YOGA, The Traditional Term
The literal meaning of the verbal root Yuj is joining, controlling or Samādhi. In traditional sense, it means joining Jivātmā (individual self) with Paramātmā (universal Self, Lord). Here the meaning of joining means knowing the reality of Jivātmā and Paramātmā.
युज्यते अनेन इति योगः॥
Yujyate anena iti yogaḥ॥
Yoga is that which joins.
Definition of Yoga
1. Yoga Sūtra
yogaścitta vṛtti nirodhaḥ॥
Yoga is absorption of thoughts of mind. (1:2)
योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय।
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते॥
yogasthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṃ tyaktvā dhanañjaya।
siddhasiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṃ yoga ucyate॥
Remaining steadfast in Yoga, Oh! Dhanañjaya, perform actions, abandoning attachment, remaining the same to success and failure alike. This evenness of mind is called Yoga. (2:48)
बुध्दियुक्तो जहातीह उभे सुकृतदुष्कृते।
तस्माद्योगाय युज्यस्व योगः कर्मसु कौशलम्॥
buddhiyukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛtaduṣkṛte
tasmādyogāya yujyasva yogḥ karmasu kauśalam
One who is endowed with the Samatva-buddhi, sameness of mind gives up both Punya and Pāpa here, in this world. Therefore, commit yourself to Karma-Yoga. Karma-Yoga is discretion in action. (2:50)
तं विद्याद्दुःखसंयोगवियोगं योगसंज्ञितम्।
स निश्चयेन योक्तव्यो योगोऽनिर्विण्णचेतसा॥
taṃ vidyād duḥkhasaṃyogaviyogaṃ yogasañjñitam।
sa niścayena yoktavyo yogo’nirviṇṇacetasā॥
May one know that dissociation from association with sorrow, to be what is called as Yoga. That yoga should be pursued with clarity of purpose with a mind that is not discouraged. (6:23)
3. Acārya Śaṅkara
योगः तत्त्व दर्शन उपाय:॥
yogaḥ tattva dharśana upāyaḥ॥
Yoga is means to know the reality.
4. Yoga Vāsiṣṭha
मनः प्रशमनं उपाय: योगः॥
manaḥ praśamanaṃ upayaḥ yogaḥ॥
Yoga is a method to calm down the mind properly.
5. Acārya Sudam Rathore
Yoga is a sādhanā to awaken the dormant powers, burn out impurities and to enlighten oneself.
Traditional Yoga includes Haṭha Yoga and Patañjala (Aṣṭānga) Yoga. The purpose of both is same, Mokṣa (Freedom from physical, mental and spiritual suffering).
Patanjala (Ashtanga) Yoga is systematic descriptive form of yoga, which mentions the direct methods.
Hatha yoga is extensive description of yoga. It is a practical and technical method, which is more preparatory and purificatory practice by various methods including āsanas, prāṇāyāmas, ṣaṭkarmas and mudrās.
- to maintain your health,
- to keep your energy enthusiastic,
- to be receptive,
- to keep your mind clear and to withstand the emotions easily,
- to keep your body, mind and prana light and fresh,
- to remain easily awake and attentive.
- to increase willpower, patience, stability and tolerance.
- To stand beyond the body and mind
- to realize yourself / to realize the ego “I” in true sense
Patañjali’s Aṣṭānga Yoga (Eight Limbed Yoga)
- Yama: Universal values / Dharma
- Niyama: Rules for sādhaka / Disciplines
- Āsana: Posture
- Prāṇāyāma: Regulation of the pranic flow
- Pratyāhāra: Withdrawal of the senses from their respective objects and directing to the source.
- Dhāraṇā: Contemplation. A practice of keeping the mind in the area of object of Meditation
- Dhyāna: Meditation. When the mind does not go away from the object of meditation and when there is no other thought than the object of meditation is called Dhyāna.
- Samādhi: Dhāraṇā (contemplation) and Dhyāna (meditation) itself results into Samādhi. Therefore Samādhi is a complete conscious silent state of oneself in which mind dissolves into the object of meditation or in the self. There is no attempt for meditation. There is no act of meditation. There is no division between meditated upon (Dheya), meditation (Dhyāna) and mediator (Dhyāta). When there is an attempt and division, then it is Savikalpa Samadhi. When there is no attempt and division that is Nirvikalpa Samadhi.