As yoga has many meanings and definitions which really depend on which aspect of yoga we follow. In this chapter we going to look into some of the classical definitions of yoga from scriptures.
Patajnali in first sutra in chapter one states that “Yoga is path or discipline”. This first sutra explains that we need to follow discipline to achieve success in yoga.
While in next verse Patanjali says that “yoga is stilling or quietening of mind”. This really describes yoga as process of mental clarity freedom from whirlpools of our mind, which is to free our mundane mind from its attachment to worldly desires causing all these mental activities.
But then in next verse he states yoga as the end goal. He describes “Self to be merged or be one with Trues Self”. This is known as Samadhi or Union.
Further he explains yoga as Ashtanga Yoga or Raja Yoga, which describes eight steps or limbs we have follow to attain liberation or self-realization. These eight limbs are Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.
IN Bhagavat Gita Lord Krishna explains many beautiful meanings and types of yoga. Krishna really explains for more details of yoga as many paths or manifold overlapping ideas and concepts for health, harmony and evolutions.
One of the commonly known verse is “yoga karmesu kausalam- yoga is skill in your action”. Swami Gitananada Giriji explains this as “do your best and leave the rest”. In practice it means doing what needs to be done to your best without being attached to the fruits or outcomes.
He also explains “yoga samatva ujyate- yoga in equanimity”. Living in equanimity, peace and harmony in each and every situation. Not get over excited when you get more then you expect and not getting stressed or depressed when things are not the way you expecting them to go.
Samkhya Yoga describes yoga as Samadhi or highest realization as it says “Yogah samadhih” (Vyasa on P.Y.S. I/1)- means yoga is Samadhi”. Samadhi is not easy to be translated linguistically is it’s a state to experience where seer becomes one with its own true self. It is state where sadhaka is free from its duality or purusha or soul becomes free from its Prakriti or inherited nature.