KIRAN ATMA: Ashtanga
Showing posts with label Ashtanga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ashtanga. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Ashtanga?


Yoga with eight limbs is known as Ashtanga. 

  • Patanjali (1st century C.E.?) is credited with developing the yoga (religious discipline) system. 
  • This author is thought to be distinct from Patanjali, the grammarian who penned the Mahabhashya commentary on Panini's Sanskrit grammar. 
  • The Yoga school of Indian philosophy, one of the six schools, is founded on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. 
  • The Yoga school has been associated with the Samkhya school during the early years of the common period (about 100–300 C.E.). 

In this combination, Samkhya offered the theoretical and metaphysical reasons for the soul's bondage and liberation, while Yoga set forth the actual method for breaking free. 

  1. Restraints (yama),
  2.  observances (niyama), 
  3. physical postures (asana), 
  4. restriction of breath (pranayama), 
  5. withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara), 
  6. concentration (dharana), 
  7. meditation (dhyana), 
  8. and trance are the eight limbs (anga) of Ashtanga yoga (samadhi). 

Patanjali's method is an eight-step self-transformation program that starts with developing certain healthy behavioral habits (yama and niyama). 

  • The next step is to work on developing and controlling one's mind, which is a more delicate and internalized exercise. 
  • Because Samkhya is atheistic, it ends in a mystic revelation that leads to liberation, which is originally characterized as yogic aloneness (kaivalya). 
  • Patanjali's route resembles the Buddha's eightfold road, which is another well-known scheme for self-transformation. 

Although both Patanjali and the Buddha are credited with inventing their own ways, it is probable that they relied on an existing yogic tradition and modified it to suit their own beliefs. 

  • Although the Samkhya theories have long been rejected, the Yoga school's methods remain essential in contemporary Hindu religious life. 
  • Yoga is emphasized in many contemporary Hindu organizations as a method of spiritual discipline, purification, and self-awareness. 

A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, edited by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore, was published in 1957.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.