History And Types Of Patanjali Yoga Sutra

By Patricia | June 25, 2010
History And Types Of Patanjali Yoga Sutra

History of patanjali yoga sutra: The Patanjali Yoga Sutras were first formulated by the sage and philosopher Patanjali in India, more than 3,000 years ago. That is why it is often referred to as the Indian Patanjali Yoga Sutra. ‘Yoga’ means union or joining together, and ‘sutra’ means thread in Sanskrit. So, while yoga also refers to the perfect union of body, mind and soul, to bring about a balanced life, it also means joining the various threads which comprise the various aspects of yoga.

196 sutras are joined together in the Patanjali Yoga sutras. For greater convenience, they have been sectioned into four padas or chapters – Sadhana Pada, Vibhuti Pada, Kaivalya Pada and Samadhi Pada, each dealing with the various aspects of Yoga.

All types of yoga, which are practiced today, such as Hatha Yoga, Astanga Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga or Bikram Yoga, to name just a few, are derived from this root of Patanjalli’s Yoga sutras. Yoga is not just about proper physical exercises, but also about proper thinking and living, which will help us attain ultimate bliss and salvation. These are the teachings in the Yoga Sutras.

Sadhana Pada

Sadhana pada: The Sadhana pada Patanjali yoga sutra is the second chapter. This is meant for those who are not yet spiritually evolved, and outlines ways to attain absolute salvation. This chapter advocates Kriya Yoga. Kriya means action, and the three actions advocated here are self study, burning desire (to attain bliss) and surrender to God. It is in this chapter that Patanjali explains the eightfold path of yoga (Ashtanga Yoga) which includes following a life of restraint, thinking right thoughts, breathing correctly and achieving a strong body through the performance of asanas. It follows the path that a strong and balanced mind resides in a strong and agile body.

Vibhuti Pada

Vibhuti Pada: Vibhuti in Sanskrit means manifestation or power, and the Vibhuti Pada Patanjali yoga sutra deals with ultimate concentration and meditation which allows integration of the soul with the Divine. It deals with sacrificing all earthly cravings and emotions, letting go of the ego or Self (I), and attaining self realization.

Samadhi Pada

Samadhi Pada: Samadhi pada Patanjali yoga sutra explains how to achieve Vairagya (detachment) through Abhyasa (practice). It strives to separate the mind from the self or ego, in the attempt to unify with the Divine.

Kaivalyam Pada: This is the last chapter in the Yoga Sutras and consists of 34 shlokas (or verses). This helps the Yogi (one who practices yoga) to understand the feelings after attaining Samadhi (ultimate bliss). In this state there is neither sorrow nor happiness, there is only contentment and peace.

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