Monday, September 22, 2014

Dharana (Patanjali's 8 Limbs of Yoga)

Namaskaram
Image Courtesy of Yoga Philosophy Page

Dharana - 6th Limb

The 6th limb of patanjali yogsutra is dharana or concentration , the previous limbs are mentioned in the previous posts 

Dharana (concentration) is the process of holding or fixing the attention of mind onto one object or place, and is the sixth of the eight limbs . concentration and meditation have minute difference The repeated continuation, or uninterrupted stream of that one point of focus is called absorption in meditation (dhyana), and is the seventh of the eight steps . The repeated continuation, or uninterrupted stream of that one point of focus is called absorption in meditation (dhyana), and is the seventh of the eight limbs , there is minute difference bw concentration and meditation , The repeated concentration on the one object of concentration is meditation. Typically, there is a moment of concentration, when there are no distractions. Then, a moment later a distraction comes. Then, attention lets go of the distraction, and returns to the object of concentration. However, when that distraction does not happen, the continued concentration on the one object is called meditation. meditation is a process which comes from within , you can do concentration but you cannot do meditation , meditation comes naturally after deep practice of concentration .
Dharana is the initial step of deep concentrative meditation, where the object being focused upon is held in the mind without consciousness wavering from it. The difference between Dharaṇa, Dhyana, and Samadhi (the three together constituting Samyama) is that in the former, the object of meditation, the meditator, and the act of meditation itself remain separate. That is, the meditator or the meditator's meta-awareness is conscious of meditating (that is, is conscious of the act of meditation) on an object, and of his or her own self, which is concentrating on the object. In the subsequent stage of Dhyāna, as the meditator becomes more advanced, consciousness of the act of meditation disappears, and only the consciousness of being/existing and the object of concentration exist (in the mind). In the final stage of Samādhi, the ego-mind also dissolves, and the meditator becomes one with the object. 
Dharana is the fixing of the mind on something external or internal. The mind can be fixed externally on the picture of Lord Krishna or Lord shiva or on any other object or point. Internally it can be fixed on any Chakra or any part of the body or on any abstract idea. Having controlled the Prana through Pranayama and the Indriyas through Pratyahara, you should try to fix the mind on something. In Dharana you will have only one Vritti or wave in the mind-lake. The mind assumes the form of only one object. All other operations of the mind are suspended or stopped. Different objects of Dharana and their effects are given in the subsequent lessons. According to the Hatha Yogic school, a Yogi who can suspend his breath by Kumbhaka for 20 minutes can have a very good Dharana. He will have tranquillity of mind. Pranayama steadies the mind, removes the Vikshepa and increases the power of concentration. Fixing the mind on something is Dharana or concentration of mind. Dharana can be done only if you are free from the distractions of mind. 

By concentrating on the tip of the nose, the Yogi experiences Divya Gandha; by concentrating on the tip of the tongue, he tastes Divya essences; by concentrating on the palate, the Yogi experiences Divya colour; by concentrating on the middle of the tongue, he experiences Divya touch; by concentrating at the root of the tongue, he experiences Divya sounds. By concentrating on these super-sensual perceptions, he gets steadiness of mind. These experiences give him definite encouragement. He gets faith in Yoga.
He who practises concentration will possess a very good health and very cheerful mental vision. Through concentration you will get penetrative insight. Subtle esoteric meanings will flash out in the field of mental consciousness. You will understand the inner depths of philosophical significance when you read the Gita or the Upanishads with concentration. Those who practise concentration evolve quickly. They can do any work with greater efficiency. What others can do in six hours, can be done by one who does concentration, within half an hour. What others can read in six hours, can be read by one who does concentration, within half an hour. Concentration purifies and calms the surging emotions, strengthens the current of thought and clarifies the ideas. Concentration keeps a man in his material progress also. He will have a very good out-turn of work in his office. What was cloudy and hazy before, becomes clearer and definite; what was difficult before becomes easy now; and what was complex, bewildering and confusing before, comes easily within the mental grasp. You can achieve anything through concentration. Nothing is impossible for one who practises regular concentration.
It is very difficult to practise concentration when one is very hungry and when one is suffering from an acute disease. Train the mind in concentrating on various objects gross and subtle and of various sizes big, medium and small. In course of time a strong habit of concentration will be formed. The moment you sit for concentration, the mood will come at once, quite easily.
For a neophyte the practice of concentration is disgusting and tiring. He has to cut new grooves in the mind and the brain. After some time, say two or three months' regular practice, he gets great interest. He enjoys a new kind of happiness. He becomes restless if he fails to enjoy this new kind of happiness one day. Concentration is the only way to get rid of worldly miseries and tribulations. You have taken this physical body only to achieve concentration and through concentration to realise the Self.
Dharana is the initial step of deep concentrative meditation, where the object being focused upon is held in the mind without consciousness wavering from it. The difference between Dharaṇa, Dhyana, and Samadhi (the three together constituting Samyama) is that in the former, the object of meditation, the meditator, and the act of meditation itself remain separate. That is, the meditator or the meditator's meta-awareness is conscious of meditating (that is, is conscious of the act of meditation) on an object, and of his or her own self, which is concentrating on the object. In the subsequent stage of Dhyāna, as the meditator becomes more advanced, consciousness of the act of meditation disappears, and only the consciousness of being/existing and the object of concentration exist (in the mind). In the final stage of Samādhi, the ego-mind also dissolves, and the meditator becomes one with the object. 
Dharana is the fixing of the mind on something external or internal. The mind can be fixed externally on the picture of Lord Krishna or Lord shiva or on any other object or point. Internally it can be fixed on any Chakra or any part of the body or on any abstract idea. Having controlled the Prana through Pranayama and the Indriyas through Pratyahara, you should try to fix the mind on something. In Dharana you will have only one Vritti or wave in the mind-lake. The mind assumes the form of only one object. All other operations of the mind are suspended or stopped. Different objects of Dharana and their effects are given in the subsequent lessons. According to the Hatha Yogic school, a Yogi who can suspend his breath by Kumbhaka for 20 minutes can have a very good Dharana. He will have tranquillity of mind. Pranayama steadies the mind, removes the Vikshepa and increases the power of concentration. Fixing the mind on something is Dharana or concentration of mind. Dharana can be done only if you are free from the distractions of mind. 
By concentrating on the tip of the nose, the Yogi experiences Divya Gandha; by concentrating on the tip of the tongue, he tastes Divya essences; by concentrating on the palate, the Yogi experiences Divya colour; by concentrating on the middle of the tongue, he experiences Divya touch; by concentrating at the root of the tongue, he experiences Divya sounds. By concentrating on these super-sensual perceptions, he gets steadiness of mind. These experiences give him definite encouragement. He gets faith in Yoga.
He who practises concentration will possess a very good health and very cheerful mental vision. Through concentration you will get penetrative insight. Subtle esoteric meanings will flash out in the field of mental consciousness. You will understand the inner depths of philosophical significance when you read the Gita or the Upanishads with concentration. Those who practise concentration evolve quickly. They can do any work with greater efficiency. What others can do in six hours, can be done by one who does concentration, within half an hour. What others can read in six hours, can be read by one who does concentration, within half an hour. Concentration purifies and calms the surging emotions, strengthens the current of thought and clarifies the ideas. Concentration keeps a man in his material progress also. He will have a very good out-turn of work in his office. What was cloudy and hazy before, becomes clearer and definite; what was difficult before becomes easy now; and what was complex, bewildering and confusing before, comes easily within the mental grasp. You can achieve anything through concentration. Nothing is impossible for one who practises regular concentration.
For a neophyte the practice of concentration is disgusting and tiring. He has to cut new grooves in the mind and the brain. After some time, say two or three months' regular practice, he gets great interest. He enjoys a new kind of happiness. He becomes restless if he fails to enjoy this new kind of happiness one day. Concentration is the only way to get rid of worldly miseries and tribulations. You have taken this physical body only to achieve concentration and through concentration to realise the Self.
Dharana is the initial step of deep concentrative meditation, where the object being focused upon is held in the mind without consciousness wavering from it. The difference between Dharaṇa, Dhyana, and Samadhi (the three together constituting Samyama) is that in the former, the object of meditation, the meditator, and the act of meditation itself remain separate. That is, the meditator or the meditator's meta-awareness is conscious of meditating (that is, is conscious of the act of meditation) on an object, and of his or her own self, which is concentrating on the object. In the subsequent stage of Dhyāna, as the meditator becomes more advanced, consciousness of the act of meditation disappears, and only the consciousness of being/existing and the object of concentration exist (in the mind). In the final stage of Samādhi, the ego-mind also dissolves, and the meditator becomes one with the object. 
Dharana is the fixing of the mind on something external or internal. The mind can be fixed externally on the picture of Lord Krishna or Lord shiva or on any other object or point. Internally it can be fixed on any Chakra or any part of the body or on any abstract idea. Having controlled the Prana through Pranayama and the Indriyas through Pratyahara, you should try to fix the mind on something. In Dharana you will have only one Vritti or wave in the mind-lake. The mind assumes the form of only one object. All other operations of the mind are suspended or stopped. Different objects of Dharana and their effects are given in the subsequent lessons. According to the Hatha Yogic school, a Yogi who can suspend his breath by Kumbhaka for 20 minutes can have a very good Dharana. He will have tranquillity of mind. Pranayama steadies the mind, removes the Vikshepa and increases the power of concentration. Fixing the mind on something is Dharana or concentration of mind. Dharana can be done only if you are free from the distractions of mind. 
By concentrating on the tip of the nose, the Yogi experiences Divya Gandha; by concentrating on the tip of the tongue, he tastes Divya essences; by concentrating on the palate, the Yogi experiences Divya colour; by concentrating on the middle of the tongue, he experiences Divya touch; by concentrating at the root of the tongue, he experiences Divya sounds. By concentrating on these super-sensual perceptions, he gets steadiness of mind. These experiences give him definite encouragement. He gets faith in Yoga.
He who practises concentration will possess a very good health and very cheerful mental vision. Through concentration you will get penetrative insight. Subtle esoteric meanings will flash out in the field of mental consciousness. You will understand the inner depths of philosophical significance when you read the Gita or the Upanishads with concentration. Those who practise concentration evolve quickly. They can do any work with greater efficiency. What others can do in six hours, can be done by one who does concentration, within half an hour. What others can read in six hours, can be read by one who does concentration, within half an hour. Concentration purifies and calms the surging emotions, strengthens the current of thought and clarifies the ideas. Concentration keeps a man in his material progress also. He will have a very good out-turn of work in his office. What was cloudy and hazy before, becomes clearer and definite; what was difficult before becomes easy now; and what was complex, bewildering and confusing before, comes easily within the mental grasp. You can achieve anything through concentration. Nothing is impossible for one who practises regular concentration.
It is very difficult to practise concentration when one is very hungry and when one is suffering from an acute disease. Train the mind in concentrating on various objects gross and subtle and of various sizes big, medium and small. In course of time a strong habit of concentration will be formed. The moment you sit for concentration, the mood will come at once, quite easily.
For a neophyte the practice of concentration is disgusting and tiring. He has to cut new grooves in the mind and the brain. After some time, say two or three months' regular practice, he gets great interest. He enjoys a new kind of happiness. He becomes restless if he fails to enjoy this new kind of happiness one day. Concentration is the only way to get rid of worldly miseries and tribulations. You have taken this physical body only to achieve concentration and through concentration to realise the Self.
Dharana is the initial step of deep concentrative meditation, where the object being focused upon is held in the mind without consciousness wavering from it. The difference between Dharaṇa, Dhyana, and Samadhi (the three together constituting Samyama) is that in the former, the object of meditation, the meditator, and the act of meditation itself remain separate. That is, the meditator or the meditator's meta-awareness is conscious of meditating (that is, is conscious of the act of meditation) on an object, and of his or her own self, which is concentrating on the object. In the subsequent stage of Dhyāna, as the meditator becomes more advanced, consciousness of the act of meditation disappears, and only the consciousness of being/existing and the object of concentration exist (in the mind). In the final stage of Samādhi, the ego-mind also dissolves, and the meditator becomes one with the object. 
Dharana is the fixing of the mind on something external or internal. The mind can be fixed externally on the picture of Lord Krishna or Lord shiva or on any other object or point. Internally it can be fixed on any Chakra or any part of the body or on any abstract idea. Having controlled the Prana through Pranayama and the Indriyas through Pratyahara, you should try to fix the mind on something. In Dharana you will have only one Vritti or wave in the mind-lake. The mind assumes the form of only one object. All other operations of the mind are suspended or stopped. Different objects of Dharana and their effects are given in the subsequent lessons. According to the Hatha Yogic school, a Yogi who can suspend his breath by Kumbhaka for 20 minutes can have a very good Dharana. He will have tranquillity of mind. Pranayama steadies the mind, removes the Vikshepa and increases the power of concentration. Fixing the mind on something is Dharana or concentration of mind. Dharana can be done only if you are free from the distractions of mind. 
By concentrating on the tip of the nose, the Yogi experiences Divya Gandha; by concentrating on the tip of the tongue, he tastes Divya essences; by concentrating on the palate, the Yogi experiences Divya colour; by concentrating on the middle of the tongue, he experiences Divya touch; by concentrating at the root of the tongue, he experiences Divya sounds. By concentrating on these super-sensual perceptions, he gets steadiness of mind. These experiences give him definite encouragement. He gets faith in Yoga.
He who practises concentration will possess a very good health and very cheerful mental vision. Through concentration you will get penetrative insight. Subtle esoteric meanings will flash out in the field of mental consciousness. You will understand the inner depths of philosophical significance when you read the Gita or the Upanishads with concentration. Those who practise concentration evolve quickly. They can do any work with greater efficiency. What others can do in six hours, can be done by one who does concentration, within half an hour. What others can read in six hours, can be read by one who does concentration, within half an hour. Concentration purifies and calms the surging emotions, strengthens the current of thought and clarifies the ideas. Concentration keeps a man in his material progress also. He will have a very good out-turn of work in his office. What was cloudy and hazy before, becomes clearer and definite; what was difficult before becomes easy now; and what was complex, bewildering and confusing before, comes easily within the mental grasp. You can achieve anything through concentration. Nothing is impossible for one who practises regular concentration.
It is very difficult to practise concentration when one is very hungry and when one is suffering from an acute disease. Train the mind in concentrating on various objects gross and subtle and of various sizes big, medium and small. In course of time a strong habit of concentration will be formed. The moment you sit for concentration, the mood will come at once, quite easily.
For a neophyte the practice of concentration is disgusting and tiring. He has to cut new grooves in the mind and the brain. After some time, say two or three months' regular practice, he gets great interest. He enjoys a new kind of happiness. He becomes restless if he fails to enjoy this new kind of happiness one day. Concentration is the only way to get rid of worldly miseries and tribulations. You have taken this physical body only to achieve concentration and through concentration to realise the Self.


It is very difficult to practise concentration when one is very hungry and when one is suffering from an acute disease. Train the mind in concentrating on various objects gross and subtle and of various sizes big, medium and small. In course of time a strong habit of concentration will be formed. The moment you sit for concentration, the mood will come at once, quite easily.

Om