Archive for Pratyahara

Four Steps towards Samadhi

  1. First steps – Yama and Niyama
    1. Yama: Yama means restraint. It has five parts: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmcharya, Aparigraha.
      1. Ahimsa (Non-Violence): Ahimsa means not to trouble any living being either by mind, speech or deeds.
      2. Satya (Truth): To have a firm faith in the truth, truthful speech and truthful behavior. Where mind, speech and deeds are different, the truth is missing there.
      3. Asteya (Non-stealing): It means not to steal and to be satisfied with whatever is owned. Anything that belongs to others should not be taken by mind, speech or deeds.
      4. Brahmcharya (Celibacy): It means try to concentrate all thoughts in God, restrain yourself from luxuries by mind, speech and deeds. Except your own wife every elderly woman is to be considered like mother, woman of equal age as sister and young ones as a daughter.
      5. Aparigraha (Not to accumulate in excess): It means not to think about the wealth of the others and be content with whatever you have.
    2. Niyama: Niyama means pledge or oath, in other words a self-discipline. Whatever is heard in the pravachanas (sermons) of the Guru, to follow the same strictly is called Niyama. It too has five parts: Shaucha,  Santosha,Tapas, Swadhayaye, Ishawara Pranidana.
      1. Shaucha (Purity): It means purity of body, mind, speech, and deeds.
      2. Santosha (Contentment): To be satisfied with whatever is owned. In no way the mind should be allowed to stray into materialism of the world.
      3. Tapas (Control over senses): To train or discipline the sense and bearing of hunger, thirst, hot and cold weather, and benevolence to every living being.
      4. Swadhayaye (Study of Scriptures): Concentrate thoughts in the self, study and follow the scriptures.
      5. Ishawara Pranidana (Trust in God): It means to have a firm faith in God.

    With the practice of above-mentioned Yama and Niyama person cleanses and purifies his mind and becomes worthy of reaching the second step of Samadhi, the Pratyahara.

  2. Second step – Pratyahara: When all the senses of the knowledge (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin) are trained to be free from their individual infatuations or obsessions and submit to the control of mind and when mind becomes introvert, this is known as a state of Pratyahara. It needs a long practice indeed.
  3. Third step – Dharana: The third step to the Samadhi is Dharana (To attach the conscience to one place or point is called Dharana). When the introvert mind achieves the aim with the blessings of the Satguru (Guru), it is known as the state of Dharana.

    In this state there are three different centers before the mind, Dhyata (Sadhaka himself), Dhayeya (focal point) and the effort. Dharana too needs a practice for a long time like Pratyahara. If one tries to reach Dharana with immature Pratyahara, it would be a miserable failure. The same principle is applicable to the next stage also from Dharana. The aim of Dharana (affixing mind to a point) is also achieved with the blessings of the Guru only. In Dharana, Shradha that is devotion to the Guru, Aastha, which is faith in the focal point, and self-confidence are of utmost importance.

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