Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali

These aphorisms would seem, at first sight, to express a paradoxical idea. When Patañjali says that the experiencer is identified with the object of experience in order that the true nature of both may be known, and then adds that this identification is caused by ignorance—we feel a certain bewilderment. And yet, this bewilderment that we feel is merely another

After long searches here and there, in temples and in churches, in earths and in heavens, at last you come back, completing the circle from where you started, to your own soul and find that He, for whom you have been seeking all over the world, for whom you have been weeping and praying in churches and temples, on whom

We are to live so that no harm or pain is caused by our thoughts, words or deeds to any other being. In a positive sense, this means that we must cultivate love for all, and try to see the one Atman within everybody. We must think of ourselves as the servants of mankind, and be ready to put ourselves

Purity is cleanliness, both physical and mental. If a man thinks of himself as being the dwelling-place of the Atman, he will naturally feel that his body and mind have to be kept clean. External cleanliness is chiefly important because of its psychological effect upon us; the mere act of washing suggests the removal of mental as well as physical

We are accustomed to use the word "harmless" in a rather derogatory sense; it has become almost synonymous with "ineffectual." Yet the perfected harmlessness of the saint is by no means ineffectual—it has a positive psychological force of tremendous power. When a man has truly and entirely renounced violence, he begins to create an atmosphere around himself within which violence

Patañjali now describes the results which are obtained by practising the various observances (niyamas). The physical body is the grossest and most outward manifestation of our consciousness. As a man's mind becomes purified, he naturally loses his sense of identification with his body. Therefore he grows indifferent to it, regarding it as a mere external garment which is neither new

It is well worth analysing the circumstances of those occasions on which we have been truly happy. For, as John Masefield says, "The days that make us happy make us wise." When we review them, we shall almost certainly find that they had one characteristic in common. There were times when, for this or that reason, we had temporarily ceased

Bhakti yoga is the path of loving devotion to God. It is expressed by means of ritual worship, prayer and japa. It is the cultivation of a direct, intense personal relationship between worshiper and worshiped. In the practice of bhakti yoga, some special aspect of God, or some divine incarnation, is chosen, so that the devotee's love may become more

Asana means two things: the place on which the yogi sits, and the manner in which he sits there. With regard to the first meaning, the Gita tells us: "The place where he sits should be firm, neither too high nor too low, and situated in a clean spot. He should first cover it with sacred grass, then with a

Holy sir, how many several powers hold together this body? Which of them are most manifest in it? And which is the greatest?" "The powers," replied the sage, "are ether, air, fire, water, earth—these being the five elements which compose the body; and, besides these, speech, mind, eye, ear, and the rest of the sense organs. Once these powers made