Patanjali and the Yoga Sutras
Who is Patanjali?
Sage Patanjali is often referred to as the father of yoga. This is because Patanjali taught us the impact of a yoga practice on the human mind.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a scientific document and it is not a philosophical test.
Sage Patanjali explains how the mind reacts to certain situations and thoughts that arise when we experience the external world. These thoughts are created in the mind through our interactions with people & objects in everyday life. Understanding the Yoga Sutras helps one to deal with and eliminate negative thoughts.
Most of the issues human beings face in life are fear, anxiety, anger, lust, greed, jealousy, etc. These have become part of everyday life. How is it possible for anyone to come out of these mental conditions without any medicine? I’ll give you one guess. That’s right, it’s Yoga! Yoga is the answer.
Yoga Sutra of Patanjali shall be applied in life like that of a mirror that helps us see ourselves better and act as a guide for us.
Sutra means “thread”. Yoga Sutras are the inner meanings or understanding of yoga practice. These include asanas, pranayama, kriya and mudras. While we see beads in a garland, we have to understand that there is a thread inside these beads. These practices take one to a higher realm of attaining the state of consciousness, free from all the modifications created by mind. In other words, this is the real freedom from any kind of suffering that any human being experiences through the situations in life.
Yoga Sutras is the authoritative text to understand the mind. Holistic impact of yoga and meditation practices can be understood only with the understanding of Yoga Sutras. Somebody who practice yoga with the understanding of yoga sutras will be able to experience the functions of mind.
If one of the sutras explained by Patanjali is practiced and realized in life, that alone is enough to help you move forward in life with positivity.
The First Chapter
The first chapter itself is the best example. It starts in a half way. It starts as “and now, Yoga is explained”. It is under the assumption that somebody who is trying to understand the Yoga Sutras is expected to have basic knowledge on yoga and its practices.
Yoga is nothing but the ability of the individual to direct the mind fully towards any object and remain in that state without any distraction. Focus can be on anything that you are emotionally attached with.
Whatever is inspiring for you and your mind can be taken for meditation. At some point, the practitioner can focus on breath – the inhalation and exhalation process that gives a glimpse of the gap between two breaths.
The human mind can focus on anything of interest. But bringing the mind willfully to one object can be made possible only if you have a good understanding of the mind. The culmination of the practice would be ‘love others unconditionally and not to hate’.
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