To put lights on Yoga Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Thirumanthiram, Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, Hatha yoga pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita, Siva Samhita and other important hatha yoga, raja yoga, tantra yoga and kundalini yoga treatises focusing Yoga history, Yoga definitions and Yoga exercises.
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Amrita Nada Upanishad - Sadanga Yoga
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
For the impure minded one, practice of Sadanga Yoga (a yoga of six limbs
or stages) is prescribed.
The six stages are
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 means Meditation. The yogi
should mediate on Brahman by means of the letter ‘m’ devoid of vowel.
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 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 means inference. Inference
should not be against scriptures.
Tarka leads to Samadhi where the Self identifies
itself as Supreme Self. In Samadhi, all are equal means Atman and Paramatman
Brahma Vidya Upanishad is the 40th among the 108 Upanishads. It contains 110 verses and found attached in Krishna Yajur Veda. Yet another version of this Upanishad containing 14 verses is found attached in Atharva Veda. Brahma Vidya is the knowledge of Brahman. Hence this Upanishad deals with the knowledge of Brahman. I declare the secret of Brahma Vidya, in the name Vishnu who commands over the marvellous deeds. The supreme science of Brahman is the monosyllable Om, as declared by the expounders of Vedanta. I declare the body, seat and durations of Om. It includes the three Gods (Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswara), the three worlds (Bhur, Bhuvar, and Suvar), the three Vedas (Rig, Yajur, and Sama), the three Fires (Garha-patya, Dakshina, and Ahavaniya), the three Matras (A, U, and M), and the Ardha Matra. The body of Pranava The body of the first Matra “A” is Rig Veda, Garha-patya (Fire), Prithivi (Earth), and Lord Brahman, the deity. (In Sanskrit, the word Brahman has two connotations. One i…
Yoga Tattva Upanishad is the Upanishad of yoga philosophy. It is the forty-first Upanishad among the 108 Upanishads and forms part of Krishna Yajur Veda. It contains 142 verses.
I (says the author of the Upanishad) hereby present the philosophy of yoga (yoga tattva) for the benefit of yogis. By hearing and learning this yoga, the yogi will get released himself from all the sins.
The great yogi by name of Vishnu, the Supreme Being who is known for his spiritual austerities, stands as the beacon of light in the path of yoga tattva. The Pitamaha (Pitamaha means grandfather. It here refers to Lord Brahman, the deity) approached Lord Jagannath (the other name for Lord Vishnu. Jagannath means the Lord of the universe) paid him due respects and asked him to explain the philosophy of Astanga Yoga (yoga of eight limbs or stages).
“Let me explain the philosophy,” said Lord Hrisikesha (the other name of Lord Vishnu. It means the Lord of senses). All people are ensnared in the trap of worldly pains…
Dhyana Bindu Upanishad is the 39th of 108 Upanishads. It contains 106 verses and is attached to Sama Veda whereas a smaller version of 26 verses was found attached in Atharva Veda. This Upanishad and Yoga Tattva upanishad contains some common verses.
The mountainous sins accumulated over many births can be destroyed by Dhyana Yoga (Meditation). Nobody is found to have destroyed the sins by any other means except Meditation. Meditation is the only way to annihilate the sins.
Pranava (Om) is the Supreme Bijakshara (seed letter) with Nada (sound) and Bindu (dot). When the Nada dissolves the soundless residuum (Brahman) remains. In other words, Pranava (Om) is eternal and Brahman is transcending the Pranava. One who knows the transcending Brahman knows everything without a doubt.
A hundred thousandth part of awn of a grain of paddy is the Jiva-Chaitanya (Consciousness of Atman). A hundred thousandth part of Jiva-Chaitanya is Eswara-Chaitanya (Consciousness of Brahman). A fifty-thousandth pa…