Yoga Darsana

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Yoga Darsana Mean?

Yoga darsana is typically defined as the yoga system of philosophy and is usually associated with Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which codified this darsana. A Sanskrit term, yoga means “unity” and darsana translates as “vision” or “way of seeing the world.”

There are six orthodox darsanas in Hindu philosophy, of which yoga darsana is one of the most ancient. The goal of yoga darsana is to realize the ultimate reality and obtain spiritual liberation.


Yogapedia Explains Yoga Darsana

The great sage, Patanjali, organized and systematized the study of the human internal states and yogic teachings into 196 sutras. These sutras are called the Yoga Sutras, or the yoga darsana.

According to yoga darsana, the universe is the result of the interaction of nature (prakriti) and the self (purusha). The objective of yoga is to still disturbances of the mind in order to reach a goal of unity with the universe, also known as enlightenment or liberation. These mental obstacles prevent liberation. To help calm the mind, yoga darsana dictates both moral and practical steps. The Sutras describe these as the Eight Limbs of Yoga. They include yama (integrity, ethics), niyama (self-discipline and spiritual observance), asana (posture or pose), pranayama (control of the breath), pratyahara (withdrawal from the external world and detachment from the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation, contemplation) and samadhi (the state of being one with the Divine; ecstasy).

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