Yoga sutras II, 1-2 KRIYA YOGA



II, 1 tapah svadhayaya isvara-pranidanani kriya yoga
II, 2 samadhi bhavana artha klesa tanu karanarthah ca

The practical means
for attaining higher consciousness
consists of three components:
self-discipline and purification,
and devotion
to the Lord.

These practices
cultivate an attitude conducive
to being absorbed in Spirit
and minimize
the power
of the primal causes of suffering.[/b]

M. Stiles

Iyengar explains that Patanjali views the practice of yoga as kriya yoga or yoga of action. According to Iyengar, kriya yoga is the path to perfection and the three paths helps in the purification of the sadhaka?s body, speech and mind. Tapas as the self-discipline of body, senses, and mind; it is the path of action, karma marga, whose source is life. Svadhyaya is the self-study which purifies speech; it is the path of knowledge, jnana-marga, whose source is wisdom. Isvara pranidhana, is the purification of the mind by love and surrender; it is the path of devotion, bhakti marga, through which the sadhaka surrenders the ego to experience the Lord/Spirit.

Both Sw. Shyam and Satchidananda describe tapas as:
1- the action of performing work without harming anyone including oneself
2- the acceptance that suffering, struggles and hardships is how one becomes purified
3- control but not suppression.
Svadhyaya is the study of scriptures in order to develop self-awareness that deepens and ultimately leads to the experience of the True Self. Isvara pranidanah is the ?surrender to the Supreme Being?..and is the dedication of ?the fruits of your actions to God or to humanity ? God in manifestation.?

Iyengar, B.K.S. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. New Delhi, India: Harper Collins Publications India. 1993

Swami Satchidananda. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Buckingham, VA: Integral Yoga Publications. 2004

Stiles, M. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Boston, MA: Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. 2002
Swami Shyam, Patanjali Yog Darshan, India: International Meditation Institute, 2001, 3rd. edition.


“Devotion to the Lord.”

It must be understood that the world today is much different when the sutra’s has been written.
Today we face a brute materialism, where this sentence is meaningless for a lot of people. But self discipline and self study is not. Discipline can lead to awarness, and awarness to discovery of sacred.

For some, devotion to the Lord comes easy as part as a religious heritage. These people are often weak in the other areas, self discipline and self study.
Faith alone is not enough, we have so strong reason today, we must use it to understand.

I think yoga should be taught as they teach things in Waldorf schools. The student, with his individuality comes first. The same teacher might say one thing to one student and the exact opposite to another, as they might need toatally different approaches, and impulses. That’s why I believe the traditional Master-pupil method is best. Generalities are weak. Personal little details are powerful. But this is digression.

I can’s stop being amazed how much the sutras say with so little.


You can say that again. Patanjali was truly receiving a message from god.