Thursday, March 1, 2012
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are the standard text on yoga; it is one of the six Darshanas or systems of philosophy in India. Sutra meaning a thread, they are given so we can remember what is in the scriptures more easily. Patanjali gives us the practice of Raja yoga meaning 8 limbs. The royal path to realization, that of complete mind control through the use of the Yamas (restraints), Niyamas (observances), Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyhara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi- complete bliss. He teaches us to remain in the present moment and to remove our suffering by clearing the ‘crowds’ in our mind, but we must feel a need for change to be ready for this. Patanjali was not the inventor of yoga; yoga has been there since the beginning of creation, it comes from God or Hiranyagarbha; the cosmic mind of cosmic intelligence, the sum total of all the subtle bodies, the highest created being through whom the supreme being projects the physical universe. Patanjali, as a realised sage, received the knowledge from Hiranyagarbha and wrote it down for the whole of humanity.
The first sutra in the first chapter reads; ‘Atha yoganushasanam.’
Atha; an auspicious beginning also we can say Om, atha yoganushasanam- all the instructions are in keeping with the scriptures. One who has discovered that there is no solution to suffering from the outside world and wants to turn their awareness inward, where all knowledge exists, they have felt a need for change, this person is ready for yoga.
We should be able to surrender realizing whatever is there or is happening to us is just an opportunity to learn and grow, we should learn to like everyone instead of waiting for them to like us. If we can change the way we think then we are ready for yoga, if something seems very difficult but we know that from that situation we can gain knowledge then it is not difficult at all.
Atha imparts a blessing for someone who has discovered the limitations of an outer existence, who knows there is no real or permanent happiness from worldly objects, whom has the maturity, empathy and compassion to turn inwards. Join me on the mat on our inward journey and discover your true self on the path to eternal bliss.
Smiling from the heart
Thank you Mario for the photo; me and SwamiJi whilst training on the ATTC.