Universal Consciousness

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Universal Consciousness Mean?

Universal consciousness is a state of awareness in which the individual yoga's consciousness becomes one with the universe, or Brahman, the Ultimate Reality. It is the goal of yoga and of the eightfold path of yoga that Patanjali describes in the Yoga Sutras.

Through yoga, the yogi experiences ever-deepening levels of consciousness until reaching the state of universal consciousness, which is also referred to as Self-realization. At this stage, the individual Self is united with the Ultimate Reality.


Yogapedia Explains Universal Consciousness

To reach the state of the universal consciousness, there are a number of different paths. Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga comprise perhaps the best-known of these paths. It includes yamas (correct behavior), niyamas (ethical principles), asanas (physical practice), and pranayama (breathing exercises) all of which prepare the yoga to explore deeper consciousness.

The last four limbs take the yogi ever deeper: pratyahara (turning the senses inward), dharana (focused attention – beginning meditation), dhyana (deeper meditation) and samadhi (union with the divine or universe). In some traditions, samadhi is the state of universal consciousness, while in others, it is the final stepping stone.

Universal consciousness is sometimes called the universal mind, especially in non-yoga contexts. It is what connects all existence. In yoga, it is the true Self, which transcends space and time.

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