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Ashthangyog

Ashthangyog

 Maharishi Patanjali's yoga is known as Raj Yoga / Ashthang yoga, which is a system for control of the mind.

(Yogaś chitta-vtti-nirodha)

"Yoga is the inhibition (nirodha) of the modifications (vtti) of the mind (chitta)".

Eight stages of Yoga are Yama, Niyam, Asan, Pranayam, Pratyahar, Dharna, and Dhyan & Samadhi.   

1.   YAMA - (Means self restraint i.e. the five "abstentions"):  The duties required to be done for harmonious and peaceful flow towards the society. If we practice of YAMA we will be away from corruption, quarrel, battle, crime and there will be peace, happiness, honesty.

Five kinds of ‘Yama’ has been described as follows

a)   Ahinsa is non-violence or mercy. It teaches us do not give pain, suffering, harm to anyone through words, thoughts, or deeds. Love to entire creation of god is Ahinsa. Stopping and removing the ideas of harming others, violence etc will go a long way to ensure your mental peace and purity.

MAHATMA GANDHI PRACTICED AHINSA IN HIS REAL LIFE.

b)   Satya is non-lying or truthfulness i.e. saying exactly what one sees with one’s eyes hears with one’s own ears and understands through one’s own brain.

If you practice Satya it protects you from the tension of your lies being caught by others. One who practices Satya enjoys good sleep at night and happy mood during the day. It is a well known fact that if you tell a lie today, you have to speak 100 lies later to avoid your lie being caught.

c)   Asteya is non-stealing. No Cheating It teaches not to be greedy of others wealth or possessions. If you have a habit of stealing that gives you insecurity.

d)   Brahmacharya is non-sensuality i.e. keeps one’s sense organs and organs of procreation under control . It also means not to be tempted by the Lustful enjoyments through, thoughts, words and deeds.

      “If a married man engages in sex only with his wife and only at

    the time of ovulation with the sole purpose of producing children,

       he is a Brahmachari. He is practicing Brahmacharya in his

       Grihastha Ashrama." In vedic literature the basic purpose of

       sexual activity is reproduction.

 

e) Aparigraha is non-possessiveness.Not to accumulate wealth & property beyond one’s necessity.  In Asteya one gives up stealing but may accept charity. But in Aparigraha, charity is also not accepted. No greed .Possessing only minimum things and appliances by minimizing your requirements to the basic minimum level only.

2.   NIYAMA- Duties performed for the benefit to soul are called ‘Niyamas’. These are principles of dos and don’ts to regulate daily routine life. These  are five in number as follows ;

a)   Shaucha means purity (internal and external). Shaucha increases concentration to go in further steps of yoga.The body can be kept clean and pure by Sattvic food and Shat-karmas i.e. Six yogic purification kriyas –

i)                   Neti – cleaning of nose.

ii)                 Dhauti – cleaning of stomach,

iii)               Nauli – cleaning of intestines,

iv)               Vasti – cleaning of rectum,

v)                 Kaplabhati – cleaning of lungs and

vi)               Triatak – cleaning of vision

 

b)   Santosh means Contentment; one should be satisfied with whatever is acquired from truthful duty and by grace of God. Contentment in the highest form of happiness. Being satisfied with what one achieves after hard work and honesty  is Santhosha.

c)   Tap means development of resistance power. It includes keeping the mind detached and under control to bear pain, heat, cold, hunger, thirst etc. While performing your duties, you may encounter many difficulties and obstacles in your way. Tolerating and bearing all these difficulties with patience and a smiling face is Tapa.

d) Swadhyaya means to regular study spiritual books, to upgrade one's real knowledge and spending one’s time in the company of good people and exchanging ideas with them like in SATSANG .

e) Ishwar Pranidhana means complete surrender of self to God in words, deeds and thoughts. It implies worship of God, chanting of His Name, hearing about Him and thinking of Him. Submitting the results of our action to Him.

Nothing is mine all belongs to God. If nothing is mine, why should I indulge in wrong malpractice?

3.   ASANA - Literally means "seat", and in Patanjali's Sutras refers to the seated position used for meditation. (Sthir Sukham Asanam) means a posture which is comfortable and which keeps body straight and firm to impart a state of effortlessness to the body. Asanas are of two types  ;

a)   Meditation postures meant for comfortable long lasting stable postures in which a person can stay for a long time to do meditation like Padmasana, Sidhasana and swastikasana.

b)   Physical Postures meant to gain physical health like Sarvangasana, Bhujangasana, Chakraasana, Pawanmuktasana etc.

 

4.   PRANAYAMA - ‘Parana’ breath, "Ayama", to give direction, to restrain or stop i.e. to control of the life force by controlling the normal breathing cycle. Evils are destroyed by Pranayama.It is essential for purification of mind and body. Pran is not only the air; it is the vital energy in the air which makes us alive.

- For living we need, FOOD , WATER & AIR.

- Expulsion of waist product, Toxins – STOOLS , URINE , PERSPIRATION & AIR.

i) Stools we pass once or twice a day so it is least important.

ii) URINE we pass 6-10 times per day. Little more important than Stools.

iii) PERSPIRATION is a twenty four hours process from the skin which is the biggest  organ of  the body and more important than urination .

iv) AIR is also 24 hour’s inhalation and exhalation process. Maximum

purification is done by air i.e respiration . It can cause physical & mental

purification .Therefore in Yoga  we give maximum importance to

PRANAYAMS.

- Do accurate posture physically. Feel with concentration on the affected body parts.  With inhalation which carry oxygen, environmental energy to the exact locations. Then exhale with coming to normal position. It will help to remove toxins, excessive deposition from the affected body organs.

 

a)   Pranayam  includes controlling the inhalation (Poorak), Exhalation (Rachak) and stopping of breathing (Kumbhak). Three types of Kumbhak are Antrik Kumbhak , Bhaia Kumbhak & Madhya Kumbhak.

b)   There are four types of breathing ;

i)             Chest Breathing .

ii)            Abdomen breathing .

iii)          Chest Abdomen Breathing

iv)          Abdomen chest breathing

c)   Subdivision of Pran Vayu;                                                                 

i)Prana vayu; pervades the region from throat to the heart. It helps in the downward flow of breath.                                                               ii)Apana Vayu; located below the naval region. It strengthens the large intestine and helps in the expulsion of wastes like urine and stools.                                                                                           iii) Samana Vayu; It pervades the region between the heart and the naval. It controls the digestive organs .                                                                                                      iv) Udana Vayu; pervades the region from the throat to the brain. It controls sense organs & brain .                                                                  v) Vyan Vayu;  pervades the entire human body . It coordinates all the  Vayus and other centers of energy & the extremities which keeps proper balance of the body.

Controlling the flow of pran vayu  from nadis ,Ida and Pingla i.e. breathe through left & right nostrils.

The flow of pran vayu through the left nostril is done by IDA OR CHANDRA NADI which gives the cool effect and control the left side of the body. It carries the energy of caring , love , devotion, inspiration and emotion.It controls the thoughts. It gives the BHAKTI YOG  Quality . When it is disrupted  or out of balance people become extreem emotional , Psychic  sensitive ,suffer from insomnia, fears , nightmares.   If uniformed , it Removes the anxiety, nervousness, Hurry ness, Restlessness, Stress, Hyperactvity  in children etc. It gives the calmness , quietness , relaxation. 

The flow of Prana Vayu through the right nostril is done by the PINGLA OR SURYA NADI which provides the heat effect and controls the right side of the body . It governs motivation, ambition, will power, and desire for deeper spiritual knowledge. It creates the tendency towards GYAN YOG OR RAJ YOG. An imbalanced  PINGLA NADI creates the tendency to anger , excess ambition , egoistic ,and self centered behavior .It removes the dullness, sadness, To activate the mind and body.

In Paralysis to activates the nervous system. Hemiplegia Right side of the body , breathing through left nostril while concentrating on left hemisphere of the brain . Hemiplegia left side of the body , breathing through right nostril while concentrating on right Hemisphere of the brain.

     The flow of the Pran Vayu through these two NADIES meets in the body , SUSHUMNA NADI is supposed to exist there . This is the central canal having the neutral effect; it controls and balances the other two NADIS. SUSHUMNA NADI provides light and knowledge  giving SATVIK GUNA. It is also called SARSWATI OR SHAKTI NADISUSHUMNA NADI descend down to turn into MANOVAHINI NADI  which is situated behind sternum near heart. This is to be concentrated at the time of PRAYER position at the time of meditation to control MAN (mind).

      Pranayam is to effect the proper balance between IDA and PINGLA and to gain spiritual upliftment through the attainment of light and knowledge from the SUSHUMNA NADI.

      You have to learn BANDHS ( Jalandar Bandh , Udyaan Bandh and                                                                                  Mool Bandh )  to do pranayams.

5-PRATYAHARA - ("Abstraction"): Withdrawal of the senses from their respective organs from external objects and projecting those inwards is Pratyahara. Withdrawal of favorite things in your life. Control, taste, smell, listening, talking, eating, drinking etc. Not giving response, reactions to external world. Mind purity is achieved through giving up the attachments, jealousy.  After a little practice you will yourself feel that you are no more a slave to your sense and you are own master. Your memory will be sharpened and your will power will become stronger.  Now you will feel that you are equipped and competent to enter the internal disciplines i.e. Dharna, Dhyan & Samadhi.

          Preventing our Indriyas or body organs from going on the wrong path is

            Pratyahara.

The tongue wants to taste palatable eatables.

The nose wants to smell agreeable smell.

The ears also want to listen to good music, song & praise also.

 

But what will happen if these Indriyas or organ systems start acting independently without any control of the owner of the body. The owner of the body will not be able to perform his routine duties if he allows all his organ systems or Indriyas to work as they desire.

6-  DHARANA - ("Concentration"): Dharna is control of mind in such a way that it is confined fix the focus on a single particular subject after locating it with dedication. One can concentrate to his Aradhya Dev / Esht Dev or favorite deity.

 

7-   DHYANA - ("Meditation"): Dhyana is removing all things from mind except constant attention on the object of concentration. It purifies the mind and lights the mind with Sattva Guna.

     8-  SAMADHI - ("Liberation"): Samadhi is ultimate goal of life. merging consciousness with the object of meditation.  It is the state of super consciousness and perfect calm. It is climax of Dhyan . When Dhyan achieves maturity, the mind loses the sence of duality with the object of concentration ( Dhyan ) leading to state of Samadhi.