Patanjali Yoga Sutra -त्रयमन्तरङ्गं पूर्वेभ्यः ॥3.7॥

  1. Adhikāra yoga: Besides bringing forth purity in sādhaka, the practice of following two limbs of yoga (in the nature of vows) would give the sādhaka right or empowerment or adhikāra to practice the remaining limbs of yoga. Hence, these are called Adhikāra yoga. Practice these two with utmost care and discernment:
  1. Bahiraṅga yoga: The next three limbs are concerned with external (gross) faculties of sādhaka, hence called as Bahiraṅga yoga. Despite being external, they lay a strong foundation for the next three limbs by gearing him up with full verve. A potter carefully prepares the mud by removing the small stones and other impurities if any. Then the mud is mixed well with water in very optimal proportion and conditioned; thus he is ready for making pots. So does a Sādhaka prepare his personality for the next advance practices.
  2. āsana
  3. prāṇāyāma
  4. pratyāhāra
  5. Antaraṅga yoga: The next three subtler limbs (collectively called Saṁyama) are concerned with internal faculties (antaḥkaraṇa — consciousness) of sādhaka, hence called as Antaraṅga yoga. Patañjali gives utmost importance to these limbs and are considered to be direct pathways to yoga. Many great yogis like śrī rāmakr̥ṣṇa paramahaṃsa, ramaṇa maharṣi, śāradādevi, etc, focused on these limbs alone for their sādhana rather than the Bahiraṅga yoga. Thus, Antaraṅga yoga is a great inward spiritual journey towards ātman for complete absorption.
  6. dhāraṇa
  7. dhyāna Saṁyama
  8. samādhi

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