Pearls of Wisdom

Pratyahara & Its Fruit

Pratyahara - withdrawal of senses
Pratyahara, the fifth limb of ashtanga yoga in Yoga Philosophy

The fifth limb of ashtanga yoga, the eightfold path of yoga, is Pratyahara प्रत्याहार. Maharishi Patanjali has complied two sutras for pratyahara. The sutras are mentioned in the classical work on yoga, Patanjali Yoga Sutra. The first sutra defines the pratyahara and the second one talks about the fruit of practicing it.

Dharana (धारणा) – The Concentration

Dharana in Patanjali Yoga Sutra
Concentration (Dharana) in Yoga Philosophy

देश बन्धश्चित्तस्य धारणा॥१॥
Desha Bhandhashchittasya Dharana

Yoga Sutra defines the Dharana (धारणा – concentration) that is the 6th limb of Ashtanga Yoga by Maharishi Patanjali as “Concentration (dharana) is binding the chitta to a place.”

Mitahara – The Yogic Diet

Mitahara - the yogic diet

सुस्निग्ध-मधुराहारशचतुर्थांश-विवर्जितः |
भुज्यते शिव-सम्प्रीत्यै मिताहारः स उच्यते

susnighdha-madhurāhāraśchaturthāṃśa-vivarjitaḥ |
bhujyate śiva-samprītyai mitāhāraḥ sa uchyate ||

Agreeable and sweet food, leaving one fourth of the stomach free, and eaten as an offering to Lord Shiva is Mitahara (मिताहार).

Dhyanam – Meditation

तत्र प्रत्ययैकतानता ध्यानम् |
tatra pratyayaikatānatā dhyānam |

Above is the second sutra of vibhuti paad (3rd chapter) of patanjali yoga sutra.
The sutra defines the meditation here, it says an unbroken, continuous flow of knowledge of the object on which one is concentrating is called meditation or dhyana.

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