Classical Indian Philosophy Yoga Ethics, Yoga and Questions

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Classical Indian: Pranayama, Dharana, Samadhi, Asana Yoga Ethics (Philosophy)


  • Yoga means cessation of the mental modifications (citta-Vritti) .
  • This goal of cessation of citta is known as citta-Vritti-nirodh.
  • Yoga holds that liberation is a means of spiritual insight into the reality of the self and understanding that the self is distinct from the body and the mind.
  • In other words, it is to be able to distinguish between prakriti and purusha.
  • This realisation can only be had once the mind is free from all the impurities.
  • According to Patanjali, the purification of mind consists of eightfold means of discipline, they are;
    • Yama
    • Niyama
    • Asana
    • Pranayama
    • Pratyahara
    • Dharana
    • Dhyana
    • Samadhi
  • This concept is called Astang-Yoga.
  • Etymologically speaking, the word ashta means eight and anga means limbs.
  • So, it means eight limbs path. Ashtang-yoga or the eight limbs path constitutes to Raja-Yoga.
  • The Eight-fold means of Yoga or yogangas are;


  • The first discipline of Yama means restraint.
  • It deals with restraint in terms of;
    • Ahimsa or abstention from all kinds of injury to all life
    • Satya or truthfulness in thought and speech
    • Asteya or non-stealing
    • Brahmacharya or control over desires
    • Aparigraha or non-acceptance of unnecessary gifts from people
  • According to Patanjali, a yogin must religiously follow them.


  • This second discipline of niyama means culture.
  • It deals with the cultivation of the following good habits. Such as;
    • Saucha or cleanness, both, internal (abhyantara) as in purification of mind with good thoughts, emotions, etc. and external (bahya) as in cleanness of the body
    • Santosha or the habit of being content with whatever comes one՚s way
    • Tapas or penance, meaning observing austere vows under all conditions
    • Svadhyaya or devilling the habit of studying religious texts
    • Ishvaraparanidhana or showing and having devotion towards God.


  • It deals with the discipline of the body and also with the adoption of certain comfortable poses and postures.
  • For example, some of the asanas are padmasana, bhadrasana, etc.
  • These are necessary for they help in attainment of the concentration of the mind by keeping the body free from diseases and illness.
  • According to Patanjali, it is via the asanas, the body, specially the nervous system can be kept in check and diseases which disturb the mind can be prevented or curbed.
  • It must be learnt and practiced only in the guidance of a teacher or a Guru.


  • The fourth discipline is called pranayama or the control/regulation of one՚s breath.
  • This discipline deals with suspension of the breath while inhalation or exhalation.
  • Some of the examples of pranayama are kumbhaka, recaka, puraka, etc.
  • It should be learnt and practiced in the guidance of a Guru or a teacher.
  • This discipline is essential for it helps the mind to concentrate better and stops fluctuations/wanderings.


  • It deals with withdrawing the senses away from the material objects, so that they come under the control of mind.
  • When the senses come under the control of mind, they work as per the directions of the mind. In other words, when the senses are controlled by the mind, the mind is not disturbed by sights, sounds, smells, etc. coming via the senses.
  • This state is very difficult to perfect, as a result, it requires a long practice and a strong will.
  • These five disciplines-
    • Yama
    • Niyama
    • Asana
    • Pranayama
    • Pratyahara deals with restraint and self-culture.
  • As a result, they are regarded as the external aids to Yoga or also known as “Bahiranga-sadhana.”


1. “Bahiranga-sadhana.” deals with

A. First five paths

B. First four paths

C. Last five paths

D. None of these

Answer: A

2. Kumbhaka, recaka, puraka, etc. are the examples of

A. Pranayama

B. Asanas

C. Both A and B

D. None of these

Answer: a

3. Padmasana, Bhadrasana, etc. are the examples of

A. Pranayama

B. Asanas

C. Both A and B

D. None of these

Answer: B