• Yoga school, founded by the Sage Patanjali, is one of the orthodox schools in Indian philosophy.
  • It presents a method of physical and mental discipline. Yogic techniques control the body, mind, and sense organs, and are thus thought to be a means of achieving freedom or mukti. Yoga acknowledges God’s existence as a teacher and guide.
  • Early references to Yoga philosophy are made in Brihadarayanka Upnishad (the oldest Upnishad).
    • Other references – Chandogya Upnishad, Katha Upnishad etc.
  • YOGA School is closely related to SAMKHYA school.
  • It systematically studies to better oneself – physically, mentally and spiritually and thus has influenced all other schools of Indian philosophy.
  • As in SAMKHYA, the foundational concepts includes 2 realities – Purusha and Prakriti, and thus can also be categorised as a DUALIST SCHOOL.
  • Yoga school of Hinduism adopts the theory of Guna from Samkhya.
    • Sattva guna – Goodness, constructive, harmonious.
    • Rajas guna – Passion, Active, Confused.
    • Tamas guna – Darkness, Destructive, Chaotic.
  • The early scholars of Yoga philosophy, posit that the Purusa (consciousness) by its nature is sattva (constructive), while Prakriti (matter) by its nature is tamas (chaotic).
  • Yoga is based on dualist foundation as the Samkhya school.
  • The universe is composed of 2 realities, Samkhya & Yoga schools : Purusa (consciousness) and prakriti (matter).
  • Jiva (a living being) is considered as a state in which purusha is bonded to prakriti in some form, in various permutations and combinations of various elements, senses, feelings, activity and mind.
  • During the state of imbalance or ignorance, one or more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage, the end of this bondage is called liberation or Moksha.
  • The ethical theory of the Yoga school is based on Yamas and Niyamas, as well as the Guna theory of the Samkhya.
  • Yoga school differs from closely related atheistic Samkhya school by incorporating the concept of “essential personal God”.
  • Samkhya school says that jnana (Knowledge) is sufficient means to moksha, while Yoga school suggests that systematic techniques and practices, or personal experimentation, combined with Samkhya’s approach to knowledge, is the path to moksha.
  • As SAMKHYA school, it also relies on three of the six Pramanas as a proof of reality
    • Pratyaksa (Perception)
    • Anumana (Inference)
    • Sabda (Word/testimony of reliable sources)
  • Other three which it did not adopt –
    • Upamana (Comparison or Analogy)
    • Arthapatti (postulation deriving from circumstances)
    • Anupalabdi (non perception/cognitive proof)
  • In Yoga philosophy, the values to be observed are called Niyamas while those to be avoided are called Yamas.
  • The five yamas listed by Patanjali
    • Ahimsa (अहिंसा) – Non violence.
    • Satya (सत्य) – Truthfulness.
    • Asteya (अस्तेय) – Non-stealing.
    • Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य) – Celibacy, non-cheating on one’s partner.
    • Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः) – Non-avarice, non-possessiveness.
  • Yogasutra list the Niyamas as –
    • Sauca – purity, clearness of mind-speech and Body
    • Santosa – contentment, acceptance of others, acceptance of one’s circumstances as they ar win order to get past or change them.
    • Tapas – persistence, perseverance , austerity.
    • Svadhyaya – study of Vedas, study of self, self- reflection.
    • Ishvarapranidhana – contemplation of God, Brahma , True self.
  • According to Yoga school, Cause of Suffering is Ignorance. Removal of ignorance, can be achieved through knowledge and self-awareness, and Yoga Sutra tells us how to accomplish this.
  • Samadhi is the state where ecstatic awareness develops, and this is how one starts the process of becoming aware of Purusha and true self.
  • It further claims that this awareness is eternal, and once this awareness is achieved, a person cannot ever cease being aware; this is moksha.
  • Yoga literally means the union of two principal entities. Yogic techniques control body, mind and sense organs, thus considered as a means of achieving freedom or mukti.
  • This freedom can be attained by –
    • Yama – practising self control.
    • Niyama – observation of rules.
    • Asana – fixed postures.
    • Pranayama – Breath control.
    • Pratyahara – Choosing an object.
    • Dharna – Fixing the mind.
    • Dhyana – Concentrating on the chosen object.
    • Samadhi – Complete dissolution of the self, merging the mind and the object.
  • Various branches of Yoga school are –
    • Raja Yoga
    • Karma Yoga
    • Jnana Yoga
    • Bhakti Yoga
    • Hatha Yoga
Yoga philosophy

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