original yoga system
A river begins its journey from pure and clean water sources in the mountains. Whilst we can find the clearest water at the beginning of the river, this water can often become muddy and contaminated as it flows downward and reaches the ocean.
By no means can water taken from the foot of a river show how clean and clear it actually was at its source. Therefore, if we try to determine its quality at the place where the river reaches the ocean, we will inevitably come to the wrong conclusions. If we want to understand the essence or the particularities of the river water, we need to examine it at its source.
There is one, original source of yoga
An explanation of The Original Yoga System can actually be found in Vedic literature.These explanations usually come in the format of a brief summary. The basic knowledge conveyed in Vedic literature is explained in more detail in the books of Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishada. Nevertheless, it is imperative that the techniques introduced in the Original Yoga System are learned in their particular aspects under the guidance of an actual Yoga master.
The Original Yoga System is called Maha-Yoga and consists of eight parts. These eight parts—technically referred to as Ashta-Anga— constitute elements of the general structure of the Original Yoga System. Ashta is the Sanskrit word for “eight” and Anga the Sanskrit word for “part”. In each of the eight parts there are hundreds of thousands of techniques introduced. Thus, the modus operandi of the basic practice consists of eight parts.
The Yoga system is based on progressive control. Yama (control) is developed step by step and reaches its highest level with Samyama (super-control). Sam which means “super” is attached here to Yama (control) as a prefix. Yama is closely linked to “concentration”. At this level of Samyama, concentration develops into super-concentration, which is called Samadhi. Concentration is at once linked to “connection”. When concentration reaches its highest level, connection becomes super-connection which is called Samyoga. Thus, at the level of super-control , concentration turns into super-concentration and connection into super-connection. The condition reached at this level is what we refer to as YOGA, which stands for unification. This explains why the Yoga system is considered to contain the following three aspects:
1. Samyama (Super-control)
2. Samadhi (Super-concentration)
3. Samyoga (Super-connection)
These three aspects which are closely connected with each other are constitutive—and therefore inseparable—parts of the Yoga system. Super concentration turns into superior concentration in the last stage of the Yoga system. At this stage consciousness fully merges with the object of concentration. As a result, super connection turns into true (superior) unification. This unification is realized between the individual soul and the Universal Soul. That is, the individual soul and the Universal Soul join into a unified whole. Since there is no more need for control at this stage, supercontrol turns into true freedom. Thus, the Yoga (unification) state turns into the state of Maha-Yoga (superior unification). It is in this state that individual consciousness reaches its highest level.
In order to arrive at this superior level of Yoga it is absolutely necessary that the power of control is developed step by step and in stages. An advancement on the way to spiritual evolution requires that the techniques constituting each of the eight stages of the Original Yoga System are practiced correctly and on a regular basis.