Role of kriyayoga in Patanjali Yoga Sutra

All the traditional commentators are unanimous while commenting on the Sutra II.l, that the practice of kriyayoga is essential for those who have not attained a balanced state of body and mind. But later on, while commenting on the sutras related to the eight components of yoga, they seem to interpret these components of kriyayoga merely in terms of astangayoga11. They say that all the practices described in the yogasutras are all well-integrated in astangayoga itself.

As a result, there is a prevalent underestimation regarding the need for kriyayoga among the sadhakas. In this article, therefore, an attempt has been made to highlight the key and significant role assigned by Patanjali to kriyayoga so that its practical utility for the students and yoga-sadhakas for making better progress in yoga may become clear.

Patanjali has presented kriyayoga in the first Sutra itself of Sadhana-pada, indicating that the sadhana or actual practice of yoga begins verily with kriyayoga. The sadhaka should undergo the kriyayoga discipline to acquire the necessary knowledge and for the weakening of the powerful grip of the Mesas13 like avidya, asmita, raga, dvesa and abbinivesa upon his being. These klesas are at the root cause of his sufferings and bondages.

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Article was first published in Yoga-Mimamsa. YM, the quarterly publication of Kaivalyadhama (www.kdham.com), is the oldest (since 1924) peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary research journal on yoga.Yoga Mīmāṃsā (YM), the quarterly publication of Kaivalyadhama (www.kdham.com), is the oldest (since 1924) peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary research journal on yoga. Visit their site www.kdham.com

Article is courtesy and copyright Kaivalyadhama Lonavala, Maharashtra, India.