Patanjali – the ancestor of yoga
Patanjali, the ancestor of yoga, is believed to have been born in the Ra’r’h region of India between about 200 and 500 BC.
According to legend, Patanjali’s mother, Gonika’, was a learned yogi who wanted to pass on her knowledge to a wise man but was unable to do so. She prayed to the sun god that he would give her the sage she was looking for. She prayed to the sun god with her hands holding water and closed her eyes, and just as she was about to offer water to the sun god, she opened her eyes and saw a small snake in her hand, which instantly took human form and said to her, “I want to be your child.” The name Patanjali was given to her because Patanjali looked like a man who had fallen from the sky into her hands. (Shiva) was reincarnated on earth as the ancestor of yoga with the blessing of Lord Shiva.
In about 300 B.C., the great Indian sage Patanjali composed the Yoga Sutra, on the basis of which Indian yoga really took shape, and the yogic practices were formally defined as an eight-branch system. Patanjali gave all the theories and knowledge of yoga, forming a complete system of theory and practice. Patanjali created a whole system of yoga. That is why Patanjali is revered as the grandfather of yoga.
In the world of yoga, Patanjali is unparalleled. He is as great a saint as Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mahavira, Mohammed or Charlatoust, who became a saint. As far as the world of yoga is concerned, Patanjali is the greatest name, this man is rare and no other name can be compared to Patanjali. Yoga was brought to a state of science, for the first time in the history of mankind, and he made religion a science of pure laws, where faith is not necessary.
Yoga is not a philosophy. It is not a religion, it is not a philosophy, it is not something that you can think about, it is something that you have to become. Thinking is useless, thinking is only done in your mind, it doesn’t really go deep into the roots of your being, it’s not all of you …. Your heart is your deepest center.
Yoga takes into account your whole being, takes into account your roots, it is not philosophical, so, with Patanjali, we don’t think. With Patanjali, we try to understand the ultimate law of existence ——- the law of human metamorphosis, the law of how to die and how to regenerate, and the law of the new order of existence, that is why yoga is called a science.
Patanjali is rare in that he is as much a man of becoming as Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mahavira, Mohammed or Charlatoust, but he is different in one respect. Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mahavira, Mohammad or Charlatoust, none of whom had a scientific attitude, were great religious founders: they changed the whole form of the human mind and its structure, but their methods were not very scientific.
Patanjali was like Einstein in the world of Buddhism, who could easily have won the Nobel Prize like Einstein, Bohr, Max Planck or Heisenberg, who had the same attitude and the same methods as those with a rigorous scientific mind. He was not a poet, while Krishna was a poet; he was not a moralist, while Mahavira was a moralist. Basically, Patanjali was a scientist who thought in terms of laws, who deduced the absolute laws of mankind and the ultimate structure of the functioning of the human mind and of real existence.
If you follow Patanjali, you will know that he is as precise as any mathematical formula, just do what he says, and the result will happen. It’s like two plus two equals four, it’s like when you heat water to one hundred degrees, it evaporates, it doesn’t take faith, you just do it and then you know. It is something that you just have to do and then you know. That’s why I say no one can compare to him, no one on this earth has ever been able to do what Patanjali did.
You are able to find poetry within the Buddha’s words, it must exist, there are many times when the Buddha is expressing himself and he becomes poetic. That realm of ecstasy, that realm of ultimate truth is so beautiful, the temptation to become poetic is so strong, that beauty, that blessing, that joy is so overflowing that one will start speaking in poetic terms.
But Patanjali resisted that tendency, that was very difficult, and no one else could resist. Jesus, Krishna, Buddha —— they all became poetic. When that radiance, that beauty explodes in you, you will start dancing, you will start singing: in that state you are like a lover who has fallen in love with the whole universe.
Patanjali resists that tendency, he doesn’t use poetry, he doesn’t even use a poetic symbol. He doesn’t use poetry for anything, he doesn’t talk in beautiful phrases, he talks in mathematical rhetoric, he is very precise, he will give you maxims, and those maxims just instruct you what to do. He doesn’t break out into ecstasy, he doesn’t try to say things that can’t be said: he doesn’t go back and try that which is impossible, he just lays out the foundation and if you follow that foundation you will reach that transcendent summit, he is a strict mathematician, that’s something to remember.
Patanjali’s eight branches of division as recorded in the Yoga Sutras.
1、Make precepts (Yamas):It means external control, the moral precepts of the universe.
2. Niyamas: refers to internal control, self-purification through self-discipline.
3、Asanas: refers to yoga postures, also known as body alignment.
4、Breath control (Pranayama): refers to the rhythmic breathing, control of exhalation. Also known as breath regulation.
5、Sense control (Pratyahara): The liberation of the spirit from the slavery of the senses and external things, refers to the disappearance of the senses and the control of the heart, also known as tuning the mind.
6、Concentration (Dharana): Concentration of attention, single-mindedness.
7、Meditation (Dhyana): Sitting still and meditating.
8、Samadhi (Samadhi): The superconsciousness from meditation is all concentrated in the soul and becomes one with the universe.
The Yoga Sutra written by Patanjali, the grandfather of yoga, gives all the theories and knowledge of yoga. In this work, he explained the definition of yoga, the content of yoga, the changes brought to the body by yoga, and so on. Yoga had been practiced for a long time before Patanjali, but no one had given a systematic explanation of yoga, Patanjali created a whole system of yoga. Patanjali pointed out that yoga is not a theory, it does not exist on top of theory, it is more of a practice, if you want to be a real yogi, it is not theoretical yoga, but practical yoga, so that you can be a real yogi. Patanjali’s purpose of yoga is clear: yoga teaches you how to control your brain (CHITTA).
That is why Patanjali is revered as the grandfather of yoga.