Essence Of Maha Bhagavatha Purana

Bhagvat Purana

The Eight Stages of Yoga

 ‘Yama’(Prohibitions and Restraints); ‘Niyama’ (Promotion of Virtues); ‘Asana’ ( Posture of Seating, preferably ‘Padmasana’ ie.placing the right foot on left thigh and vice versa); ‘Pranayama’( Breathing Excercises); ‘Pratyahara’(Withdrawal of Senses); ‘Dharana’ (Concentration), ‘Dhyana’ ( Meditation); and ‘Samadhi’( Trance or Amalgamation of Mind on a single target). Thus Yoga is defined as the control of the contents of mind, stillness of thoughts, and Eternal Soul experiencing Its own Nature.  [ Patanjali Yoga or Rajas/Ashtanga Yoga  is somewhat akin to ‘Sankhya Yoga’ in which Eight Limbs are utilised and is divided into four parts,viz. Samadhi(Trance), ‘Sadhana’ ( Practice), ‘Vibhuti’ ( Mystic Powers) and ‘Kaivalya’ (Attainment the Ultimate).

In a way, Hatha Yoga is also related to Ashtanga Yoga by which the emphasis is on physical energy, while the accent is more pronounced on the alignment of physical power with that of Spiritual Focus].Sage Kapila compared the Manifestation of Material Energy to a Super Egg of the Universe and the Innermost layer is ‘Mahatatva’within which is the  presence of Supreme Energy. In each of its inner layers- spread out one over another and getting thicker and thicker- there is an existence of various Materials. The outermost layer is Prarthana or Prayer and the outer shell is the Illusion or Maya.The peeling of layers one by one is indeed a process which has endless tribulations, but the process could and should commence from detachment from material manifestations, high intensity of devotion, and ever increasing comprehension of the Supreme Power. Practice of Yoga is not only the control of Physical components of the Body but the mind, the conscience, the Soul, the thought and action. But of course the regulation of daily life by way of avoiding the excesses of desire, envy, avarice, and anger are essential. Promotion of Virtue, Nobility, Equanimity, Balance of Mind, Celibacy and Compassion and above all  an awareness of God are the essential features of Yoga. Kapila too thus laid stress on the Limb-by-Limb alliance of human body and Material Existence on the one hand and the ‘Vitat Purusha’.
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