Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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Chapter - 1

Introduction to Yoga
Salutation to Rishi Patanjali (Father of Yoga)

‘Yogena chittasya padena vaachaam, malam sharirasya cha vaidyakena
Yopaa karottam pravaram muninaam, Patanjalim praanjali-raanatosmi'

I bow down with folded hands in reverence to Sage Patanjali who codified the Science of Yoga the purifier of chitta, Grammar the purifier of speech and Ayurveda the purifier of the body.

Definition of Yoga
Yoga is a value based, balanced, integrated, spiritual education system. It is a science that explains the deeper significance of all life, specifically human life with special reference to the following:

  The goal of human life.
Nature of our Self.
Reason for human birth.
The reasons for wide spread pain, suffering, injustice and evil that we see around  us.
Methods to reduce human pain and suffering.
 
Yoga gives specific and detailed instructions on
  How to keep the body in a state of optimum good health even in advanced ages.
How to free the mind from stress, strain, pressures, worries, moods, depressions, frustrations, feelings of loneliness, etc.
How to control thoughts, desires and emotions and chanelise them towards inner spiritual growth.
How to free the mind from inharmonies born of anger, jealousy, greed, ambition, attachment, competition, etc.
How to remain emotionally stable, peaceful, contented and live a life in joy and love.
 
Yoga answers philosophical questions like
  What is the Nature of God?
Why does He create the Universe?
The structure of the Universe.
How God, the Universe and we as Souls are related.
 
Scientific Definitions

Yoga is a scripture (Shastra)
  ‘Shastra' means revealed wisdom. A wisdom that has been given to a deserving recipient.
Wisdom can be revealed to us by a teacher, a Guru, a Deity an Angel or by God through the
   
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