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Introduction to Yoga Sutras 2.26-2.29 Discrimination and the Eight Rungs

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Introduction to Yoga Sutras 2.26-2.29 DISCRIMINATION AND THE EIGHT RUNGS http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-22629.htm THE EIGHT RUNGS OR LIMBS: The art and
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 18, 2006
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      Introduction to Yoga Sutras 2.26-2.29
      DISCRIMINATION AND THE EIGHT RUNGS
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-22629.htm

      THE EIGHT RUNGS OR LIMBS:
      The art and science of Yoga is systematically described in eight
      (ashta) rungs, steps, or limbs (anga). Thus, this section of the Yoga
      Sutras is also called Ashtanga Yoga. The eight rungs of Yoga are
      summarized in sutra 2.29, and explained in the next section (2.30-
      2.34). Subsequent sutras further describe the benefits and methods of
      working with those eight rungs (2.35-2.45, 2.46-2.48, 2.49-2.53, 2.54-
      2.55). The links below will take you directly to the descriptions of
      each of the eight rungs:

      1) Yama: codes of restraint, abstinences (2.30, 2.31)
      2) Niyama: observances, self-training (2.32)
      3) Asana: meditation posture (2.46-2.48)
      4) Pranayama: expansion of breath and prana (2.49-2.53)
      5) Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses (2.54-2.55)
      6) Dharana: concentration (3.1)
      7) Dhyana: meditation (3.2)
      8) Samadhi: deep absorption (3.3)

      THE EIGHT RUNGS ARE FOR DISCIMINATIVE ENLIGHTENMENT:
      The reason for practicing the eight rungs of Yoga (2.29) is to
      develop attention as the tool for discriminative knowledge, which is
      the means to discriminative enlightenment and liberation. It means
      using razor-like attention (3.4-3.6) to separate the seer and the
      seen (2.17), so as to break the alliance of karma (2.12-2.25), and to
      get past the four mistakes of ignorance, or avidya (2.24-2.25), which
      are: 1) confusing the temporary for the eternal, 2) the impure for
      the pure, 3) misery for happiness, and 4) the false self for the true
      Self (2.5). Resulting from this systematic discrimination, the seer
      or Self is eventually experienced in its true nature (1.3).

      DISCRIMINATION ALLOWS SUBTLER INTROSPECTION:
      This one-pointed attention and discrimination, which comes from the
      practice of the eight rungs, is used for examining, exploring, and
      attenuating the colorings of the subtle impressions of the mind field
      (2.10), so as to go beyond, inward to the pure, eternal center of
      consciousness.

      THE FIRST FIVE RUNGS SHARPEN THE RAZOR:
      If it is razor-like attention that is the tool for discrimination,
      then it is the first five rungs of the Yoga Sutras which are honing
      the edge of that razor. Then, the finer, sharpened tool is the last
      three rungs, which are concentration, meditation, and samadhi, which
      are collectively called samyama (3.4).

      SEE ALSO the article:
      Coordinating the Four Functions of Mind
      http://www.swamij.com/fourfunctionsmind.htm
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