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Published by: Frank Ra on Jun 29, 2011
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AmAre Way: fivefold path to happiness - www.AmAreWay.org 
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: the Book of the SpiritualMan by Patañjali
The Book of the Spiritual Man - An interpretation by Charles Johnston
 PrefaceThe Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a foundational text of Yoga. It forms part of thecorpus of Sutra literature dating to India's Mauryan period. The Yoga Sutras of  Patanjali is a foundational text of Yoga. It forms part of the corpus of Sutraliterature dating to India's Mauryan period.The Sutras are built on a foundation of Samkhya philosophy and also exhibit theinfluence of Upanishadic, Buddhist and Jain thought. Karel Werner writes that "Patanjali's system is unthinkable without Buddhism. As far as its terminology goes there is much in the Yoga Sutras that reminds us of Buddhist formulations from the P 
li Canon and even more so from the Sarv
da Abhidharma and  from Sautr 
ntika." Robert Thurman writes that Patanjali was influenced by the success of the Buddhist monastic system to formulate his own matrix for theversion of thought he considered orthodox. The five yamas or the constraints of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali bear an uncanny resemblance to the five major vowsof Jainism, indicating influence of Jainism. This mutual influence between theYoga philosophy and Jainism is admitted by the author Vivian Worthington whowrites: "Yoga fully acknowledges its debt to Jainism, and Jainism reciprocates bymaking the practice of yoga part and parcel of life." Christopher Chappel alsonotes that three teachings closely associated with Jainism appear in Yoga: thedoctrine of karma described as colourful in both traditions; the telos of isolation(kevala in Jainism and Kaivalyam in Yoga); and the practice of non-violence(ahimsa). He also notes that the entire list of five yamas (II:30) is identical withthe ethical precepts (Mahavratas) taught by Mahavira. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali prescribes adherence to eight "limbs" or steps (the sum of which constitute "Ashtanga Yoga", the title of the second chapter) to quiet 
AmAre Way: fivefold path to happiness - www.AmAreWay.org 
one's mind and achieve kaivalya. The Yoga Sutras form the theoretical and  philosophical basis of Raja Yoga, and are considered to be the most organized and complete definition of that discipline. The division into the Eight Limbs(Sanskrit Ashtanga) of Yoga is reminiscent of Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path;inclusion of Brahmaviharas (Yoga Sutra 1:33) also shows Buddhism's influenceon parts of the Sutras.The Sutras not only provide yoga with a thorough and consistent philosophical basis, they also clarify many important esoteric concepts which are common toall traditions of Indian thought, such as karma.Structure Patanjali divided his Yoga Sutras into 4 chapters or books (Sanskrit pada),containing in all 196 aphorisms,
 divided as follows:
 * Samadhi Pada (51 sutras)Samadhi refers to a blissful state where the yogi is absorbed into the One. Theauthor describes yoga and then the nature and the means to attaining sam
dhi.This chapter contains the famous definitional verse: "Yoga
("Yoga is the restraint of mental modifications"[18]).* Sadhana Pada (55 sutras)Sadhana is the Sanskrit word for "practice" or "discipline". Here the author outlines two forms of Yoga: Kriya Yoga (Action Yoga) and Ashtanga Yoga(Eightfold or Eightlimbed Yoga). Kriya yoga, sometimes called Karma Yoga, is also expounded in Chapter 3 of the Bhagavad Gita, where Arjuna is encouraged by Krishna to act without attachment to the results or fruit of action and activity. It is the yoga of selflessaction and service. Ashtanga Yoga describes the eight limbs that together constitute Raja Yoga.* Vibhuti Pada (56 sutras)Vibhuti is the Sanskrit word for "power" or "manifestation". 'Supra-normal  powers' (Sanskrit: siddhi) are acquired by the practice of yoga. The temptation of these powers should be avoided and the attention should be fixed only onliberation.
AmAre Way: fivefold path to happiness - www.AmAreWay.org 
* Kaivalya Pada (34 sutras) Kaivalya literally means "isolation", but as used in the Sutras stands for emancipation, liberation and used interchangeably with moksha (liberation),which is the goal of Yoga. The Kaivalya Pada describes the nature of liberationand the reality of the transcendental self.
The eight "limbs" or steps
prescribed in the second pada of the Yoga Sutras are:Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Ashtanga yoga consists of the following steps: The first five are called external aids to Yoga (bahiranga sadhana)
* Yama refers to the five abstentions. These are the same as the five vows of  Jainism.
* Ahimsa: non-violence, inflicting no injury or harm to others or even toone's ownself, it goes as far as nonviolence in thought, word and deed.* Satya: truth in word & thought.* Asteya: non-covetousness, to the extent that one should not even desire something that is not his own.* Brahmacharya: abstain from sexual intercourse; celibacy in case of unmarried people and monogamy in case of married people. Even this to theextent that one should not possess any sexual thoughts towards any other man or woman except one's own spouse. It's common to associate Brahmacharya withcelibacy.* Aparigraha: non-possessiveness
* Niyama refers to the five observances
* Shaucha: cleanliness of body & mind.* Santosha: satisfaction; satisfied with what one has.* Tapas: austerity and associated observances for body discipline & therebymental control.* Svadhyaya: study of the Vedic scriptures to know about God and the soul,which leads to introspection on a greater awakening to the soul and God within,* Ishvarapranidhana: surrender to (or worship of) God.* Asana: Discipline of the body: rules and postures to keep it disease-free and  for preserving vital energy. Correct postures are a physical aid to meditation, for they control the limbs and nervous system and prevent them from producing disturbances.* Pranayama: control of breath. Beneficial to health, steadies the body and ishighly conducive to the concentration of the mind.

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