(Last Updated on : 14/11/2014)
Contained in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Atha Yoganusasanam is the first yoga sutra. It has a deep connotation. Although it has a number of connotations yet the concept of "Samadhi" plays an important part.
- now, auspiciousness, a prayer, a blessing, benediction, authority, a good omen.
- joining, union, junction, combination, application, use, meaning result, deep meditation, concentration, contemplation of the Supreme Spirit.
- advice, direction, order, command, instructions, laying down rules and precepts, a revised text, introduction, or guide given in a procedural form. Thus it means guidance in the codes of conduct, which are to be observed, and which form the base from which to cultivate one's ethical and spiritual life.
The Brahma Sutra, a treatise dealing with Vedanta philosophy (the knowledge of Brahman), also begins with the word atha or 'now' - athato Brahma jijnasa. There, 'now' represents the yearning to know Brahman. Brahman is dealt with as the object of study and is discussed and researched throughout as the object. In the Yoga Sutras, it is the seer or the true Self who is to be ascertained and known. Yoga is thus considered as a subjective art, science and philosophy. 'Yoga' has several connotations, but here it symbolises samadhi, the inseparable state of existence.
So, this sutra may be taken to explain - 'the disciplines of integration are here expounded through experience, and are given to humanity for the exploration and recognition of that hidden part of man which is beyond the awareness of the senses'.