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Thread: 8 Limbs of Yoga

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    8 Limbs of Yoga

    Namaste
    Have You Exercised Your Limbs Today?



    http://theinvisiblehindu.com/have-yo...r-limbs-today/ Part II Of The Debt I Owe to Yoga

    This is the second part of a series entitled The Debt I Owe to Yoga, subtitled Have you worked your limbs today? Part one was an introduction to yoga, some of its cultural impact, a brief history, and how it has affected me personally.

    To explain the spiritual significance and the totality of what yoga really is one must, of necessity visit Patanjali. It was he who classified yoga at approximately 200-400 BCE, (some documents say 150 BCE) because by that time the practice, had gone into all different directions. He organized it into a format known as the Yoga Sutras. His “eight limbs” of yoga still inform the practice today and discuss posture, breathing, meditation and correct living. He is known as “the father of modern yoga.”
    AUM
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    Re: 8 Limbs of Yoga

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    If I may I'd like to extend the conversation just a bit...
    He is known as “the father of modern yoga.”
    Yes, this is true, and there is more...
    Bhojarāja was one of several commentators on patañjali’s yogadarśana – his work is called rājamārtāṇḍa-vṛtti; Other commentators are vyāsa, śaṅjara-ji, vivaraṇa-ji, vijñānabhikṣu-ji, etc. Bhojarāja’s invocation (āvāhanaṁ) on this work of patañjali’s says the following:
    yogena citta padena vācā |
    malaṁ śarirasya tu vaidikena
    yo’pākarottaṁ pravaraṁ muninām
    patañjalirprāñjalirānto’smīm ||


    Bhojarāja is saying the following:
    by patañjali’s (the muni) work (darśana – insights, knowledge, ~philosophical~ work) he wishes to remove the blemish (malaṁ) of the mind (yogena citta) , blemish in speech or grammar (padena vācā); and he too is the vaidya (practicing or relating to medicine , in this case ayurveda) and wishes to remove the blemish (malaṁ) found in the body (śarira)

    The offer here tells us more of patañjali and his contributions to the world:
    • removing the blemish (malaṁ) of the mind (yogena citta) – we can see this is done via patañjali’s yogadarśana (some call yoga-sūtras)

    Yet there are two more items:
    • grammar (padena vācā) – patañjali was prathamavaiyākaraṇa (distinguished/1st rate) vyākaraṇaḥ¹ or grammarian
    • vaidya (practicing or relating to medicine , in this case āyurveda) – many say he was the original author of āyurveda – that would put him in the practicing company and authorship of agnivesh, drudhbal , and charaka-ji,


    What more do we know of patañjali ?
    His name
    patañjali - some say the derivation of his name comes in this manner pata + añjali
    · añjali = open hands placed side by side and slightly hollowed
    · pata – falling

    The legend says that śeṣa ( the divine serpent) incarnated and fell (pata) into open hands (añjali) of a brahmin (realized being) no less; and this incarnation was none other than patañjali. We can see why he would be called śeṣa-patañjali.

    A bit more
    We are told by rāmabhadra dīkṣita (cira late 1600’s) in his work the patañjali-vijaya or patañjali-carita that chandra śarmā is none other than patañjali muni himself. Who then is this chandra śarmā? He becomes ( or is named) śrī govinda bhagavatpāda, guru of śrī śaṅkara. So, here is how the story goes ( as I have read).

    Chandra śarmā wished to learn/hear patañjali’s exposition of the vyākaraṇa , this is the detailed explanation & description of grammatical analysis of proper saṃskṛt use, its rules, etc. On his way he met gauḍapāda-ji. Now what needs to be noted is prior to this meeting, we are told that gauḍapāda-ji left a place of instruction without permission. Who was the instructor ? None other than patañjali. For some reason he was cursed by his instructor for doing this. Another rendition of the story is that all the students received the same curse, less one person bhartṛhari-ji.
    This ~curse~ would be lifted upon gauḍapāda-ji finding a fit śiṣyaḥ (student) that could learn this vyākaraṇa. Gauḍapāda-ji found no student that passed the test i.e. giving the proper grammatical answer to a (tricky) question posed. The bad news if the wrong answer was given, the incumbent ( student, scholar or ācārya), would be consumed by a rakṣaḥ (so goes the story).

    Well one day gauḍapāda-ji met chandra śarmā and asked where his travels were taking him. Chandra śarmā said he was off to attend this grand exposition on the rules of grammar that were based upon patañjali’s vyākaraṇa. Gauḍapāda-ji informed him that this exposition had been completed and not available, but that he would teach him with condition that he answer a question first. (FYI I do not know the question asked.) Oh, and by the same rule applied if the wrong answer were given he ( like the others that came before him with the wrong answer) he would be eaten by a rakṣaḥ. Chandra śarmā answered the tricky question with no difficulty. There is more to this story, but I will resist from continuing. The point to be made is patañjali muni himself became chandra śarmā to lift the curse that weighed upon Gauḍapāda-ji, that he, patañjali, gave.

    We find that gauḍapāda-ji gave dīkṣā to chandra śarmā who in turn becomes the sannyāsin named govinda bhagavatpāda and śrī śaṅkara’s guru.

    On sūtra’s (sūtram) – as a method of writing
    his students jotted them down in a sort of shorthand using just a few words which came to be known as sutras.
    I myself would suggest if in fact the śiṣya (student) wrote these sūtram they were under the keen guidance of the master. Each word is highly selective and must hit the mark each time.

    This approach is not by accident but a method employed by many e.g.
    pāṇini-ji’saṣṭādhyāyī used this approach and well as jaimini muni in jyotish. The sūtram is a stitch, a (light) thread yet is also a fiber. The notion here is that sūtram is the least amount that holds the most. The logic here is simple. As the knowledge is passed down from one generation to another, the sūtra approached codified the knowledge with the least amount of baggage. The wisdom always being intact to the knowledgeable user or teacher thereof. Some say the sūtra-s hang together on a thread. The notion is the subject of one line does not have to be repeated since the subject is sewn together ( you can see this in śeṣa-patañjali’s work and in other author’s work ).
    This is where the saying ‘a word to the wise is sufficient’ can be applied. Those of clear intellect will look to these sūtra-s and extract maximum insight on the knowledge where others will see a terse set of words.

    Let me ask a few questions:

    • Of the 8 limbs of yoga, are they sequential or are they viewed as a whole. That is, does step one (pada) have to be accomplished before step two is taken up ?
    • Why 8 limbs, why not 7?




    __________________śeṣa-patañjali


    iti śivaṁ

    1. vyākaraṇaḥ or grammarian - patañjali offered the world his mahābhāṣya , ‘the great commentary’ on pāṇini-ji’s aṣṭādhyāyī & kātyāyana ( rules of grammar and its assembly threreof).

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: 8 Limbs of Yoga

    Thank you for your feedback and extra enlightenment.
    In whatever way people surrender unto me, I reciprocate with them accordingly.

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    Re: 8 Limbs of Yoga

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    I wrote,
    Let me ask a few questions:

    • Of the 8 limbs of yoga, are they sequential or are they viewed as a whole. That is, does step one (pada) have to be accomplished before step two is taken up ?
    • Why 8 limbs, why not 7?

    These answers can be found in posts 7,8, & 9 here : http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...20-The-8-limbs
    Also, if there’s great interest , consider post 1 and its link to mahaṛṣi mahesh yogī’s review on this matter.

    iti śivaṁ

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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