Re: Ashtanga Yoga
from a previous post some years back...
When we look to Patanjali muni for guidance to yoga, we come across the astanga or eightfold yoga reviewed in the Yoga-sutra’s.
- yama – restraint and/or controlling the senses
- niyama – observance and following regulative principles -
- asana – postures; these stimulate balance, yet also kindle kundalini sakti. This kindling belongs to tajas tattva (fire), some say agni
- pranayam – one’s control of the breath – some say ordering the breath. Prana is much more then air, and is the vital force
- pratyahara – there are a few views on this. Some call this avoiding outside distractions. It has everything to do with the senses and the contact with their corresponding objects (smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing) or restraint of the sense organs. The senses follow the mind. The mind is then influenced and is ‘contained’ by the expansion of consciousness, (just the opposite of tight control). This expansion comes from melding all this diversity into one fullness.
- dharana – this is the fixity of the mind one a single object or a particular point in space. One thinks of control of the mind, but it is the contentment of the mind to remained fixed. There is the combination of pratyahara based dharana, where consciousness only is fixed on the object and not the senses. This fixity is the power of mind.
- dhyana – is the continuous flow of the same object or knowledge that one is fixed (Dharana) on i.e. meditation. Being fixed without the intrusion of another thought or idea.
- samadhi - Patanjali muni says ‘ when the object of meditation ( dhyana + dharana) only shines forth in the mind , as if devoid of the thought of the agent even ( that is with prartahara in place), then that state is called Samadhi’… that is , the obliteration of all reflective thought, this is the pure consciousness state. Now, who can own this? Who can possibly have this level of purity? Surya, the sun. There is nothing that is false in this state. The annihilation of ego has taken place. The Sun is the Natural Atmakaraka of SELF. In Samadhi one is full in ones SELF. It is with this, one comes to Brahma-siddhi.
because you are identical with śiva