Yoga Darshana

Definition - What does Yoga Darshana mean?

Yoga darshana is one of the six darshanas, or ways of viewing the world, according to Hindu philosophy. Thousands of years ago, Patanjali codified the yoga point of view, or yoga darshana, in his Yoga Sutras. While Patanjali did not found or discover yoga, his writings set forth the philosophy of yoga. According to yoga darshana, the goal in life is union ("yoga") with the Ultimate Reality, a state of enlightenment called samadhi.

The other five darshanas of Hindu philosophy are: samkhya, nyaya, vaisheshika, mimamsa and vedanta.

Yogapedia explains Yoga Darshana

Through physical and spiritual practice, yogis are devoted to creating a union between mind, body and spirit. According to yoga darshana, 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 so the self can be liberated. These mental obstacles prevent liberation. To help calm the mind, yoga darshana requires both moral and practical steps known as the Eight Limbs of Yoga. They include:

  • Yama – integrity, ethics.
  • Niyama – self-discipline and spiritual observance.
  • Asana – posture or pose.
  • Pranayama – breath control exercises.
  • Pratyahara – withdrawal from the external world and detachment from the senses.
  • Dharana – concentration.
  • Dhyana – meditation, contemplation.
  • Samadhi – the state of being one with the Divine; ecstasy.

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