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17342Re: [Meditation Society of America] Words of Wisdom by Swami Satchidananda

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Jul 12, 2010
      Greg Brown <browntrout@...> wrote:
      > Ashtanga???
      Yo Greg,
      Ashtanga Yoga is another way to say Raja Yoga, which
      is another way to say the Yoga of Meditation. Here's
      a summary of it by the Swami Sivananda from his
      Raja Yoga book. Enjoy! :

      Ashtanga Yoga

      Patanjali's Raja Yoga is generally termed the Ashtanga
      Yoga or the Yoga of Eight Limbs, through the practice
      of which freedom is achieved. These eight limbs are:

      1. Yama or Eternal Vows:
      * Ahimsa (non-violence)
      * Satya (truth)
      * Asteya (non-stealing)
      * Brahmacharya (continence) and
      * Aparigraha (non-avariciousness);
      2. Niyama or Observances:
      * Saucha (purity)
      * Santosha (contentment)
      * Tapas (austerities)
      * Svadhyaya (study) and
      * Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to God);
      3. Asana (firm, comfortable meditative posture);
      4. Pranayama (the regulation of the Vital Force);
      5. Pratyahara (abstraction of the senses and mind from objects);
      6. Dharana (concentration);
      7. Dhyana (meditation); and
      8. Samadhi (superconscious state or trance)

      These eight limbs have been scientifically arranged
      and dealt with. They are the natural steps in the
      ladder which takes man from his human to the real
      divine nature. From the gross to the subtle, all
      the chords that bind the Purusha to Prakriti are
      cut asunder. This snapping of the ties releases the
      Purusha to enjoy his Independence, Kaivalya Moksha.
      This is the goal of Raja Yoga.

      Yama and Niyama purify the individual's actions
      and make them more Sattvic. Tamas and Rajas which
      are the pillars of Samsara are pulled down through
      the practice of the Ten Canons of Yama and Niyama.
      Inner purity is increased. The individual's nature
      itself is made Sattvic. Asana gives the individual
      control over the Rajasic impulses; and at the same
      time it forms the foundation of the grand structure
      of Antaranga Sadhana, or the Inner Yoga-process.
      Pranayama brings the aspirant face to face with
      the Life-Principle. Control of this Life-Principle
      gives him an insight into its motive force. He is
      made aware of the fact that it is desire that
      sustains the life-force. Desire is the cause of
      externalization of the mind. Desire is the bed
      of Vrittis. Vrittis together form the mind, and
      it is the mind that links Purusha with Prakriti.
      The mind or the Chitta is the subtlest form of
      Prakriti's manifestations. If mind is to be
      destroyed, Vrittis are to be eradicated. If
      Vrittis are to be eradicated, desire is to be
      rooted out. The Yogi than rapidly withdraws all
      the rays of the mind from their external propulsion
      (Pratyahara). To find the root of the mind, the
      Seed-Desire, he needs the light of the whole mind.
      At the same time, prevention of the externalization
      of the mind breaks the vicious circle, as desire
      is deprived of its active manifestation. This
      concentrated beam of light is then directed
      towards the root of the mind itself (Dharana);
      and the mind is held in check. Now the consciousness
      which had so long been flowing outward collects
      itself and flows back into its source - the Purusha
      within, which is Dhyana. The link with Prakriti
      is gone. The Purusha experiences the transcendental
      state of independence - Kaivalya - in Nirvikalpa
      Samadhi. Now ignorance is destroyed. The Purusha
      realizes that it was only His consciousness that
      gave Prakriti its power to please Him, to give Him
      joy, to delude Him, and to bind Him. He enjoys the
      bliss of His own nature and remains for ever
      independent and blissful. All thought ceases once
      for all in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The seeds of Desire
      and Vasanas and Samskaras are fried in toto; this
      is Nirbija Samadhi. The Yogi in this supreme state
      loses all external consciousness, all awareness of
      duality and multiplicity; he loses even the I-idea
      (Asmita) in Asamprajnata Samadhi. That is the Supreme
      State where the Seer (Purusha) is established in His own Svarupa.

      Do not imagine that you are an Uttama Adhikari and
      that you have only to sit in meditation and enter
      into Samadhi. You will have a terrible downfall.
      Even after years of practice you will find you have
      not progressed an inch forward, because there are
      deep within you lurking desires and cravings, evil
      Vrittis which are far beyond your reach. Be humble.
      Make a searching analysis of your heart and mind.
      Even if you are really a first-class aspirant,
      think you are an aspirant of the lowest class and
      practice the eightfold Sadhana prescribed by Raja Yoga.
      The more time you spend in the first two steps,
      viz., Yama and Niyama, the less will be the time
      needed to attain perfection in meditation. It is
      the preparation that takes very long. But do not
      wait for perfection in Yama and Niyama, in order
      to take up the higher practices of Asana, Pranayama
      and meditation. Try to get established in Yama and
      Niyama, and at the same time practice Asana,
      Pranayama and meditation as much as you can. The
      two must go hand in hand. Then success will be
      rapid. You will soon enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi
      and attain Kaivalya Moksha. What that supreme s
      tate is no one has described, and no words can
      describe. Practice, O bold aspirant, and realize
      it for yourself. May you shine as a Yogi in this very birth!

      > --- On Sat, 7/10/10, sean tremblay <bethjams9@...> wrote:
      > From: sean tremblay <bethjams9@...>
      > Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] Words of Wisdom by Swami Satchidananda
      > To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Saturday, July 10, 2010, 4:23 PM
      > Amen I have tons of bad habits and I love Ashtanga!
      > --- On Fri, 7/9/10, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com> wrote:
      > From: medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com>
      > Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Words of Wisdom by Swami Satchidananda
      > To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
      > Date: Friday, July 9, 2010, 11:20 PM
      > Anyone Can Practice Yoga
      > "You need not think, `I have all these bad
      > habitsâ€"smoking, drinking, eating meatâ€"so I
      > am unfit for practicing Yoga.' Even with all
      > these habits, if you start Yoga, you can
      > slowly get out of the unhealthy habits.
      > Sometimes people ask me, `Should I stop
      > smoking, should I stop drinking before I
      > come to practice Yoga?' I say, `No, it is
      > not necessary.' If I say, `Yes, you must
      > stop before you come to Yoga,' it's like a
      > doctor asking you to get rid of all your
      > diseases before you take the medicine. So
      > nobody is disqualified from Yoga practice.
      > The great scripture of Yoga, Hatha Yoga
      > Pradipika, says, `Be one young, old, sick
      > or very sick, if one practices Yoga, one
      > will become healthy and happy.'
      > "God bless you. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti."
      > For more by and about Swami Satchidananda:
      > http://www.YogaAndP eace.org
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