Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali

When a man has gained complete control of the prana through exercises, or when he has reached a certain stage of spiritual development through devotion to God without practising pranayama, then his breathing may cease of its own accord at any time while he is deeply absorbed in concentration. This natural stoppage of breath may continue for many seconds or

Meditation is prolonged concentration. The process of meditation is often compared to the pouring of oil from one vessel to another, in a steady, unbroken stream. We have seen (I, 2) that Patañjali defines thought as a wave (vritti) in the mind. Ordinarily a thought-wave arises, remains in the mind for a moment, and then subsides, to be succeeded by

Patañjali warns us not to go too fast. It is no use attempting meditation before we have mastered concentration. It is no use trying to concentrate upon subtle objects until we are able to concentrate upon gross ones. Any attempt to take short cuts to knowledge of this kind is exceedingly dangerous. Hindu scriptures, teaches the practice of meditation by

It has- been said that if the mind can be made to flow uninterruptedly toward the same object for twelve seconds, this may be called concentration. If the mind can continue in that concentration for twelve times twelve seconds (i.e., two minutes and twenty-four seconds), this may be called meditation. If the mind can continue in that meditation for twelve

Patañjali now begins to describe the various occult powers and the methods by which they are acquired. All authorities, including Patañjali himself, regard occult powers as the greatest stumbling blocks in the path to truth. "Heaps of rubbish," Shri Ramakrishna calls them. Buddha told his disciples very definitely never to put their faith in miracles but to see truth in

Ordinarily, we are aware-of no distinction between hearing the sound of a word, understanding what it means, and reacting, in one way or another, to the information it contains. If someone shouts "fire" we jump to our feet in an instant. But the yogi is able to separate these three functions. By making this samyama, he can understand foreign languages

In the ordinary state of consciousness, the highest enjoyment we can know is the joy inspired by the guṇa of sattva. This seems to us, in our ignorance, to be identical with the joy of the pure Atman; but it is not. Sattva, even in its purest state, is still a guṇa; and sāttvic joy still contains a measure of

When Shankara was still a boy in his teens, there was a philosopher named Mandan Misra who held that the life of the householder was far superior to that of the monk; an opinion which was widely shared throughout India. Shankara determined to hold a debate with Misra, knowing that if he could convert him he could also convert Misra's

This is the force which regulates the various functions of the vital energy (prana). One of the brother-disciples of Sri Ramakrishna actually had this power; and it is recorded that he once used it to light the path for Ramakrishna on a dark night. However, Ramakrishna later found it necessary to take the power away from him because it was

The "seed of evil" is ignorance. Because of ignorance, man forgets that he is the Atman and creates for himself the illusion of a private, separate ego-personality. This ego-personality is intent upon satisfying its desires, and acquiring possessions and powers over external nature. Of all powers, the psychic powers are, from the standpoint of the ego, the most desirable; and