Compiled by the sage Patanjali Maharishi in the Yoga Sutras, the eight steps are a progressive series of steps or disciplines which purify the body and mind, leading the yogi to enlightenment. The Yamas or restraints (Don'ts) are divided into five moral precepts, aimed at destroying the lower nature. They must be practiced and developed in the body, but more importantly in the spirit. Everyone should be practiced in word, thought and action.
The Yamas or restraints (Don'ts) are divided into five moral precepts, aimed at destroying the lower nature. They must be practiced and developed in the body, but more importantly in the spirit. Everyone should be practiced in word, thought and action.
- Ahimsa or non-violence
- Satyam or truthfulness
- Brahmacharya or moderation in all things (control of the senses). It also refers to celibacy.
- Asteya or not steal
- Aparigraha or coveting
The Niyamas or observances. (the Yes). They are also divided into five and complete the ethical precepts that begin with Yamas. These qualities are:
- Saucha or purity. internal and external cleaning.
- Santosha or Contentment
- Tapas or austerity
- Swadhyaya or study of sacred texts
- Iswara Pranidhana is living constantly becoming aware of the divine presence. (Surrender to the will of God)
Regulating or controlling breathing. Asanas and Pranayama form the sub-division of Raja Yoga known as Hatha Yoga.
Control of the senses to calm the mind.
Concentration. The last three steps constitute the internal practice of Raja Yoga. When Dharana is achieved, it leads us to the next step:
Meditation is the state of pure thought and absorption in the object of meditation. In Dhyana there is still duality. When perfected, Dhyana leads to the last step:
State of supra consciousness. In Samadhi non-duality or oneness is experienced. This is the deepest and highest state of consciousness where body and mind have been transcended and the Yogi is one with the Self or God.
By: +Prof: Koti Madhav Balu Chowdary