Deciphering Scriptures to Decode Skill Development

Deciphering Scriptures to Decode Skill Development

Deciphering Scriptures to Decode Skill Development

India was known as ‘the Golden Sparrow’ in ancient times as appropriately echoed by Mark Twain in his quote, “The birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions, whose yesterday’s bear date with the modering antiquities for the rest of nations – the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined”. In addition to being wealthy and prosperous, India’s socio-economic progress was at its peak. According to economic historian Angus Maddison, in his book “Contours of the World Economy”, India had the world’s largest economy during the years 1 AD and 1000 AD.[1]

Reference to the history of the above era and beyond helps decode skill development.

Writing this blog impassioned the following core concepts:

1) Concept of Svadharma (one’s own nature) as per one’s guna (attributes) combination and preponderance of one guna over the other.

2) Leader-making approach of the Arthashastra.

3) Developing the intellect.

4) Entrepreneurship development.

The concept of gunas (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas) being our material cause is extensively written in our scriptures (Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, Arthashastra etc.). It takes a philosophical bend when one ponders over it and contemplates on its essence teachings. For a layman it is important to know that Sattva in us helps us to know things (illuminating factor), Rajas in us helps to carry on our activity and Tamas is the holding factor.[2] We all have a preponderance of one of these three gunas, which becomes our inherent nature.[3] Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta and Arthashatra emphasize that our primary duty is to find this inherent nature. The Scriptures also warn us that if one does Paradharma (work opposite to or other than our inherent nature), it will retard progress.[4]

1)  Concept of Svadharma

Schooling in ancient India followed the Guru-Shishya Parampara (where teachers taught students in gurukul). “Gu” means darkness and “Ru” means light. So, “Guru” may be translated as one who leads from darkness to light. The Guru is a teacher who steers the student’s life from ignorance to wisdom and shows the path to enlightenment. The conditioned mind is subject to distortion and blind spot which when left to ourselves, we often lean towards imbalance. The perspective of a teacher helps us to see our limiting patterns as well as our full potential. The teacher’s main duty is to give proper infrastructure for the Svadharma to manifest. Our experience proves we need no motivation to do what we really like and hence when we take up jobs in accordance to our Svadharma, we excel in it. The key take away therefore is that our schools should provide infrastructure and good opportunities for students to explore various dimensions of their personality and figure out their inherent nature.

Teachers should play a primary role to help them in their endeavor. Technology can be supplementary. To adhere to Svadharma is a socio-economic task and once known it should be nurtured and given a direction. Micro level prosperity will then lead to macro level development. This inherent quality, when polished, is skill. Skill development should empower people to optimize their capacity, creativity, boost future innovation, lead to work satisfaction, increase in productivity, encourage investment, lower unemployment and under employment thereby reducing inequalities. Without skill development human resource can be a liability to a nation rather than being an asset. Today’s education demands a unique mix of the ancient Indian school pattern along with the modern methodology of instruction complemented by a state of art infrastructure. Once the Svadharma is identified, consistency and dedication to one’s job will ensure excellence. The sutra or the formula for this excellence is elaborated in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (1.14).[5]

2) Leader-making approach of Arthashatra

Currently India is one of the largest populated countries in the world and our main natural resource is our people. Unfortunately, either their potential is greatly under-utilized or completely unutilized. Skill development is the key to unlock that untapped potential. Imperatively, the Indian education system has to emphasize the exploration of the rich Indian traditions in strategic thinking.

Arthashastra is one such ancient text that is a rich treasure of strategic thinking. Written in Sanskrit by Kautilya, also known as Chanakya, around 321 B.C. in Magadha, it deals with issues of state, society, economy, administration, law and justice, internal security, defence, diplomacy, foreign policy and warfare. Divided into 15 books, it has 6,000 sutras. The Arthashastra is a practical manual of instruction for the kings. The duties of a king and the leadership qualities described in the Arthashastra are relevant even for today’s leaders.

The Arthshastra helps us understand Kautilya from the point of view of a  Kingmaker. He was credited for masterminding the defeat of Nanda dynasty and Alexander in India. He coined the concept of a Nation. Qualities of a leader, his daily routine, training program, study schedules etc. are written very elaborately in the text. The need of the hour is to have good leaders who can draft and implement suitable policies to eradicate unemployment.

It is important to take such texts to our younger generation as it accentuates Shravan, Manan and Niddhidyasan (study, reflect and practical application). By doing this, information is churned into knowledge which when applied becomes wisdom. Radhakrishnan Pillai authored Chanakya’s 7 secrets of leadership, which is a good adaptation of the Arthashatra, where a leadership model is explained in the modern-day context.[6]  Drawing inspiration from the ancient Indian wisdom, the Chanakya Institute of Public Leadership (CIPL) aspires to train future leaders.[7]

3) Developing the intellect

Man has 3 tools: Body, mind and intellect. The body is like a vehicle for action. Mind is the seat of impulses, feelings and emotions; and the intellect, that of discriminative knowledge, reasoning and analytical thinking. In most of the human beings the intellect is reined by the mind. Such a person oscillates in the range of likes and dislikes and hence is in a constant flux. But a person who has reined the mind  is the one who is capable of problem solving. People who are not caught in the holocaust of the mind are the need of the day.

Skill development finally boils down to self-management as mentioned in  Vedanta. Linking education and skill development is very important. Extended schools can help gain various skills. Problem-solving approach has to be developed and logic and reasoning abilities enhanced rather than rote learning. Intellectual development should begin early in life. The education system should encourage curiosity in children, develop the art of thinking and reflecting on what is taught. Emotions and feelings though important should not influence and dictate over reason and logic. The Vedanta academy aspires to adopt a liberal approach to develop the intellect of the youth.[8]

4) Entrepreneurship Development

Entrepreneurship is a vital economic activity today. We need visionaries so that we can generate jobs for our fast-growing population. Entrepreneurs should start “Skill development” programs to minimize unemployment. Many more platforms have to be created, as career ladders are not the same any more. Critical thinking skills are very important. Due to globalization and technological advancement, time and space is no more a limitation to find the right job, provided one is skilled. Collaborative research is picking up. Cultural competencies, ready to adjust and adapt are the order of the day. Character building is the need of the hour. Entrepreneurs should be good at SWOT Analysis i.e. spotting the strengths and weakness of  his/her team and be foresighted about the future opportunities and prepare to face the threats. This will help anticipating and delivering new and different skills that will be needed in the future. The Swaraj University seeks to focus on self-designed learning programs to explore basic business skills.[9]

It is of utmost importance today to motivate students to be entrepreneurs rather than employees. Holistic and integrated approach of skill development should be included to smoothen the transition from college to work stage. The barriers demarcating different disciplines are breaking and hence open system, freedom to choose subjects, design courses etc. should be incorporated in our education policy. Higher education in India is at crossroads. an reforms in education have become urgent.

Thus, the four points elaborated above, sourced in our Scriptures, if recognized and implemented in sincere earnest will definitely lead to Skill Development and consequently to Economic Prosperity.

  ***

 

[1]Madison, Angus (2007). Contours of the world economy, essays in macro-economic history. pg. 379.

[2] Arnya Hariharananda Swami (2012). Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati, pg.18.

[3] Parthasarthy A. (2010). Governing business and relationships, pg. 37.

[4] A. Parthasarathy (2011).Bhagvad Gita, pg. 250.

[5] Swami Veda Bharati (1986) Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with the exposition of Patanjali. pg.202.

[6] Pillai Radhakrishnan (2014), Chanakyas 7 secrets of leadership, pg. 2.

[7]http://www.ciplmumbai.in/aboutcipl.html

[8]http://www.vedantaworld.org/about/vedanta-academy

[9]http://www.swarajuniversity.org/

Yogasutra Beginners – List of 85 Yoga sutras which can be applied on a day to day basis by beginners

Yogasutra Beginner

Yogasutra Beginners – List of 85 Yoga sutras which can be applied on a day to day basis by beginners.

Hello friends,

Todays blog is on how many Yoga sutras of 195 in totality can we actually as a adham (starter) level Yogi can find sense and apply in our day to day yogic practice. I think 85 sutras can be worked on, which are as follows.

Why and how is elaborated on my Instagram posts on a day to day basis – https://instagram.com/impravz

See the list below and contemplate on the sutra to find out if it can be practically applicable and to what extent can it be life changing.

अथ पतञ्जलयोगसूत्रे समाधिपादः

अथ योगानुशासनम्॥१.१॥

योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः॥१.२॥

तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम्॥१.३॥

वृत्तिसारूप्यमितरत्र॥१.४॥

वृत्तयः पञ्चतय्यः क्लिष्टा अक्लिष्टाश्चः॥१.५॥

प्रमाणविपर्ययविकल्पनिद्रास्मृतयः॥१.६॥

प्रत्यक्षानुमानागमाः प्रमाणानि॥१.७॥

विपर्ययो मिथ्याज्ञानमतद्रूपप्रतिष्ठम्॥१.८॥

शब्दज्ञानानुपाती वस्तुशून्यो विकल्पः॥१.९॥

अभावप्रत्ययालम्बना वृत्तिर्निद्रा॥१.१०॥

अनुभूतविषयासम्प्रमोषः स्मृतिः॥१.११॥

अभ्यासवैराग्याभ्यां तन्निरोधः॥१.१२॥

तत्र स्थितौ यत्नोऽभ्यासः॥१.१३॥

स तु दीर्घकालनैरन्तर्यसत्कारासेवितो दृढभूमिः॥१.१४॥

दृष्टानुश्रविकविषयवितृष्णस्य वशीकारसञ्ज्ञा वैराग्यम्॥१.१५॥

तीव्रसंवेगानामासन्नः॥१.२१॥

ईश्वरप्रणिधानाद्वा॥१.२३॥

क्लेशकर्मविपाकाशयैरपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः॥१.२४॥

तत्र निरतिशयं सर्वज्ञबीजम्॥१.२५॥

पूर्वेषामपि गुरुः कालेनानवच्छेदात्॥१.२६॥

तस्य वाचकः प्रणवः॥१.२७॥

तज्जपस्तदर्थभावनम्॥१.२८॥

ततः प्रत्यक्चेतनाधिगमोऽप्यन्तरायाभावश्च॥१.२९॥

व्याधिस्त्यानसंशयप्रमादालस्याविरतिभ्रान्तिदर्शनालब्धभूमिकत्वा­नवस्थितत्वानि चित्तविक्षेपास्तेऽन्तरायाः॥१.३०॥

दुःखदौर्मनस्याङ्गमेजयत्वश्वासप्रश्वासा विक्षेपसहभुवः॥१.३१॥

तत्प्रतिषेधार्थमेकतत्त्वाभ्यासः॥१.३२॥

मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षाणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातश्चित्तप्रसादनम्॥१.३३॥

प्रच्छर्दनविधारणाभ्यां वा प्राणस्य॥१.३४॥

विषयवती वा प्रवृत्तिरुत्पन्ना मनसः स्थितिनिबन्धिनी॥१.३५॥

विशोका वा ज्योतिष्मती॥१.३६॥

वीतरागविषयं वा चित्तम्॥१.३७॥

स्वप्ननिद्राज्ञानालम्बनं वा ॥१॥३८॥

यथाभिमतध्यानाद्वा॥१.३९॥

अथ पतञ्जलयोगसूत्रे साधनपादः

तपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि क्रियायोगः॥२.१॥

समाधिभावनार्थः क्लेशतनूकरणार्थश्च॥२.२॥

सुखानुशयी रागः॥२.७॥

दुःखानुशयी द्वेषः॥२.८॥

स्वरसवाही विदुषोऽपि तथारूढोऽभिनिवेशः॥२.९॥

ध्यानहेयास्तद्वृत्तयः॥२.११॥

हेयं दुःखमनागतम्॥२.१६॥

योगाङ्गानुष्ठानादशुद्धिक्षये ज्ञानदीप्तिराविवेकख्यातेः॥२.२८॥

यमनियमासनप्राणायामप्रत्याहारधारणाध्यानसमाधयोऽ­ष्टावङ्गानि॥२.२९॥

अहिंसासत्यास्तेयब्रह्मचर्यापरिग्रहा यमाः॥२.३०॥

जातिदेशकालसमयानवच्छिन्नाः सार्वभौमा महाव्रतम्॥२.३१॥

शौचसन्तोषतपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि नियमाः॥२.३२॥

वितर्कबाधने प्रतिपक्षभावनम्॥२.३३॥

अहिंसाप्रतिष्ठायां तत्सन्निधौ वैरत्यागः॥२.३५॥

सत्यप्रतिष्ठायां क्रियाफलाश्रयत्वम्॥२.३६॥

अस्तेयप्रतिष्ठायां सर्वरत्नोपस्थानम्॥२.३७॥

ब्रह्मचर्यप्रतिष्ठायां वीर्यलाभः॥२.३८॥

अपरिग्रहस्थैर्ये जन्मकथन्तासम्बोधः॥२.३९॥

शौचात्स्वाङ्गजुगुप्सा परैरसंसर्गः॥२.४०॥

सन्तोषादनुत्तमः सुखलाभः॥२.४२॥

कायेन्द्रियसिद्धिरशुद्धिक्षयात्तपसः॥२.४३॥

स्वाध्यायादिष्टदेवतासम्प्रयोगः॥२.४४॥

समाधिसिद्धिरीश्वरप्रणिधानात्॥२.४५॥

स्थिरसुखमासनम्॥२.४६॥

प्रयत्नशैथिल्यानन्तसमापत्तिभ्याम्॥२.४७॥

ततो द्वन्द्वानभिघातः॥२.४८॥

तस्मिन्सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः॥२.४९॥

वाह्याभ्यन्तरस्तम्भवृत्तिः देशकालसङ्ख्याभिः परिदृष्टो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः॥२.५०॥

वाह्याभ्यन्तरविषयाक्षेपी चतुर्थः॥२.५१॥

ततः क्षीयते प्रकाशावरणम्॥२.५२॥

धारणासु च योग्यता मनसः॥२.५३॥

स्वविषयासम्प्रयोगे चित्तस्य स्वरूपानुकार इवेन्द्रियाणां प्रत्याहारः॥२.५४॥

ततः परमा वश्यतेन्द्रियाणाम्॥२.५५॥

 

अथ पतञ्जलयोगसूत्रे विभूतिपादः

देशबन्धश्चित्तस्य धारणा॥३.१॥

तत्र प्रत्ययैकतानता ध्यानम्॥३.२॥

तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः॥३.३॥

त्रयमेकत्र संयमः॥३.४॥

तज्जयात्प्रज्ञालोकः॥३.५॥

मैत्र्यादिषु बलानि॥३.२२॥

बलेषु हस्तिबलादीनि॥३.२३॥

प्रवृत्त्यालोकन्यासात्सूक्ष्मव्यवहितविप्रकृष्टज्ञानम्॥३.२४॥

भुवनज्ञानं सूर्ये संयमात्॥३.२५॥

चन्द्रे ताराव्यूहज्ञानम्॥३.२६॥

ध्रुवे तद्गतिज्ञानम्॥३.२७॥

नाभिचक्रे कायव्यूहज्ञानम्॥३.२८॥

कण्ठकूपे क्षुत्पिपासानिवृत्तिः॥३.२९॥

कूर्मनाड्यां स्थैर्यम्॥३.३०॥

मूर्धज्योतिषि सिद्धदर्शनम्॥३.३१॥

बहिरकल्पिता वृत्तिर्महाविदेहा ततः प्रकाशावरणक्षयः॥३.४२॥

अथ पतञ्जलयोगसूत्रे कैवल्यपादः चतुर्थः

जन्मौषधिमन्त्रतपःसमाधिजाः सिद्धयः॥४.१॥

वस्तुसाम्ये चित्तभेदात्तयोर्विभक्तः पन्थाः॥४.१५॥

तदुपरागापेक्षित्वाच्चित्तस्य वस्तु ज्ञाताज्ञातम्॥४.१७॥

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Yoga – a boon for health tourism

Health

Yoga, a boon for health tourism

Introduction

Health tourism means travelling for the purpose of improving or preserving health. It is an “umbrella” term covering under it medical tourism, spa tourism and wellness tourism. For India, Health tourism is the next boom after the IT boom.

World Health Organization (WHO) defines “health” as a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.[1] Recently this definition was enlarged to include productive financial and social life.

In the context of Health, three aspects become obvious:

  • Preservation of health
  • Promotion of health
  • Recovery from ill- health

In all the above-mentioned three aspects, Yoga can make positive contribution. Preservation connotes a life style which is preventive of ill-health / diseases. Promotion is where a person who is healthy can gain better health. Recovery from ill-health comes under the therapeutic aspect. Yoga and its practices cater to all these three aspects of health.

Health tourism from the Indian context (with Yoga in mind) may not only mean an ailing person coming to India and doing Yoga but also a healthy person coming and improving his or her health through Yoga. With the abundance of natural resources and natural beauty in our country, rejuvenation and recovery are naturally sped up. Thus, the promotional potentiality of Yoga can really be tapped by Health Tourism. Yoga is not only preventive or curative but promotional too.

The multi-dimensional man with body, mind and spirit as the basic dimensions, needs a holistic approach and not the reductionist approach of modern medicine to deal with his problem. Today, the applicability of Yoga is unfortunately restricted only to the therapy part. People take to Yoga in the first instance to gain some health benefits. Therefore, Asanas and Pranayama have become exclusively popular and this at the cost of Yoga philosophy, which has to offer a lot to mankind.

Even if the tourist are attracted to India for medical reasons, it can be over-emphasized that the root of his health problems is in the mind. Hence, it is the mind which also needs to be tackled. Patanjali Yoga Sutras (PYS) form the basic text of Yoga, which is one of the six orthodox Indian Philosophies. These Sutras, in their theme, are an amalgamation of Philosophy and Psychology. The PYS is an acclaimed text, are an unparalleled text when it comes to understanding the core nature of human mind[2]. There is no type of mind which is not considered in the PYS. Around 350 B.C, Sage Patanjali compiled the Yoga Sutras, whose main aim was to end human sufferings and reach the goal of self-realization. PYS is compiled and structured in such a way that a layman as well as an adept yogi can benefit from it.

A number of techniques are prescribed to make the mind calm, tranquil, clear conflict-free. and so it can be considered as indispensable for modern times.[3] Kleshas or in-born mental afflictions, which form the root cause of human sufferings, are dealt in great detail and the method of dealing with these Kleshas are lucidly explained. Yoga recognizes the spiritual aspect in man along with the physical and mental aspects. One may venture to state that, if the spiritual aspirations of man are not catered to, human well-being can never be complete and satisfactory.

In the western world (reference is to modern medicine), for the body there are Allopathic doctors and for the mind there are Psychologists and counselors. But Prana, the vital force which is the entity between the body and the mind is completely neglected. This Prana finds its grossest manifestation in our breathing. Any mental disturbance is reflected in a disturbance in the breathing pattern. Similarly, any physical ill-health has its repercussions on the breathing pattern. Thus, if we address the prana / breathing, we kill 2 birds with one stone i.e. it sets the body right and also the mind right.

PYS is more mind-oriented and so it is beneficial to pacify an agitated or disgruntled mind. It is well recognized now that more than 90% of the diseases are psycho-somatic. The order of the day is that the most killing ailment is stress and the best antidote is PYS. Mind can be brought from a scattered to a gathered state with the most important cleansing practice i.e. Pranayama.[4]

Western science or modern medicine deals from the reductionist point of view. So, when the body is not well, only the body is treated. Human being has to be treated in totality and hence the importance of holistic approach. Science is always reductionist. And in doing this the bigger picture is lost. In dealing with the ailments of man affecting parts of his body, man in totality should not be neglected.

A multi-disciplinary approach involves drawing appropriately from multiple disciplines to redefine problems outside of normal boundaries and reach solutions based on a new understanding of complex situations. Multidisciplinary working is often seen as revolutionary by skill-centered specialists but it is simply a fundamental expression of being guided by holism rather than reduction-ism, as described by Jan Smuts in his book Holism and Evolution.

Natural state of being is one of wellness. Brand India or Incredible India can have a holistic approach with wellness as the focus. Much of India’s past has to be rediscovered by the world and the ancient technology of Yoga, as provided by PYS, can be applied to the modern mind. With a leap in technology, Health tourism can become one of the most important activities in India and reduce the employability gap.  Social media can connect the dots and help improve Wellness infrastructure and Wellness eco system.

A well-known thinker Dr. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, in reference to India and China said that “my intuition is they will move somewhat together but in very distinctive ways. But I think the thing that will be really common to both of them will be the fact that they won’t be able to do this without reconnecting to their heritage. They have learnt a lot from the west but they don’t have to copy, they cannot create a Chinese or Indian version of a western model. The western model itself is basically bankrupt. It does not give enough attention to the human side of development.[5]

Conclusion

Thus, Yoga can well become the focus of Health Tourism boom, which has already commenced in India. Also, with the focus on Yoga, we can do justice to Yoga by disseminating the true and factual perspective of Yoga as found in our scriptures.

 

[1] Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.

[2]Saraswati.S.S (2013). Four chapters on freedom. pg. 163

[3] Ibid., pg. 91-104

[4] Karambelkar.P.V, (2011) Patanjala Yoga Sutra, pg. 177.

[5]http://kaipagroup.com/interviews/peter_senge_full.html

SAGE PATANJALI – An Introduction to Sage Patanjali

Sage Patanjali

SAGE PATANJALI – An Introduction

Sage Patanjali – Hey friends. Today’s topic is Introducing Sage Patanjali. My first brush with Yoga was with its third limb i.e. Asanas. My migraine was making life difficult for me and hence I decided to go the Yoga way not knowing that Yoga was more preventive than a curative therapy. Few Asanas and Kriyas especially the Jal Neti kriya helped me immensely. In no time I was feeling better to let go of all the allopathy medicines. This was amazing and so I set out to learn the basics of Asana and Pranayama from a proper educational institute. Asanas and Pranayama were the definition of Yoga to me then. I joined a college in Mumbai and started my Bachelor’s degree to understand the therapy part of it so that I can cure my physical ailments. I was just thinking of the Annamaya kosha, because that was important and the only thing that mattered to me.

In the course of the first lecture at the institute, we were introduced to Indian Philosophy. I was like “Oh no, not theory again”. I tossed and turned in my seat for few days trying to make sense. Then came the session on Yoga philosophy and I was like “No way, I didn’t sign for this. This is not even remotely Yoga.” I revolted, asked stupid questions and tried my level best to disrupt the class. But my teacher was the best and perhaps he was used to nasty students like me in his class. He didn’t mind one bit. He answered all my questions with a smile which I adore of. He introduced Sage Patanjali to us in our fourth class.

Sage Patanjali existed during 350- 450 BC (scholars say so). Sage Patanjali realised that the knowledge of Yoga was scattered in various texts that was prevalent in that era. He realised that it stated many ways and means to better one’s life and hence out of compassion he compiled all the available information into 195 verses. He divided them into 4 chapters. This is known today as the 195 Yogasutras of sage Patanjali. Unfortunately, only few scholars know it in its totality.

The reason why only a handful of people know about this text is because it is written in Sanskrit, it is Philosophy and it is in Sutra format. When I started studying this text I did it purely to score good marks for my exams. I was like “once my exams are over I am not going to this text ever”. Fast forward 14 years – – Today I submitted my thesis for my Ph.D and guess what is the topic of my PhD? ” Appreciation of and insight into Patanjali’s Yogasutras through structures and games”.

I look at life and its challenges in a different way after understanding the Yogasutras. I have by hearted all the 195 Yogasutras to help me calm my wavering mind. I am low on ego and open to learning this text in its various dimensions. Internal and external obstacles are known to me and I am working on it. Karma theory and how to make my subliminal impressions feeble is now known.  I am continuously working on reducing my number of thoughts, which is the main goal of Yoga, ‘Yogaha chitta vritti nirodhaha’. This is one text that is my saviour. Which is yours?

P.S.: Let me know which topics of the Yogasutras you want to read about. I would then align my writings accordingly. Stay blessed.

Visit Pravz.com for More on Sage Patanjalis Yogasutras

Decoding the Patanjali Yogasutras with the Movie ‘Inside Out’

Decoding the Yoga Sutras – ‘Inside Out’.

Patanjali Yogasutras with Inside Out. This paper attempts to decode glimpses of the ‘Yogasutras of Patanjali’ one encounters while watching the movie ‘Inside Out’. In order to appreciate this paper, it is important that the reader knows the Patanjali Yogasutras adequately and has seen the movie as well.

Yogasutras Of Patanjali:

The Yogasutras, widely regarded as the authoritative text on yoga, is a collection of 195 aphorisms compiled by sage Patanjali. These “threads” (as sutra translates from Sanskrit) of wisdom offer guidelines for living a meaningful and purposeful life.

It is divided into 4 chapters. The first chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras has 51 sutras and mainly focusses on Samadhi and hence the name – Samadhi Pada. The second chapter contains instructions for practice and is called as Sadhana Pada containing 55 sutras. The third chapter instructs us about the progression of our practice and is named as Vibhuti Pada containing 55 sutras. Finally, the fourth chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is about liberation and hence appropriately called as Kaivalya Pada containing 34 sutras.

The movie- ‘Inside Out’

‘Inside Out’ is a 2015 American, 3 Dimensional, animated comedy- adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. The film was directed by Pete Docter. The film is set in the mind of a young girl named Riley Andersen, where five personified emotions—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust —try to lead her through life as her parents move from semi urban Minnesota to San Francisco.

Docter first began developing ‘Inside Out’ in 2009, after noticing changes in his daughter’s personality as she grew older. The film’s producers consulted numerous psychologists who helped analyse the story by highlighting the neuropsychological findings that human emotions affect interpersonal relationships and can be significantly moderated by them. The film received several awards, including a BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, Critics’ Choice Award, Annie Award, Satellite Award, and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. In 2016, the film was named as the 41st best film of the 21st century, from a poll of 177 film critics from around the world.

Summary of the movie

Riley, a young girl leads a pretty good life, with her adoring parents, participating in hockey etc. She loves Minnesota, her home state. When she is uprooted from her mid-western lifestyle and moved to the busy and chaotic San Francisco, her emotions; Anger, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and (her most key emotion) Joy, start to disagree on how to deal with this dramatic change, which causes problems up in Headquarters, the central working place for the five emotions.

She needs her emotions to guide her through her new school, new people, and new life. But, an accident involving Riley’s happy memories changes her entire outlook. Joy and Sadness need to find her memories and return them to the Headquarters before it’s too late. Joy and Sadness disappear, symbolizing her difficulty accepting her new life. Joy and Sadness go on a quest to return home and save Riley.

All of us have several brain functions that govern our response to various situations. The functions responsible for Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust are characterized and the details of the activities they do to run the life of young Riley right from her birth is what drives the story. When a sudden change in the life or Riley upsets their rhythm, they try to control the situation too much, which creates more confusion for Riley. Their adventures in an attempt to restore normalcy is what forms the crux of this movie.

Comparing ‘Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali’ and the movie ‘Inside Out’

The opening statement in the movie is “Do you look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head” and as a yoga sutra student one can find answer to this in the sutra no 3.19 (प्रत्ययस्य पर चित्त ज्ञानम्॥३.१९). There are many interesting parallels we can draw while watching this movie. Some of which are as follows.

The main protagonist of the movie is this girl named Riley. As soon as she is born, her parents say “You are a bundle of joy” and one sanskara of joy is made and rolls down to the storage section. The emotion ‘Joy’ is introduced. She is this bubbly golden ray emanating girl operating the main station/ head quarter in the mind. She is happy that Riley is happy. As she is basking in this emotion she hears the baby cry. She is shocked to see that the station is taken over by Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger, one after another.

When we observe the equation here, we see that there are 4 negative emotions to one positive emotion in us. Joy tries to be in the forefront (to maintain तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपे अवस्थानम्॥१.३॥) at any cost but others always wait for an opportunity to move her and take lead. This can be related to sutra no 1.4 (वृत्ति सारूप्यम् इतरत्र॥१.४॥). Sadness particularly always waits patiently in the aisles, to takeover when Joy is a bit slack or unaware.

So we can conclude that when we are unaware, our mind will gravitate to sadness and brood over the past and future. It takes effort to be equipoise (अभ्यास वैराग्याभ्यां तन्निरोधः॥१.१२॥). Also sutra no 2.33 (वितर्क बाधने प्रतिपक्ष भावनम्॥२.३३॥) can be applied here to get back to our own true nature (by following Pratipaksha Bhavana), to combat a situation where the external condition or our own emotions try to go against us.

Furthermore Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Anger can be compared and related to the following respectively:

Viparyaya sutra no 1.8 (विपर्ययो मिथ्या ज्ञानम् अतद्रूप प्रतिष्ठम्॥१.८॥) leads to sadness (we can also add here the sutras related to Avidya from the second chapter).

Abhinivesha sutra no 2.9 (स्वरसवाही विदुष: अपि तथ: अIरूढ: अभिनिवेशः॥२.९॥) is the main source of all fears.

Disgust can be seen as an outcome of aversion i.e. sutra no 2.8 (दुःख अनुशयी द्वेषः॥२.८॥).

Anger is generally because of the fact that we get things which we are averse to and not which we are attached to.

Then memories 1.11 (अनुभूत विषय असम्प्रमोषः स्मृतिः॥१.११॥) are introduced in the movie. The core memories are shown as the most important time recorded in Riley’s life. These core memories charge 5 islands (hockey, goofball, friendship, honesty and family islands). These islands have to be in good health because these consecutively make her personality pleasant or harsh. We can compare these to Yamas sutra no 2.30 (अहिंसा सत्य अस्तेय ब्रह्मचर्य अपरिग्रहा यमाः॥२.३०॥) and Niyamas sutra no 2.32 (शौच सन्तोष तपः स्वाध्याय ईश्वर प्रणिधानानि नियमाः॥२.३२॥. To maintain good health of these islands we need to follow Yamas and Niyamas. To do so accurately one has to follow Pratipaksh Bhavana sutra no 2.33, 2.34 (वितर्क बाधने प्रतिपक्ष भावनम्॥२.३३॥), (वितर्का हिंसादयः कृत कारित अनुमोदिता लोभ क्रोध मोह पूर्वका मृदु मध्य अधिमात्रा दुःख अज्ञान अनन्त फला इति प्रतिपक्ष भावनम्॥२.३४॥). Sutra no 1.33 (मैत्री करुणा मुदित उपेक्षाणां सुख दुःख पुण्य अपुण्य विषयाणां भावनातश् चित्त प्रसादनम्॥१.३३॥) also helps in a big way to maintain our internal sanity.

When Riley is 11yrs, her family moves to San Francisco. Joy is outweighed by the other 4 emotions. Joy tries to step in and hold the fort but she is pushed back. Fear and Sadness dominate all along. Pandemonium of thoughts prevail which can be compared to sutra no 1.5 (वृत्तयः पञ्चतय्यः क्लिष्टा अक्लिष्टा:॥१.५॥ and sutra no 1.6 (प्रमाण विपर्यय विकल्प निद्रा स्मृतयः॥१.६॥).

Slowly and steadily Riley’s 5 islands are ruined as Joy is pushed to the bottom.

Joy and Sadness leave the headquarters to fix the core memory and the others stay back at the headquarters to manage Riley’s emotional balance. But without Joy all falls apart.

When Riley sleeps, Disgust and Anger rests too. Fear waits in the aisles watching her dreams (अनुभूत विषय असम्प्रमोषः स्मृतिः॥१.११॥).

The projector team project dreams. Joy tries to make Riley happy while she is dreaming. Sadness wakes Riley up by projecting fear from her unconscious mind (fear of the clown) and wakes her up. (स्वप्न निद्रा ज्ञान अIलम्बनं वा॥१.३८॥)

The train of thought although accompanied by obstacles helps Joy reach the headquarters. Joy realises by now that sadness is equally important in life. (परिणाम ताप संस्कार दुःखै: गुण वृत्ति विरोधाच्च दुःखम् एव सर्वं विवेकिनः॥२.१५॥)

She lets Sadness take charge of the station for some time so that Riley can fully relive her sad memories and then let go of it (प्रकाश क्रिया स्थिति शीलं भूत ईन्द्रि अIत्मकं भोग अपवर्गार्थं दृश्यम्॥२.१८॥).

All the islands are restored as Riley finds her balance. Then Joy takes over the main station as in sutra no 4.34 (पुरुषार्थ शून्यानां गुणानां प्रतिप्रसवः कैवल्यं स्वरूप प्रतिष्ठा वा चितिशक्ति: इति॥४.३४॥ and sutra no 1.2 (योग: चित्त वृत्ति निरोधः॥१.२॥) and sutra no 1.3 (तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपे अवस्थानम्॥१.३॥). The movie ends with a happy note.

The whole essence of the Yoga Sutras is to make us understand, that as human beings our effort should be to return to our own true self. The same motive drives the movie ‘Inside Out’.

Hathayoga Pradeepika Fast Track Learning

Hathayoga Pradeepika

Hathayoga Pradeepika – Hatha yoga was authored by Swatmaram Suri in 6th Century AD

HA = Sun / Chitta / Seer

THA = Moon / Prana / Consciousness

Hathayoga is a staircase and the god is Rajayog. It has four chapters:

1 Asana 67 shlokas They say Siddhasana is the best

2 Pranayama + Shatkarma 78 shlokas

3 Mudra & Bandha 130shlokas They say Keval kumbhak is the best.

According to Swatmaram – Kechari Mudra is the best

4 Samadhi (Naadanusandana) 93 shlokas They say Anahaat naad is the best

• Yoga is destroyed by the following six causes:

1. Excessive eating

2. Excessive physical work

3. Excessive Rules

4. Company of people

5. Talkativeness

6. Unsteadiness

• The following six bring speedy success :

1. Courage

2. Enthusiasm

3. Perceverance, Abhyas Vairagya.

4. Vivek, discriminating knowledge

5. Faith

6. Aloofness from company

• Ten Yamas:

1. Ahimsa (non injuring)

2. Truth

3. Nonstealing

4. Continence

5. Forgiveness

6. Endurance

7. Compassion

8. Meekness,

9. Sparing diet

10. Cleanliness.

• Ten Niyamas

1. Tapa

2. Patience

3. Belief in God

4. Charity

5. Adoration of God

6. Hearing discourses on the principles of religion

7. Shame

8. Intellect

9. Tapa

10. Yajna

Dincharya

1. Leave his bed in the Usâ Kâla (i.e., at the peep of dawn or 4 o’clock) in the morning.

2. Remembering guru and desired deity in heart.

3. Answering the calls of nature, and cleaning his mouth,

4. Apply Bhasma (ashes).

5. Take a Vow

6. Salutation to the Lord of the Nâgas

7. Practice Shavasana if necessary

8. Kumbhaka in Viparita Karni Mudra

9. Sipping a little water

10. Practice Pranayama

11. Sitting in Siddhasana perform 80 Kumbhakas in Anuloma Viloma, Sûrya Bhedan, with Bandhas, practise Ujjâyî and then Sîtkârî, Śîtalî, d Bhastrikâ,

12. Practise mudrâs.

13. Sitting with Padmâsana, hear anâhata nâda attentively.

14. Resign the fruits of all his practice reverently to God.

15. Take a warm bath.

16. At noon a little rest should be taken at the end of the exercise.

17. Wholesome food (Mithahaar) should be taken

18. After food Elaichi, langa or betel leaf.

19. Read books (Scriptures) or hear Purânas and repeat the name of God.

20. Evening Practice should be begun after finishing sandyhâ, as before.

In Hathayoga these four asanas considered essential are:

1) Siddhasana,

2) Padmasana,

3) Simhasana and

4) Bhadrasana

Even of these, the Siddhaâsana, is the best.

Other Asanas are:

1. Swastikaâsana

2. Gomukhaâsana

3. Vîrâsana

4. Kurmâsana

5. Kukkutâsana

6. Uttâna Kûrmaâsana

7. Dhanurâsana

8. Matsyaâsana

9. Paśchima Tâna

10. Mayûraâsana

11. Śavaâsana

• Foods injurious to a Yogî

Bitter, sour, saltish, hot, green vegetables, fermented, oily, mixed with til seed, rape seed, intoxicating liquors, fish, meat, curds, chhaasa pulses, plums, oilcake,

asafoetida (hînga), garlic, onion, etc.,

• Food beneficial to those who practise Yoga.

Wheat, rice, barley, shâstik (a kind of rice), good corns, milk, ghee, sugar, butter, sugarcandy, honey, dried ginger, Parwal (a vegetable) the five vegetables, moong, pure water.

• PRANAYAMA:

Rechaka

Poorak

Kumbhaka

Kumbhakas should be performed gradually 4 times during day and night, i.e., morning, noon, evening and midnight), till the number of Kumbhakas for one time is 80 and for day and night together it is 320.

Shatkarma

Dhauti, – Vastra

Basti – Jal

Neti – Sutra

Trâtaka – dot

Nauti

Kapâla Bhâti.

Eight Types of kumbhakas:

Bhedan, Ujjâyî, Sîtkarî, Sîtalî, Bhastrikâ, Bhrâmarî, mûrchhâ, and Plâvinî.

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