Introduction to the Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras
In this article, we will be exploring an overview of the authoritative text on meditation called the Pantanjali Yoga Sutras.
The Pantanjali Yoga Sutras can be thought of as the world’s most detailed blueprint on meditation, how to attain higher states of consciousness, and how to develop a deeper connection with a higher reality.
The teachings in this article build upon and include the key concepts discussed in the previous articles. I.e Pratyahara. ( Sense withdrawal) Samskaras. (Stored Subconscious Impressions) Drashta. (Witnessing. The seer) Vairagya. (Dis-identification, or non-attachment.) Viveka. (Right understanding, Pure knowledge, Intuitive wisdom)
Additionally, I will be introducing a powerful myriad of other essential key concepts of meditation elucidated in the sutras that will assist you to master your meditation practice.
Before we go further, I just want to mention I’m not a master of this text, and I believe It’s not essential for you to become an expert on this text to advance your meditation practice.
Even just developing a basic understanding of all of the key concepts I’m bringing to your attention will assist your meditation practice and your ability to teach immensely.
My intent for writing this article is to shine a light on and simplify important key concepts of the sutras and introduce further concepts to better manage the mind such as:
- Analyzation meditation techniques to purify the mind.
- Concentration or Dharana techniques to control and reprogram the subconscious mind.
- Systematic techniques to tune into higher states of consciousness.
Why Patanjali Yoga Sutras are Important
With the rapid spread of information with the internet age, many of the integral essential techniques to master the mind and heal the complete physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of our human experience have been omitted by many modern influencers.
The way meditation is taught has a lot of dogma associated with it and the techniques are not taught with the modern practitioner in mind.
Therefore, it is important to develop an understanding of the knowledge revealed by the ancient masters and its historical developments over the last 5000 years and how it can be implemented in the world we live in today.
The knowledge acquired in this article will assist you to:
- Build a strong foundation for your personal meditation practice.
- Develop a positive mindset and lifestyle conducive to meditation.
- Purify the deeper layers of the mind and access higher states of consciousness.
- Acquire the knowledge and skills required to teach meditation and create your own unique content for meditation audios, courses, and workshops.
If you would like to further explore the yoga sutras deeper, my program called the Transformational Meditation Teacher Training Method is for you.
To apply for the program, click the button below.
The 4 chapters of the Pantanjali Yoga Sutras
The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are a collection of 196 sutras (aphorisms) split up into four chapters on the theory and practice of yoga.
Sutra is a Sanskrit word for string or thread that can be considered as a collection of concise aphorisms in the form of a condensed manual or text.
Pantajali compiled the Yoga Sutras from various pre-existing wisdom texts. Within the verses of the Sutras are the complete art and science of meditation.
Chapter 1: Samadhi Pada. Meditative Absorption.
Sutras (1-4) What is yoga. 1.2 Yogaś-citta-vrtti-nirodhaḥ (Attaining union by controlling the unpleasant modifications of the mind) and what are the benefits?
Sutras (5-11) Five compulsive states of the mind vrittis (compulsive mental fluctuations/whirlpool of mental disturbances)
Sutras (12-16) Means of purifying and controlling the Chitta-vrittis of the mind. Dris. Drastha. (The seer) Vairagya. (Dis-identification, or non-attachment.)
Sutras (17-22) Subtle States of advanced Meditation. Samprajnata Samadhi (Reasoning, reflecting, contemplation, rejoicing, I am pure oneness with pure transcendental awareness) Atma. (Soul)
Sutras (23-29) Definition of Higher Reality Ishvara (God).
Meditating on Ishvara (higher reality) as the best method for attaining Samadhi. Viveka. (Right understanding, Pure knowledge, Intuitive wisdom, discrimination)
Sutras (30-39) Further methods for calming the mind.
Sutras (40-51) Deeper states of Samadhi.
(Meditative absorption uniting with the highest reality.)
Important concepts of Chapter 1: Samadhi Pada.
Analyzing the mind for illusory and false knowledge that is rooted in misjudgment and misidentification of the truth, by judging something at the surface level without a complete picture. Ie mistaking a rope for a snake.
Patanjali stresses the importance of abhyasa (uninterrupted, disciplined, and dedicated practice done with divine aspiration) and vairagya (a cultivated nature of dispassionate objectivity)
Vrittis (compulsive mental fluctuations) will cease on their own accord once one has perfected the key techniques in the chapter.
Deeper states of meditation are also introduced. The division of samadhi into Samprajnata (knowledge with intuitive transcendental awareness) and Asamprajnata (a state of identification of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness) is mentioned and how to attain these states.
Chapter 2: Sadhana (Practice) Pada. Practice or Discipline
The eight limbs of ashtanga yoga.
Sutras (1-2) The Sadhana Pada begins with an introduction of kriya yoga (creative action or motion associated with the knowledge that leads to perfection)
Pantanjali further advises the processes for Kriya yoga in this context as Tapas (Evoking a sense of ‘fiery discipline or ‘passion’.) Svadhyaya ( study of the self) Ishvara pranidhana ( Abiding in the presence of the divine)
Sutras (3-12) Various Obstacles in the path of Sadhana and why they arise.
Sutras (12-15) Techniques for Removing klesha’s (obstacles/affliction that are the sources of pain and suffering)
Sutras (16-28) Yama. Moral codes of conduct conducive to a balanced lifestyle, tranquil mind, and harmonious meditation experience.
Sutras (29-39) Niyama. Inner observances to harmonize the activities of the mind, gain knowledge, and experience connection with divinity.
Sutras (46-48) Asana. Stable comfortable sitting position.
Sutras (49-53) Pranayama. Breath and energy control and regulation.
Sutras (44-55) Pratyahara. Sense withdrawal.
( First 5 components of the 8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga utilized as a means for purification and living a life conducive for higher meditation and liberation.)
Sutras 2.20 and 2.25. Drasta (The seer. Witnessing from the pure power of the individual consciousness) is referenced in these sutras as a way of Witnessing the mind and the removal of ignorance. Therefore creating Kaivalyam (absolute freedom, liberation) for the seer.
Sutras 2.26 Viveka (Discrimination, or right knowledge and understanding) is referenced at the beginning of the sutra as the means to liberation is uninterrupted discriminative discernment.
Chapter 3: Vibhuti Pada: Mystic Powers
- Sutras (1-3) Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.
- The Vibhuti Pada begins with the concluding definitions of the last four limbs of ashtanga yoga, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana band samadhi.
- Sutras (4-8) The Nature of Samyama. (combines Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi)
- Sutras (9-16) Lists a series of transformations and how they occur.
- Sutras (17-55) Introduction to Siddhis. (Supernatural powers)
- Sutras (56) Onset of unity.
The remainder of the chapter is dedicated to an extensive discussion of various supra-normal powers and Kaivalya ( Liberation)
Acquired by the performance of Samyama (perfection of performing dharana, dhyana, and samadhi.
Chapter 4: Kaivalya Pada. Absolute Inner Freedom, Unlimitedness, and Unity
The Kaivalya Pada begins with elucidating further ways to attain Siddhis (supernatural powers) and transformation. The methods are Mantra, Tapas, Jana, (Herbs), and Samadhi.
Advanced discussion on karma and samskaras (unnoticed mental impressions stored in the subtle body as archetype form) are mentioned.
The Kaivalya Pada further more dives deeper into advanced processes and techniques that are required liberation and inner freedom or enlightenment (Kaivalya) is attained.
We hope you enjoyed learning about The Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras. If you would to advance your meditation practice and you’re interested in becoming a meditation teacher, I invite you to book a complimentary call with me.
During the 30-minute call, I will help you get crystal clear clarity on how to:
- Gain clarity and confidence in creating a successful lifestyle business aligned with your life purpose.
- Get more and retain more clients by facilitating transformative out-come based meditations.
- Become a confident highly respected and sought-after meditation teacher in 90 days.
- Produce scalable world-class high ticket products and services.
- Create more financial freedom and abundance without stress and overwhelm.