Yoga is based on understanding one’s own true nature of mind and its interface with nature through the human energetic, emotional, and neurological tendencies …

Yoga sutras

At least fifty different English translations of the Sanskrit Yoga Sutras have been completed, standing as a human testament to how such a profound, wise, and inspiring guidebook based on Universal Truth has stood the test of time and is still celebrated in variegated, rich, and diverse forms.

Patanjali is not the inventor of yoga, but rather yoga’s most well known systematizer and compiler. What has become known simply as the “Yoga Sutras” (sutra means thread) or almost equally as common, as the “Yoga Darshana” (the vision of Yoga), is actually a compendium of an ancient pre-existing oral yoga tradition consisting of practical advice on the yogic path.

The dates ascribed to the composition of the Yoga Sutras vary widely, but it is fair to say that they were written somewhere between approximately 100 BC to 300 CE between the fourth and fifth centuries CE.  Because authentic yoga up until then, had been an oral tradition (versus a written tradition), yoga practices and teachings obviously precede any written texts; but how far in the ancient past is a question that is not yet possible to pin down, mainly because of the lack of prior literature or testimony. Certainly, we know that yoga practices were well established before Buddha Shakyamuni’s era (fifth century BC); and there is good evidence to suggest that similar forms of yoga was practiced even before the first millennium BC.

So what is this ancient yogic path that Patanjali outlines?

As a system, the type of yoga as put forth by Patanjali, is non-theistic, having no suggestion of worshipping idols, deities, gurus, or sacred books; but at the same time it does not contain any atheistic doctrine either. Although this fact has been contested by,some gurus and their followers, a carefully unbiased study of the Yoga Sutras, especially the discussion of what Patanjali means by the word, “isvara” (in short, innermost master), will support the aforesaid fact as incontestable. The Yoga Sutras are devoid of caste distinction, ceremony, ritual, book study, guru worship, or traditional methods of worship. One marvel of the Yoga Sutras is that it is not self important; rather, yogic practice is the path, while the Yoga Sutras are simply a guidebook to one’s practice, not an exclusive necessity.

Yoga is psychological and spiritual, but not religious/ideological. Yoga is based on understanding one’s own true nature of mind and its interface with nature through the human energetic, emotional, and neurological tendencies. It is not dependent upon any one race, culture, religion, or nationality.

The Yoga Sutras represent the oldest written form of Yoga. Today, the Yoga Sutras are most closely associated with the school called Raj (Royal or Kingly) Yoga, which succinctly can be defined as yoga practices that are culminated in meditation (dhyana) as a direct way to accustom the mindbody to samadhi (the natural non-dual unitive state).

A careful reading of the Yoga Sutras will reveal to meditator, a profound clarity as how to recognize the arising of the hindrances to meditation (in the forms of kleshas, samskara, vasana, vrtti, and karma). Practical methods (practices) are given to identify and then remediate the hindrances through various effective yogic practices, The main remedy is meditation (dhyana).

Without a doubt the Yoga Sutras cannot be understood by a non-meditator. Practice is the key — pause for practice, breath awareness, energy awareness,… and extend the practice into All Our Activities

The Yoga Sutras is not a philosophy or religious book to be studied with the intellect or overly objectified mindset; but rather it is an experiential workbook that is revealed by an open heart.

The first 3 sutras

Atha yoganusanam

The sutras start with the present moment, now! Here!

The teaching of Yoga

Yoga citta vritti nirodha

Citta meaning consciousness vritti movement and nirodha ceassation or stillness

So it means that Yoga will create the cessation of the movemets of the mind

Tada drastuh svarupe avasthanam

Then one can abide in its true nature

This is what the Yogi is striving to do, not to perfect the body or learning new tricks but just in the stilling of the mind it will create and bring forth the blissfulness that is the true nature of the state beyond the mind.

As Above so Below

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