Definition - What does Apara Prakriti mean?
Apara prakriti is the external world as can be experienced by the senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste). Its opposite is para prakriti, which is the inner or spiritual world. The name comes from the Sanskrit apara, meaning “lower,” and prakriti, meaning “nature” or “source.” Prakriti is the primal matter or creative energy. Apara prakriti, then, can be considered the lower nature of human existence.
Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, called apara prakriti “cosmic delusion,” meaning it pulls the yogi into lower states of consciousness.
Yogapedia explains Apara Prakriti
Apara prakriti is the force that leads a person's self or soul outward. This force draws the yogi away from the ultimate goal of yoga – union with the source of all creation or the higher Self. Yoga practices like meditation, pranayama and asana are methods to reach this goal. At that point, the yoga can achieve enlightenment or liberation from the recurring cycle of life, death and rebirth.
The eightfold path as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras is one of the most recognized and followed paths to liberation. But to complete this journey, the yogi must deal with apara prakriti and instead rely on para prakriti.