rishikesh, he was walking bare feet 1000’s of miles after kumbhmela. He asked me where i come from and i responded to his question.
I always carry rudraksh (seed) to offer devotion and love to Shiva. I would offer it to people who would often seek interest in rudraksh and finally i gave all. I was searching for rudraksh in Rishikesh (famous yoga destination in India) we met aghori ( saint) on our way back home. We discussed few things. He had no shoe nor slipper (me and my husband) requested him to wear slippers seeing his feet. He was bare footed, blood clots under his feet. It didn’t bother him. He didnt seem like he was in pain or uncomfortable sitaution due to his feet.
I said: You are my grandpa’ s age, i feel sad , You don’t pain ?
He responded saying- I am like this since I was little. I will accept to wear slipper but in one condition- “it should be black”.
He stayed back in the bridge because he was old and tired , We searched all over the place for black slipper and we took 1 good hour to find slippers.
We saw him sitting in the same place, He smiled and asked us to share our time with him if we dont mind. We sat with him, He said in hindi, “Esko math chodna beta yeh acha pati hai bahuth pyaar karta hai tujse”(means your husband love you never leave his side).
I felt so happy to hear it and i said yes i wont dont worry. All enlightened sages everyone show us the path of love to be above of all. I believe love and devotion goes hand in hand. What you love later becomes a devotion.
I asked him why sages go to vipasana (silent meditation) and speak less and why its related to Moksha (liberation) and karma (ones action).
He said ” Words are sound and sound resonate frequency, when we speak it should make some value and morals otherwise it comes back as karma to teach us and remind our sense of actions. When we speak something which is not related to our action then there is no action in reality. In yoga they refer to Vritti (waves from our thoughts). Its caused by our self. We can calm the waves so we can think clear.
Practice like Yoga and meditation will benefit to be patient and focused. It is the best way to observe and understand energy. Vipasana (silent meditation) will help in understanding why we have fluctuation of mind and the states of mind.
I said- Do you feel speaking to me right now – is it a “distraction”?
He responded – Main beta apse prem se bath karta hun. aap samjte hai “prem”. Child i speak to you out of love, You understsand me just love as one love.
I responded to him and i said to him i do understand you and feel you.
He offered me rudraksh (a seed) and said will you remember me always.
I said: yes.
He responded: So when are you returning with a child and I answered saying- I don’t know.
He asked me if I do meditation and i responded saying yes.
He offered another rudraksh with snake like patanjali and took me to a shiva temple to pray, said very nice things and gave me knowledge about life through his journey.
I asked him what is moksha(liberation) for you. he responded saying- love and devotion to mahadev.
There are two different worlds – one was some priests who are binded with culture and other sages who are full of wisdom.
Brahman follows the principles of ritual and Sages live the rituals everyday by cleansing themselves through kriya (cleansing) , karma (actions) ,bhakti (devotion), jnana (knowledge).
Priests are not Yogi. Yogi is not a priest. Although both can learn and educate themselves, there are many priests that have no knowledge of what they are chanting. I asked for the meaning with many only few knew and most priests didn’t know the meaning of what they were chanting. Yogis will seek from their experience learn and speak clear.
Priests are called as Brahmans in India and are Vishnu believers. Yogis are Shiva believers. So they choose two different paths but the root is same, at the end of the day these both cultures flows through same country, drinking same water, Praying same things and doing same duty. Only difference is the way of Life.
Yogic path gives freedom to look beyond the culture. Following the religious point of view you have to just follow whats given from culture. Its not necessarry that culture is bad but sometimes something’s blind us and might make us less human and boost our ego. The word Sunskara is mentioned in yoga and our ancient texts. It means deeply rooted culture right from child to death. If we never travelled, never seen any other culture and never been independent with our choice, we will carry the sanskara of others like parents, relatives and friends. Discovering your interests and your culture is important to awaken your instinct, in yoga they do mention it. You can make your own culture for example : I decided to quit eating meat for 3 to 4 years but my family eat meat occasionally, I married Christian and finally even after I took my degree in IT, I am not software engineer. I continued my journey with yoga because I realized I do have instinct and i followed what I love. Just like animals they don’t get stuck with their parents they learn the skills and are free to protect themselves when they grow up. We are different from them because of mind not intellect they are intelligent. We have feelings that are why we offer our gratitude to our parents, friends and surrounding for helping us to grow.
The movement you read and develop your intelegence on the subject you start to evolve or choose to learn and look beyond. Krishna has himself spoken about yoga and sadhu and he clearly mentioned about moksha too. He reffered to yogis who try to follow the samadhi can destine thier soul wherever they wish because they learn to balance body and mind afterwhich they take samadhi no body and no mind, because they go to a deep state to liberate themselves. For the common people –“Krishna said there is no way out of karma (from their own action they will see the results)”. So there is no way out of karma.
For a Yogi samaadhi is different than a common man samadhi. We should always know that samaadhi here in yogic tradition is not the just dead or cremation. It is the end and the new beggining at the same time, sprit or soul journey or dhija (born twice)
For reference one of my most beloved swami Ramana-maharshi has been in Samaadhi and returned back but he choose to remain silent in “vipasana”. He would speak very little to those who came seeking.
(I quote from Wikipedia) Ramana Maharshi (30 December 1879 – 14 April 1950) was an Indian Hindu and jivanmukta (liberated being). He was born Venkataraman Iyer, but is mostly known by the name Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. In 1896, at the age of 16, he had a “death-experience” where he became aware of a “current” or “force” (avesam) which he recognized as his true “I” or “self”, and which he later identified with “the personal God, or “ishvara”, that is, Shiva. This resulted in a state that he later described as “The state of mind of ishvara or jnani”, Six weeks later he left his uncle’s home in Madurai, and journeyed to the holy mountain arunachala, in Tiruvanamalai, where he took on the role of a sanyasin (though not formally initiated), and remained for the rest of his life. He attracted devotees that regarded him as an avatar and came to him for darshan (“the sight of God”). In later years an ashram grew up around him, where visitors received upadesa (“spiritual instruction”) by sitting silently in his company and asking questions. Since the 1930s his teachings have been popularized in the West, resulting in his worldwide recognition as an enlightened being. Ramana Maharshi approved a number of paths and practices, but recommended self enquiry as the principal means to remove ignorance and abide in Self-awareness, together with Bhakti (devotion) or surrender to the Self.
Samadhi is the end of new beginning for sadhus and saint like they are born again enlightened. Samadhi is the last step in the 8 limbs (ashtanga ) of Patanjali Ashtanga yoga . In Ptanjali Yoga Sutra Samadhi is the first chapter.
List out Patanjali Yoga Sutra?
- Samadhi pada (integration or unification path)
- Sadhana pada which is path of determination
- Vibhooti pada (path of power)
- Kaivalya pada (path of freedom and independence)
Lets begin the journey of yoga today with Yogagyani!
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