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Pankaj Khanna, Famous Astrologer In Delhi

Practicing Since 1987.

Shop No.11,A-3 DDA Market,
(Near St. Marks School)
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1.   Need for This Commentary

2.   Significance of Patanjali

3.   What Patanjali Yoga is all about

      A. Basic.
      B. What is Yoga.
      C. Steps in Yoga.


  These days alll over the world in the intellectual circles there is a strong desire to know more about Yoga.

  In the present days when the stress level of the people is increasing due to various reasons and people want more and more from their lives the relevance of yoga is also increasing as the modern day medicine is unable to provide answer to most of the problems and challenges that are being faced today.

  The competition being faced all round also means that the people want higher mental capacities to stay above board. Yoga teaches you how to improve your mental power. How to stay calm and fight the stress and come out as a winner.

  But Yoga is widely misunderstood as a set of physical exercises and postures only. Those who know more know a bit about meditation also. But the total picture as was prevalent in india in the ancient times and was compiled by Patanjali in the form of "YOGASUTRAS" is very rarely understood.

  Here, I highlight the meaning and the concept of yoga as compiled by Maharishi Patanjali.


  Yoga is a sanskrit word which means to join. Thus, Yoga is system which joins our body with the superior being. It joins the soul with the God. It joins the mind with the soul. It joins the conscious, sub-conscious and the super conscious minds.

  Patanjali defines Yoga as "Yogasrichatvreetinarodh" Which means Yoga is restraint of mental States.

  Mind is always wandering, it has immence capacities but it is very difficult to restrain it and put in on a particular field of thought. So mind has to be restrained from dwelling on the subjects of the heart and senses. This mind which is having a very high level of concentration because it is aiming only at a particular area of though can have great powers of achieving anything it works on.

  Thus, controlled and restrained the mind is capable of achieving great heights. It can achieve the knowledge which is apparently hidden. It can look into the future, achieve high physical standards and make discoveries, inventions and innovations. This is waht Yoga is all about.

  Once you achieve a high mental level by following the path of Yoga you can achieve the following :

    i) Material Prosperity by better understanding, better analysis and better decision making.

    ii) Power over humans, as with your better concentration you can understand the humans better and can thus control them.

    iii) Understand the laws of nature and apply them to make discoveries and inventions.

    iv) Develop your mind to heal others and your own self - as you have better concentration so can direct the forces of nature to cure the people you want to cure.

    v) Achieve the super conscious state by which you can see God himself and be a part of his superior being.

  What you want to achieve, once you have achieved a level in Yoga is for you to decide.


  The Yogis had developed a body of knowledge over hundred of years and through many generations. This body of knowledge which was studied by many Rishies and Maharishies and various experiments were carried out over it had come to be known as 'YOGA' in ancient India.

  Maharishi Patanjali was also a great Yogi who understood the body, the senses, the heart, the mind, the soul and the supreme being well. Thus, he compiled the knwoledge which was available at that time in various works into a thesis known as "YOGASUTRA".

  His work is considered to be a master piece and all subsequent works have either based studies on his work or have drawn heavily from it.


  Maharishi Patanjali divided the Yoga into eight parts, of these, the first five are known as external aids to conscious contemplation, as they only aid in making the process of yoga possible by controlling the mood and body. The last three are the internal aids, as they constitute the core of Yoga. These eight aids are:

    a) Yama (Abstinences)
    b) Niyamas (Observances)
    c) Asana (Postures)
    d) Pranayama (Control of Breathings)
    e) Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses)
    f) Dharana (Concentration)
    g) Dhyana (Meditation)
    h) Samadhi (Contemplation)

  Now, we can discuss in detail, what these aids are all about.

 i) Yama (Abstinences) :

  Before a soldier is allowed access of arms and ammunition strict discipline is inculcated into him so that when he has the arms and the know how of using them he does not use them against the society he is supposed to protect. Similarly, before a Yogi attains super powers - which can be used for the wheel and welfare of the humanity at large or can be used to harm the humanity - he has to abstain from certain actions and abide by certain code of conduct. This code of conduct is known as Yama. The five Yamas are.:

    a) Ahinsa (Non-Violence)
    b) Satya (To be truthful)
    c) Brahmacarya (Restraint in matters connected with sex)
    d) Refrain from Steya (Non-stealing)
    e) Refrain from Parigraha (not to desire the acquisition of the means of enjoyment over the above one's needs for the sustenance of life).

 These five restraints have to be followed by the Sadhak (one who is moving on the path of Yoga) in letter and spirit before he can move further.

 ii) Niyamas (Observances) :

  The tough practices of Yoga have to be performed by the help of this body alone. Thus, it must be free from disease and be strong enough to fend for itself and sustain the changes in weather.

  The desires should be under control and the Sadhak should perform his duties well and at the same time should put his mind to attain the knowledge of the supreme being.

  The five niyamas detailed by Maharishi Patanjali are as follows:-

    a) Cleanliness
    b) Contentment
    c) Austerities
    d) Scriptural Studies
    e) Surrender of the actions to God.
  By following these five niyamas the Sadhak becomes pure from inside and outside. Now, he is mentally and morally fit to take up the practices of Yoga.

 iii) Asana (Postures) :

  The people who talk of Yoga these days talk a lot about these asanas, perhaps following the other works on Hathayoga.

  But Maharishi Patanjali does not lay much stress on the posture. He only recommends a sitting posture which is comfortable and stable.

  A comfortable cross-legged position is recommended.

  With the mastery of posture, one is not easily disturbed by physical discomforts and pairs of opposite like heat and cold. Thus, can proceed to next stages of Yoga.

  Though I have nothing against the various asanas described by the ancient texts of Hathayoga and developed by later day Yogies. They are very good forms of exercise and many of them have the capacity to cure diseases. I have suggested these with good results and I practice them also but they are not of vital importance in achieving the higher state of mind i.e., a high level of concentration or Samadhi.

 iv) Pranayama (Control of Breathing) :

  Unlike most os the works on Hathayoga, Maharishi Patanjali does not lay much stress of breath control. He recommends deep and slow regulated breathing as an aid to concentrated thought.

  One should breath in deeply and hold the breath for few seconds and then slowly breath out again waiting for few seconds before drawing in again.

  Perfection in slow, deep and rhythmic breathing gives one control over the senses, calms down the body and improves the level of concentration. It has to be practiced over a period of time regularly.

 v) Prathyahara (withdrawal of senses):

  Any effort of higher mind control practices is of little use unless it is preceded by control of senses from its respective stimuli. This is brought about by continuous practice.

  It must be understood that this control of senses is not just the absence of desire for the sense objects, nor their enjoyment as sanctioned by scriptures or a perfect sense of detachment. It is the total absence of awareness of the objects of sense, even though present, owing to the concentration of the mind.

  The heart and the senses are very powerful they try to control the mind all the time. The only way to conquer them and restrain them is through constant practice and renunciation. This is the most difficult part of the Yoga as all this easier said than done. Still a Sustained effort does give results, though slowly.

 vi) Dharana (Fixed Attention):

  When through the first five steps the Sadhak (aspirant has reached a level where his body, breath and the mind are under his control he can start concentration exercises.

  For improving the concentration the Sadhak should sit at a quite place and try to focus the wandering gaze on a particular object. By practicing this regularly the Sadhak will attain a high level of concentration.

  Various commentaries on Patanjali Yogasutra give various ways of fixing the gaze and improving concentration.

 vii) Dhyana (Meditation):

  Meditation is a process of unbroken flow of thoughts about some object. In this process of thought, in which the distinction between the meditator and the objects is still there. The Sadhak (meditator) is able to feel the difference between himself and the object.

  It is a state of mind in which all the sense organs and the mind are restrained and concentrated towards the object on which one is meditating.

  If a person is able to achieve this level of concentration then any knowledge about the object on which he is meditating comes to him in an automatic way.

  This is a very fine state of mind and once he reaches it he is able to understand the problems and is able to find solutions to it by the mental process.

 viii) Samadhi (Contemplation):

  This is the ultimate stage of meditation, when the sadhak forgets his individuality and the difference from the object on which he is meditating and gets completely absorbed in the object as if the sadhak and the object of meditation are one.

  When one reaches this stage he is able to transcendent the boundaries of time and space and is at a stage where he can be called a Yogi.

  The basic meaning of the word Yoga - to join can be understood at this stage. By the mental process the Yogi is able to join his entire individuality - sense organs, mind and soul with the object it is meditating on. Thus, this is the final state of Yoga.

  When a person is able to enter into the state of Samadhi on any object, it is able to understand, feel and know that object is totality. He can feel it, touch it, smell it understand its nature and character.

  This is how the Vedic Rishies knew, without the use of computers, that once in 4,00,00,000 years all the planets come in a staight line. The time which is termed as the change of Yug. They knew that atoms contained energy which can be converted into light. They could calculate the speed of all the planets and also their distances.

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