YOGA IS THE RESTRAINT OF THOUGHT-WAVES
February 2, 2011 Comments Off on YOGA IS THE RESTRAINT OF THOUGHT-WAVES
What is Yoga? Yoga means union of the mind, body and spirit with the Divine and while this refers to a certain state of conciousness both individual and Universal, it is also a method to help one reach that goal.
Now I proceed to explain the system of yoga philosophy in brief
and bring home to the readers the salient and vital points in the yogic
system. Yoga teaches how to control the vrttis (thought-waves) of the
mind and get freedom. Yoga teaches how to curb the outgoing mind and
attain one’s pure state of bliss by going beyond the mind. Yoga teaches
how to transmute the unregenerate nature and attain the state of
divinity. Yoga is a complete suppression of the tendency of the mind to
transform itself into objects, thoughts, etc.
Raja yoga is an exact science. One can ascend the yogic ladder patiently through its
different rungs. The highest summit of the ladder is asamprajnata
samadhi (super-consciousness), wherein all the samskaras (mental
impressions), which bring about successive births, are absolutely fried
up. The eight limbs of astanga yoga are: yama (self-restraint), niyama
(religious observances or canons), asana (posture), pranayama
(restraint of breath), pratyahara (abstraction of senses), dharana
(concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (super-conscious state).
This is one kind of classification of yoga: karma, upasana, raja yoga and jnana.
This is yogatraya (three-fold yoga).
Upasana is bhakti. Another classification is mantra yoga, laya yoga,
hatha yoga and raja yoga. Mantra yoga is recitation of mantras as “Om
Namah Sivaya” of Lord Siva, “Om Namo Narayanaya” of Lord Vishnu,
Gayatri, etc. Laya yoga is kundalini yoga. Nada anusadhana
(concentration on anahata sounds of heart) is also laya yoga. Laya means
dissolution. The mind is dissolved in God.
Hatha yoga relates to the restraint of breath (pranayama), Asanas, bandhas, mudras, etc.
`Ha’ and `tha’ mean the union of sun and moon, union of prana and
apana. Hatha means any obstinate practice till the object or end is
achieved. Hatha is sticking to some spiritual practices. Mauna (vow of
silence), trataka (steady gazing), crystal-gazing, standing on one leg
(a kind of austerity) etc., are all hatha practices. Hatha yoga is not
separate from raja yoga. It prepares the student to take up raja yoga.
Hatha yoga is concerned with the breath (prana) and the physical body.
Pranayama purifies the pranamaya kosa (vital sheath).