The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a compilation of Sanskrit mantras on the study and practice of yoga-over 200 stars spread over almost all the ancient Indian scriptures. The original Yoga Sutras was composed in India many hundreds of years ago. They form the heart of all the postures, practices and spiritual disciplines, originated from India. These ancient texts are rich in philosophical and spiritual content and also prescribe a set of ethical rules to be followed by followers of yoga. These laws ensure that yoga is practiced in a healthy and pure way and that the tradition is not diluted with non-spiritual thoughts.
The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj” meaning unity and “suta” meaning action or practice. In its most literal sense, yoga means union. The term “yoga” literally means “to join together”. The aim of yoga sutras is to unite the body, mind and spirit of an individual. The yoga sutras are divided into three parts, which are the yoga sutras of Patanjali, yoga sutras of Kriya yoga sutras of Ashtanga yoga. The yoga sutras of Patanjali constitute the yoga sutras of the most popular form of yoga practice in India today.
The word “Pranjal” means “that which is pure” in Sanskrit. It is the original root of the word “yoga” and refers to the ideal of a purer form of yoga practice. The yoga sutras of Patanjali advocate total dedication to the practice of yoga. One must completely dedicate oneself to the practice.
The yoga practice consists of postures, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. The main purpose of these is to make the body more relaxed and free from tensions. They improve one’s concentration power and enable one to better perform jobs and other daily tasks. Yoga also ensures physical strength by preventing injuries and diseases from developing in the body.
The most important part of the yoga sutras of Patanjali that people often forget is the fifth commandment. This commandment forbids the practice of sexual intercourse while on a yoga retreat. The reason for this commandment is to protect all practitioners of yoga from being defiled by the influences of outside religions such as Hinduism. Sexual relationships during yoga practice is not considered to be defilement. However, this commandment also reminds us that we cannot attain complete freedom from all attachments and it also warns us not to practice sexually after we attain complete freedom from all desires.
Another commandment of yoga which is applicable at all times is the commandment to love your neighbor. It simply means treating all beings humanely. All beings have an identity and it is vital to respect it. It is also equally important to love oneself only. This commandment encourages people to develop compassion and understanding towards all living things. It also teaches us to respect others and treat them well.
The third yoga sutra of yoga is also applicable to the practice of almost all types of yoga. It simply states that we should always keep the following rule in mind: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This commandment reminds us not to be selfish and be considerate towards others.
Practicing the commandment of the “Bhakti” in yoga is very crucial. A person who has reached enlightenment does not entertain or allow his/her desires to lead him/her to wrong paths. It is therefore mandatory for a yoga practitioner to adhere strictly to the “Bhakti” in order to practice and live by the principles of yoga.
The fourth commandment of yoga is “Mana”. Meditation is a way of emptying our mind from the turmoil, anxiety, and stress that usually lead us to react emotionally. It enables us to concentrate on the inner nature of things in order to reach a state of inner happiness.
Another yoga sutra of yoga is “Shirodhara”. It is a must for every student of yoga. This commandment asks us not to get attached to personal opinions or desires and to practice what the heart instructs us to do. It also forbids the practice of any activity that may distract us from concentrating on the inner realities. This commandment encourages the students of yoga to practice meditation in its purest form.
The fifth and final commandment in yoga is “Niyama”. It asks us to make the best use of all senses in order to achieve union with our divine parent, the supreme lord. In order to attain niyama, we have to realize the difference between pleasure and pain. We should also remember that although Yoga includes physical exercises as well as spiritual practices, it is mainly a mental exercise and is not a substitute for medication, psychotherapy, and other medical forms of treatment.