Sadhana-padah, about the practice of Yoga, from the Yogasutras of Patanjali

dance yoga posture fresh kriya a la menthe

 

An ascetic attitude, study and constant meditation on the Lord, infinity, or any other deity, constitute kriya-yoga (yoga of action). Its goal is to strengthen contemplation and mitigate afflictions.

The afflictions are:

  • Avidya, ignorance.
  • Asmita, sense of self.
  • Raga, passion.
  • Dvesa, aversion / hate.
  • Abhinivesah, survival instinct.

Ignorance is the field of cultivation of the others, whether they are in a latent, attenuated, interrupted or active state. Ignorance is the vision of the permanent in the transitory, of the pure in the impure, of pleasure in pain and of the self in what is not the self.

The sense of self is the apparent identity between the faculty of vision and its instrument. Passion is concomitant with pleasure. Aversion is concomitant with pain. The survival instinct arises from one's latent impressions (rasa) and is present even in the wise.

These afflictions when subtle are to be eradicated by reabsorption, and their operations can be eradicated by meditation. The karmic deposit is rooted in afflictions and is experienced both in this life and in others. When there is root, karma bears fruit, determining birth, life span, and experience. Its fruits are the pleasure and pain caused by merit and demerit.

For the man or woman of knowledge, all experience is painful due to the friction of the constituents and the pain caused by change, suffering and latent impressions. What needs to be eradicated is the pain that has not yet come.

The cause of what must be eradicated is the conjunction between the perceiver and the perceivable world. The perceivable world has a tendency to enlightenment, action, and stability; it is made up of the elements and the senses and is intended for experience and liberation.

The fracture lines of the constituents are:
  • Visesa, specific.
  • Avisesa, unspecific.
  • Linga Matra, pure sign.
  • Alingani, beyond all signs.


The perceiver is only the vision, which, despite being pristine, is reflected in the universal mental perception. The perceivable world makes sense only in function of that perceiver. For those who have achieved their goal, the perceivable world disappears, even if it continues to exist.

The conjunction (samyogah) is the constitutive cause of the potency of the possessor and the possessed object. Its cause is ignorance. When the cause disappears, the conjunction disappears, and that is the eradication (hana): the isolation of vision.


Infallible discriminative intellection is the means of eradication. It contains the sevenfold transcendental wisdom. Thanks to the practice of the elements of yoga, the destruction of impurities occurs and the glow of knowledge arises, which lasts until the appearance of discriminative intellection.

Restrictions, prescriptions, postures, breath control, meditation, and contemplation constitute

The eight elements of yoga:

  1. Yama, restriction.
  2. Niyama, prescription.
  3. Asana, posture.
  4. Pranayama, breath.
  5. Pratyahara, withdrawn.
  6. Dharana, concentration.
  7. Dhyana, meditation.
  8. Samadhayo, contemplation.


The restrictions are non-violence, truth, honesty, chastity, and non-acceptance. When these are universal, since they are not limited by caste, place, time or social convention, they constitute the Great Vote.

The prescriptions are:

  • purity
  • contentment
  • ascetic attitude
  • study
  • constant meditation on the Lord


In the face of the siege of bad intentions, meditation on opposites. Meditation on opposites consists in considering that bad intentions, violence, lies and others, whether cultivated by oneself, instigated or allowed, result in endless pain and ignorance. These are always preceded by greed, anger, or confusion and occur to a mild, medium, or strong degree.

When non-violence takes hold, those who are close abandon hatred. When truth is established, actions bear fruit. When honesty takes hold, all wonders appear. When chastity takes hold, energy is obtained.

When non-acceptance stabilizes, the reason for birth is understood. The effect of purity is disgust for the body itself and lack of contact with others. And also the purification of the intellect, the mental well-being, the concentration, the victory over the senses and the capacity for the vision of the inner soul.

Unparalleled happiness is achieved through contentment, thanks to the ascetic attitude, the fullness of the body and the senses, due to the destruction of impurities. Thanks to the study, the constant closeness with the chosen divinity.

Thanks to constant meditation on the Lord, the fullness of contemplation. The posture will be stable and comfortable. Thanks to the relaxation of effort or absorption into infinity. Then the pairs of opposites stop tormenting.

When this occurs, control of breathing is possible, which consists of interrupting the movement of inspiration and expiration. It has the external, internal and retention functions. It is determined by space, time, and quantity and is long and subtle.

The fourth (type of control) transcends the sphere of the external and the internal. Then the veil of light is destroyed. And the mind is enabled for concentration.

The withdrawal of the senses occurs when the senses do not come into contact with their respective objects and it seems as if they imitate the functioning of the mind. Then the supreme domain of the senses occurs.

 

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