The word ‘Yog’ has been formed by joining the root
‘Yuj’ with the suffix ‘dhan’. According to Panini’s grammar the root ‘Yuj’ is
found in three Gans: 1. Yuj samadhau diwadih aatmane padi, 2. Yujir yoge
rudhadih ubhaypadi and 3. Yuj sanyamane churadih parsmaipadi Thus Yog connotes
Samadhi (trance), Jor (union) and Sanyaman (self-restraint).
According to famous Sanskrit Dictionary’
Amarkosh’, Yog is harmony of meditation, it is a technique of meditation (Yogah
sannhanopayah dhyan sangati yuktishu - In ancient Indian medical science, a
formula is known as Yog. It is the harmonious placement of two objects. To put
it in other words it is concord or union.
Generally people believe that Yog is a
technique which bestows supernatural powers and which enables a man to perform
In the Ist Richa of eighty first Sookt, Pancham
Mandal of Rig-Ved it is written:
Yunjate man ut yunjate dhiyo
vipra viprasya vrihato vipaschitah.
Vi hotra dadhe vayunavidek
inmahi devasya savituh parishtutih.
Vipra or learned men fix their mind and
intelligence on God who alone is omniscient and glorious. He is to be adored.
Thus in Vedic parlance Yog means fixing the mind on
the Supreme Being.
Yog is eternal. Lord Shri Krishna has said in
the beginning of the 4th Chapter of the Geeta: “Imam vivaswate yogam proktwanahamavyayam.”
revealed this eternal Yog to Vivaswan (Sun). I would reveal the same ancient
Yog to you (Arjun). Thus the Geeta is perfect Yogshastra in which the Lord has
used the word in its totality encompassing Rajyog, Hathyog, Suratiyog, Layayog
The Geeta calls Shri Krishna ‘Mahayogeshwar’:
Yatra yogeshwarah krishno yatra partho dhanurdharah.
Lord Shri Krishna says in the Geeta, “O Arjun!
That Yogi is dearest to Me who remembers Me whole heartedly and is continuously
linked with Me. In other words Yog is nothing but total devotion (with mind,
body and action) to God.
The Lord Shri Krishna says in the Geeta:
Ananyashchintyanto mam ye janah paryupaste.
Tesham nityabhiyuktanam yogkshemam vahamyaham.
Ananya means not any other being. I bear the
whole burden of such a devotee who worships only Me and none else. In other
words Yog means exclusive devotion to God.
What is the method of Yog prescribed by the
Sarvdwarani samyamya mano hridi nirudhya cha.
Murdhnyadhayatmanah pranamasthito yogdharanam.
After withdrawing the senses from objects and
stabilizing the flickering mind in the region of heart and fixing the mind’s
eye in the intellect one should chant ‘Om’, which is symbolical of the Supreme
Entity and meditate on My form. If one so meditates relinquishing the
body-consciousness, he attaints the supreme goal:
Omityekaksharam brahm vyaharan mamusmaran.
Yah prayati tyajandeham sa yati paramam gatim.
In other words Yog denotes communion with God.
When would it happen?-
Ananyachetah satatam yo mam smarati nityashah.
Tasyaham sulabhah parth nityayuktasya yoginah.
I am always approachable to a Yogi who without
any break worships Me with singular devotion without any diversion to other
gods and goddesses. Communion with God is the outcome of Yog. It is never the
cheap demonstration of supernatural powers. What is Yog?
Tam vidyad duhkh sanyog viyogam yog sangitam.
Sa nishchayen yoktavyo yogoanirvinn chetasa.
That which is free from the joys of association
and pangs of separation is called Yog. The attainment of the supreme bliss,
which accrues from the union with God, is known as Yog.
It is really very surprising that Yog has lost
its real import now-a-days. People have started taking hypnotism, sorcery and
magic as Yog. The propagandists devote their mind to master the mantric skill
for killing an adversary, or forcing anyone through magical incantation to quit
his occupation or for enchanting someone into submission (Maran, Uchchatan and
Vashikaran). Some Yogis have started claiming to possess powers to subvert the
fruits of karmas through strange gimmicks of Mantras and talismans. True Yogi
remains so absorbed in the contemplation of God that he does not even take care
of his physical body. But now-a-days fake, cunning persons grow long hair and
besmear their body with ashes to entrap simple persons. True love of God is the
path of contemplation and anguish of separation. When we see today the
tremendous publicity of Aasans, awakening of the Kundalini, meditation camps,
Pranayam camps being organized in the name of Yog in the country as well as
abroad, we feel compelled to deduce how the modem men and women are being
deprived of the true and genuine path of Patanjali’s Yog-Darshan. Under such
odd circumstances on the request of the devotees visiting the Ashram and
expressing their desire to know the truth, systematic explanation of the sutras
of Maharshi Patanjali were given. The same discourses have been compiled here
and presented in the form of a book for you.
After the death of Brihdrath, the last emperor
of Maurya Dynasty, the rule of his Brahmin Military Commander Pusyamitra Shung
started. He demolished the principles of Lord Buddha and propounded the
superiority of Brahmins on the basis of birth and thus established the system
of Chaturvam. Since then the Smritis which supported this new system came to be
honoured as Dharm-Shastra.
Patanjali was a contemporary of Pusyamitra. He
being alarmed of the new order, presented in crisp maxims (Sutras) the beneficial
knowledge of Yog so that the ancient wisdom and lore of India might not decay.
Although he presented the principles of Yog in pithy, short maxims (Sutras) but
the presentation is very clear. It reveals that his command over the grammar
and discipline of words was extra-ordinary. This is a popular saying that lord
Patanjali created the ‘Yog-Sutra Mahabhashya’ and ‘Charak Sanhita’ for removing
the disorders of mind and body:
Yogen chittasya paden vacham malam
sharirasya cha vaidyaken.
Yoapakarottam pravaram muninam
Maharshi Patanjali has not written anything new
in the name of Yog. He wrote in Sutras what ever is present in the Geeta.
Restraint of the activities of mind has been directed in the Geeta:
Yatro paramate chittam niruddham yog sevaya.
The concept of Aparigrah (possession-lessness)
which is a part of Yam prescribed by Patanjali has been borrowed from the Geeta
Ekaki yat chittatma nirashirparigrahah.
Similarly what Patanjali says: Sthir
sukhamasanam. has been bodily lifted from the Geeta which suggests:
Sthiramasanmatmnah Maharshi Patanjali also advocates like the Geeta regular
practice and renunciation. Maharshi has reproduced all the prescriptions of the
Geeta like chanting of OM, meditation on the image of some renuncient saint,
the kindling of Sadhana by Sadguru, attainment of self-realization etc.
Everything of the Maharshi is nothing but transcription of the Geeta.
At present two kinds of Yog systems are
popular-firstly the system which is based on the Yog-Sutras of Maharshi
Patanjali and secondly the system which is known as Hathyog. Patanjal-Yog
‘Chittanushasanam’ preaches the discipline of the propensities of mind, whereas
Hathyog is connected with physical exercise, health and cure of diseases.
Patanjali names the stability of mind and easy posture (Aasan) as Yog on the
other hand the book of Hathyog gives a long list of eighty four lacs of Aasans.
In Hathyog practices of Neti, Dhauti, Vasti, Nauli, Tratak, Kapalbhati, Mahamudra,
Khechari, Jalandhar, Uddiyan, Moolbandh, Bajroli, Amaroli and Sahjoli are
included. Yog- Darshan ofPatanjali is silent on them. Under the system of
Hathyog piercing all the six Chakras, the Kundalini is taken to the Brahmrandhr
. Only six parts of Yog have been described here instead of eight parts of
Patanjali Yog-system- Yam and Niyam have been excluded. Pranayam according to
Hathyog directs to watch the inhalation of breath, with holding it and then
exhalating it, and it is of different kinds Ujjayani, Bhastrika, Suryabhedi,
Bhramari, Sheetali etc. According to Patanjali the attainment of Siddhies are
regarded as obstacles in the path of self-realization. The Hathyogis take them
to be important achievements and flaunt them before people. A lot of confusion
today prevails on account of inter-mixing the two systems. Actually by taking
physical acrobatics as Yog a lot of defilement has taken place. The real and
wholesome Yog-system is that which hails from the Vedas and goes up to the
Geeta incessantly and which has been re-enforced by Maharshi Patanjali and his
sutras during the period of Shung.
The Yog-Darshan of Patanjali is meant for the
whole man-kind and aims at the annihilation of the causes of sorrows and
attainment of eternal liberation.
The Yog-Sutras are tough and do not fully present some
stages of Yog-practices. They are in the form of crisp remarks. They seem to be
directing the readers to approach any self-realized Sadguru for direct
transmission. With this message the inter-pretations of the Sutras of the
Maharshi are presented here to you.
Chapter I - Samadhi Pad
Chapter 11 - Sadhan Pad
Chapter III - Vibhuti Pad
Chapter IV - Kaivalya Pad
The Query of A Devotee
Bhakti Yoga (16)
Hatha Yoga (70)
Karma Yoga (30)
Kriya Yoga (65)
Kundalini Yoga (46)
Yoga For Children (11)
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