Ashtanga Yoga

Sri Swami Sivananda

Practice first Ahimsa or non-injuring,
Let this be in thought, word and deed,
Practice perfect truth and celibacy,
Truth alone triumphs but not falsehood.
Convert sex energy into spiritual Ojas,
Never steal others' property,
Covet not others' wealth,
Be pure within and without
Lead a life of contentment,
Practice Tapas to purify the heart,
And shine like the blazing fire,
Study the scriptures and roll the beads,
Abandon agency and expectation of results,
Make your will one with the cosmic Will,
Give up responsibilities and now be at ease.
Sit harmonised with head, neck trunk in a line,
Have God as your Supreme Goal,
Get mastery over the pose Padma or Siddha,
Sit adamant like that yonder rock.
Do not shake or scratch the body,
Body is a mould prepared by the mind,
If you shake the body, the mind will be agitated,
Have a seat of cloth, tiger-skin and Kusha grass.
Regulate the incoming and outgoing breath,
Practice Rechak Kumbhaka and Purak,
Retain not the breath beyond your capacity,
Purify thus the Nadis and steady the mind.
Now comes the withdrawal of the Indriyas,
This is Pratyahara or abstraction,
Which will check the out-going senses,
And keep them in their respective centres.
Fix the mind steadily on your point or Lakshya,
This is concentration which precedes meditation.
Allow the one thought of God to flow steadily.
This is meditation or divine contemplation.
Siddhis will manifest when there is concentration.
Shun them ruthlessly as they are obstacles.
Soar high in the realm of illimitable bliss,
Attain Kaivalya and achieve independence.
Samadhi will ensue after deep meditation,
Samadhi is super-consciousness that destroys Samskaras,
Samadhi will give you illumination and bliss,
Samadhi will free you from the round of births and deaths.