Yoga Sutra 1.01 (Parisamvad)

Patanjali Yoga Sutra
Transcribed from Parisamvad at The Yoga Institute.

Chapter 1, Sutra 1

Atha: now, at this auspicious moment ; implying the transition to this practice and pursuit
Yoga: as the absorption in samadhi
Anu: following tradition
Sasanam: instruction , discipline.
These writings are not a sudden flair of imagination. Today many authors claim originality. They have created some new works. In olden times the writers were frank, honest. They would not give their names. Something that has been coming down in tradition. Each word creates a certain mood. In those days, 2000 years back, there was no writing. The individual had certain very inspiring thoughts and he would mention it to the others, close students. They would then pass it on to the next generation. Generation after generation these statements were remembered and passed on without any errors and mistakes till very recent times. There are families in Maharashtra whose job is nothing else but remembering the Vedas. Vedas are very large works and are the oldest. The father remembered the first work, the son the next, the grandson the next. They remembered by heart this huge literature. The requirement was that not a single letter be missed or mis-pronounced. No mistakes would be tolerated. The danger was that instead of doing good, it would harm. These people have sincerely remembered and have brought it down over the last 3000-4000 years, exactly as it was stated earlier and they are carrying on. They are doing, their children will do. The state government every year honours them. This is the history of our Indian literature which is very deep. No one knows who wrote the Yoga Sutras. No single copy of early writing is there. Yuj Samadhau – Yoga in the sense of reaching highest state of consciousness. These writing were considered very sacred. Maharshi Patanjali is supposed to have few students. He would speak to them, but there was a curtain between the students and the teacher. They couldn’t see the teacher. They would just listen. One day a student became curious to know what sort of a person the teacher is. He quietly moved the curtain a little and peeped. No sooner did this happen that the teacher stopped. He put a curse and said that he will not say anything further. Whatever was said, that’s all. So we have just 195 sutras .
Atha – one should start with reverence. Yoga is concentration. One becomes one with the object of concentration. Yoga is uniting oneself with the object. Atma unites with Parmatma, individual consciousness unites with universal consciousness. Anushasan simply means discipline. Whatever data was available was made into a systematic path. What is to be done, who can do it, what are the difficulties on the path, what will be the final result all this; was taken into consideration. Yoga was there before Maharshi Patanjali. There was Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Tantra Yoga , Mantra Yoga, Raja Yoga. He brought them all together, took out the essence and made a systematic path. Because of his effort, yoga is considered as one of the Darshan Shastra – Yoga became the science of philosophy. Out of the six philosophies (Yoga, Vedanta, Samkhya, Nyaya, Vaisheshik, Purva Mimamsa), yoga became most popular and practical. It is not just philosophical thinking – it is living, it is experiencing. When Patanjali made this system, it was for everybody. Everybody can’t be a Bhakti Yogi or a Hatha Yogi. Patanjali devised a very systematic path for every human and so it became most popular. This path is for those who have a spiritual bent, who realize the limitations of the material world. These individuals progress faster – for them the techniques are different. For those who are still entangled in the material world for them there are different techniques. It is a lovely science, we have to take the decision and follow.
About Parisamvad
On every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, The Yoga Institute, Santacruz holds Parisamvad sessions – Free interactive sessions that are open to all. These session begin at 7:20 am and end around 7:45 am.
The Friday Parisamvad is dedicated to explanation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by our esteemed Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji.
All are welcome to attend.
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