Amrita Nada Upanishad - Sadanga Yoga


Sage in Meditation

Amrita Nada Upanishad, 21st among the 108 Upanishads, forms part of Krishna Yajur Veda. It talks about two different ways for attaining salvation.

For the pure minded one, having studied the Sastras (Scriptures) he should reflect them over and over again to come to know about the Brahman. Knowing the Brahman, he should abandon them all. 

For the impure minded one, practice of Sadanga Yoga (a yoga of six limbs or stages) is prescribed.



 The six stages are
  1.  Pratyahara
  2.  Dhyana
  3.  Pranayama
  4.  Dharana
  5. Tarka and
  6.  Samadhi

Pratyahara
Pratyahara is subjugation of senses. Senses are of out-going nature towards the objects of senses like sound, taste etc. The kriya or technique of conquering the senses and bring them to a point is Pratyahara. For Pratyahara, a kriya is explained here. The Yogi should ascend the vehicle of Om, by taking Vishnu as Charioteer or Driver and worshiping Rudra. He should go on like this as long as he can. Then he should abandon the car and proceed further. Then abandoning the stages of syllables and signs, devoid of vowels and consonants, he reaches the subtle Pada or Stage of Brahman by means of the letter 'm' devoid of vowel. This is the kriya for Pratyahara as given in the Upanishad. He should mediate on Brahman by means of the letter ‘m’ devoid of vowel.

Dhyana
Dhyana means Meditation. The yogi should mediate on Brahman by means of the letter ‘m’ devoid of vowel.

Pranayama
Pranayama is controlling of Prana. It is of three-fold. Rechaka, Puraka and Kumbhaka or Rucira. Rechaka is Expiration, Puraka is Inspiration and Kumbhaka is retention. Pranayama is the prolonged breath with reciting Gayatri mantra with Pranava (Om), Vyahrtis and Siras or the Crest of Gayatri.

Dharana
Dharana means contemplation. Knowing his mind as full of desires, Yogi should merge it with his Atman or own Self and absorbed in the contemplation of Paramatman or Supreme Self is Dharana.

Tarka
Tarka means inference. Inference should not be against scriptures.

Samadhi
Tarka leads to Samadhi where the Self identifies itself as Supreme Self. In Samadhi, all are equal means Atman and Paramatman are same.

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