Yoga provides fulfillment, removes illusions, death and birth, unhealthy condition of body and provides happiness; bringing high spirit, keen intellect and perfection in the practitioner. This path to excellence is illuminated in Yoga Philosophy based on ‘The Yogasutra of Patanjali’.
Yoga Philosophy is one of the six Indian classical philosophies. It’s a collection of aphorisms dated around 3rd century BC by the Indian Sage, Patanjali. Sage Patanjali wrote mainly three subjects, Grammar (Sanskrit), Ayurveda (Indian medicine) and Yoga. His three works together deal with man’s development as a whole in thought, speech and action. All Yoga as practiced today has its base in Yogasutra. It is a matchless masterpiece in the literature of Yoga, and has stood the test of time and experience.
The techniques and practices of the Yogasutras are based on three principles:
- Suffering is not caused by forces outside but by our limited perception of life and of who we are
- The unwavering peace we seek is realized by experiencing the eternal peace within, hidden by our ignorance, waiting to be revealed.
- Self-perfection or Liberation is attained by mastering the mind.
Patanjali Yogasutra is precise, reflective and pious in approach. The book has four sections consisting of 196 aphorisms. Each of aphorisms contains a wealth of ideas and wisdom. First section answers ‘What is Yoga?’; second, ‘Why should anyone practice Yoga?’; third section talks about all the mysteries and powers one acquires of Yogic life and the final section expounds all essential philosophical problems such as, nature of mind, mental perception of desire and its binding effect, of liberation and the results that follow. Mind, which is the visible tip of pure consciousness, encompass – the conscious, subconscious and unconscious layers of being. With Yoga one learns the art of controlling these patterns of consciousness. Instead of exploring the outer world, Yoga explores the inner world and knowledge contained within. The ultimate achievement of following the path of Patanjali Yogasutra is to experience the effortless, indivisible state of perfection.
Yoga Philosophy thus, is the science of the mind, making the mind one pointed. If the doctrines of Yoga are studied in the light of both ancient and modern thought it is much easier for the student to understand. The discoveries made in the field of science are especially helpful in enabling the student to understand certain facts of yogic life, for there is a certain analogous relationship between the laws of higher life and the life as it exists, a relationship which is hinted at in the well-known occult maxim ‘ as above, so below’!