INTRODUCTION OF HOLY BOOK -PATANJALI YOGA DARSHAN
It is said in Ramayan by Tulsi Das vide Soratha 88-B, Verse-4 that without knowing one’s greatness no faith generates, without faith no ever lasting love is developed and without the love a firm adoration cannot be installed. As you have already learnt a lot about the origin objects and greatness etc. of Yoga knowledge in the previous series. In fact Yoga description about its lordship is beyond imagination and calculation. So undoubtedly the Yoga knowledge required a firm faith, love and adoration for installation of the same in our heart.
Our ancient Rishis and Munis have blessed us with their experiences in the form of 6 Shastras amongst other holy books. Shastras are called Darshanas also. These shastras are famous to be known in the form of pairs like combination of Nayaya and Vaishaishik, Samkhaya and Yoga and 3rd pair of Mimansa and Vedanta. This combination is due to the fact that the philosophy of each pair is one and the same on most of the subject matters. Here we will study Patanjali Yoga Darshan mainly famous for its spiritual yoga preaching. It contains Samadhi Paad, Sadhana Paad, Vibhuti Paad and Kewalaya Paad. These 4 Paads contain a total no. of 195 Sutras wherein significance of Yoga with its paths, resources, spiritual prosperity from Yoga and final liberation are mainly described. It is written by Patanjali Muni and superb comments have been given on it by Vyas Muni. Both the Rishis were Yogi (i.e. had realized God). The knowledge of this Yoga Darshan is alone enough to attain the highest stage of final liberation with utmost merriment (Moksh) by virtue of practising its eight fold paths i.e. Yama, Niyama, Aasan, Paranayam, Pratayahar, Dharana, Dhayan (Meditation) and Samadhi (final liberation i.e., realization of God).
QUALITY OF SOUL, MONASTICISM AND SIMILARITY IN MANKIND
A deep knowledge of Monasticism is also very well preached therein, in absence of which, concentration of mind is not adhered to failing which no one is able to succeed in studying Yoga knowledge or practicing its eight fold paths to free a soul from the effect of three qualities of Nature (Prakriti)i.e., crime type sensuality, anger, greediness ,proud,untouchability , racial discrimination and other worldly sins. Three qualities of Prakriti are Raju, Tamo and Sato Gunas. We see ,from the ancient holy books like Mahabharta etc., that in the ancient time of Rishi,Munis,when whole Earth was controlled by single Emperor like Manu, Harishchandra,Dashratha, Rama, Yudishtra, then the said sins were, oftenly, not used to be done by the human-beings due to the effect of the Vedic Culture. Afterwards whenever the true saints took birth like Lord Christ, Hazrat Mohammad, Guru Nanak and Kabir etc., they always tried to follow the preach of uniting the public, promoting the brotherhood and killing ravages of hatred internationally. They always taught the Universe lesson that God is one and we all being His generation must love each other. And to live and let live others. By controlling all the Vritti of Chitta (which suppress the mankind to do sin) through the power of Yoga knowledge, soul remains in his own immortal, joyful and neat form ever separated from human body made of Prakriti. At this stage soul realizes God. Otherwise soul forgets his own joyful, neat and immortal form due to imprudence resulting in mixing with Prakriti as said in Kapil’s Samkhaya Darshan Chapter 1 Sutra 19 and 20.
One point is also very clear that Yoga being voice of God in form of Vedas and God being our all’s father, it is ever away from the influence of communalism, country, caste, color and religions etc., and therefore Yoga Philosophy preached in the Vedas is equally applicable for all human beings.
Now you may know that the accomplished knowledge of Yoga has come out from Almighty God in four Vedas. Almighty means that God has all powers complete in all respects within Him. Therefore, he needs no assistance for doing any thing in the Universe but on the other hand we (Jivatma) are dependent. For example we (soul) see through eyes and listen from ears and cannot do any deed without receiving help. That is why we are called souls (Jivatama). On the other hand God is Almighty. So he needs no media to see, listen, nurse, destroy or to create the world etc. Yajur Veda mantra 3 of Chapter 31 enlightens that mere His power is enough for doing such deeds and these great deeds like creation, destructions and nursing etc., are even not sufficient to describe or compare His greatness because He is above all. On such matter in Bhagwat Geeta, Lord Krishna also states in Shloka 41 of Chapter 10 that whatever creation is seen that is only from my one portion of power i.e., rest of the power is unlimited. So the knowledge of Vedas is generated and flowered in the heart of four ancient Rishis at the time of creation without any media like mouth, paper ink or pen etc. This fact is seen also in Tulsi Das Ramayana under couplet 117 verse 3 that without legs God walks, listens without ears, does deeds without hands, feels without skin and tastes without tongue and without mouth speaks unlimitedly, being Almighty/independent.
Keeping in view the word Almighty, Yoga knowledge is also an accomplished preach in Vedas and needs no addition and alteration due to the fact that the knowledge comes out direct from Almighty God in Vedas.
Yoga, in fact, is God’s imparted knowledge in Vedas for the benefit of mankind. This precious diamond has gathered by heart and passed on from one generation to another as word of mouth by the ancient Rishis. Rishi Yagavalka says this truth in his smiriti (Yagvalka Smiriti) :
‘Hiranye Garbho Yogasya Vakta.’
Meaning – Hiranye Garbho = God is Light, Yogasya = of Yoga Vakta – Spokesman (God does not speak by mouth. He is Almighty and thus generated the Vedas and Yoga knowledge in the heart of ancient Rishis through his unseen, unlimited power. Because this is very much clear to every body that God being Almighty is empowered to do the same without any assistance of mouth, pen, paper and ink etc. So here Vakta means Donor.) Therefore, Yagvalka Rishi says that God is the Donor of Yoga Knowledge by all means.
So the precious diamond gathered by heart by the Rishis was for the first time compiled by Vyas Muni in Book form on Bhoj Patra (a kind of leaf) during Duaper Period about 5500 years ago.
Again these Vedas were published during Press Time in 18th century. This has been the culture of all human beings right from the beginning of Earth.
The words of Yoga and Vedas are thus Super-natural. That is why all Veda mantras including Yoga’s words mentioned there in are called Brahm words. Because like God, these words are not temporal, worldly or destructive. That is why Almighty God is called first Spiritual Master (Guru) of the ancient Rishis, of the time when first time Earth is created .Thereafter His Vedic/Yoga Philosophy is being spread by the then Rishis/Munis/saints and now by the present saints. So, the requirement of an alive spiritual master is a fundamental law to learn truth about materialistic/spiritual knowledge. But see that the words come out from the mind of human beings cannot be of such nature, mind being made of Prakriti, Prakriti being destructive, changeable and material one.
From the above statement we come to a conclusion that Vedas, Yoga and God are interlinked and cannot be separated from each other. Where there is practice of Yoga, undoubtedly God is realized there. As our eyes see every object through the media of sunlight, similarly after getting the knowledge or practicing the same, in result, we get supernatural eye by virtue of which Almighty God is realized. So Yoga is a Union with the Universal Soul (God). YajurVeda preaches about the practicing of Yoga and its spiritual result in Mantra 5 of Chapter 7 with the wording –
‘Aapa Anter Yame Madayasava’
i.e., O! Aspirant, by virtue of practicing internal eight fold paths of Yoga (Yama, Niyama etc.) realize the utmost merriment and shower the same to others also. So the Aspirant who did Yoga and attained samadhi is also called Yogi who is at the highest stage amongst three categories 1st Ascetics (Tapasavi), secondly those who are having bookish knowledge only regarding holy books and thirdly at last those who do religious deeds with desires (These lines are taken from Bhagwat Geeta Chapter 6, Shaloka 46). So it is a special blessing of God to a person who draws attention and concentration of his mind to learn Yoga knowledge and practice thereof.
Our ancient Rishis learnt and practised Yoga traditionally from their spiritual master ( Guru) through Vedas and in the same manner Patanjali Rishi after attaining the last path of Yoga as Samadhi, preached the Yoga knowledge in his Yoga Darshan for beneficence of mankind. Actually it is an eternal truth that a Yogi can only teach Yoga well. The ‘Sutra’ is a Sanskrit language word. In English it is known as aphorism. We will use word Sutra here.
The Sutras mentioned in Patanjali Yoga Darshan have never been opposed in any other Darshan. Instead, it is seen that Yoga Darshna’s Sutras impression have been seen in most of the Shastras, specially in Samkhaya Darshan, in the form of subjects like creation, nature (prakriti) etc. These are almost all same as described in ‘Samkhaya Darshan’ in principle.
First paad of Yoga Darshan is –
In this Paad the description of kind of Samadhi, Vritti, practice, monasticism, trust in God, knowledge of obstacles in Yoga and its removals are described in detail.
2nd Paad of Yoga Darshan is Sadhana Paad. In this Paad the ways to get Samadhi, shape of falsehood and true knowledge, five afflictions and way of its removal, theory of deeds, aim of universe, soul, eight fold path of Yoga, significance of paranayam etc.
3rd Padd is Vibhuti Paad – detailed description of meditation and Samadhi and its result viz. – internal and external of 8 fold path of Yoga, Chitta, Yoga property, final liberation stage etc.
4th Paad is Kevalya Paad – purified Chitta with final liberation and other ways of attainments (Sidhis). Deeds of Yogi and deeds of those who are not Yogi, eternal residual potencies (Vasna). The ways of Chitta’s knowledge, soul and chitta are different, self realised person benefited for Samadhi, self realization / final liberation.
Most of the ideas of Samkhaya Darshan and Yoga Darshan are same, so both the Darshans are linked together. For example Samkhaya philosophy regarding cosmos is the same as that of Yoga philosophy.
Study of Patanjali Yoga Darshan gives knowledge to begin with Yoga practice in form of eight fold paths. Yoga Darshan begin with 1st Paad of Samadhi wherein Patanjali Rishi preaches his 1st Sutra (aphorism) as under :
‘Atha Yoganushasanam’ – Yoga Darshan Samadhi Paad Sutra 1.
Meaning – Atha – now start, Yoga – of Yoga Anushasanam – Preaching of Yoga knowledge.
There are 6 Shastras / Darshans out of which five Rishis have started Sutra from the word Atha as given below. At serial no. (f) below Mahabhashaya is also started by Panini Muni with the same word Atha as mentioned under :
Atha Yoga Anushasanam (Yoga Darshan by Patanjali Muni, Samadhi Paad Sutra 1).
‘Atha Trividhihi Dukhaha Atayanta Nivritihi Atayanta Purusharthaha’ – (Kapil Muni’s Samkhaya Darshan, Chapter 1 Sutra 1).
Atha ataha Brahm Jigyasa. (Vedanta Darshan by Vyas Muni Chapter 1, Paad 1, Sutra 1).
Atha ataha Dharam Jigyasa (Mimansa Darshan by Jamini Rishi Chapter 1, Paad 1, Sutra 1).
Atha Atahe Darshan Vyakhyasyamaha (Vaisheshik Darshan by Kanad Rishi Chapter 1 Mahanikam sutra 1)
Atha Shabda Anushasanam(Mahabhasya i.e.,Sanskrit grammer by Panini Muni,Chapter1,Sutra1)
From the above we see that most of the Rishis have used word Atha at the beginning of the Darshan. There are so many meanings of this word. But according to the above Sutra here the pronunciation of this word ‘Atha’ is considered blissful and prosperous. Thus its meaning is not considered blissful but only its pronunciation is considered blissful. Similarly in most of the religious sects the echo of conch (Shankha) in temple etc., is considered blissful.
Where ‘Atha’ word is an indication to begin the preach of Yoga philosophy in the Darshans, on the other hand it has also indicated full command on the Philosophy and this command runs from beginning right from the first Sutra till end of Yoga Darshan. So Patanjali Muni used this word giving indication of his full command of Yoga Philosophy, secondly beginning of preach in the Darshana and 3rdly the pronunciation of the word ‘Atha’ is accepted as blissful and prosperous.
A philosopher like Patanjali Muni is only capable to preach the unattainable, deep, greatest, adorable and eternal Yoga philosophy since the Muni had full command on it because of his supernatural knowledge through the power of Yoga. Our ancient Yogis were well versed with every knowledge right from blade of grass up to the Almighty God through Yoga Philosophy. That is why the words used by them in their Darshan are superb and related to super natural power. So is with the Yoga Darshan.
In view of the said facts, it is not easy to comment on Yoga Philosophy and that too exactly on the same line which the ancient Yogi realised in Samadhi. It requires the supernatural power. Aspirant also needs to have faith on Yoga Knowledge as well as on present Yogi to gain it.
We have studied the first superb word ‘Atha’ of the 1st Sutra. Now we come to the next word Yoga and Anushasanam. Actually in Sanskrit, there are some Dhatus by which words are generated. For example see Sanskrit word Vishnu. The dhatu used in it is called Vishliri dhatu the meaning of which is Omnipresent who is only Almighty God. So the meaning of word Vishnu is Almighty God who is one and is father of all of us. See second example of Sanskrit word Veda. Vid dhatu produces the word Veda the meaning of word Veda comes from Vid dhatu means knowledge. So the meaning of word Veda is knowledge. So Vedas are not books. Vedas are knowledge which comes out from God and is generated in the heart of ancient Rishis.
Word Yoga is also made from Yuj dhatu which means Samadhi. So the meaning of word Yoga is Samadhi that is the stage of a Yogi in continuous meditation where his soul sees God (ie., realization). Thus the Yogi realises God and attains the final Liberation stage (Moksh). So Yoga is Samadhi. Now we study the word Anushasanam. There are two words in Anushasanam. Ist Anu and second is Shasanam. The meaning of word Anu is ‘AFTER’. And the meaning of word Shasanam is ‘TO PREACH’. So the meaning of word Anushasanam is ‘To preach After’. This word Anu throws light that after study of vedas, adopting religious path and after doing long practice of Yoga traditionally from Guru, a Yogi becomes able to attain the stage of Samadhi. So this is the secrecy of word ‘Anu’. See the effect of word Anu in Yajur Veda Mantra 6 and 7 Chapter 40 :-
Mantra 6 –
‘Yastu Sarvani Bhutani Atman Eva Anu pashayati’
Meaning – Anu means after. So the meaning of above mantra will be – The Yogi who sees (realises) all souls and senseless material of the Universe in God After studying vedas, adopting religious path and after doing Yoga practice, then only he never feels misunderstanding and gets final liberation.
Mantra 7 –
‘Yasmin Sarvani Bhutani Atm Eva Abhuta Vijanatah
Tatra ko Mohaha kaha Sokaha Akatavam Anu Pashyataha.’
Meaning of word ANU is After. So the meaning of the Mantra is: After doing Yoga practice when a Yogi sees (realises) all souls equivalent to his soul then he never falls in attachment and sorrows. So this is the meaning of word ‘ANU’.
The meaning of word Shasanam being ‘To preach’, the whole wording – ‘YOGA ANUSHASANAM’ has superb meaning –
To preach Yoga after studying Vedas, adopting religious path and doing Yoga practice’
And these qualities are very well seen in ancient Rishis as well as in Patanjali Muni who preached Yoga knowledge in his Yoga Darshana.
Now by prefixing the word ‘Atha’ in the above wording, the meaning of word Atha are blissful, prosperous, indication to begin the preach of Yoga Philosophy.So the Sutra Atha anushasanam will be as under –
Simple wording meaning –
Now preach on Yoga Philosophy begins.
Deep meaning – for the bliss of aspirants, the traditional philosophy of Yoga based on Vedas and realised by the Rishis/Munis is begun to preach in commanding position.
In view of the meaning of each word of the sutra explained above it is concluded that Patanjali Muni too adopted the religious path with the result of studying Vedas and AFTER practising philosophy of Yoga in the form of Asthang Yoga Viz. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayam, Pratyahaar, Dharna, Dhyan (Meditation) and Samadhi, he attained command over Yoga philosophy and AFTER that he started preaching of the same for the bliss for aspirants in his Yoga Darshan Holy Book.
You see that Patanjali Muni did not use the word only ‘Shasanam’ in his Sutra i.e. mere study and not practising Yoga but he used the word Anushasanam where the word ‘Anu’ enlightens that ‘AFTER’ studing Vedas, accordingly adopting religious path and thus doing hard practice of Ashtang Yoga, he first attained Samadhi stage and took command on Yoga philosophy, thereafter only, he preached the same in Yoga Darshan Holy Book. As referred in previous series, wherein at one place Kapil Muni says if the Yoga philosophy is not adopted in practical form, only a blind faith in generation will grow up and the truth will never be realized. However it is seen that to carry on with the Yoga philosophy deep study of Vedas is not required essentially by an Aspirant but his spiritual master like ancient Rishi must have been a philosopher of Vedas as well as of Yoga.
You may be surprised to learn the meaning of the Vedic words ‘Anu’ etc., and the secret thereof. But if you will watch the vedic Philosophy and of Ancient Rishis thereon, it will be seen that these Vedic words are called ‘Brahm words’. (in Hindi and in Sanskrit – Shabd brahm) generated by God in the heart of Ancient first four Rishis. Therefore being divine words, the same have divine and secret meanings. These meanings are open in a Yogi’s heart only.
Saam Veda (saamavaod) Mantra 7 has already thrown Light about two main types of Languages :
First is God’s voice generated in the heart of ancient four Rishis in the form of four Vedas which is called Giraha language.
Second is general language used by human beings which is called Ithaha language.
Please see an extract of Divine wording of Yajur veda mantra 1, chapter 1 to gain knowledge of its secrecy as under :
‘Devaha Vayavaha Stha Vaha Shreshthatamaya karmane Prarpayatu’
In the above mantra the word –
‘Shreshthatamaya karmane’ – has been used for doing auspicious deeds. But the clear cut meaning of the same is kept secret. To know the divine meaning of the same an ancient Muni was asked to explain. He was a Yogi,named Muni Yaska who wrote Shathpath Brahman Holy Book. He went into Samadhi through the power of Yoga knowledge and got the real meaning as under:-
‘Yajjo Vai Shrastamam karmaha’
i.e., Yajna is the best auspicious deed amongst all. So is with the word ‘Ashwaha’ in Vedas as well as in Shastras.