Purpose of Yoga

            Purpose of Yoga: The goal of Yoga is to achieve union with self, the little self with the True Self. It is a process of awakening to the preexisting union between Aathma (soul) and Brahma (Creator), Jeevathma and Paramathma, or the realization of Purusha standing alone as separate from Prakrithi. Buddhist philosophy teaches that the self does not have absolute boundaries.

            The author of the yoga system, Shri Patanjali, says that it is a system of moral and physical exercises (Yoga Sutra 1:1,2). Patanjali teaches eight steps. 1. Yama (moral conduct): fulfilled by noninjury to others, truthfulness, nonstealing, continence, and noncovetousness. 2. Niyama (religious observances): prescripts are purity of body and mind, contentment in all circumstances, self-discipline, self-study (contemplation), and devotion to God and guru. 3. Asana (right posture): the spinal column must be held straight, and the body firm in a comfortable position for meditation. 4. Pranayama (control of prana): the subtle life currents. 5. Pratyahara (withdrawal) of the senses from external objects. 6. Dharana(concentration): holding the mind to one thought. 7. Thyana (meditation). 8. Samadhi(superconscious experience). 

            In the final stages of Samadhi, the yogi is supposed to have attained miraculous powers such as raising into the sky, walking on water, conquering lions, leaving his body and entering into the dead bodies of any form etc. Through this system of yoga and meditation, the soul is expected to merge with the Purusha without the grace of God; and it is also believed that, through the individual practice alone one can attain divine status. 


Written by The word of Truth

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