“Yoga” – is the most talked upon topic these dasy when it comes to health maintenance and staying fit ? Proud to say, that India has contributed this great science to the mankind worldwide. Afterall, what we believe in is “vasudeva kutumbhakam” i.e. world is a family. But most unfortunate part today, is that yoga is considered as mere exercise by many. So, today, let’s take some deeper insights and fundamentals on what is yoga all about ? The most revered of all yoga textbooks is, “yoga sutra” of Patanjali.
Patron god for yoga is none other than lord shiva…. He is popularly known as the “adiyogi” too… But sage Patanjali is considered as a pioneer in getting yoga to humankind in the most systematic form… His work “yoga sutra” is considered to be bible of the science of yoga.
This book “yoga sutra” is divided into four chapters called as the padas. They are,
1. Samadhi paada – It helps a person dive into depts of his mind. Thereby, helping one to experience the sub-conscious mind.
2. Saadhana paada – the second chapter is called as the saadhana paada. This means nothing but “practice”/”discipline”. This chapter is again divided into two – i.e. the “kriya yoga” and the “ashtanga yoga”. And I’m sure ashtanga yoga is the commonly heard and read concept of yoga. To talk about the kriya yoga, it contains methods like the tapas (meditation), swadhyaya ( self – study of the scriptures) and Eshwara pranidhana (complete sense of surrender to the almighty). Coming to the ashtanga yoga, as the word suggests, it contains the eight fold paths for liberation.
3. Vibhuti paada – The third paada, is called by the name vibhuti paada because the word vibhuti denotes “power”. It is generally practiced to get some higher forms of siddhi.
4. Kaivalya paada – kaivalya means isolation/solitude. It describes the process of liberation through the reality of transcendental ego.
This is just a bird’s eye view of what actually yoga is about. To be specific of what is actually sage Patanjali’s yoga sutra is about. The book totally contains about 196 shlokas which are divided among these four chapters. The ultimate goal of yoga in totality is much more than just staying fit… It is about self-realisation. It is about liberation. It is about aligning yourself with the nature and universe. It is about realising the quantum of this big creation.
So next time when someone tells you that yoga is just for staying healthy and fit, please help them with this information. And most importantly don’t let people make this higher science a fancy tool of making money.