A Journey In Consciousness

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yoga Chittam Vritti Nirodha: The Quintessence of Yoga

One of the most important books, a must-read for all those who wish to go deeper into the Essence of Yoga is the "Yoga Sutras" by Patanjali. These sutras were written a very long time ago and today exist in the form of hundreds of interpretations that were written by different yogis over a long period of time.

In the very beginning the book states YOGA CHITTAM VRITTI NIRODHA. Sanskrit is a mysterious language and often the meaning of the words can only be derived from the context they are used in, so there can be sllight differences in interpretation. So, the word yoga really has a very large number of interpretations, the ones I choose here I feel are the most important. The word Yoke and Union.

The term YOKE here implies a goal and effort and discipline in the way of reaching this goal, which is UNION. Union then of course with what? The union we are seeking here is the very highest, the conscious union with the Divine Source of Everything. Meaning then, in order to obtain Union with the Divine, we require discipline. Hence the name disciple.

Here, in this context, the word does mean Union with the Divine Presence, the source of all and everything.

Next word: CHITTAM. Narrowing it down again, we have here the terms MIND and CONSCIOUSNESS.

Next: VRITTI. This terms represents movement, fluctuation, ripple or wave.

Finally: NIRODHA. This term means EXTINCTION.

So, here are the words in sequence: YOGA, CONSCIOUSNESS/MIND, WAVES and EXTINCTION.

As you see, we only have nouns, so I guess the people who created this language might have thought you are smart enough fill in the unimportant stuff, like verbs, etc.

Generally speaking there is a consensus that the statement means this:


Or translation, when the movements of your mind have stopped. When your mind has stopped.

By starting out with this statement, Patanjali did a very interesting thing, which is he went straight to the very end, the top of the 8 fold path of Raja-Yoga, the Royal Yoga, which is Samadhi. He went straight to it, and by doing this, I feel he meant to say, just remember, this is the essence of Yoga. This is where you need to go and this is what needs to happen if you wish to achieve Yoga. You need to find a way to bring your mind to cessation. If you have achieved this, then you know Yoga. And all the 7 parts of Raja-Yoga are designed to take you there. Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayamas, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana --- all this is not it. They are subservient to the final, which is the experience of Samadhi. Samadhi is the beginning of the ending of your mind and all the notions of your self.


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