Yoga and Bhagavad gita
The Yoga-sutras Patanjali's offer relating to the truths that tracks the Bhagavad gita illustrated, book that we consider the work of Patanjali postgraduate study. The objective of the Yoga-sutras It focused on the last spiritual benefit. Writes Juan Carlos Ramchandani.
According to various sources, there are two million people who practice Yoga in Spain, and there are many more people who test it every year that passes. Yoga is practiced around the world: from Madrid to Mumbai, passing through Moscow. But although the purpose of Yoga is to bring us closer to the divine, the majority of current Yogis have other motives; the most common of them, keep the body in shape. In an increasingly secularized world, naturally comes the desire to adapt the most valuable ancient techniques for contemporary purposes, although Yoga is losing its essence in this adaptive process.
Yoga is a science that the sages of the India have left to us. Yoga means literally "link-up", and its meaning, originally, was similar to the Latin root of the word religion, which means "reattach". Therefore, Yoga and spirituality have a same purpose: linking us and unite us to the divinity.
The inner message of the Yoga-sutras
It is possible that the modern Yogis considered interesting to know that the most important text of Yoga is the Bhagavad gita, and not the famous Yoga-sutras Patanjali. But the Gita You can not compare to any text stream on Yoga, full of difficult body postures and strenuous techniques of meditation. Instead, it offers a practical overview to achieve the goal of Yoga: join God, encouraged the singing of the names of the divine (mantras), teaching how to meet the mandates of the divinity (in this case, Krishna) and explaining the importance of compliance with the duty of each one spiritual consciousness (Dharma). These activities, if they are conducted in an appropriate manner, following the guidelines of an adept (sadhaka), allow us to anticipate many of the considered essential in conventional Yoga practices.
As well and all, there is no disharmony between the Gita and the Yoga-sutras. For example, both Krishna and Patanjali suggests that we must transcend all the misconceptions related to the "I" and develop a love for God, that Patanjali called Ishvara-pranidhana ("dedicated to God").
Patanjali wrote his work during the 3rd century, but of his life we don't know much. The only one of his texts that has survived it, the Yoga-sutras, indicates that keep Tabernacles physical and mental shape is best for get the spiritual truth. Indeed, his greatest achievement consists in having taken some old practices designed to improve the body and mind and have them encoded for the benefit of the spiritualist practitioners.
But the Yoga-sutras Patanjali's only offer concerning the truths that tracks the Bhagavad gita illustrated, book that we consider the work of Patanjali postgraduate study. Even so, the objective of the work of Patanjali focused on the last spiritual benefit, as some of his poems, especially the last, clarify. While this is true, many current practitioners of Yoga used his method for the sole purpose of improving the mental and physical health, as at the beginning of his work Patanjali focuses mainly on basic methods related to the body and the mind, without too many spiritual remarks.
For example, in the sutra 3.2, we read that dhyana or meditation refers to focused continuous motion of the mind in a single object. But this technique of Patanjali can be used as concentration on any object, not only in God. And although informs its readers of the purpose of your ¬aproximarse sutras to God —, you can make someone feel tempted to use his methods for selfish purposes, as he says later. Ultimately, the concentration on a single objective aims to focus on God, but it is only when we graduated we in the Bhagavad gita When it is possible to learn clearly how to achieve it.
As Professor Edwin Bryant points out in his excellent article "preferences theists of Patanjali, or, was the author of the Yoga-sutras Vaishnava?", Patanjali was driving his varied audience towards the worship of God, but trying to it indirectly. Like today, many religious formulas plagued the India of his time; practitioners worship many aspects of the Supreme. Therefore opted to offer in their Yoga-sutras a phased approach, He hoped would be useful for its large audience.
Even so, he says that the Supreme objective of meditation is meditation in ishvara, which means "driver", and usually refers to God. Although there are many controllers and multiple forms of God, the Bhagavad gita (18.61) he says that the definitive ishvara is Krishna.
Patanjali recommends to his audience that choose an ishta-devata, a deity of your choice. His reasoning is crystal: it is teaching a method of meditation, and is easier to learn this method if it is practiced with a theme that is close to the heart.
I thought Patanjali in Krishna as he outlined the process of Yoga and its aim of loving God? To anyone versed in the Vedic literature, it is obvious that the answer is Yes. As stated by Edwin Bryant, in the Gita States that Krishna... has all the... qualities listed by Patanjali as belonging to ishvara, i.e. not affected by karma, omniscient, master of the ancients, the time does not affect it, the word om represents it, bestower of knowledge. Karma does not affect nor obliges Krishna)Gita(, IV.14, IX.9), and, with respect to omniscience, is beginning, middle and end of everything (X.20 and 32), which penetrates the entire universe with a single fragment of itself (X.42). Krishna taught the old (here spoken of Vivasvan, the Sun God, who in turn imparted this knowledge to Manu, progenitor of humanity [IV.1]) and is the time (X.30 & 33; XI.32). also is the syllable om (IX.17). And, of course, Krishna warrants to his devotees that he will set free them from the trappings of this world so that they may attain the Supreme goal (IX.30-32; X.X; 58 VIII.). There is therefore a perfect compatibility between the anonymous Patanjali and Krishna ishvara, as it is described in the Gita.2
The tradition of commentators of the Yoga-sutras It corroborates it. The main commentators of the works of Patanjali were Vyasa (5th century, not to be confused with the compiler of Vedic literature), Vachaspati Misra (IX century), Bhoja Raja (11th century), and Vijnanabhiksu (16th century). All identified the ishvara of the Yoga-sutras with Vishnu or Krishna, which shows that the Bhagavad gita It expresses the culmination of all the Vedic wisdom concerning Yoga.
The eight sections of the Gita
The Bhagavad gita analyzes the eight steps of Raja Yoga, the Yoga way popularized today as Ashtanga yoga or Hatha yoga. For example, Yama, the first step consists of five ethical principles: truthfulness, continence, not violence, absence of greed and refrain from theft. These fundamental disciplines of Yoga are mentioned in the Gita; is also of Niyama, the second step, which consists of worship, cleaning, satisfaction, austerity and inner reflection.
Well, the third step of the method of Patanjali, Asana, It is not so obvious in the Gita. The term asana does not appear too often on the lips of Lord Krishna. But when you pronounce it, refers to the "place where sits the spiritual practice which takes place". the Gita does not offer any indication about posture when sitting. Although chapter six seems Yes. Verses 11 and 12 say: "for the practice of yoga have to find a secluded place, spread grass kusha in the ground and cover it with the skin of a deer and a soft cloth. [Asana] seat will not be neither too high nor too low and will be in a sacred place. The Yogi will sit still and practice yoga to purify the heart by controlling his mind, senses and activities, focusing the mind on a point."
Krishna uses the term asana in general, non-technical sense. Refers to sit to focus the mind.
It is very easy to lose concentration, and that's basically the argument of Arjuna against Hatha yoga. In fact, the same Patanjali lists nine obstacles: doubt, disease and mental laziness, sleepiness, perception wrong, lack of enthusiasm, attraction to the enjoyment of the senses, lack of concentration and lose concentration. Its commentators also cite some other: disordered attraction to the yogic powers, a mistaken view of what it means to meditate, overly simplify the eight steps of Yoga and the irregular practice. All these problems come from the difficult nature of the method of Patanjali and are the reason why Arjuna says that Hatha yoga is almost impossible to carry out. At the end of chapter six declares that you think excessively difficult. Krishna agrees and tells to Arjuna that Yogi resolved always believes in God. Also it says that this type of meditation is real Yoga, implying that the use of the body and the mind in the service of God can be considered the most perfect asana.
The Gita also refers to Pranayama, or the control of respiration, the fourth step. Krishna says that Yogis can use air that inspire and espiran as an offering to him. Refers to the vital breath to God. He tells Arjuna that the prana of its devotees, is the vital air, is for God and that Arjuna should use it "to come to me". In fact, if it follows the example of Arjuna offered every breath to Krishna: speaking of it, singing its glories and living for him, it's not necessary to control the breath as outlined in the sutras of Patanjali. Breathe for God is the essence of Pranayama.
The fifth step of Yoga, Pratyahara, refers to the withdrawal of the senses, one of the most important issues of the Bhagavad-gita. In the second chapter Krishna tells Arjuna that the Yogi away their senses of the objects of the senses "in the same way that the turtle hides its members inside the shell." Without a thorough analysis, it would seem that he suggests the full renunciation of the world. But it is not that which referred to Krishna. Instead, as you clarify in other verses, his teachings relate to how renounce the fruits of the effort, not to renounce the effort itself. In other words, their teachings focus on how to deviate from the objects of the senses when it comes to personal enjoyment. It instructs us that we use those same objects to the service of God. Thats Pratyahara.
The upper echelons
And now comes the culmination of the practice of Yoga: the last three steps of Raja Yoga: Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi, or concentration, meditation and full absorption.
Yama and Niyama were the initial steps, these last three receive the name of Samyama, "perfect discipline" or "improved practice". The Bhagavad gita widely spoken of these upper echelons. For example, Krishna says: "just focus your mind on me, and occupies all your intelligence in me. That way you will live in me constantly, no doubt fit you." (12.8 Bg.)
The process of Yoga is Dharana, or spiritual concentration, practice. Your senses can help us achieve Dharana, that will lead to advanced meditation and full dedication States.
The holy name is special efficacy in this regard. Therefore Krishna says, between all the austerities he is japa, private prayer, especially when using a Mala or Rosary of 108 beads. Prayer is the Queen of the austerities because praying we can get easily the aim of Yoga. Everything is obtained thanks to the practice of the japa, as to pronounce the names of God focus our mind on it, along with our voice, hearing and sense of touch. And the Kirtanthe singing group with musical instruments, not only leads to deeper levels of concentration and dedication but it also occupies the senses of viewers. 1.28 sutra, Patanjali, also, promotes "the steady song".
Altogether, the ambivalence of Patanjali can appear confusing. When ishvara-pranidhana mentioned at the beginning, dedication to God, presented as something optional, although most later given greater attention, devoting six verses to the nature of ishvara. At first it seems to allow elections in relation to the object of the meditation (1.34-38), but ultimately encouraged the Yogi who focuses on ishvara, which in the words of Patanjali is the "soul Special Supreme" the only one who can grant Samadhi, yogic perfection.
Patanjali says in the sutra 3.3 Samadhi occurs when the object of meditation appears in the intimate heart without distractions or other competitors. There is already no other interest, as if the intrinsic nature of one lost all interest.
The Bhagavad gita It leaves it more clearly. Samadhi our intrinsic nature does not lose any meaning. Instead, it acquires a new meaning: you look in relation to Dios. That State of perfect and complete absorption Samadhi, the final metal of yoga is called.
Krishna summarizes the 18 chapters of the Gita various forms of Yoga. In essence, there are four types: Raja-Yoga, related postures, breathing and meditation, control popularized today in the form of Hatha yoga; Bhakti-yoga is the Yoga of devotion; Karma, the Yoga of selfless action; and Jnana yoga, the yoga of knowledge.
Although the tours differ, their basic objective is the same: understand that God is in the center of our existence, and that life should be devoted to your service. Yoga, in all its varieties, is intended to bring to those who practice it more than the usual identification with the body and mind, placing us in the transcendence. Thus, Patanjali codified a useful means to dominate the senses which, ultimately, would lead to the goal of Yoga. Your method is a type of Raja Yoga. But other systems of Yoga are more direct, fostering relationships and even some intimacy with God. And of all yogas, the Bhakti — yoga It is the best, because it puts those who practice it in direct relationship with God, and helps them to achieve the physical, mental and spiritual balance thus achieving the objective of Yoga in a simple and at the same time natural.
Juan Carlos Ramchandani is priest hindu, master of Yoga and a doctorate in classical hindu philosophy. Author of 10 books and numerous articles on Yoga and Hinduism.