Thursday, August 30, 2012

Patanjali on the breath

Mmm, all u louts:) I had asked about Patanjali and pranayama references. I ask, because unlike masters and savants, I do not know. When I ask, I also wonder and then, I try to find out. Which explains why I took so long to blog about the quizz on Patanjali and the breath. He makes very few references .. in the second chapter(verse 29) , he mentions it as one of the steps. But his more famous reference run from verses 2.49 to 2.52. Here too he maintains his dry sere self, so lots of interpretations float as to the exact detailing of his references to pranayama in these scanty verses. He simply states, expecting u to know what he speaks of (he was clearly speaking to a practising audience) saying Pranayama involves inhalation, exhalation, and retention. That this is achieved when the posture is perfected. And in turn, it leads to the next stage of perfect focus. Then he talks of the fourth pranayama which helps tear the veil. Here, the translators have a blast, and add their own interpretations. What is this pranayama he speaks of... an expanded consciousness, Prana, the cosmic energy and touching base with that.. How big, that would be, for those of us still struggling with the ratio of 4-16-8:)!!

Yes, for those of us struggling, pranayama is the key -- it can perfect your posture, help u deal with the nine obstacles Patanjali warns of ;-- disease, indecision, laziness, procrastination, failure to progress, failure to maintain what one has achieved, craving, mental distractions, delusions.

Btw the Madhya Pradesh government celebrates Patanjali week in Oct end, for yoga lovers and shoppers. Apparently the rishi was born in Gondarmau village. U may get the details on the government website. But a long meandering account of this village is so boring, that one wonders why there cannot be some enlightened projection of yoga in India. A passing line in this commentary on the village says that since Patanjali is also associated with Vatsyayan he may be the creator of Kama Sutra.

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