Tejo Bindu Upanishad – Fifteen Limbs Yoga

Amrita Bindu Upanishad Image

Introduction

Tejo Bindu Upanishad describes a fifteen limbs yoga. In addition to eight limbs found in typical Raja Yoga, here we could find seven limbs more.

Fifteen Limbs Yoga

The fifteen limbs are:

  1. Yama
  2.  Niyama
  3. Tyaha
  4. Mauna
  5. Desa
  6. Kala
  7. Asana
  8. Mula Bandha
  9. Deha Samya
  10. Drk Sthiti
  11. Prana Samyama
  12. Pratyahara
  13. Dharana
  14. Atma Dhyana
  15. Samadhi

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.

As of now, I give them in abstraction as stated in the scriptures.

Yama

This Upanishad defines Yama as the subjugation of senses by focusing on the knowledge that all is Brahman. This should be practised continuously.

Niyama

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

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

Mauna is silence by speech and mind. Yogis should attain this. For folks, it is mere words of mouth, but not applicable to yogis. The wordless mouth will lead to thoughtless mind.

Desa

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

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.

Asana

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

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.

Deha Samya

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 there will a complete absorption in the balanced Brahman. If not, the body is like a tall tree with dry leaves.

Drk Sthiti

Seeing the tip of the nose, one should merge with the Brahman. Mere seeing the tip of the nose is not enough.

Prana Samyama

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.

Pratyahara

The experience of finding Brahman in all the objects of desire is Pratyahara. It should be practised continuously.  

Dharana

The abstraction that seeing the Brahman wherever the mind goes is the supreme Dharana.

Atma Dhyana

The state of knowing “I am that Brahman alone and rest on no support” is Dhyana.  

Samadhi

By patiently applying all techniques, achievement of the constant condition as “ I am Brahman only” is Samadhi.

Reference: Sanskrit Text Reference