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Celibacy/Abstinence/Astanga Yoga in Kali Yuga


QUESTION: Dhananjay, I've heard from the bhakti-yogis that the proccess of attaining samadhi in our age, Kali Yuga, through astanga-yoga is almost impossible, having in mind that it is very difficult to put the eight angas in practice in a perfect way.
They say that it can be achieved by following refulative principles like brahmacharya and sattvic food offered to Sri Krishna and japa-mala on brahmamuhurta...

What is your opinion about it?

Do you think that an ordinary person can hold an asana for 3 hours if he practice, and after it be sucessful in pranayama without a guru, just by an autodidactic study?

I'm very confused because if it was impossible in our age to practice it, books like Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita and the stories in the book Autobiography Of A Yogi would not have been possible to write in Kali Yuga.

Please, clarify my doubts.

ANSWER: 1. Samadhi is attained by the grace of the Lord and not through one's efforts. After the Yogi dissolves the impediment Samskara-s (impressions) blocking Samadhi, he still fails to attain it. Then, he lets go of even the effort "I am striving" and gives in to the Lord, letting go of the 'I-Ego', through complete 'Saranagati' (surrender), following which Nirvikalpam occurs in short phases, to gradually become longer.

2. To claim one path alone as the way to the Lord, is like claiming one kind of food alone to give health and strength. Just as there are as many kinds of foods as there are people, there are that many paths to merge into the self (Samadhi). Each one chooses that which is destined. Yuga (period) has nothing to do with it. This is the truth.

3. All are ordinary and all become extra-ordinary, when the Ego is given up. With practice and devotion, that which is necessary will be attained.

One should do his Sadhana and work at negating the Ego. Then, the right path will be known from within. It is very simple.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: When you say about the path which is destined, is it related to the previous Samskaras that the person pursuits? How does this destination works?

How can one develop and keep increasing his devotion?

How to superate the necessity of attaining knowledge of various yogic paths without choosing and practicing strictly any of them, and put finally the attained knowledge into practice?

Concerning about the Sadhana, what path do you follow? Do you practice Astanga-Yoga?
How is your Sadhana composed? How long have you been following it?

Thanks for your responses!

1. Both past Samskara-s and the will of the Higher power govern destiny.

2. As one slowly dissolves the Avidya (ignorance) surrounding the Atman (self), devotion increases by itself. One has to put in Sadhana to attain the same.

3. The higher power will take one in the correct path, when one's longing and efforts are genuine.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)  


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Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.


The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."


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