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Sutras in Essence YOG SUTRAS in Essence

The Yog Sutras written by Patanjali gives the detail and deeper philosophical concept of Yoga and for this reason it is widely accepted and translated in so many languages. In these YogSutras Patanjali did not describe the Yog asanas in detail, instead he enumerated the psychological disposition for the Yoga practitioner. He listed down do’s and don’ts for the Yoga practitioner while practicing the asanas and described the required support system for Yoga practice. He further wrote about the byproduct of such practices and ultimately described the final destination of the practitioner.

In the Samadhi pada, the first section the Yog sutras, the knowledge of achieving the complete absorption or intense state of concentration is described because only in complete absorption one can practice the Yoga. Even if a person wants to win the game he or she has to be in complete absorption while playing the game otherwise he may be out of the game in no time. Similarly, without stable mind one cannot practice anything in this world. Therefore, in the Yoga practices controlling the mind is most important for achieving the steady samadhi and to achieve this state one must take the shelter of ishwara while practicing Yoga.

In the Sadhana pada, the second section of yoga sutras, the act of internal and external discipline caused by determination (Samadhi) to practice the Yoga is described. Sadhana padabasically describes the process of action with determination. It explains the external discipline yama and internal discipline niyama. This section also consists the knowledge of various asanas, pranayamas, and other elemental activities.

The Vibhuti pada, the third section, talks about the transactional consequences of Sadhana with contemplation. The regular practice with steady mind and deep concentration the practitioner experiences the changes in his abilities. One who reaches this threshold of vibhuti pada, steadily gets the ability to control the surrounding. The perfect yogi’s can manipulate the nature, live a longer life, read the mind and increase memory to extraordinary levels. As one goes higher and higher, one actually becomes smaller than smallest, lighter than the lightest, getsthings from distant places without physical movement. But the beauty of yoga sutras is that, they do not intend to impress the practitioner to settle down to such Siddhis, in fact PatanjaliMuni advises the true practitioner to consciously shun such display of siddhis. One who is able to control the temptation of siddhi, is accepted as the top most Yogi. Therefore, the sincere and determined Yogis feel that such siddhis are the distraction from their goal, and they consciously move ahead to experience the last pada i.e. Kaivalya Pada.

The Kaivalya Pada describes the perfect experience of ultimate reality. Kaivalya means the oneness of consciousness. The practitioner with Bhakti yoga leaning, starts experiencing the love of his beloved deity or Bhagavan. For the astanga yogi, it is the perception of paramatma in the heart and the Jnan Yogi sees the brahaman everywhere. One who has karma yoga inkling, sees divinity in his work and in his relationships. Therefore, Kaivalya means having harmony with the natural laws and the law maker.

The Yoga sutras are not arranged leanearly, they are arranged in a circular form like a wheel. All the four pada or sections have different level of depth. As one progress in the path of yoga the wheel of depth goes deeper and deeper and the student experiences deeper levels of samadhi, sadhana, vibhuti and Kaivalya. In this way the wheel keeps moving and carrying one to experience the deeper levels of reality. Therefore, in the tradition of sanatana dharma the practice and perfection are one, and the same. The journey and destination are endless but in this endless journey itself one can experience the perfection. Therefore, it is said, that there is perfect, more perfect and most perfect.