Author: Shivashankar Rao (Bangaloor, India)
A scientific and practical approach is necessary to achieve human development in all aspects-Physical, Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual.
It is essential to follow a particular order and by jumping several steps, the achievement becomes difficult, nay, impossible.
The first step is self control (Yama). Then the Niyama or disciplines dealing with practices related to physical and mental disciplines. Asana deals with the practice of physical postures integrating the flexibility of the body and breathing practices. Pranayama deals with the control and regulation of Prana or vital forces. The practice of withdrawing the consciousness from the multiplicity of thoughts and directing it towards the inner self is termed as pratyahara. The development of the ability of the mind to focus and contain a sacred object is dharana. Then comes the dhyana or meditation which means the continuous concentration on a sacred object. This is compared to the unbroken vertical flow of oil and non flickering flame of a lamp. The nature and quality of the object of meditation is very important. This dhyana leads to Samadhi, the super consciousness. The systematic approach to reach the spiritual goal of original and normal state of bliss may be summarized as follows:-
-Non covetedness (Asteya)
-Non receiving (Aparigraha)
-Contentment or happiness (Santosha)
-Study of scriptures (Swadyaya)
-Surrender to God (Ishvara pranidhana)
– Firm posture.
–Vital forces regulation
– Withdrawal of senses from objects.
– Fixing the mind on a sacred object.
– Uninterrupted dwelling of mind on the sacred object.
– Attainment of the original state of bliss and peace.