Yogic Philosophy

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The inseparation of the mind, body and spirit underlie the yogic philosophy. Beneath the veneer of the yogic philosophy are some dimensions which inform the body- mind –spirit triad. These areas discussed below.

The Yamas of Yoga

The yamas are the guidelines which guide the society on the ethical conduct when practicing yoga. There are 5 yamas, i.e., Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha. Ahimsa emphasizes on non-violence, whether mentally, physical or emotional towards oneself or others.

Asteya is the third yama which teaches us not t take what is not ours. The only exception is only when something is given to us freely. The fourth yama teaches us to contain or control our feelings so that our inner urges do not prevent us from gaining energy or knowledge.

The last one, Aparigraha advises us not to desire other people’s things. Instead, we should only seek what is enough for us. It is the desire of the worldly desires which step in the way for us to achieve this yama.

Niyamas

The next in the Yogi philosophy are the Niyamas.These Niyamas or observance comes from the second limb out of the eight limbs a found in the yoga system. Just like the yamas, they are 5 in number. The first one is the Shaucha or purification. We should all aim at keeping pure. We should keep ourselves pure both externally and internally as exemplified by Patanjali.

The samtosha teaches us to be contented with what we have rather than desiring what we don’t have. It is also wrong for us to desire what others own. True joy and happiness, according to the yogis, are achieved when we are satisfied with what we have. It teaches us that materialism is temporary and that we can only free ourselves from these inner urges to possess when we practice contentment. When we have gratitude in our hearts, we will truly b happy in our lives no matter how little with have.

Tapa is ascetism or self-discipline helps us to attain the ability contain our will. When you lose willpower, you end up doing things that you did not intend to do. On the other hand, it is possible to have conscious awareness and purity and ability to rein on our inner urges and ill behaviour for the attainment of purity. When you have the inner strength to overpower these urges, it will be possible to attain tapa.

Self-study or svadhyaya assists us to see the real divinity when we meditate in truth as revealed by the wise. When we acknowledge our imperfections, we provide ourselves with opportunity to learn from our imperfections and grow. It is only when we examine ourselves in terms of thoughts internally and externally shall we be able to see who we truly are. We should take our time to learn who we are at the present so that we can attain divinity.

The next one is ishvara pranidhana or devotion. This practice teaches us that we should be devoted to a higher power and fuses it with another selfless action known as karma yogi. We are taught that we should get rid of our egocentric behaviour. It is this through connection to a higher power that we are able to attain a higher level of devotion.

The Vedas

The Vedas are made up of 4 components, i.e, Sama-veda, Atharva-veda, yajur-veda and rig-Veda. The rig Veda is the oldest among the 4 and is considered the most important among them all. It is a collection of hymns and mantras which is invoked to bring us courage, peace, prosperity, happiness among others.

The sema -Veda is for heightening our consciousness whiles the yajur –-Veda is entirely dedicated to worship to the gods. It also contains the instruction for various ceremonies. The last one, Atharva-veda is for chasing away evil spirits, ill-luck and diseases. It applies the charms and spells.It is deeper than rig–Veda in character.

The Bhagavada is the spiritual text based on the Indian philosophy. It is in the form of a dialogue and is usually shortened as just Gita. It takes the middle path in yoga practice. It is a sacred text among the Indians which incorporates various philosophies such as those in karma, reincarnation, dharma, maya among others. In short, it is a divine text that combines ancient stories with divine revelation.

Included in the yogic philosophy are the Upanishads which aid in the transfer of the wisdom contained in the Vedas into practice. The Upanishads are spiritual concepts which underlie the yoga practice and meditation.

Lastly, there are gunas, sankhyas and koshas. There are 3 gunas which are based on the Prakriti. The Sankhyas provide one with the map of the entire universe via 25 elements. The inward journey is exemplified in the 5 koshas,that is, Annamaya kosha, Pranamaya kosha, Manamaya kosha, Vijnanamaya kosha and Anandamaya kosha.

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