Yoga’s introduction is “Atha yoga anusasan”. It is first yoga sutra of patanjali yoga sutras.
Purpose of describing this sutra is to explaining it’s meaning as it is. It is very important for yoga practitioner before admitting one-self in yoga to understand (What yoga is) its meaning, so that he can choose right path or guidance for himself.
“Now we start it”.
Atha yoga anusasan
Now begins instructions on yoga or we can also say “Now starts the discipline of yoga” because instructions & discipline both are a process to learning which has set of rules and regulations.
lets understand this sutra word by word.
Atha- means (now & therefore) this word ‘atha’ or ‘now’ is used there where previous works are done and one is ready to start new work. Which means these instructions on yoga are connected with some previous instructions.
Lets understand it with an example-
Such as in order to take admission in university in medical sciences one requires to have high school (Fundamental education) from science background so that one can understand whatever will be taught in university.
Similarly it is with yoga teachings one requires to go through it’s preliminaries (Fundamental education) Which are karma & bhakti yoga, karma yoga covers all yamas and bhakti yoga covers all niyamas. Karma yoga and bhakti yoga are performed to purify one-self to start experiencing union with supreme consciousness. One can’t understand practices of yoga unless one has gone through preliminaries of yoga. Without union with one-self neither learning or teaching can be done.
That is why ghagwan patanjali is expressing (now) these students are fully prepared to understand the teachings of yoga, Teachings will be useful and fruitful for them.
Anu-shasan- the word ‘anu’ means previous and ‘shasan’ means instructions so the whole word means following the traditional teachings of yoga. Studying under the guidance of true guru and following guru & disciple tradition.
Yoga- means (samadhi) union with true self.
This is the meaning of whole sutra (atha yoga anusasan), In my next post i will explain sutra no -2 (What is yoga ?).
Described by- Himanshu ji
Published by- www.himalayanyogaashram.com