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The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjai

The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjai

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Published by UrbanMonk1986

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Published by: UrbanMonk1986 on Mar 20, 2011
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Basically, yoga means "union." It is the Sanskrit ancestor of

the English word "yoke." Hence, it comes to mean a method

of spiritual union. A yoga is a method²any one of many²by

which an individual may become united with the Godhead,

the Reality which underlies this apparent, ephemeral universe.

To achieve such union is to reach the state of perfect

yoga. Christianity has a corresponding term, "the mystic

union," which expresses a similar idea.

Bhoja, one of the classical commentators on these aphorisms,

defines Patanjali's use of the word yoga as "an effort to

separate the Atman (the Reality) from the non-Atman (the


One who practises yoga is called a yogi.

thTeNtl-frekTWIET: ti it

2. Yoga is the control of thought-waves in the mind.

According to Patanjali, the mind (chitta) is made up of three

components, manas, buddhi, and ahamkara. Manas is the

recording faculty which receives impressions gathered by the

senses from the outside world. Buddhi is the discriminative

faculty which classifies these impressions and reacts to them.

Ahamkara is the ego-sense which claims these impressions for

its own and stores them up as individual knowledge. For

example, manas reports: "A large animate object is quickly

approaching." Buddhi decides: "That's a bull. It is angry. It

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