Write a detailed essay on the eight fold path of yoga

We are human beings. It is obvious to for us to have sensual attachment and passion towards worldly objects. This attachment and passion is cause of our sufferings. To get rid of this suffering and to remove the ignorance that find within us, we have to conquer our sense organs, mind and even our bodily act. To do so the citta needs to be controlled. In this respect, yoga philosophy prescribes eight-fold path which helps to control our passions and craving for worldly pleasures.

These eight fold path are as follows:

1. Yama: It is the control of mind, body, and speech. The five yamas are:

  • Ahimsa: it means to accept the principle non-violence. It upholds that not to kill or do any injuries to any living beings.
  • Satya: Satya or truth says that to speak the truth and adhere to truth even in your thinking.
  • Asteya: it upholds the principle non-stealing. This includes both not desiring on others’ wealth and not stealing any goods from others.
  • Brahmacharya: it is known as celibacy. Here one needs to control his/her senses towards the attachment of heavenly pleasures. It restrains somebody for not having sexual life.
  • Aparigraha: it says not to accept and aspire for any sorts of unnecessary lavish things for life enjoyment like gold, diamond, etc.

All these yamas are badly required for the concentration of citta.

2. Niyama: It speaks about the rules for possessing good conduct. There are five niyamas as follows.

  • Sauch: it says about cleanliness which includes both external cleaning (e.g. bath, pure diet, hair cutting and cleaning, nail cutting etc.) and internal cleaning (e.g. friendliness, empathy, happiness, smile, etc.
  • Santosh: it is understood as contentment. It means be satisfy with yourself whatever you attain or posses.
  • Tapa: Tapa or penance includes the power of tolerance. To tolerate extreme and maximum cold and heat, one needs to do the hard practices.
  • Swadhyaya: it says one needs to study religious scriptures to develop his/her spiritual knowledge.
  • Iswara Pranidhan: It says always remember God is the supreme authority and all mighty. One should completely surrender himself/herself to him.

3. Asana: It is an advanced stage of yoga. It speaks about to do various bodily postures which helps to retain concentration of citta and even helps to control the body as well as mind. Regular practice of Asana, not only controls the body, also keeps the body flexible, increase the immunity, etc. and also keeps the body free from diseases and make it strong and healthy.

4. Pranayama: Pranayama is understood as control of breath. It suggests that practicing pranayama helps the agent to control his/her inhaling and exhaling of breath. This helps the citta to remain concentrate and focused.

Pranayama has three steps. These are

  • Puraka – Inhale breathe
  • Kumbhak – Retain breathe
  • Recaka – Exhale breathe

5. Pratyahara: In this stage, the agent should control his/her sense organs for not being attracted by the worldly objects. He/she will try to restrain the sense organs for not clinging desperately for the objects of the world. Hence, craving for an object would be ceased.

6. Dharana: Our mind constantly shifts from one object to another. To keep our mind focused in one particular point and tries to check for its frequency of shifting one object to another is called as dharana. In this practice, an agent tries to concentrate to the top of the flame of a candle, concentrating on the cap of a water bottle.

7. Dhyana: In this stage, the aspirant becomes successful to remain concentrate on an object in a longer time. Here, the aspirant realizes the whole object by concentrating its one part. This step is known as meditation. It helps to realize the true nature of the citta.

8. Samadhi: This is the apex stage of yoga. In this stage, the aspirant negates the differences between subject and object, realizes the true nature of the citta that how it attains the form of the object.

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