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Understanding or intelligence is

The driver of the chariot of the body, 

Driven by the horses of the senses,

Which are controlled by the reins of the mind.



The chariot with its sensitive steeds represents the psycho-physical vehicle in which the self rides. Mind holds the reins. It may either control or be dragged by the team of the senses.






The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning TO UNITE.

Any discipline or method that unites one with the Supreme is called YOGA.


According to Patanjali, Yoga is the cessation of the activities of the mind.


According to the SANKHYA PHILOSOPHY, YOGA means separation (disunion, viyoga) of spirit from matter.


In the words of Sri Aurobindo, the mystic Indian philosopher, YOGA means a methodized effort towards self perfection by the expression of the potentialities latent in the being and a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent Existence we see partially expressed in man and in the cosmos.


The beginnings of the Yoga system are to be found in the Upanisads (ca 800 BCE). It is the conviction of the Upanisad writers that the reality is not rightly perceived by our imperfect understandings. The mind of man is compared by them to a mirror in which reality is reflected. The extent to which we know reality depends on the state of our mind, whether it can respond to the full wealth of reality or not.1

The Yoga method gives directions how to refine the mind and improve the mirror, keep it clean by keeping out what is peculiar to the individual.1



Yoga means the discipline by which we can train ourselves to bear the shocks of the world with the central being of our soul untouched. It is the method or the instrument (upaya), by which the end can be gained. 


The Yoga writers introduce the concepts of the subconscious and the unconscious mind as determining instinctive tendencies, and also as showing how, by the process of yoga, the efforts of the conscious mind can dominate over the subconscious and the unconscious...



When yoga is defined as suppression of the modifications of the mind-stuff,  it must be understood not only as the stoppage of the flow of presentations but also as the eradication of those potencies or latent tendencies that generate new streams of thought and new lines of action..
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The first chapter of the Gita (The hesitation and despondency of Arjuna) ends in dejection and sorrow and this is also called YOGA, as this darkness of the soul is an essential step in the progress to spiritual life.



(Photo: Source: Photo Credit: Michael Jardine)


We know that some forms of yoga practice were probably prevalent in India as early as 3000 BCE.


The beginnings of the Yoga system are to be found in the Upanisads (ca 800 BCE).


A definite form of yoga practices and some of the stages of yoga meditation were given probably for the first time by GAUTAM Buddha...




Yoga is a system of psychic discipline by which we can clear the intellect; free the mind of its illusions. Only a trained mind, which utterly controls the body, can inquire and meditate never for a moment losing sight of the object, never for a moment letting it be obscured. 


The secret of yoga is inwardness, self-scrutiny and inner cleansing...



Yoga is the complete control of the different elements of our nature, psychical and physical and of harnessing them to the highest end.




Patanjali's yoga (ca 300 CE) is a system of psychic discipline by which we can clear the intellect, free the mind of its illusions and get a direct perception of reality.1

It was laid down that the humours of the body, the secretions and the sense organs were to be kept in proper order before yoga could be satisfactorily practised. ...... Concentration cannot thrive when body refuses to act as a pliant tool in the hands of the yogin and sets up organic disturbances.

The way to reach steadiness of mind is by concentration or fixing the thought for a time on one particular object by effacing all others. Only practice helps us to grow perfect in this art.1

Yoga leads us to find the path of the inward journey to our own self. It explores the inner world of consciousness and helps to integrate the conscious and the sub-conscious.

Many a times our mind is clouded, our convictions unsettled, we are confused. We are touched by life's anxieties. We are sometimes engulfed by utter blackness.

If we make a habit of looking inward with the help of meditation, we can probably avoid such unhappy moments in our lives.






In India, the interest of philosophy is in the self of man.

True life is the inner life.

Within man is the spirit that is the centre of everything…. (2)  


The yoga can be best described as a manual of psychological ethics.




















 Indian Philosophy by Radhakrishnan

The cultural Heritage of India (Vol. III) - published by The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, India

The Principal Upanisads by S. Radhakrishnan

The Bhagavadgita by Radhakrishnan