Essay on The Contribution of Patanjali’s Yoga Suta

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The Contribution of Patanjali’s Yoga Suta

When we speak of Yoga the first thing in mind is the posture, the breaths, the exercise. Yoga is commonly associated with flexibility and its complex postures. It is also associated with breathing excercises and meditation. But this is not always the case. There is more to Yoga than just the exercise. For those who studied Indian Philosophy, Hinduism or Indian culture and history, Yoga is not just all those things; it is something more. So what is Yoga to begin with? The word yoga literally means ‘union’. Union in the sense of spiritual union of the individual soul with the Universal Soul. Yoga is “a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in
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To discipline ones thoughts and actions allows one to focus his\her energy to achieve the eternal goal. Following tapas is svadhyaya or self study or study of sacred text. Self study can be taken literally. One drowns oneself with books, sacred text or any other books that are relevant and which inspires and teaches a person. Education serves a person well. With this a person might acquire a more refine and wise perception of things. This may also lead a person to cultivate his/her self-reflective consciousness. The fifth and last of the Niyama is ishvara-pranidhana which means the celebration of the spiritual or living with an awareness of a greater power. This is devotion to the divine. This might also be a humbling of oneself to a reality which is infinite and perfect, God. After the duties and responsibilities to others, Yama, and the duties and responsibilities to the self, Niyama, the next in Patanjali’s eightfold path is Asana. Asana reffers to the body postures. This is the most familiar and famous path in Yoga. Body postures of Yoga help in the improvement of health, strength, balance, and flexibility. But there is more than these physical benefits. Asana is also used “to calm the mind and move into the inner essence of being.” The mastering of Asana allows one to control the body. With this state, one is then also able to control the mind