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Maharishi Patanjali

Who was Maharishi Patanjali ?
Maharishi Patanjali collated information on Yog. He lived sometime between 250 – 500 B.C
Patanjali was a swayambhu,i.e born on his own will, is considered an avatar of Adishesha, the serpent on which Lord Vishnu is seated. He assumed the human form and experienced the joys and sorrows and learned to transcend them. His work on Yog is known as ‘Yog Sutras’ which has 195 aphorisms which describe the ways of overcoming the fluctuations of the mind and afflictions of the body which are obstacle for spiritual development.

Patanjali also wrote ‘Mahabhasya’ a book on sanskrit grammar, which is also considered as a classic and he also wrote on Ayurveda..

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What is Chitta ?

‘Kathopanishad’ describes Yog as ‘when the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not –then say the wise , is reached the highest stage.’ This steady control of senses and mind has been defined as yog.
Maharishi Patanjali in his second aphorism of first chapter of Yogsutra says “yoga Chitta vritti nirodha” i.e yog restraints fluctuation of chitta. Some commentators mention Chitta as composed of (a) Mind/manas (b) Intelligence/buddhi & (c)ego/ahamkara and some commentators say that the ‘chitta’ is composed of 17 components which includes the ego and mind and they add the 5 gyanindriyas, 5 karmaindriyas and 5 pranas.

What is Yog ?

 

The word ‘Yog’ has originated from the sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means union of mind, body and soul. According to Maharishi Patanjali who collated the information about Yog sometime between 50 to 250 BC gives the definition of yog as “Yogah chitta vritti nirodhah”.

There is a mention of yog in the sixth chapter of the Bhagwad Geeta, where lord Krishna talks of uniting individual consciousness with ultimate consciousness.