This Union (or Yoga) is achieved through the subjugation of the psychic nature, and the restraint of the chitta (or mind).
Up till now the inner man has identified himself with his forms and with their active modifications. The mind states are five, and are subject to pleasure or pain; they are painful or not painful.
These modifications (activities) are correct knowledge, incorrect knowledge, fancy, passivity (sleep) and memory.
The basis of correct knowledge is correct perception, correct deduction, and correct witness (or accurate evidence).
Passivity (sleep) is based upon the quiescent state of the vrittis (or upon the non-perception of the senses). The control of these modifications of the internal organ, the mind, is to be brought about through tireless endeavour and through non-attachment.
When the object to be gained is sufficiently valued, and the efforts towards its attainment are persistently followed without intermission, then the steadiness of the mind (restraint of the vrittis) is secured. Non-attachment is freedom from longing for all objects of desire, either earthly or traditional, either here or hereafter.
The consummation of this non-attachment results in an exact knowledge of the spiritual man when liberation from the qualities or gunas. A further stage of samadhi is achieved when, through one pointed thought, the outer activity is quieted. The samadhi just described passes not beyond the bound of the phenomenal world; it passes not beyond the Gods, and those concerned with the concrete world. Other yogins achieve samadhi and arrive at a discrimination of pure Spirit through belief, followed by energy, memory, meditation and right perception.
The attainment of this state (spiritual consciousness) is rapid for those whose will is intensely alive. Those who employ the will likewise differ, for its use may be intense, moderate, or gentle. Ishvara, the Gurudeva, being unlimited by time conditions, is the teacher of the primeval Lords. Through the sounding of the Word and through reflection upon its meaning, the Way is found. The obstacles to soul cognition are bodily disability, mental inertia, wrong questioning, carelessness, laziness, lack of dispassion, erroneous perception, inability to achieve concentration, failure to hold the meditative attitude when achieved. Pain, despair, misplaced bodily activity and wrong direction (or control) of the life currents are the results of the obstacles in the lower psychic nature. To overcome the obstacles and their accompaniments, the intense application of the will to some one truth (or principle) is required.
The peace of the chitta (or mind stuff) can be brought about through the practice of sympathy, tenderness, steadiness of purpose, and dispassion in regard to pleasure or pain, or towards all forms of good or evil. The peace of the chitta is also brought about by the regulation of the prana or life breath. The mind can be trained to steadiness through those forms of concentration which have relation to the sense perceptions. By meditation upon Light and upon Radiance, knowledge of the Spirit can be reached and thus peace can be achieved.
The chitta is stabilized and rendered free from illusion as the lower nature is purified and no longer indulged.
Peace (steadiness of the chitta) can be reached through meditation on the knowledge which dreams give. Thus his realisation extends from the infinitely small to the infinitely great, and from annu (the atom or speck) to atma (or spirit) his knowledge is perfected.
To him whose vrittis (modifications of the substance of the mind) are entirely controlled, there eventuates a state of identity with, and similarity to that which is realized.
When the perceiver blends the word, the idea (or meaning) and the object, this is called the mental condition of judicial reasoning. Perception without judicial reasoning is arrived at when the memory no longer holds control, the word and the object are transcended and only the idea is present. The same two processes of concentration, with and without judicial action of the mind, can be applied also to things subtle.
The gross leads into the subtle and the subtle leads in progressive stages to that state of pure spiritual being called Pradhana. When this super-contemplative state is reached, the Yogi acquires pure spiritual realisation through the balanced quiet of the chitta (or mind stuff).
This particular perception is unique and reveals that which the rational mind (using testimony, inference and deduction) cannot reveal. When this state of perception is itself also restrained (or superseded), then is pure Samadhi achieved.
The Yoga of action, leading to union with the soul is fiery aspiration, spiritual reading and devotion to Ishvara.
These are the difficulty producing hindrances: avidya (ignorance) the sense of personality, desire, hate and the sense of attachment. Avidya (ignorance) is the cause of all the other obstructions whether they be latent, in process of elimination, overcome, or in full operation. Avidya is the condition of confusing the permanent, pure, blissful and the Self with that which is impermanent, impure, painful and the not-self.
The sense of personality is due to the identification of the knower with the instruments of knowledge. Karma itself has its roots in these five hindrances and must come to fruition in this life or in some later life. So long as the roots (or samskaras) exist, their fruition will be birth, life, and experiences resulting in pleasure or pain. These seeds (or samskaras) produce pleasure or pain according as their originating cause was good or evil.
To the illuminated man all existence (in the three worlds) is considered pain owing to the activities of the gunas.
The illusion that the Perceiver and that which is perceived are one and the same is the cause (of the pain-producing effects) which must be warded off. That which is perceived has three qualities, sattva, rajas and tamas (rhythm, mobility and inertia); it consists of the elements and the sense organs. The divisions of the gunas (or qualities of matter) are fourfold; the specific, the non-specific, the indicated and the untouchable.
In the case of the man who has achieved yoga (or union) the objective universe has ceased to be. The association of the soul with the mind and thus with that which the mind perceives, produces an understanding of the nature of that which is perceived and likewise of the Perceiver. When ignorance is brought to an end through non-association with the things perceived, this is the great liberation. When the means to yoga have been steadily practised, and when impurity has been overcome, enlightenment takes place, leading up to full illumination. The eight means of yoga are, the Commandments or Yama, the Rules or Nijama, posture or Asana, right control of life-force or Pranayama, abstraction or Pratyahara, attention or Dharana, Meditation or Dhyana, Contemplation or Samadhi. Harmlessness, truth to all beings, abstention from theft, from incontinence and from avarice, constitute yama or the five commandments.
Yama (or the five commandments) constitutes the universal duty and is irrespective of race, place, time or emergency. Internal and external purification, contentment, fiery aspiration, spiritual reading and devotion to Ishvara constitutes nijama (or the five rules). When thoughts which are contrary to yoga are present there should be the cultivation of their opposite.
Thoughts contrary to yoga are harmfulness, falsehood, theft, incontinence, and avarice, whether committed personally, caused to be committed or approved of, whether arising from avarice, anger or delusion (ignorance); whether slight in the doing, middling or great. When truth to all things is perfected, the effectiveness of his words and acts is immediately to be seen. When abstention from avarice is perfected, there comes an understanding of the law of rebirth. Internal and external purification produces aversion for form, both one's own and all forms. Through purification comes also a quiet spirit, concentration, conquest of the organs, and ability to see the Self. Through fiery aspiration and through the removal of all impurity, comes the perfecting of the bodily powers and of the senses.
Steadiness and ease of posture is to be achieved through persistent slight effort and through the concentration of the mind upon the infinite. When right posture (asana) has been attained there follows right control of prana and proper inspiration and expiration of the breath. Right control of prana (or the life currents) is external, internal or motionless; it is subject to place, time and number and is also protracted or brief. There is a fourth stage which transcends those dealing with the internal and external phases. Abstraction (or Pratyahara) is the subjugation of the senses by the thinking principle and their withdrawal from that which has hitherto been their object.
When the chitta becomes absorbed in that which is the reality (or idea embodied in the form), and is unaware of separateness or the personal self, this is contemplation or samadhi.
When the concentration, meditation and contemplation form one sequential act, then is sanyama achieved. These last three means of yoga have a more intimate subjective effect than the previous means.
Even these three, however, are external to the true seedless meditation (or samadhi) which is not based on an object. Through the cultivation of this habit of mind there will eventuate a steadiness of spiritual perception. The establishing of this habit, and the restraining of the mind from its thought-form-making tendency, results eventually in the constant power to contemplate.

When mind control and the controlling factor are equally balanced, then comes the condition of one-pointedness. Through this process the aspects of every object are known, their characteristics (or form), their symbolic nature, and their specific use in time-conditions (stage of development) are known and realised.
The stage of development is responsible for the various modifications of the versatile psychic nature and of the thinking principle. Through concentrated meditation upon the triple nature of every form, comes the revelation of that which has been and of that which will be. The Sound (or word), that which it denotes (the object) and the embodied spiritual essence (or idea) are usually confused in the mind of the perceiver.
Knowledge of previous incarnations becomes available when the power to see thought-images is acquired. Through concentrated meditation, the thought images in the minds of other people become apparent. As, however, the object of those thoughts is not apparent to the perceiver, he sees only the thought and not the object. By concentrated meditation upon the distinction between form and body, those properties of the body which make it visible to the human eye are negated (or withdrawn) and the yogi can render himself invisible. Union with others is to be gained through one-pointed meditation upon the three states of feeling - compassion, tenderness and dispassion. Meditation, one-pointedly centred upon the power of the elephant, will awaken that force or light. Perfectly concentrated meditation upon the awakened light will produce the consciousness of that which is subtle, hidden or remote. Through meditation, one-pointedly fixed upon the sun, will come a consciousness (or knowledge) of the seven worlds. Concentration upon the Pole-Star will give knowledge of the orbits of the planets and the stars. By concentrated attention upon the centre called the solar plexus, comes perfected knowledge as to the condition of the body. By fixing the attention upon the throat centre, the cessation of hunger and thirst will ensue. By fixing the attention on the tube or nerve below the throat centre, equilibrium is achieved. Those who have attained self-mastery can be seen and contacted through focusing the light in the head. Understanding of the mind-consciousness comes from one-pointed meditation upon the heart centre. Experience (of the pairs of opposites) comes from the inability of the soul to distinguish between the personal self and the purusa (or spirit). The higher and lower siddhis (or powers) are gained by incarnation, or by drugs, words of power, intense desire or by meditation. The transfer of the consciousness from a lower vehicle into a higher is part of the great creative and evolutionary process. The practices and methods are not the true cause of the transfer of consciousness but they serve to remove obstacles, just as the husbandman prepares his ground for sowing. The "I am" consciousness is responsible for the creation of the organs through which the sense of individuality is enjoyed.
Among the forms which consciousness assumes, only that which is the result of meditation is free from latent karma. There is identity of relation between memory and the effect-producing cause, even when separated by species, time and place. These forms being created and held together through desire, the basic cause, personality, the effective result, mental vitality or the will to live, and the support of the outward going life or object, when these cease to attract then the forms cease likewise to be. The characteristics, whether latent or potent, partake of the nature of the three gunas (qualities of matter). The manifestation of the objective form is due to the one-pointedness of the effect-producing cause (the unification of the modifications of the chitta or mind stuff). These two, consciousness and form, are distinct and separate; though forms may be similar, the consciousness may function on differing levels of being. The many modifications of the one mind produce the diverse forms, which depend for existence upon those many mind impulses. These forms are cognized or not, according to the qualities latent in the perceiving consciousness.
The Lord of the mind, the perceiver, is ever aware of the constantly active mind stuff, the effect-producing cause.
Because it can be seen or cognised it is apparent that the mind is not the source of illumination. Neither can it know two objects simultaneously, itself and that which is external to itself. If knowledge of the mind (chitta) by a remoter mind is postulated, an infinite number of knowers must be inferred, and the sequence of memory reactions would tend to infinite confusion.
When the spiritual intelligence which stands alone and freed from objects, reflects itself in the mind stuff, then comes awareness of the Self.
The mind then tends towards discrimination and increasing illumination as to the true nature of the one Self. Through force of habit, however, the mind will reflect other mental impressions and perceive objects of sensuous perception. These reflections are of the nature of hindrances, and the method of their overcoming is the same. The man who develops non-attachment even in his aspiration after illumination and isolated unity, becomes aware, eventually, through practiced discrimination, of the overshadowing cloud of spiritual knowledge.
The modifications of the mind stuff (or qualities of matter) through the inherent nature of the three gunas come to an end, for they have served their purpose.
Time, which is the sequence of the modifications of the mind, likewise terminates, giving place to the Eternal Now. Meditation is central to the spiritual endeavor in many schools of Hinduism, notably the Yoga tradition. However, meditation is by no means universally regarded as the principal means of attaining Self realization. The Sanskrit word dhyana, derived from the verbal root dhyai ("to contemplate, meditate, think"), is the most common designation both for the meditative state of consciousness and the yogic techniques by which it is induced.
The term dhyana is widely used to refer to the contemplative process that prepares the ground for the ecstatic state (samadhi), though occasionally the term is also employed to signify that superlative state of consciousness. The underlying idea of dhyana, though not the word itself, is found already in the Rig-Veda (see dhi, brahman).
In the oldest Upanishads, dhyana is not yet recognized as a formal component of the spiritual path. Thus dhyana can be considered as having evolved out of the prescribed study of the Vedic revelation. In the Yoga-Sutra (III.2), dhyana is defined as the "single flow of ideas" (pratyaya-ekatanata). Although the senses are inhibited in meditation, this state has nothing in common with drowsiness or dullness.
Anything can be made an object of meditation, including phenomena that are not usually deemed desirable, such as wrathful deities, or negative states of mind, like anger or jealousy. Further valuable information about the nature of meditation may be found in the commentarial literature on the Yoga-Sutra, the Puranas, the manuals of hatha-yoga, and the sacred writings of the Shaivas and Vaishnavas. The twelfth-century Yoga-Yajnavalkya (9.2), which hails meditation as the cause of either bondage or liberation, mentions two types of meditation saguna and nirguna. In the Gheranda-Samhita (6.l-3), a seventeenth-century manual of hatha-yoga, a distinction is made between sthula ("coarse"), jyotir- ("luminous"), and sukshma-dhyana ("subtle meditation"). The Hathayoga-Pradipika (4.93), a fourteenth-century manual of hatha-yoga, recommends meditation upon the inner sound (nada), which is a technique that may have arisen out of the chanting practice of the Sama-Veda schools. The Advayataraka-Upanishad favors meditation upon light phenomena, or photisms, which are all considered to be manifestations of the Absolute. It is clear from the Yoga-Sutra that Patanjali accepted a wide range of meditation objects. In guru-yoga, it is one's teacher who is made the constant object of the disciple's thought, worship, and meditation.
The Svacchanda-Tantra (6.288-290), a medieval Shaiva work, recommends meditation on the six types of void (shunya). In his seventeenth-century work Dasha-Bodha (14), Ramadasa defines true meditation as the contemplation of the Divine and false meditation as the contemplation of everything else. Since meditation is based on intense concentration, certain prerequisites must be met for it to be successful. Most neophytes have to battle physical discomfort, mental restlessness, and not least boredom. A further important prerequisite for the successful practice of meditation is a clean and quiet environment, which is conducive to concentration and the cultivation of inwardness.
Most teachers advise beginners to meditate twice a day for at least twenty minutes, so that the mind becomes habituated to this state. Medical studies have shown what yogins have known for thousands of years: Meditation is beneficial to the body and mind. But the spiritual purpose of meditation is neither physical nor mental well-being nor higher forms of cognition, but ecstatic merging with the object of meditation samadhi. I am a Change manager working directly to the Managing Directors of several fortune 500 companies.
All yoga as practiced today is based on Yoga Sutras, a collection of aphorisms offered more than 2000 years ago by the Indian sage, Patanjali. The knower, knowledge and the field of knowledge becomes one, just as the crystal takes to itself the colours of that which is reflected in it. These activities are threefold, producing consequences, anxieties and subliminal impressions.
By concentrated meditation on these three aspects comes an (intuitive) comprehension of the sound uttered by all forms of life.

By perfectly concentrated meditation on these, the yogi knows the term of his experience in the three worlds. The form assumed in the time concept of the present is the result of developed characteristics and holds latent seeds of future quality. For instance, the Bhagavad-Gita (13.24) states that some behold the Self (atman) by means of meditation, while others approach it through samkhya-yoga and karma-yoga. The Vedanta tradition also employs the terms nididhyasana, which stems from the same verbal root, upasana (literally "dwelling upon"), and bhavana (literally "cultivating"). It is, however, beginning to be referred to as one of the means of acquiring knowledge of the Self.
Another contributing element in the evolution of dhyana was undoubtedly the extensive ritual practice of the brahmins, which called for tremendous mental concentration.
It is immediately preceded by the consciousness-altering efforts of sensory inhibition (pratyahara) and concentration (dharana). That is to say, in the meditative state all arising ideas tend to naturally revolve around the chosen object of meditation to the exclusion of sensory stimuli. Rather, it is a highly dynamic condition, accompanied by heightened inner lucidity in which the contemplated object looms large in the space of awareness. Whereas the first two types of mental activity are, by and large, disposed of through the technique of sensory inhibition and concentration, the conceptualizing or imaginative aspect of the mind, as ,well as sleep, are gradually brought under control through the meditative process. The ancient King Hiranyakashipu, the father of the saintly Prahlada, achieved fame for his dvesha-yoga or spiritual practice of hatred. This definition shows the integral connectedness of breath control and meditation, a link that is greatly emphasized in the literature of hatha-yoga.
The former type consists in contemplating the Divine in various forms, whereas the latter is the unmediated recognition of oneself as the Self.
Sthula-dhyana is meditation upon a particular form, such as one's teacher or a deity, who is visualized in great detail. Three kinds of photistic phenomena are distinguished: The first kind is known as the "inner sign" (antar-lakshya), which is the radiant serpent power (kundalini-shakti), located at the lowest psychoenergetic center (cakra) at the base of spine.
Ultimately, meditation upon these photisms is intended to lead to the "non-dual deliverer" (advaya-taraka), which is none other than the transmental (amanaska) and formless (amurti) Being itself.
Thus he furnishes a long list of possible objects for the practice of "constraint" (samyama), which is the combined application of concentration, meditation, and ecstatic merging with reference to one and the same object.
In this way, the practitioner hopes to merge with the teacher and thereby duplicate within himself or herself the teacher's illumined state. The same practices are also listed among the 112 yogic means mentioned in the Vijnana-Bhairava, a wonderful eighth-century treasury of Yoga in the spirit of Shaivism.
He also states that picturing specific images with the mind's eye does not lead to liberation, because this practice merely entraps the mind in a vicious cycle of imaginings.
The twentieth-century sage Sri Ramana Maharshi, of Tiruvannamalai in South India, advised spiritual seekers to ponder the question "Who am I?" a modern maha-vakya of great potency. The characteristics of such an environment are discussed in the scriptures under the rubric of "place" (desha). Silence (mauna) has since ancient Vedic times been recognized as a powerful means of inner development.
As it is accompanied by deep relaxation, it unstresses the body, causing a feeling of physiological and psychological ease, rejuvenation, and heightened vitality. And the ultimate purpose of samadhi is Self-realization (atma-jnana, purusha-khyati), or liberation.
Yoga Sutras by Maharshi Patanjali are known as the Patanjali Yoga Sutra and is the foundational text for Yoga.
Here samkhya-yoga stands for the spiritual practice of discernment (viveka) between the real and the unreal, and karma-yoga is the practice of dispassionate action. In that context, it usually stands for the contemplation of the revealed truth, the Vedic teaching about the Self deep within the human psyche.
In this sense, dhyana is a deepening of the preceding process of concentration, or single-mindedness. The final obstacle to inwardness (pratyak-cetana) is the ever-active memory, which gives rise to thoughts and internal imagery. According to Puranic legend, he hated Visnu with such fervor that he constantly thought of him-thereby gradually becoming transformed into the object of his negative emotion.
The saguna type of meditation can be characterized as meditative visualization-the kind of practice that is prevalent in the Tantric schools.
Jyotir-dhyana is the contemplation of the Divine as a mass of light either in the lowest psychospiritual center of the body, the muladhara-cakra or in the ajna-cakra. This approach involves regular and prolonged recitation (japa) of certain sacred or numinous sounds (mantra). For example, Patanjali mentions various bodily locations (such as the solar plexus, throat, heart, etc.) as focal points for the meditative consciousness, as well as concrete external objects as sun, moon, and pole star.
The other ten powers are said to result from the yogin's perfection of the sattva or luminosity aspect of the human personality or mind. Of course, this approach presumes that the teacher is fully enlightened, or liberated--a sad-guru. True meditation, in his view, consists in the union of the meditator with the true object of meditation, which is the divine Self.
The lotus posture (padma-asana) and the adept's posture (siddha-asana) are most frequently recommended in the scriptures of Yoga and Vedanta.
Inner work demands a certain level of detachment from material life and a strong interest in higher values-the scriptural desire for liberation (mumukshutva). For instance, the ancient Shvetashvatara-Upanishad (11.l0) stipulates that the ground should be level, free from pebbles, gravel, and without a fire place, and that it should be concealed, inoffensive to the ear and pleasing to the eye, as well as protected from the wind.
Other auspicious times are sunset, the hour before noon and, in certain traditions (such as some Tantric schools), midnight. At more advanced levels, the practitioner experiences deep peace and tranquillity, which carry over into everyday life. Historically, it is believed that Maharshi Patanjali may have lived in around 500 BC to 2000 BC and Patanjali has written on mainly three subjects namely, grammar, medicine and yoga. In the Trika school of Kashmir, the yogin is given alternatives to meditation like mantric recitation (japa), observing vows (vrata), and ritual sacrifice (homa). However, preferred meditation objects are those that evoke feelings of harmony, beauty, and tranquillity. Sukshma-dhyana is meditation upon the awakened kundalini force, after it has merged with the Self and exited from the body. Sound is used as a vehicle for internalizing consciousness and achieving contact with the reality represented by a particular sound. The second variety is made up of the "external sign" (bahir-lakshya), which consists in the perception of luminous ether-space (vyoman) of variant color perceived at variable distances close to the face. The sixth void is Bhairava, the Absolute itself, which is realized when the emptiness of phenomena is realized.
But meditation can be pursued in any posture so long as it can be assumed for a prolonged period of time without discomfort. Without adequate moral preparation and genuine spiritual aspiration, meditation tends to be experienced as tedious or impossible.
The preferred location of yogins are consequently secluded spots in mountains, caves, and forests.
There is also a sense of getting in touch with one's innermost truth, which aids the integration of the personality.
It is simply intended to prepare the ground for the recovery of one's true identity, which is the everlasting Self.
Patanjali`s three works together deal with man`s development as a whole in thought, speech and action.
Therefore be fond of meditation." This exhortation expresses a sentiment that is widespread in the sacred literature of Hinduism. However, in meditation this inner reorganization is greatly enhanced, creating the basis for the eventual ecstatic breakthrough (samadhi), the eighth and final "limb" of Classical Yoga.
Here the restriction of the subliminal activators (samskara), which are ultimately responsible for the generation of mental activity, is accomplished. Meditation upon light is said to be a hundred times superior to meditation upon a particular form, while sukshma-dhyana is said to be a hundred thousand times superior to the contemplation of light.
The sacred syllable om, which symbolizes the Absolute, is the best known example of such a vibratory vehicle. The third kind is known as the "intermediate sign" (madhya-laksya), which consists in the experience of differently colored ether, space at a distance from the body.
Many of the postures promoted in Hatha Yoga qualify as meditation postures over and above their therapeutic purpose and merit. Hence Patanjali's eightfold path begins with the five moral observances (yama) of nonharming (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), nonstealing (asteya), chastity (brahmacarya), and greedlessness (aparigraha). Finally, at the highest level of meditation, the boundaries of the subject become blurred and the doorway opens to the experience of transempirical realms of existence (the lokas of higher non-human entities, such as deities).
Each of the sutras contains a wealth of ideas and wisdom towards full knowledge of his real nature.
The Patanjali yoga sutra state, through proper practice one can radiate grace, disposition and compassion.
The ultimate achievement of following the path of Patanjali yoga sutra is to experience the effortless, indivisible state of the prophet.
The four chapters of Patanjanli Yoga Sutras include, Samadhi Pada, Sadhana Pada, Vibhuti Pada and Kaivalya Pada.

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