"YOGA CITY VRITTI NIRODAH"
Yoga is the extinction of the agitations of consciousness
The word yoga means "union with the Divine". By toga we mean Sadhana (the method) to unite with our Self.
There are various types of yoga, but the goal is unique for everyone.
The main four taught in the Holy Scriptures (Bhagavad Ghita) and by Sai Baba are:
1. Karma yoga - the Yoga of selfless action (without wishing for its fruits)
2. Bhakti yoga or Prema Yoga - The Yoga of devotional love
3. Jnana Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge
4. Raja Yoga - The Yoga of Contemplation
Raja Yoga is the path of contemplation. By concentrating his mind, the Yogi observes the nature of his inner mind, draws rational explanations and finally contemplates The Divine.
Karma Yoga is the path of action. Union with God is established by elevating and sublimating one's actions. Karma Yogi feels happy while working and acting; He offers the Lord any fruit of the results of his actions. He acts while not acting for himself, therefore he does not produce any karma.
· Bhakti Yoga or Prema Yoga is the path of love and devotion to the Divine. God is present in all beings, as love. Only love spreads joy and happiness to all. When the devotee reaches this awareness, he perceives the Divine as a God of pure and selfless love.
Jnana Yoga is the path to reach God through the knowledge and putting into practice of His teachings. The Jnani Yogi approaches God seeking spiritual strength and lives in solitude to reject and watch over temptations on the senses. Knowledge is his only confidant, He has no other thrust or attachment. Once having the experience of the soul, the Yogi sees and experiences only a river of bliss in his conscience and is realized as the "whole".
These four main yoga, even if divided, are actually one way with its four stages to find God, in fact one develops the other. We start by internalizing (Raja Yoga), then We offer our actions to God (Karma Yoga), then we develop our love and total devotion (Bhakti Yoga), then we find Knowledge (Jnana Yoga). That is why in the Ghita, we find that Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that Each of these Yoga is better than the other. Precisely because they merge and cannot exist without one another.
Finally we find many other types of Yoga:
Japa Yoga - The Yoga of repeating the Name of God
Abhyasa Yoga -
Hatha Yoga- The Yoga of body control
Mantra Yoga - Yoga based on Sacred formulas
Sabda Yoga - The Yoga of sound
Tantra Yoga - The Yoga of direct experience
It can be said that there are as many yoga as there are spiritual aspirants, however most are discouraged for the present era.
However, one must be careful to learn the various Yoga and to the masters who try to teach it, since most, although famous, have not realized the Divine, but enlarged their ego because of the notoriety and fame. So our advice cannot but disagree with Swami's (below).
on November 22, 1970 Sai Baba states:
“Some are attracted to various disciplines, such as Hatha Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Raja Yoga, who claim to help man realize the Self. However, I must tell you that none of these will make you realize God, and I repeat it very clearly! Only Prema Yoga, the discipline of love, can lead you to God. "
Yoga confers Knowledge, leading man to final liberation.
Yoga is like fire, it burns all sins and purifies the antahkarana (the sense of self).
Only yoga can destroy impulses, passions, the call of the senses.
His doctrine (Yoga Shastra) maintains that in order to eliminate the ever-growing encirclement of mental agitations and to purify the mind, certain techniques must be used which aim to raise the latent Kundalini energy in man.
Yoga has auxiliary gills (anga) and is therefore also called Ashtana (with eight limbs).
ASANA (body positions)
PRANAYAMA (breath control)
PRATYAHARA (withdrawal of the senses)
DHYANA (contemplation or meditation)
Let's now describe in detail each stage or state:
The first two gills YAMA and NYAMA are the fundamental ones, in fact they are like the two eyes of man, indispensable to be able to see millions of things. They are divided into ten characteristics each, fundamental for the realization of the yogi.
1) YAMA - The Restrictions
Don't steal (Astheya)
Patience, forgiveness (Kshata)
Constancy, firmness (Dhriti)
Frugality in food (Mitaharani)
Cleanliness, purity (Shaucha)
2) NIYAMA - The Prescriptions
Faith (Astikya Buddhi)
Adoration, worship of God (Ishvara Puja)
Scripture Study (Vedantavakya Shravana)
Be vigilant (Mati)
Observance of vows (Vrata)
3) ASANA - Body Positions
Yoga also consists of adopting the correct body postures (Asanas) that allow the right use of energy, allow you to control the mind longer and help the mind and body organs to function better. There are many varieties (about 84,000) but the main and most used are five:
Siddhasana or Padmasana (Lotus Position)
Baddha Padmasana (Lotus position closed)
Sarvangasana (candle position)
Mayurasana (peacock position)
Paschimottanasana (sitting forceps position)
4) PRANAYAMA (Breath control)
The term pranayama usually refers to the control of breath through the regulation of exhalation and inspiration. Here too there are many techniques, but they are very dangerous, therefore only those without contraindications should be adopted and that really benefit the realization of the Self. The control of the five vital breaths of prana (Panchaprana) is not something to be taken lightly, it is in fact accessible only to those who consider the universe complex to be truly unreal.
The best technique is light pranayama or laghupranayama, a simplified breath control system. With this effective technique without contraindications, the mind and body are purified. The technique must be rigorously applied
INSPIRATION: Duration three seconds
EXHALATION: Duration four seconds
APNEA: Eight seconds
This method (like any other) should be accompanied by true knowledge, one must have the right vision that the world is unreal and temporary. That it is subject to evolution and involution. It is useless to wait for the end of the world to understand it, it is enough to correct your viewing angle. This is what true control of life energy consists of.
In fact, it is necessary to associate a mantra so as to make the practice even more profitable.
Breath control (with the times indicated above) must be practiced carefully for three months, after which the duration can be doubled. After six months spent in this constant practice, the activities of the senses are canceled!
Obviously it must not be done only as a useful physical exercise, but practiced with faith and love. Furthermore, it is necessary to observe the purity of food, continence (bramacharya), moderation in speaking and a solitary life.
5) PRATYAHARA (withdrawal of the senses)
Finally, once this real vision is obtained, that is, that all creation is maintained by an illusion, the yogi withdraws his mind from the world and abandons his selfish and materialistic attitude. When one realizes that the objectives pursued are ephemeral and senseless, he feels disillusioned. From here a new light begins in consciousness: the Pratyahara stage.
6) DHARANA (concentration)
After reaching the state of withdrawal of the senses, we can move on to the sixth stage: Daharana. It is the constant attitude of consciousness. Total concentration on the Self (God), the constant gaze on Reality.
To develop this virtue, one must never use force, since concentration can only be developed through sweetness and patient exercise.
7) DHYANA (contemplation or meditation)
The state of deep meditation, that is where the consciousness permanently dwells (thanks to the developed concentration) in the knowledge of the Self, to the point that, whoever possesses this consciousness becomes the very personification of the highest Knowledge.
8) SAMADHI (Ecstasy)
Once merged with the effect of meditation, the Yogi enters the eighth (and last) state: Samadhi. So while meditation (Dhyana) arises from a strenuous commitment and voluntary effort, samadhi comes without force or will. It is the fruit of perfect meditation, the moment most dear to the yogi, the mark of Divine Grace.
Samadhi comes in two forms:
In Savikalpa, the threefold nature of the knower, the act of knowing and the Known still continues to exist.
In Nirvikalpa instead, the yogi comes to the conclusion that he himself is the Self, He is the Knower and the Known. In fact both are the same, then there is no longer a "vikalpa" (activity).
Samadhi is like an ocean within which all the spiritual disciplines are thrown and the seven streams (yama, nyama, asana, pranayama, prathyara, dharana, dhyana) find their final consummation. In this ocean every trace of name and form disappears. There is no longer any conscious experience. It is the absence of thought and anything else. It is the end of the individual being, which is revealed in the wonderful Self.