Saturday, August 22, 2009


Samadhi, the eighth of eight limbs (of the tree) of Patanjali's Yoga, is defined by Georg Feurstein in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Yoga as "the final 'limb' (anga) of the yogic path."

Does this imply or infer that there is a necessary sequence in the limbs of yoga, as one might ascend a tree from below to above? For instance, is the practitioner advised to practice the 5 Yamas and Niyamas prior to moving forward into the practice of Asanas and Pranayama? And then, only then, move into Samyama (Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi)? And, of course, do not forget Pratyahara.

What was Patanjali's intent as he constructed the 196 aphorisms? And, on what basis do you support your thesis?

Maybe, we are existentially prone to enter the path to Samadhi on one of three arbitrary, yet categorical, sets of activity - Yama/Niyama, Asana/Pranayama, Pratyahara/Dharana/Dhyana.
Perhaps Patanjali constructed a sequentially efficient and systematic approach to Kaivalya (Freedom).

What do you think?

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