Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda.
Volume 1. PATANJALI’S YOGA APHORISMS.
APPENDIX. REFERENCES TO YOGA.
Shvetâshvatara Upanishad. CHAPTER 2.
6. Where the fire is rubbed, where the air is controlled, where the Soma flows over,
there a (perfect) mind is created. 8. Placing the body in a straight posture,
with the chest, the throat and the head held erect, making the organs enter the mind, the
sage crosses all the fearful currents by means of the raft of Brahman.
9. The man of well-regulated endeavours controls the Prâna; and when it has become quieted,
breathes out through the nostrils. The persevering sage holds his mind as a charioteer holds
the restive horses. 10. In (lonely) places as mountain caves where
the floor is even, free of pebbles, fire, or sand, where there are no disturbing noises
from men or waterfalls, in auspicious places helpful to the mind and pleasing to the eyes.
Yoga is to be practiced (mind is to be joined). 11. Like snowfall, smoke, sun, wind, fire,
firefly, lightning, crystal, moon, these forms, coming before, gradually manifest the Brahman
in Yoga. 12. When the perceptions of Yoga, arising
from earth, water, light, fire, ether, have taken place, then Yoga has begun. Unto him
does not come disease, nor old age, nor death, who has got a body made up of the fire of
Yoga. 13. The first signs of entering Yoga are lightness,
health, non-covetousness, clearness of complexion, a beautiful voice, an agreeable odour in the
body, and scantiness of excretions. 14. As gold or silver, first covered with
earth, and then cleaned, shines full of light, so the embodied man seeing the truth of the
Atman as one, attains the goal and becomes sorrowless.
Yâjnavalkya quoted by Shankara. (In Svetâshvatara Upanishad Bhâshya.) “After practicing the postures as desired,
according to rules, then, O Gârgi, the man who has conquered the posture will practice
Prânâyâma. “Seated in an easy posture, on a (deer or
tiger) skin, placed on Kusha grass, worshipping Ganapati with fruits and sweetmeats, placing
the right palm on the left, holding the throat and head in the same line, the lips closed
and firm, facing the east or the north, the eyes fixed on the tip of the nose, avoiding
too much food or fasting, the Nâdis should be purified, without which the practice will
be fruitless. Thinking of the (seed-word) “Hum,” at the
junction of Pingalâ and Idâ (the right and the left nostrils), the Ida should be filled
with external air in twelve Mâtrâs (seconds); then the Yogi meditates on fire in the same
place with the word “Rung,” and while meditating thus, slowly ejects the air through the Pingala
(right nostril). Again filling in through the Pingala the air
should be slowly ejected through the Ida, in the same way.
This should be practiced for three or four years, or three or four months, according
to the directions of a Guru, in secret (alone in a room), in the early morning, at midday,
in the evening, and at midnight (until) the nerves become purified. Lightness of body,
clear complexion, good appetite, hearing of the Nâda, are the signs of the purification
of nerves. Then should be practiced Pranayama composed
of Rechaka (exhalation), Kumbhaka (retention), and Puraka (inhalation). Joining the Prâna
with the Apâna is Pranayama. “In sixteen Matras filling the body from the
head to the feet, in thirty-two Matras the Prana is to be thrown out, and with sixty-four
the Kurnbhaka should be made. “There is another Pranayama in which the Kumbhaka
should first be made with sixty-four Matras, then the Prana should be thrown out with sixteen,
and the body next filled with sixteen Matras. “By Pranayama impurities of the body are thrown
out; by Dhâranâ the impurities of the mind; by Pratyâhâra impurities of attachment;
and by Samadhi is taken off everything that hides the lordship of the Soul.” Sânkhya.
BOOK 3. 29. By the achievement of meditation, there
come to the pure one (the Purusha) all powers of nature.
30. Meditation is the removal of attachment. 31. It is perfected by the suppression of
the modifications. 32. By Dhâranâ, posture, and performance
of one’s duties, it is perfected. 33. Restraint of the Prâna is by means of
expulsion and retention. 34. Posture is that which is steady and easy.
36. Also by non-attachment and practice, meditation is perfected.
74. By reflection on the principles of nature, and by giving them up as “not It, not It”
discrimination is Pingalâ. Sânkhya.
BOOK 4. 3. Instruction is to be repeated.
5. As the hawk becomes unhappy if the food is taken away from him and happy, if he gives
it up himself (so he who gives up everything voluntarily is happy).
6. As the snake is happy in giving up his old skin.
8. That which is not a means of liberation is not to be thought of; it becomes a cause
of bondage, as in the case of Bharata. 9. From the association of many things there
is obstruction to meditation, through passion, aversion, etc., like the shell bracelets on
the virgin’s hand. 10. It is the same even in the case of two.
11. The renouncers of hope are happy, like the girl Pingalâ.
13. Although devotion is to be given to many institutes and teachers, the essence is to
be taken from them all as the bee takes the essence from many flowers.
14. one whose mind has become concentrated like the arrowmaker’s does not get his meditation
disturbed. 15. Through transgression of the original
rules there is non-attainment of the goal, as in other worldly things.
19. By continence, reverence, and devotion to Guru, success comes after a long time (as
in the case of Indra). 20. There is no law as to time, as in the
case of Vâmadeva. 24. Or through association with one who has
attained perfection. 27. Not by enjoyments is desire appeased even
with sages (who have practiced Yoga for long). Sânkhya.
BOOK 5. 128. The Siddhis attained by Yoga are not
to be denied like recovery through medicines etc.
Sânkhya. BOOK 6.
24. Any posture which is easy and steady is an Âsana; there is no other rule.
Vyâsa-Sutras. CHAPTER 4. SECTION 1.
7. Worship is possible in a sitting posture. 8. Because of meditation.
9. Because the meditating (person) is compared to the immovable earth.
10. Also because the Smritis say so. 11. There is no law of place; wherever the
mind is concentrated, there worship should be performed.
These several extracts give an idea of what other systems of Indian Philosophy have to
say upon Yoga.