Patanjali Sutras


The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are 196 Indian sutras (aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Raja yoga. Yoga is one of the six orthodox astika schools of Hindu philosophy, which, according to the Yogatattva Upanishad, is divided into four forms ? Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga ? the last of which is the highest (or royal) practice. Although the Yoga Sutras have become the most important text of Yoga, the opinion of most scholars is that Patanjali was not the creator of Yoga, which existed well before him, but merely a great expounder. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali prescribes adherence to eight "limbs" or steps to quiet one's mind and achieve kaivalya, i.e. solitariness or detachment. Samadhi refers to a blissful state where the yogi is absorbed into the One. Samadhi is the main technique the yogin learns by which to dive into the depths of the mind to achieve Kaivalya. 1-1. "Now the exposition of Yoga is being made. " 1-2. "The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga." 1-3. "Then the Seer (Self) abides in Its own nature." 1-16. "When there is non-thirst for even the gunas, i.e. tamas (negative), rajas (action), sattva (purity) due to realization of the Purusha, true Self, that is supreme non-attachment." 1-19. "Those you merely leave their physical bodies and attain the state of celestial deities, or those who get merged into Nature, have rebirth." 1-23. "Or Samadhi is attained by devotion with total dedication to God (Ishvara)." 1-27. "The word expression of Ishvara is the mystic sound OM." Sadhana is the Sanskrit word for "practice" or "discipline". It is the yoga of selfless action and service. 2-1. "Accepting pain as help for purification, study of spiritual books and surrender to the Supreme Being constitute Yoga in practice." 2-7. "Attachment is that which follows identification with pleasurable experiences." 2-12. "The womb of karmas (actions and reactions) has its root in these obstacles, and the karmas bring experiences in the seen (present) or in the unseen (future) births." 2-16. "Pain that has not yet come is avoidable." 2-18. "The seen (Prakriti) is of the nature of the gunas, i.e. Sattva (illumination), Rajas (activity) and Tamas (inertia) and consists of the elements and sense organs whose purpose is to provide both experiences and liberation to the Purusha (Self/Seer)." 2-21. "The seen exists only for the sake of the Seer." 2-29. "The eight limbs of yoga." 2-45. "By total surrender to God, Samadhi is attained." 2-55. "Then follows supreme mastery over the senses." Vibhuti is the Sanskrit word for "power" or "manifestation". 'Supranormal powers' (Sanskrit: siddhi) are acquired by the practice of yoga. 3-3. "Samadhi is the same meditation when there is the shining of the object alone as if devoid of form." 3-4. "The practice of these three (dharana, dhyana and samadhi) upon one object is called Samyama." 3-5. "By the mastery of samyama comes the light of knowledge." 3-16. "By practicing samyama on the three stages of evolution comes knowledge of past and future." 3-18. "By direct perception, through samyama, of one's mental impressions, knowledge of past birth is obtained." 3-25. "By samyama on the strength of elephants and other animals, their strength is obtained." 3-27. "By samyama on the sun, knowledge of the entire solar system is obtained." 3-30. "By samyama on the naval plexus, knowledge of the body's constitution is obtained." 3-32. "By samyama on the kurma nadi (below the throat), motionlessness in the meditative posture is achieved." 3-33. "By samyama on the light at the crown of the head, visions of masters and adepts are obtained." 3-35. "By samyama on the heart, the knowledge of the mind-stuff is obtained." 3-36. "The intellect and the Soul are totally different; the intellect existing for the sake of the Soul or Self (Purusha) while the Purusha exists for its own sake. Not distinguishing this is the cause of all experiences and by samyama on the distinction, knowledge of the Soul is gained." 3-38. "These super-physical senses are obstacles to Nirbija Samadhi but are siddhis (super powers) in the worldly pursuits." 3-40. "By mastery over the udana nerve current (upward vital air), ones accomplishes levitation and can leave the body at will." 3-41. "By mastery over the sumana nerve current (the equalizing vital air), comes radiance to surround the body. 3-42. "By samyama on the relationship between ear and ether, super-normal hearing becomes possible." 3-43. "By samyama on the relationship between body and ether, the traveling through the ether becomes possible." 3-46. "Eight major siddhis: anima - become small, mahima - become big, laghima - very light, garima - heavy, prapti - to reach anywhere, prakamya - to achieve all one's desires, isatva - ability to create anything, vasitva - ability to command and control anything." 3-53. "By samyama on single moments in sequence comes discriminative knowledge." 3-55. "The discriminative knowledge that simultaneously comprehends all objects in all conditions is the intuitive knowledge which brings liberation." 3-56. "When the tranquil mind attains purity equal to that of the Self, there is Absoluteness." Kaivalya literally means "isolation", but as used in the Sutras stands for emancipation, liberation and used interchangeably with moksha (liberation), which is the goal of Yoga. 4-1. "Siddhis (occult powers) are born of practices performed in previous births, or by herbs, mantra repetition, asceticism or by samadhi." 4-5. "Although the functions in the many created minds may differ, the original mind-stuff of the Yogi is the director of them all." 4-6. "Only the minds born of meditation are free from karmic impressions." 4-7. "The actions of the Yogi are neither good or bad, but the actions of others are of 3 kinds" good, bad and mixed." 4-14. "The reality of things is due to the uniformity of the gunas transformations." 4-15. "Due to differences in various minds, perception of even the same object may vary." 4-17. "An object is known or unknown dependent on whether or not the mind gets colored by it." 4-23. "The mind-stuff when colored by both Seer and seen, understands everything." 4-25. "To one who sees the distinction between the mind and the Soul, thoughts of mind as the Soul cease forever." 4-26. "Then the mind-stuff is inclined toward discrimination and gravitates towards Absoluteness." 4-29. "One who due to perfect discrimination is totally disinterested even in the highest rewards, remains in the constant discrimination discernment which is called dharma megha (cloud of dharma) samadhi." 4-30. "From that samadhi all afflictions and karmas cease." 4-31. "Then all the coverings and impurities of knowledge are totally removed. Because of the infinity of this knowledge, what remains to be known is almost nothing." 4-34. "Thus the supreme state of Independence manifests while the gunas reabsorb themselves into Prakriti (3 gunas of purity, action and inertia), having no more purpose to serve the Purusha (Self or Soul). Or to look from another angle, the power of pure consciousness settles in its own pure nature." Yama - 5 abstentions. Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truth), Asteya (non-covetousness), Brahmacharya (abstinence from sexual activity), Aparigraha (non-possessiveness). Niyama - 5 observances. Shaucha (cleanliness), Santosha (satisfaction), Tapas (austerity), Svadhyaya (study of scriptures), Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to God). Asana - Yoga. Discipline of the body. Keep it disease free and full of vital energy. Pranayama - Breathing exercises, Kapala Bhati, alternate nostril breathing, etc. Pratyahara - Withdrawal of senses from external objects. Dharana - Concentration on single physical objects, deity, God, Saints and Gurus. Dhyana - Steadfast meditation. Undisturbed flow of thought around the object of meditation. The act of meditation and the object of meditation remain distinct and separate. Samadhi - Oneness with the object of meditation. There is no distinction between act of meditation and the object of meditation.