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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Tejo Bindu Upanishad – Pancha Dasanga Yoga
Tejo Bindu Upanishad taught Raja Yoga with 15 limbs. They are
The elucidation of the limbs of yoga requires much understanding. Considering the vastness of the subject, I just reproduce the message conveyed by this scripture. But it involves much explanation, comparison and deeper study, which will be undertaken a little later. Every topic that I have taken here (including those found in the earlier posts) will be discussed in detail. As of now, I give them in abstraction as stated in the scriptures.
It is defined here as the subjugation of senses by focusing on the knowledge that all is Brahman. This should be practised continuously.
Niyama, as stated by this Upanishad, means the enjoyment of supreme bliss by constant application of consciousness over the spiritual things as applied by the sages and reject of those things which are not as such.
Tyaha is the practice of renouncing the phenomenal world by inference of Atman which is ever existing. This is the practice of the sages and which gives immediate liberation. Attachments to worldly affairs give disturbance to the mind. The disturbed mind could not focus and hence yogi will fail in his venture.
Mauna is silence by speech and mind. It is to be attained by yogis. For folks, it is mere words of mouth, but not applicable to yogis. The wordless mouth will lead to thoughtless mind.
Desa is a secluded place where there is no one in the beginning and no one in the end and one is through. Yogi should select a place free from disturbances.
Kala literarily means time which can be measured with a blinking of eye or Matra. The duration of such time (a blink) will differ from Brahman and other beings downwards.
The asana in which the Siddhas attained the salvation and wherein they realised the non-dual Brahman is Siddhasana. The yogi should assume Siddhasana for his practice.
Mula-bandha is the root of all the worlds. The worlds, the sage here means all the chakras. Without Mula-bandha you could not travel those worlds. It will control the mind also. (How to practice Siddhasana and Mula-bandha are explained in other yoga texts which will be enumerated later.)
Deha-Samyama is the equilibrium of the body. In the Ayurvedic sense, the body should be free from three doshas, Vada, Pita and slethuma. Then only it will be absorbed in the balanced Brahman. If not, the body is like a tall tree with dry leaves.
Seeing the tip of the nose, one should merge with the Brahman. Mere seeing the tip of the nose is not enough.
Pranayama is called here as Prana-Samyama. Control of Prana is achieved by controlling the breath. By Prana-Samyama control over modification of mind is gained by the perception of Rechaka (expiration) as avoidance of phenomenal world, Puraka (Inspiration) as revolving of cognition: “I am that Brahman” and Kumbhaka (retention of breath) as the steadiness of maintaining the same cognition. Otherwise, it will give mere nose ache.
The experience of finding Brahman in all the objects of desire is Pratyahara. It should be practised continuously.
The abstraction that seeing the Brahman wherever the mind goes is the supreme Dharana.
The state of knowing “I am that Brahman alone and rest on no support” is Dhyana.
By patiently applying all techniques, achievement of the constant condition as “ I am Brahman only” is Samadhi.
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…