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    आपके जीवन में शिव ही शिव हो
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      What is Navratri ? " Navratri " or "Navaratri " literally means "nine nights." Navratri is celebrated twice a year, once at the beginning of the New Samvatsar (Hindu New year) in Summers and again at the onset of winter. Navratri or Navratra are therefore known as Chaitra Navratra and Shaardeya Navratra on the basis of their occ […]
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      The Legend JagatGuru Sri Adi shankara Acharaya & the Devi Sri Mookambika
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      The Mahabharatha, is the greatest, longest and one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. With more than 74,000 verses, plus long prose passages, or some 1.8 million words in total, it is one of the longest epic poems in the world. This wonderful Grantha (Sacred book) was composed by Bhagvan Sri Veda Vyasa (Krishna Dv […]
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      Mantra Diksha Blessing Like The Sun God, Like The Rainy Clouds , Like The Mother Earth  Blessing for All Mantra Dikshaa by vishwa Guru Param Pujya Sant Shri AsaramJi BapuJi
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      Bhagvan Shri Adi Sankara was one of the greatest saints of his time.He was born in a Brahmin family in Kerala. After brahmopadesa, as is usual during those times, Bramhmachari were asked to beg alms for his lunch. One day when little Adi Shankara went to a Brahmin house, the lady of the house was so poor that she did not have anything to give him. She search […]
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    • Ramayan
      Om Namaha ShivayaEka Sloki RamayanAadau Rama thapo vananu gamanam, Hathwa mrugam kanchanam,Vaidehi haranam, jatayu maranam, Sugreeva sambhashanam,Bali nigrahanam, samudhra tharanam, Lanka pureem dahanam,Paschad Ravana Kumbha karna madanam, Ethat ithi Ramayanam Author -Shri C.RajaGopalachariRamayanaTo the north of the Ganga was the great kingdom Kosala, made […]
    • Uttar Ramayan
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Shri Ram's Rajya Abhiskek01-02Hanumanji is blessed by Sita Mata with the honor to be Shri Ram's devotee always.Brahma sends Narad to Valmiki.01-03Story of Garuda & KakbhushandiGarud goes to Lord Shiva to know about Shri Ram and then goes to meet Bhushandi - the CrowBhushandi - the Crow narrates Shri Ra […]
    • Ramayan Series Page 7
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Episode 61:Ravan sends his men to Kumbhakaran's palace to wake him up from his deep sleep. They take mountains of food for him and try to awaken him with their shouts, drums and trumpets. At last, Kumbhakaran gets up and has his meal. He is told about the war and the humiliation Ravan is suffering. Ravan goes t […]
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"VED STUTIUttarkaand – Doha 13 CHHANDJai sagun nirgun roop roop anoop bhoop siromaney | Daskandharaadi prachand nisichar prabal khal bhuj bala haney || Avataar nar sansaar bhaar bibhanji daarun dukh dahey | Jai pranatpaal dayaal prabhu sanjukt sakti namaamahey || Tav bisham maayaa bas suraasur naag nar aga jaga harey […]
    • Ramayan Series Page 6
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Ramayan Episode 51:Ravan discusses the matter with his courtiers and sends Sukh to seduce Sugriv from his loyalty to Shri Ram. Sukh meets Sugriv and says: "You are a king and Ravan is another. Earn his friendship instead of risking your life for helping a disinherited prince." Sugriv sends him back, saying […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Ramayan Episode 41:Lakshman enters Kishikindha in a fury. Angad goes and informs Hanuman who requests Tara to go and allay Lakshman's wrath. Tara is able to take away the edge of Lakshman's anger and Hanuman tells Lakshman that Sugriv has already issued orders for mobilising the warriors. Sugriv apologizes […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Ramayan Episode 31: Ravan decides to kidnap Sita Mareech reluctantly becomes golden deer Shri Ram, at Sitas behest, goes after the deer 32: Mareech mimics Shri Rams voice & calls Lakshman Sita compels Lakshman to go Ravan kidnaps Sita .Shri Ram & Lakshman are upset32.132.232.332.4Epis […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Valmiki advises her to give up attachment which binds mortals to Earth. King Janak visits Ayodhya.02-11King Janak's conversation with Shri Ram. He shows Ram the letter Sita left him and tells Ram that he is proud to have a daughter like Sita.02-12Janak asks Ram to visit Mithila because Devi Sunayana is unwell.G […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Aartii ki Hanumana lalaa kiiAartii ki Hanumana lalaa kii, dushta-dalana Ragunatha kalaa kee.Jaakay bala se giriwara kaapay, roga dosha jaakay nikata na jhaakee.Anjani putra mahaa bala daayee, santana kay prabhu sadaa sahaayee.Dai biiraa Ragunaatha pataayee, Lankaa jaari siiya sudhi laaye.Lanka sau kota samudra sii k […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"BAJRANG BAAN - A PRAYER TO HANUMAN JI Nishchay Prema Prateet-tay, Vinay Karain Sanmaan,Tayhi-Kay Karaja Sakala Shubha, Sidhi Karain Hanuman Jai Hanumanta Santa Hitakaari, Suna Liijay Prabhu Araja hamariJana kay kaaja vilambana keejay, Aatura dawrii maha Sukha deejayJaisay kooda sindhur kay paara, Sursa badana paithi […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"A PRAYER TO HANUMANJI IN EIGHT VERSESBaala samai ravi bhaksha liyo, Taba teenahu loka bhayo andhiyaaroTaahi so traasa bhayo jaga-ko, Yaha sankata kaahu so jaata na taaroDewan-aani kari binatee, Taba chaari diyo ravi kashta niwaaroKo nahi jaanata hai jaga may, kapi sankat mochan naam tihaaroBaali ki traasa kapeesa ba […]
    • Rishi Prasad "Guru Nishtha" Guru Bhakt Sandeepak ki Katha
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam" ऋषि प्रसाद अध्यात्मिक मासिक पत्रिका संत श्री आसरामजी आश्रमभगवान शिवजी ने पार्वती से कहा हैःआकल्पजन्मकोटीनां यज्ञव्रततपः क्रियाः।ताः सर्वाः सफला देवि गुरुसंतोषमात्रतः।।'हे देवी ! कल्पपर्यन्त के, करोड़ों जन्मों के यज्ञ, व्रत, तप और शास्त्रोक्त क्रियाएँ – ये सब गुरुदेव के संतोषमात्र से सफल हो जाते हैं।'शिष्य […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"MANAS GURU VANDANABaalkaand – Doha 1 CHOPAIBandau guru pad paduma paraaga | Suruchi subas saras anuraaga ||Amiya murimaya churan charu | Saman sakal bhav ruj parivaru ||Sukruti sambhu tan bimal bibhuti | Manjul mangal mod prasuti ||Jana mana manju mukur mal harni | Kiye tilak gun gan bas karni ||Shri guru pad nakh m […]
    • Shiva Taandav Stotra
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"II RAM IISHIV TAANDAV STOTRAJatata veegalajjal pravaahpaavit sthaleyGaleva lambya lambitaam bhujang tung maalikaam |Damag damag damag damanninaad vahum vavrymChakaar chand taandavam tanotu nah shivam shivam || 1 ||Jataa kataah sambhram bhramanni limpa nirjhariVilole veechi vallari viraaj maan murdhani |Dhagad dhagad […]
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      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"NIRVAAN ASHTAKAMMano buddhya hankaar chittaani naahamNa cha shrotra jihvey na cha ghraan netrey |Na cha vyom bhoomir na tejo na vaayuChidaanand roopah shivoham shivoham || 1 ||Na cha praan sangyo na vai panch vaayurNa vaa sapta dhaatur na vaa panch koshah |Na vaak paani paadau na chopasth paayuChidaanand roopah shiv […]
    • Shiv Mahimna Stotra
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam" II RAM II Shree Ganeshaaya NamahSHIV MAHIMNAH STOTRAMPushpadanta Uvaacha Mahimnah paaram te paramvidusho yadyasadrishiStutirbrahmaadeenaamapi tadavasannaastvayi girah|Athaavaachyah sarvah svamatiparinaamaavadhi grinanMamaapyesha stotre har nirapavaadah parikarah || 1 ||Ateetah panthaanam tav cha mahimaa vaangmanasa […]
    • Ramayan Series Page 3
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"RamayanEpisode 21: In Nanihal, Bharath's premonition saddens him Bharath & Shatrughan return to Ayodhya On hearing about their fathers death, they are deeply shocked Bharath develops deep hatred towards his mother Kaikayee and disowns her21.121.221.321.4Episode 22: Bharath performs King Dasharath's las […]
    • Pancha Mukha Anjaneya Kavacham
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam" [Armour of Hanuman with Five Faces]Translated by P. R. Ramachander Sri Hanuman Ji assumed this form to kill Mahiravana, a powerful rakshasa black-magician and practitioner of the dark arts during the Ramayana war. Mahiravana had taken Lord Rama and Lakshmana captive, and the only way to kill him was to extinguish f […]
    • The Legend of Prince Ram
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam" Jai Siya Ram JaiSiyaRam
    • Ramayan Series Page 2
      "Namo nama Shri Guru padukabhyam"Episode 13: Celebrations mark the proclamation of Shri Ram as heir to the throne Manthra provokes Kaikayee Kaikayee gets into a rage 14: King Dashrath also gets into an angry state of mind Kaikayee requests for two wishes King Dasharath relents to his promise Bharath is hailed as future king […]
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    • Bharata the Spiritual Guru of the World
      Bharat the Spiritual Guru of the World In this context The following verse (shloka) from the Mahabharat (18.5.46) is important. अष्टादश पुराणानि धर्मशास्त्राणि सर्वशः । वेदाः साङ्गास्तथैकत्र भारतं चैकतः स्थितम् ॥ Meaning : The eighteen Purans, all the scriptures (Smrutis) and the Vedas are on one side and Bharat (ancient India) on the other. (So great is the […]
    • Suprabhatham
      "kausalya supraja rama!purva sandhya pravartate, uthishta! narasardula! kartavyam daivam ahnikam "Sri Rama! Kausalya's endearing son! Wake up, dear! You have to do your day-to-day duties do wake up please. Continue reading →
    • Shri Hari Stotram
      The one who reads with peace, This octet on Hari, Which is the destroyer of sorrow, Would definitely reach the world of Vishnu, Which is always without sorrow, And he would never undergo sorrow ever. Continue reading →
    • All About HINDUISM
      O Thou Invisible One! O Adorable One! O Supreme! Thou permeatest and penetratest this vast universe from the unlimited space down to the tiny blade of grass at my feet. Thou art the basis for all these names and forms. Thou art the apple of my eye, the Prema of my heart, the very Life of my life, the very Soul of my soul, the Illuminator of my intellect and […]
    • The Supreme Sadhana
      Everything is verily a manifestation of God; where then do differences, delusion,misfortune and misery exist? They exist in the „seeing‟ without right knowledge. For as you see,so is the world. Continue reading →
    • Shri Krishna Janma ashtami
      श्रीकृष्ण जन्माष्टमी आपका आत्मिक सुख जगाने का, आध्यात्मिक बल जगाने का पर्व है। जीव को श्रीकृष्ण-तत्त्व में सराबोर करने का त्यौहार है। तुम्हारा सुषुप्त प्रेम जगाने की दिव्य रात्रि है। श्रीकृष्ण का जीवन सर्वांगसंपूर्ण जीवन है। उनकी हर लीला कुछ नयी प्रेरणा देने वाली है। उनकी जीवन-लीलाओं का वास्तविक रहस्य तो श्रीकृष्ण तत्त्व का आत्मरूप से अनुभव किये हुए महापुरूष […]
    • Vedic Astrology: Jyothish Light of Knowledge
      INTRODUCTION Of Indian Jyothish or Hindu Jyothish or Vedic Jyothish. Vedas are the oldest, the most authentic and the most sacred scriptures to understand the mysteries of nature Vedas are oldest books in the library of the world.' The date when did the Sourya Mandal came into existence is written in " BramandPuraan ". Continue reading → […]
    • Bhagvaan ki Kripa
      धनभागी हैं वे, जो संत-दर्शन की महत्ता जानते हैं, उनके दर्शन-सत्संग का लाभ लेते हैं, उनके द्वार पर जा पाते हैं, उनकी सेवा कर पाते हैं और धन्य है यह भारतभूमि, जहाँ ऐसे आत्मारामी संत अवतरित होते रहते हैं। Continue reading → […]
    • Rudraksha : The Divine Gem
      The terms Rudraksha literally means the "Eyes" of Shiva and is so named in His benevolence. Shiva Purana describe Rudraksha's origin as Lord Shiva's tears. He had been meditating for many years for the welfare of all creatures. On opening the eyes, hot drops of tears rolled down and the mother earth gave birth to Rudraksha trees. Continue […]
    • Navagraha Stotra Mala For Daily Recital
      Navagraha Stotra Mala For Daily Recital for the blessing of all Nine Grahas Continue reading →
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  • Jai Guru Dev

    This Blog is an Humble attempt to spread the Divine Message of Pujjya BapuJi & Dedicated at the Lotus feets SHRI CHARANKAMAL Of PARAM PUJYA GURUJI SANT SHRI ASARAM JI BAPU VishwaGuru Of the Age.

    The essence of Bharata lies in Her culture of Self-realization. ParamAtman is not seen as something apart, but as our very essence, the one True Self that resides in the heart of us all. Raising ourselves from ordinary individuals to the heights of Supreme Consciousness is only possible with the guidance of one who is already in that transcendent state. Such a one is called a Satguru, a True Yogi, as in one who has gained mastery over the mind, one who is beyond the mind.

    From ancient times up to the present day, an unbroken succession of Self-realized Saints have incarnated in the Land of Yogis & Saints Bharata to lead seekers of Truth to the ultimate reality.

    Yada Yada hee Dharmasya glaneer bhavati Bharat
    Abhyusthanam Adharmasya Tadaatmanam Sreejamyaham
    Paritranaaya Sadhunaam Vinaashaya cha Dushkritaam
    Dharma Sansthapna arthaya Sambhavami Yuge Yuge
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from http://www.atmabodh.net


Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy and way of life, where complete harmony between our body and mind is achieved by special exercise (Asanas), breathing (Pranayama) and meditation. Yoga is the product of thousand years of research done by rishis in ancient India. The aim of Yoga is to live a healthy living and attain self-enlightenment. Yoga means to yoke (to unite) with the source of our Being. In Yoga through practices of holding a variety of body positions or asanas, and the centering of the mind and breath in a meditative way, the practitioner increases body awareness, posture, flexibility of body and mind and calmness of spirit.

Shariam Dharma Sadhanam
our Human Body is the only way to attain Dharma
so Yoga is the Science of making human body able to reach final goal of Sanatana Dharma The Sel Realization.

Best of all, Yoga is apt for all, regardless of age, color, caste, creed or religion; from the healthiest to the sickest, from the richest to the poorest, from the whitest to the blackest.

Benefits of Yoga

· Brings down stress and enhances powers of relaxation

· Boosts physical strength, stamina and flexibility

· Bestows greater powers of concentration and self control

· Inculcates impulse Control

· Helps in rehabilitation of old and new injuries

· Intensifies tolerance to pain and enhancing mental clarity

· Boosts functioning of the immune system

· Enhances posture and muscle tone

· Improves blood circulation

· Results in healthy, glowing skin

· Cleanses and improves overall organ functioning

· Bestows peace of mind and a more positive outlook to life

· Infuses a sense of balance and internal harmony

Yoga Asanas serve as stable postures for prolonged meditation. More than just stretching, asanas open the energy channels, chakras and psychic centers of the body. Asanas purify and strengthen the body and control and focus the mind.


An individual’s personality consists of Panch Kosh or five sheaths. These five sheaths are:

1. Annamaye Kosh or food sheath
2. Pranamaye Kosh or vital-air sheath
3. Manomayh Kosh or mental sheath
4. Viganamayh Kosh or intellectual sheath
5. Anandamaya Kosh or bliss sheath

1. Annamaye Kosh or food sheath

As the name itself suggests, the first level to take into consideration is the physical body that subsists on gross food and drink. That includes the body and its physiological processes, as viewed from a Western perspective. From the Indian perspective, the human anatomy is viewed via the ayurvedic tridoshas. These describe both the overall body type of the individual as well as its current condition.

The physical body is called the food sheath. As the name implies, the physical structure arises out of food, exists in food, after death goes back to become food for other living organisms. This sheath consists of the five organs of perception and five organs of action.

2. Pranamaye Kosh or vital-air sheath

The human being is an intricate network of energy, creativity and intelligence. Hence the need for a proper flow of energy to maintain good health. The Pranic or Energy Sheath, contains all the prana vayus (breaths of energy) in the system, the energy channels or nadis and the chakras or energy centers. Hence it is also called the “vital sheath” or “vital body”. Prana, the vital breath which man lives by, is the bridge between the gross and subtle bodies as well as between the other koshas. Amending one’s breathing patterns through pranayama, helps enhance the flow of energy in the right direction.

The vital-air sheath represents the internal physiological functions of the body. This sheath consists of five faculties:

(1) Prana or perception,

(2) Apana or excretion,

(3) Samana or digestion,

(4) Vyana or circulation, and
(5) Udana or thinking. This sheat controls and regulates the food sheath. With age, all five faculties become weaker.

3. Manomayh Kosh or mental sheath

The third is the Mental or, here understood as the psycho-emotional sheath. It is the abode of all the dominant emotional and thought patterns that comprise one’s personality. Our feelings, stimuli and responses to situations, thoughts and actions spring from this sheath. The strength or weakness of this sheath decides whether a person is emotional or unemotional, easily or uneasily moved, gross or sensitive.

Mental sheath controls and regulates the food sheath and the vital-air sheath. The mind is always in the state of flux. It is the source of emotions and feelings.

4. Viganamayh Kosh or intellectual sheath

Then comes the fourth sheath, again the Mental, but here referred to as the Intellectual sheath. Whereas at the third level, the mind functions as a stimulus/response mechanism, in the fourth sheath, one is able to understand and discern. Further, personal understanding permits us to look beyond personal roles and perceive the larger picture. This is the level of cognition, conditioning or de-conditioning of one’s core beliefs, the most deeply rooted of which is the ‘I’ concept. In Sanskrit this is referred to as the ‘aham’, from which springs the word ‘ahamkara’. Little wonder then that this is the seat of the ego.
The mental sheath is controlled by the intellectual sheath, which is the seat of judgment, decision, and directed thinking.

5. Anandamaya Kosh or bliss sheath

The fifth level is least easily understood, but for reasons of explanation to the lay public is referred to as the sheath of bliss. Here the minds is said to rest in its intrinsic, natural state of bliss and ease. This is of vital understanding in relation healing since it refers to one’s health as essential nature, devoid of ‘chitta-vrittis’ or confusions and distraction

The bliss sheath is the innermost or subtlest of the five sheaths, which regulates the intellectual sheath. It consists of Vasanas (innate tendencies or undogested desires) before they become manifest into thoughts and actions.

How the Five Koshas are affected

1. Annamaya Kosha
The physical body has been bestowed with, besides other things, the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems to cope with stress situations. Roughly translated into Western terminology this refers to the glandular system in our bodies. In any emergency situation, the sympathetic system is automatically activated, ensuring a quick and spontaneous flow of essential fluids to cope with the situation. When the stress response is engaged normally and healthily, the body adapts to stress situations with a steadily elevated blood pressure.

Subsequently, it is the duty of the parasympathetic system to pull the sympathetic back to its original state. Unfortunately, down the years, and particularly in modern days, the frequency and intensity of stress situations have grown so much that the organs involved are subject to abnormal pressures. The parasympathetic system, after a while, can no longer bring its sympathetic counterpart back to normal and hence a failure in the endocrine and other vital systems of the body, leading to such psychosomatic syndromes as asthma, chronic constipation, blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc eventually resulting, in heart disease even.

2. Pranamaya Kosha
The spasmodic dilations and contractions in the organs, veins and arteries of the physical body are a direct reflex response to cope with changing situations. This is what is happening in the energy body as well. In stress situations, the breath becomes short and rapid and, subsequently, the flow of energy is restricted. Over time, the breath becomes stifled, one starts to suffer from palpitation and shortness of the breath. Without being really aware of what’s happening, there is a rapid contraction and expansion in the entire energetic sheath. While, this may be helpful in emergencies, imagine what it will do to the system in the long run. Result, psychosomatic diseases like asthma.

3. Manomaya Kosha
Actually, it happens both ways and here there’s no telling which came first, the chicken or the egg. Emotional upsets and disturbances send out stimuli to the other sheaths. Subsequently, dilations and contractions in the Annamaya and Pranamaya Koshas happen. But, in actual fact they start at the mental level. Over time it becomes a chronic syndrome. Love, hate, resentment, ambition, competition and hostility are only some of the characterizations.

While in genuine situations, these emotions may be considered healthy response and create the necessary backups and reinforcements for survival, what happens when they become chronic and repetitive are translated into states of anguish, anxiety and depression. Subsequently, they perpetuate the physical stress response and man falls into the vicious cycle of coping with habitual stress. Extricating oneself from this is a trying and, sometimes, impossible process.

4. Vijnanamaya Kosha

This is best illustrated in the Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2, verses 62 and 63:
Man first contemplates on an object of desire. That develops in the mind attachment to it. From this attachment springs desire. Failure to satisfy desire leads to frustration. From frustration comes anger, leading to delusion. Continuous delusion results in loss of memory, resulting in destruction in the intellect. When the intellect is destroyed, everything is lost.

5. Anandamaya Kosha

The above situation is precisely what prevents man from reaching his natural state of bliss. A constant state of being opposed to bliss is frustration, anger, disappointment and their attendant psycho-physiological strains, resulting in afflictions of the mind-body syndrome.

Introduction to Ashtanga Yogaa:- In Sanskrit “Ashta + anga” is Ashtanga. “Ashta” means Eight and “Anga” is limbs so it means Eight Limb path, ashtanga yoga is based on Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali. The asanas, Pranayamas or the dharana which we have studied earlier or the yam and niyam are based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Hence, we will acquaint ourselves with the fundamentals as stated by Patanjali first.

History of Ashtanga Yogaa
Yogaa has its roots about 5000 years BC as described in Vedic Philosophy and Tantras. Patanjali , great sage composed this path into a Darshan(Philosophy) in his Book Patanjal Yoga Sutra. In which he has formulated Yoga as a Eight Limbs or Eight Fold path.

Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga –

1. Yama (Principles or moral code)
* Ahimsa – A principle of non-violence
* Satya – A principle of Truthfulness
* Asteya – A principle of non stealing
* Brahmacharya – Continence / celibacy
* Aparigah – A principle of non-hoarding or non possessiveness
2. Niyama (Personal Disciplines)
* Shoucha – Purity
* Santosh – Contentment
* Tapa – Endurance
* Swadhyaya- Self study
* Eshwar Pranidhan- Dedication
3. Asana – (Yoga Postures / positions) A stable and comfortable posture which helps attain mental equilibrium.

4. Pranayama – (Yoga Breathing) Extension and control of breath.
5. Pratyahara – (Withdrawal of Senses) A mental preparation to increase the power of mind.
6. Dharana – (Concentration on Object) Concentration of mind on one object and its field.
7. Dhyan – (Meditation) With drawing mind from all external objects and Focusing it on one point and meditating on it.
8. Samadhi – (Salvation) State of Super bliss, joy and merging individual consciousness in to universal consciousness. Union between Jivatman and Paramatman. Union of Shiva and Shakti in Sahasrar Chakra (the top of the head). Realizing the Bramhan (pure consciousness) or Realization of God is the ultimate achievement of Human Birth.

Maharishi Patanjali

Patanjali, undoubtedly the greatest expounder of Yoga, lived sometime between 500 and 200 B.C. The life of Patanjali is an enigma to modern historians, and almost nothing is known about this great Master who epitomizes Yoga. It is only with the help of legends that one can draw inferences about him. Undoubtedly he was a great Yoga adept and was perhaps the head of a school in which “Swadhyaya”, study of the Self, was regarded as an important aspect of spiritual practice.

Indian history is presumptive of several individuals by the name of Patanjali. Three of them were well-known; the first one being the famous grammarian who wrote the commentary on Panini’s Ashtadhyayi (the Mahabhashya) and compiled the Yoga Sutras, the classical text on Raja Yoga. The Mahabhashya symbolises the perfection of the discipline in grammar. The object of grammar is to supply rules for control of current speech (laukika) for the preservation of the integrity of the Vedas and the comprehension of proper meaning. The second person named Patanjali wrote the Nidana-Sutras, considered indispensable for the study of the Vedic ritual literature; while the third was a well-known teacher of Samkhya Philosophy. The above three people, in the historian’s view, happen to come from different time periods and are considered to be different personalities.

The Indian Tradition however, differs in opinion strongly and advocates that the above different treatises were done by a single person and even further, attributes various medical treatises to him. In the Indian tradition, Patanjali is said to be self-born, swayambhu. He was a highly-evolved soul who incarnated of his own will in a human form to help humanity. He is also considered an incarnation of Ananta, the source of all wisdom (Jnana) and of Shesha, the thousand-headed ruler of the serpent race, which is thought to guard the hidden treasures of the earth. Ananta depicts a couch on which God Vishnu reclines. He is the Lord of serpents and his many heads symbolize Infinity or Omnipresence. Many yogis bow to Ananta before they begin their daily yogic practice. In one of the legends, it is said that Lord Vishnu was seated on Adishesha, the Lord of serpents as His couch, watching the enchanting Yogic Dance {Tandava} dance of Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu was so totally absorbed in the dance of Lord Shiva, that His body began to vibrate to its rhythm. This vibration made Him heavier and heavier, causing Adishesha to feel so uncomfortable that he was gasping for breath and was on the point of collapse.

The moment the dance came to an end, Lord Vishnu’s body became light again. Adishesha was amazed and asked his master the cause of these stupendous changes. The Lord explained that the grace, beauty, majesty and grandeur of Lord Shiva’s dance had created corresponding vibrations in His own body, making it heavy. Marvelling at this, Adishesha professed a desire to learn dance so as to exalt his Lord. Vishnu then became thoughtful, and predicted that soon Lord Shiva would grace Adishesha to write a commentary on grammar, and that he would then also be able to devote himself to perfection in the art of dance. Adishesha was overjoyed by these words and looked forward to the descent of Lord Shiva’s grace. Adishesha then began to meditate to ascertain who would be his mother on earth. In meditation, he had the vision of a yogini by the name of Gonika who was praying for a worthy son to whom she could impart her knowledge and wisdom. He at once realized that she would be a worthy mother for him, and awaited an auspicious moment to become her son. Gonika, thinking that her earthly life was approaching its end, and that her desire of finding a worthy son would remain unfulfilled; now, as a last resort looked to the Sun God, the living witness of God on earth and prayed to Him to fulfil her desire. She took a handful of water as a final oblation to Him, closed her eyes and meditated on the Sun. As she was about to offer the water, she opened her eyes and looked at her palms. To her surprise, she saw a tiny snake moving in her palms, who soon took on a human form. This tiny human baby prostrated to Gonika and asked her to accept him as her son. This she did and named him Patanjali because her hands had been in the prayerful gesture (anjali) and he had fallen (pat) from heaven.

. The story goes that once in Darukavanam, Shiva wished to teach a lesson to the Rishis who were proud of their learning. Shiva took the form of a mendicant with a begging bowl in hand, accompanied by Vishnu disguised as Mohini. The rishipatnis (wives of the Rishis) were attracted by the sight of this beautiful pair. The Rishis grew angry and tried to destroy the pair. They performed a sacrificial fire and raised a tiger from the fire, which sprang at Shiva. Shiva pealed off the skin of the tiger and wrapped it round his waist. Then again the Rishis sent a poisonous serpent and Shiva tied it round his neck. Then the Rishis sent against Shiva an Apasmara Purusha, a demon who symbolizes worldy pleasures & impure desires whom Lord Shiva crushed by pressing him to the ground with his foot. At this, the Rishis confessed defeat and Shiva started to dance before all the Gods and Rishis.

Lord Adishesha heard the description of Shiva’s dance at Darukavanam from Vishnu and requested Vishnu to allow him to witness the dance himself. Vishnu agreed to this. Adishesha performed penance and prayed to Shiva to allow him to see the dance. Being pleased with his penance, Shiva appeared to him and promised that he would be blessed in a human form. Accordingly, Adishesha was born as a human being, as Patanjali, and went to the forest for Tapasya. At this time a certain sage, Vyaghrapada, also lived in this forest. Vyaghrapada was the son of Madhyandina Rishi who lived on the banks of the Ganga. He came to the South under the directions of his father and started praying to the Swayambhulinga under a banyan tree near a lake in this forest. He used to collect flowers for puja and he prayed for the boon of getting tiger’s feet and claws, so that he could easily climb up the trees and pluck plenty of flowers. He also prayed for the eyes of bees, so that he could collect the flowers before any bee could taste the honey in them. His prayer for these two blessings was granted, and since he had the feet of a tiger, he was called Vyaghrapada. Each constructed his own hermitage, . They started worshipping Shiva in the form of the Swayambhu Shivlinga in the forest. Days passed and when the time came for Shiva to give them Darshan, the guardian Goddess of the place, Kalika Devi, interfered and did not allow Shiva to give His Darshan. Shortly afterwards, Shiva and Devi agreed that they should participate in a dance contest and that the winner should have undisputed possession of Tillai. So the dance started. At one moment during the dance, the Lord’s earrings fell down, but the Lord took them up from the floor in such a way that nobody could notice the loss and the recovery. This dance is called Urdhva Tandavam in which Shiva defeated Kalika Devi. Now Nataraja performed the Ananda Tandavam, i.e. the Dance of Bliss, in the presence of all Goddesses and all the Gods and Rishis, and at the same time fulfilled the wish of the two devotees, Patanjali and Vyaghrapada, by allowing them to witness it and thus satisfying them. Another story tells that once upon a time Nandi, Shiva’s carrier, would not allow Patanjali Muni to have Darshan of Lord Shiva . In order to reach Lord Shiva, Patanjali, with his mastery over grammatical forms, spontaneously composed a prayer in praise of the Lord without using any extended (Dirgha) syllable, (without Charana and Shringa) i.e. leg and horn, to tease Nandi. Shiva was quickly pleased, gave Darshan to the devotee and danced to the lilting tune of this song.

These three short legends throw some light upon Patanjali and his greatness.



The science of Yoga considers every aspect of human life. While considering an individual, Yoga has thought of both the body as well as the mind. As an individual is a subject belonging to the society, Yoga as a science, has considered the society as well. Though, this science maintains that a seeker has to shun all his requirements and pursue the sadhana in a remote place like a cave in a mountain, to achieve the ultimate goal of Samadhi, it has also admitted that such a seeker is basically a common human being. Like all others, he too has his own requirements. Apart from food, clothing and shelter, he too needs company and wants to live in a society. In fact, he relates and reacts to the society emotionally. The yoga intends to teach sadhana to such a common human being and leads him to the samadhi. Accepting this as a basis, the eight stages of progress are defined in the science of yoga, state Yam and Niyam as the first two stages. Yam and Niyam are the first two aspects of the eightfold Yoga. Rishi Patanjali has mentioned this in the second pada, Sadhana Pada in the following aphorism:

Yamniyamsanpranayampratyahardharanadhyansamadhayoshtavangani || P Y S 2.29

The third and the fourth steps in Yoga are Asanas and Pranayam. Yam and Niyam come before that. That also shows that the starting point of Yoga studies is not Asanas and Pranayam, but the study of Yam and Niyam. If one starts the study of Yoga ignoring these Yam and Niyam, he will not be in a position to experience the results of the studies as expected. Hence, to seek the desired results from the Yoga Studies, these Yam and Niyam should be faithfully observed. One cannot negotiate in this aspect. If the Yam and Niyam are not observed fully, the benefits of the studies will also fail to accrue fully. This is true regarding any science.

We can take the example of the electricity which is used daily. To use the electric power, one has to install wiring as per the defined rules. One has to use the electricity conductors and the chokes. One has to apply to the electricity board, pay the required amount, install the meter and in general observe the rules and regulations. Failure to observe the rules will result in loss of connection. It may also lead to accidents due to electric shocks. People generally do not say that they should be able to use the electric power without observing the rules. In fact, one will be laughed at if one says like that. And even if one insists on doing that, he will have to suffer the results. However, in the case of Yoga, many ask why the Yam and Niyam are to be observed. What will happen if they are not observed? How the benefits of the asanas and Pranayam study will depend on the observance of Yam and Niyam? Can one not study Yoga without observing Yam and Niyam? However, a simple answer to all these questions is if one studies Yoga and Pranayam without observing Yam and Niyam, one would not get the desired results.

Uptill now, it is stated that Yam and Niyam are conditions or restrictions. It is stated in that manner so that the meaning can be easily grasped. However, Yam and Niyam are not actually restrictions, but freedom from restrictions. Ordinary common people do not understand what are restrictions and what is the freedom from the restrictions. Yoga starts with freedom from such restrictions. In our daily life, we ourselves impose certain restrictions. Certain restrictions arise due to our karma. The study of Yam and Niyam is in reality freedom from such restrictions.

There are five Yam and five Niyam. Patanjal Yoga has described these Yam and Niyam. However, Hathapradeepika has described ten Yam and ten Niyam. Yam direct about how a common man should behave in the society, whereas Niyam guide regarding the individual behaviour. Niyam follow Yam, which are stated in the beginning. That means the points to be observed while being in society are given first and then the points about the personal behaviour. This also indicates that the Yoga has considered the society first and then the individual. The science of Yoga, which stresses on renunciation and sadhaka staying away from the society, has given a clear-cut guidance about how an individual should behave in the society.

To start a detailed study of the Yam and Niyam, first we shall consider the Patanjal Yoga Aphorisms and then consider the Hathapradeepika.

Stating the eight aspects of Yoga in the 29 th aphorism, the next aphorism describes Yam:
Tatrahimsasatyasteyabrahmacharyaparigraha yamh || P Y S 2.30

Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha are the five Yam. The text does not describe them further, but we will go in detail.

Ahimsa (Non Violence):

Ahimsa means not to kill anyone. Killing generates pain; hence ahimsa can mean not to cause pain to anyone. Yoga demands ahimsa in totality. That means, himsa does not mean only killing or hitting anyone. That is a limited meaning of the word or only physical aspect. To hurt someone mentally is also a himsa. That is oral himsa. Yoga also states further that even thinking ill of someone is also a himsa, which is a mental himsa. Hence, ahimsa covers all aspects such as physical, oral, mental. This indicates the greatness of the depth of the science of yoga. Patanjal Yoga aphorism states the results of following such ahimsa:

Ahimsa pratishthayam tatsannidhou vairatyagah || P Y S 2-35

One, who observes ahimsa, succeeds in eliminating feelings of enmity. If ahimsa is followed for a long time, not only the sadhaka, but even his surroundings are affected and enmity is eliminated in the minds of all who come in contact with him. Thus, ahimsa is not only elimination of physical, mental, oral hurt, but also wiping out the feelings of enmity. The surroundings of such a sadhaka are also changed effectively.

Thus, for Yoga studies such high degree ahimsa is prescribed. However, not all Yoga Sadhakas aspire for samadhi. Their expectations from the yoga studies are limited. From their point of view such great ahimsa may not be able to be observed continuously. Hence, in day-to-day life it should be considered how far such ahimsa is to be observed. A common man may not be able to follow ahimsa in entirety.

If we consider the example of fishermen, their basic activity is fishing from the sea and sale of the produce. If he decides to follow the principle, he will not be able to carry on his daily activity. Hence, for him, he may not be able to follow the principle of ahimsa and he is not expected also to follow it. However, those who desire to progress further in Yoga should shun all such activities. Initially, one may not be able to observe total ahimsa. However, one should constantly keep the definition of ahimsa in mind and try to follow it. All the activities should be analysed in the mind to determine what kind of himsa, physical, oral, mental arises from one’s activity. After analysis, it may be found that at times, certain activities generate himsa, which can be easily avoided. Then the mind and the body can be trained to avoid such activity. Such training is the first step towards following ahimsa entirely.

Satya (Truthfulness):

Satya should also be considered in depth. It does not only cover speaking the truth. Proper understanding of the talk and the mind is the truth. Here, proper means exactly what is seen, understood or heard, the same thing should be followed by our tendency to talk and also by the mind. When we try to explain something to others, the conversation if it generates doubts or if it is not understood correctly by others, or if it is of no use to others, then that is not truth, even if it is true. Also, God has created our tongue for the benefit of all and not for destruction. So the truth, which results in the destruction of someone or something, is also not the truth. Mahabharata has analysed and classified the truth as under: Silence is greater than the speech, true speech is greater than the silence, speech as per one’s dharma is greater than it and the true speech according to dharma and which is pleasurable and useful to others is the greatest.

Patanjali Rishi has stated the results of the truth as under:

Satyapratishthayam kriyaphalashrayatvam || P Y S 2-36

With constant following of the truth and the commensurate behaviour, one gets vachasiddhi. That means without performing any religious rites, the results of the karma accrue to him and to others due to his speech and blessings.

Asteya (Honesty):

Steya means theft. Asteya means not stealing anything. However, asteya has a comprehensive meaning and is not limited to not stealing something from the other and keeping it in possession. It means not keeping anything with self, which does not belong to the self. If one finds something lying on the street and picks it up thinking that no one has seen him and since that was lying on the street, some one is bound to pick it up, then why not me, then that is also a theft. Picking up or possessing something, which does not have any owner, is also a theft. When one sees some money lying on the deserted street, there is a desire to pick it up. However, then the conscience starts pricking one that the money does not belong to him and hence should not be picked up. The other mind says that why not pick it up, if not me, someone else is bound to pick it up. The battle of the two minds starts increasing the heartbeats. If the bad conscience wins, then the intelligence propels the body to pick it up. But yet the good conscience keeps on advising against it. The money is picked up, but only after losing the calmness of the mind and after increasing the heart beats. There is an increasing pressure on the mind even after the money is picked up. The mind is disturbed; there is no concentration in work. When this becomes unbearable, one decides to donate the money somewhere, which will reduce the disturbance to some extent. Again while depositing the money in a temple or at some religious place, the heartbeats increase imagining the questions that may be raised by someone else. When ultimately it is deposited and one is free, the mind becomes calm and quiet and the pressure disappears. This process can be viewed in start of theft. The pressure generated in the process does have bad effects on the body and the internal glands. If asteya is observed, the body and the mind do not have to undergo such strain. This is the meaning and conclusion of asteya.

This is an effect of the actual physical process of theft. But even if a thought of the theft peeps into the mind, it can affect the mental and thereby the physical health. If the electronic impulses generated through the brain are measured with the help of a machine, it is observed that there are wide changes while being in such a state. Hence, yoga states that one should not even imagine the theft. The following aphorism states the effects:

Asteyapratishthayam sarvratnopasthanam || P Y S 2.37

A sadhaka is endowed with all jewels (virtues) when he practises asteya.

Yoga sadhaka should follow continence, but this does not mean that he should renounce family life and become a monk; such an action is not expected in Yoga science. When a sadhaka progresses on the path of Yoga, on his own he feels that he should renounce the worldly activities and he will be free from all desires and hence can easily study dhyana and dharana. However, all of us need not follow this path. So we need not stretch the meaning of continence to this level. Controlled enjoyment of desires, staying within the limit of dharma and science can be termed as continence. If we understand this meaning and behave accordingly, we will be able to progress in Yoga. Due to uncontrolled behaviour, we are more restricted. Desires, their fulfillment and enjoyment do have a place in the family life, but there should be some limit. It is we who should control the desires and not desires controlling us. Once the desires start ruling us, we lose our freedom. If the desires are not fulfilled, then we lose our mental and physical well being.

If observing such continence seems difficult initially, when we think deeply about it, it is not so difficult as it seems. However, one has to make an effort. One should deliberately avoid consumption of items, which increase the desire or reading material, which excites the feelings. Old religious texts have detailed clarification on this point.

One who has renounced worldly matters

Patanjali Rishi has stated the following aphorism:

Brahmacharyapratishthayam viryalabhah || P Y S 2.38

One who observes continence, gets illuminated and acquires various siddhis.

Aparigrah (Non possessiveness):

Aparigrah means not hoarding anything. Storing things, which are not required by us, is known as parigrah. For example: If we are thirsty, we can quench the thirst after drinking a glass of water. Even if one brings a pot full of water, the thirst gets quenched with a glass only. But this gives rise to other problems. First to bring pot full of water, one has to search for so much water as well as for a pot. One has to run around to get these things. To bring water also, one has to put in some efforts. Even after the thirst is quenched, there remains a question as to what is to be done of the remaining water. Where it should be kept, how long the water will remain pure, efforts to keep it safely, all these problems arise thereby increasing the mental and physical strain. If one quenches his thirst by drinking water using his hands, then all these problems do not arise at all. This results in saving all the efforts. This example can be applied to other matters too. We can also say that when we are able to satisfy our hunger by eating the various bulbs and fruits grown by the nature, why do we strive so much? In fact, it is not essential. But yet we strive to grow food crops, and put in a lot of efforts to process them afterwards. To make up for all these efforts, we go on eating more. This circle continues endlessly. Yoga aims at not giving rise to such circles at all. We should enjoy only what is necessary and that too in a controlled manner. Not to store or hoard the things is aparigrah.

Of course, we should think about this by using common sense. To observe aparigrah, one should not run behind acquiring things, which are not necessary. The point is illustrated by a common example. We have food when we are hungry, to satisfy the hunger. Even when the hunger is satisfied, sometimes we tend to eat more, just because we like the taste and it satisfies the tongue. When we consume such excess, it affects the body harmfully. The food does not get digested well and then diseases such as non-digestion, constipation etc arises. If we consume only the necessary amount, then we do not have to suffer. Hence, yoga sadhaka should try to follow aparigraha with efforts. The results are described as follows:

Aparigrahsthiarye janmakathantasambodhah || P Y S 2.39

One who learns and follows aparigraha in entirety gets the knowledge of past, present and future. He also knows about his past birth.

After describing the five niyam in this way, Patanjali has stated the following aphorism:

Jatideshkalsamayanavachinnah sarvabhouma mahavatrah | P Y S 2.31

Yogi should religiously follow the five yams. When the yams are to be followed, it is stated in this aphorism that they are to be followed irrespective of caste, country, period, time etc. Yoga states that these yams should be followed by all castes, all over the country in any place and at whatever period and time.

Rishi Patanjali in the Ashtangyoga has given five yams, but Hathapradeepikkar in their text have stated ten yams. The basic principles are the same, however the description is a little bit different. The following ten yams are stated in Hathapradeepika.

Ahimsa Satyamsteyam brahmacharyam kshama dhrutih ||
Dayarjavam mitaharh shoucham chaiva yama dash || H P

Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Kshama, Dhruti, Daya, Arjav, Mitahar and Shoucha.

We have already reviewed Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya and Brahmacharya. Shoucha is included in Niyama, so we will consider the rest of the Yam.

Kshama (Pardon):

Kshama is a big virtue. Common people err quite a few times, which hurts or proves troublesome for others. Then the others react by getting angry. Again the reaction is met with another reaction. In this process, the calmness of the body and the mind gets lost. Hence, the yoga sadhaka should not resist or react against the improper attitude of another or some mistake committed by another. Resistance leads to further disputes and the results are to be faced by everyone. Kshama from the point of view of sadhaka is not reacting or not resisting. Because of this sadhaka does not have to face the disturbances, which arise out of such resistance. Also, when there is mental as well as physical preparation for not reacting, the effect of the blow also gets reduced and the mind turns calm. Generally, when the people realise the magnitude of the mental preparation, they also stay away from affecting any blows on the sadhaka.

Dhruti (Courage):

Dhruti means courage. It is essential for performing or achieving anything. If there is no courage, great things cannot be achieved. In human life, there are several incidences where one gets attacked by many emotions. We have to fight such feelings. Many lose courage while doing so and fall prey to these feelings. They repent afterwards. So while leading the life, whenever such incidents occur, one should have the courage to face the emotions and gain victory over them. By turning away from such emotions does not solve any problems, but increases them.

Daya (Pity):

While kshama is a reaction on any action, daya is not a reaction but an action itself. To assist someone with sympathy is daya. Like ahimsa, daya is also physical, oral and mental. To help someone with bodily actions or by giving money is physical action. To console someone by sympathising with kind words is oral daya. And to think kindly in mind about the poor and wishing them all the best in life is mental daya. Daya not only leads to peace of the body as well as the mind, but also gives mental satisfaction.

Aarjav (Humbleness):

To behave humbly with everyone after casting aside the ego is aarjav. Casting aside of one’s ego is important. Many problems in our day-to-day life arise out of ego. When there is no ego, there are no problems and one does not have to search for their solutions. When the ego is forsaken, the heart, tongue and mind turn soft and simple. That is known as aarjav. It is expected that sadhaka should be humble and modest. Due to this humble attitude, sadhaka goes nearer to the God.

Mitahar (Restricted diet):

The body needs food, but many times we tend to consume more than necessary. Sometimes, just because it tastes good to the tongue, sometimes due to the wish in the mind, or sometimes just out of habit. Yoga sadhaka should make it a point to avoid such excess consumption. The intake of such excess food affects the body in a harmful manner. The physical health is also affected and the mental health too is lost. One should take the necessary diet at proper times. This is known as mitahar


Niyam is a set of behaviors codified as “the observances” in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varuha Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, the Tirumantiram of Tirumular and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. All the above texts list ten Niyamas, with the exception of Patanjali’s work, which lists only five. They comprise the “shall-do” in our dealings with the inner world, and Swami Vivekananda describes them as the second step of Raja yog The ten traditional Niyamas are:

Hri: remorse, being modest and showing shame for misdeeds;

Santosha: contentment; being satisfied with the resources at hand – therefore not desiring more;

Dana: giving, without thought of reward;

Astikya: faith, believing firmly in the teacher, the teachings and the path to enlightenment;

Ishvarapujana: worship of the Lord, the cultivation of devotion through daily worship and meditation, the return to the source;

Siddhanta shravana: scriptural listening, studying the teachings and listening to the wise of one’s lineage;

Mati: cognition, developing a spiritual will and intellect with the guru’s guidance;

Vrata: sacred vows, fulfilling religious vows, rules and observances faithfully;

Japa: recitation, chanting mantras daily;

Tapas: the endurance of the opposites; hunger and thirst, heat and cold, standing and sitting etc.
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the Niyamas are the second limb of the eight limbs of Raja Yoga. They are found in the Sadhana Pada Verse 32 as:

Shaucha: in the traditional codification, this item is listed under Yamas; this word means purity.
Santosha: contentment.
Tapas: austerity.
Svadhyaya: self-study or study of spiritual scriptures.
Ishvarapranidhana: self-surrender.

The practice of Yoga Exercises means practicing both your body and your mind. It takes willpower and perseverance to accomplish each Yoga Pose and to practice it daily. The practice of Yoga Exercises or Yoga Asanas can improve your health, increase your resistance, and develop your mental awareness. Doing the Yoga Poses requires to study each pose and execute it slowly as you control your body and your mind.


Pratyahara is the fifth element among the Eight stages of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yog. At this stage, the consciousness of the individual is internalized in order that the sensations from the senses of taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell don’t reach their respective centres in the brain. With this, the Sadhak, or disciple, is free to meditate without distractions.

At the advanced levels, the electrical currents which pulsate through the nerves and even the involuntary muscles are turned off by the practitioners. This is accomplished through Pranayama or breath-control.Apart from Pranayam, another device that is used to aid in the development of Pratyahar is to concentrate on the point between the eyebrows. This location is known as Ajna Chakra or the third eye.


Dharana is a Sanskrit term from the verbal root dhri to hold, carry, maintain, resolve; and it is the sixth stage, step or limb of eight elucidated by Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga or Raja Yoga. For a detailed account of the Eight Limbs refer Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.Dharana may be translated as “holding”, “holding steady”, “concentration” or “single focus”. The prior limb Pratyahara invoves withdrawing the senses from external phenomena. Dharana builds further upon this by refining it further to ekagrata or ekagra chitta, that is single-pointed concentration and focus, which is in this context cognate with shamata. Maehle (2006: p.234) defines Dharana as: “The mind thinks about one object and avoids other thoughts; awareness of the object is still interrupted.”Dharana is the initial step of deep concentrative meditation, where the object being focused upon is held in the mind without consciousness wavering from it. The difference between Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi is that in the former, the object of meditation, the meditator, and the act of meditation itself remain separate. That is, the meditator or the meditator’s meta-awareness is conscious of meditating (that is, is conscious of the act of meditation) on an object, and of his or her own self, which is concentrating on the object. In the subsequent stage of Dhyana, as the meditator becomes more advanced, consciousness of the act of meditation disappears, and only the consciousness of being/existing and the object of concentration exist (in the mind).


Dhyan in Sanskrit or Jhana in Pali refers to a type or aspect of meditation. It is a key concept in Hinduism and Buddhism. Equivalent terms are “Chán” in modern Chinese, “Zen” in Japanese, “Seon” in Korea, and Samten in Tibetan.Dhyana’s beginnings are traced to Hinduism, where it is considered to be an instrument to gain self knowledge, separating maya from reality to help attain the ultimate goal of Moksha. The Bhagavad Gita, thought to have been written some time between 400 and 100 BCE, talks of four branches of yoga:

Karma yoga: The yoga of action in the world

Jnana yoga: The yoga of Wisdom and intellectual endeavor

Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion to God

Dhyana yoga: The yoga of meditation

Dhyana in Raja Yoga is also found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Depictions of hindu yogis performing dhyana are found in ancient texts and in statues and frescoes of ancient India temples. Kshatriya Siddhartha Gautama studied dhyana during his early years away from his kingdom.In the Pali Canon the Buddha describes four progressive states of absorption meditation or jhana. The jhanas are said by the Buddha to be conducive to detachment but they must not be mistaken for the final goal of nibbana. The jhanas are states of meditation where the mind is free from the five hindrances (craving, aversion, sloth, agitation, doubt) and incapable of discursive thinking. The deeper jhanas can last for many hours. When a meditator emerges from jhana, his/her mind is empowered and able to penetrate into the deepest truths of existence.There are four deeper states of meditative absorption called the immaterial attainments. Sometimes these are also referred to as the “formless” jhanas, or arupajhana (distinguished from the first four jhanas, rupajhana). In the Buddhist canonical texts, the word jhana is never explicitly used to denote them, but they are always mentioned in sequence after the first four jhanas.


Samadhi describes a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object, and in which the mind becomes still (one-pointed or concentrated) though the person remains conscious. Sahaj samadhi is the effortless and continual state of perfection of a satguru. It varies from technical terms used to describe the higher levels of concentrated meditation, or dhyana (alt. “jhana”), in Yogic schools, and is considered a precursor for enlightenment, or Nirvana, in Buddhism. It is the eighth and final limb of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, and comprises the pinnacle of achievements in Samyama, the three-tiered practice of meditation including also dharana and dhyana.Samadhi is also the Hindi word for a structure commemorating the dead (similar to a mausoleum), which may or may not contain the body of the deceased.

Samadhis are often built in this way to honour people regarded as saints or gurus in Hindu religious traditions wherein such souls are said to have passed into (or were already in) samadhi at the time of death. Nirvikalpa Samadhi is the end result. There are no more kalpas (imaginings, wishes or other products from work of the mind), because the mind is finally under control. Upon entering Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the differences we saw before have faded and we can see everything as one. In this condition nothing but pure Awareness remains and nothing is missing to take away from Wholeness and Perfection.Entering samadhi in the beginning takes effort and holding on to a state of samadhi takes even more effort. The beginning stages of samadhi (Laja and Savikalpa Samadhi) are only temporary. By “effort” it is not meant that the mind has to work more. Instead, it means work to control the mind and release the self. Note that normal levels of meditation (mostly the lower levels) can be held automatically, as in “being in the state of meditation” rather than overtly “meditating.” The ability to obtain positive results from meditation is much more difficult than simply meditating. It is recommended to find a qualified spiritual master (guru or yogi) who can teach a meditator about the workings of the mind. Samadhi is the only stable unchanging reality; all else is ever-changing and does not bring everlasting peace or happiness.

Staying in Nirvikalpa Samadhi is effortless but even from this condition one must eventually return to ego-consciousness. Otherwise, this highest level of Samadhi leads to Nirvana, which means total Unity and the logical end of individual identity (and also death of the body). However, it is entirely possible to stay in Nirvikalpa Samadhi and yet be fully functional in this world. This condition is known as Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Sahaj Samadhi (sahaja means “spontaneous” in Sanskrit). Only the truly Enlightened (Satguru) can be and remain spontaneously free. In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, all attachment to the material world and all karma is dissolved. All awareness is withdrawn step by step from the physical, astral and causal bodies until self-realization or oneness with the soul is achieved. During this process, breathing ceases and the heart stops beating. Aware and fully conscious oneness with soul is then achieved in a most loving way, and all cells of the physical body are flooded with the Ocean of Divine Love and Divine Bliss for any period of duration—hours, days, weeks, until the individual shifts his awareness from the soul back to the physical body. Being fully functional in this world, his awareness stays in connection with the Divine. But some “strange” conditions accompany this state—better health (the body is sustained by Divine Grace), better feelings (even for other people who may contact the body which the enlightened soul has reidentified with) and various miraculous happenings may occur in connection with the Enlightened one.

Mahasamadhi (literally great samadhi) is the Hindi term for a realized yogi’s conscious departure from the physical body at death. Which is also known as Nirvana. Mahasamadhi is the final conscious exit from the physical body. Every infinitesimal piece of attachment or karma is completely surrendered unto God and dissolved into the Divine Ocean of Love. The individual transcends to worlds beyond karma and returns to God, merging into transcendental Bliss. Samadhi in Bhakti The Vaishnava Bhakti Schools of Yoga define Samadhi as “complete absorption into the object of one’s love (Krishna).” Rather than thinking of “nothing,” true samadhi is said to be achieved only when one has pure, unmotivated love of God. Thus samadhi can be entered into through meditation on the personal form of God, even while performing daily activities a practitioner can strive for full samadhi. “Anyone who is thinking of Krsna always within himself, he is first-class yogi.”

If you want perfection in yoga system, don’t be satisfied only by practicing a course of asana. You have to go further. Actually, the perfection of yoga system means when you are in samadhi, always thinking of the Visnu form of the Lord within your heart, without being disturbed… Controlling all the senses and the mind. You have to control the mind, control the senses, and concentrate everything on the form of Vishnu. That is called perfection of yoga” – A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada “Meditation means to absorb your mind in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is meditation, real meditation.

The word Kundalini is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Kundal’ meaning coiled up. It is the primordial dormant energy present in three-and-a-half, coils at the base of the spine in a triangular bone called the Sacrum.
The lowest of the six subtle centers is the coccygeal center, which is located at the bottom of the spine. As mentioned by the yogis, all the subtle powers of consciousness and life force flowing downward from the higher centers into the coccygeal center come into physical manifestation through the channel of this lower center.
As the life force flows outward from the coccygeal center, it creates and sustains the region of flesh, bones, blood, marrow, organs, nerves, veins, arteries, glands, muscles, skin, and so forth. Kundilini is this coiled creative life force at the base of astral spine (Mooldhar center). Due to its coiled form of a sleeping serpent, it is symbolized as a snake.
When this life force is allowed to flow down due to mental delusion, its stinging venom causes the man to enjoy evil passions. In deep meditation or devotion, when a devotee turns this creative force inward and commands it to flow upward back to its source in the “lotus” of light, it reveals the resplendent inner world of the divine forces and consciousness of the soul and Spirit. The flowing of this power from the coccyx to the Spirit is referred in Yoga or devotion as the awakened Kundilini.
In other words, when the spiritual power (born of divine ardor and dispassion) is lifted upward, it opens or awakens the five spinal centers. The purpose of human life is to reverse the flow of consciousness by directing it ascend upward until it unites with the “lotus” of rays of light in the highest center of brain. According to sages, the consciousness of man is identified with the three lower centers of the spine (coccygeal, sacral, and lumbar), which operates under karmic laws. The liberated man (Jivanmukta) rises above the subtle centers and penetrates to the highest center of the brain. Here the devotee beholds his soul as a true reflection of the perfect Spirit, beyond everything. He is transformed into divine bliss. Kundilini can be awakened or released either by yoga system or by the path of Bhagti.
Awakening of Kundilini by the yoga system include yogi exercises or Pranayama. The path of the Bhagti includes the practice of loving devotion, joining the Saadh Sangat or the company of the true and the wise ones, and chanting God’s Name. In Saadh Sangat, one attains self-control and mental purity necessary for awakening the Kundilini. For the speedy awakening of Kundilini, the path of Bhagti is proclaimed by the spiritual masters to be more practical, simple and effective for this age of Kal Yuga (Dark Age).
Adi Sankaracharya wrote: “Having filled the pathway of the Nadis with the streaming shower of nectar flowing from the Lotus feet, having resumed thine own position from out of the resplendent Lunar regions and Thyself assuming the form of a serpent of three and a half coils, sleepest thou, in the hollow of Kula Kunda (Kula Kunda means the hollow of Mooladhara Sacrum bone).” “Saundarya Lahari’: ‘Thou art residing in secrecy with Thy Lord (The spirit) in the thousand petalled Lotus, having pierced through the Earth situated in ‘Mooladhara’, the Water in Manipura, the Fire abiding in the Svadhisthana, the Air in the Heart (‘Anahata’), the Ether above (Visshuddhi) and ‘Manas’ between the eyebrows (‘Agnya’) and thus broken through the entire ‘Kula Path’.”
Gyaneshwara, another famous saint of Maharashtra born around 1275 AD, described Kundalini in the 6th chapter of his famous book ‘Gyaneshwari’. He wrote: ‘Kundalini is one of the greatest energies. The whole body of the seeker starts glowing because of the rising of the Kundalini. Because of that, unwanted impurities in the body disappear. The body of the seeker suddenly looks very proportionate and the eyes look bright and attractive and the eyeballs glow.’ — (Gyaneshwari, Chapter VI).

“God has made this human body a house with six Chakras and has established the light of spirit in it. Cross the ocean of Maya and meet the eternal God who does not come, who does not go, who neither takes birth nor dies. When your six Chakras meet in line, Adi Shakti (Kundalini) takes you beyond distortions.’

To the Sahasra the Seventh Chakra where Shiva of Sree Adi Shankara resides.