Yogalakshana, Yogalakṣaṇa, Yoga-lakshana: 1 definition


Yogalakshana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Yogalakṣaṇa can be transliterated into English as Yogalaksana or Yogalakshana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

[«previous next»] — Yogalakshana in Pancaratra glossary
Source: Catalogue of Pancaratra Agama Texts

1) Yogalakṣaṇa (योगलक्षण) or “chapter on Yoga” is the name of the twenty-second chapter of the Agastyasaṃhitā (agastya-suīkṣṇa-saṃvāda edition), an ancient Pāñcarātra Āgama text dealing with the worship of Rāma, Sītā, Lakṣmaṇa and Hanumān.—Description of the chapter [yogalakṣaṇa]: Sutīkṣṇa asks Agastya what yoga actually means, and how to control the mind. Agastya replies that the way to control the mind is first to control the vital airs. He begins to describe how this breath-control is to be done, only to interrupt himself by launching off into a digression on karma and saṃsāra in the midst of which he classifies bodies into four types according to their past karmas. Also in the digression he explains in some detail how the Jīva develops physiologically and intellectually in the mother’s womb from conception to delivery. Just before the time of delivery, he avers, the Jīva knows clearly that his goal is “self-realization,” but as soon as it is brought from the womb it forgets all things and becomes increasingly “worldly” as each day passes.

2) Yogalakṣaṇa (योगलक्षण) (lit. “discussion of yoga”), is the name of chapter 5 (Yogapāda) of the Padmasaṃhitā: the most widely followed of Saṃhitā covering the entire range of concerns of Pāñcarātra doctrine and practice (i.e., the four-fold formulation of subject matter—jñāna, yoga, kriyā and caryā) consisting of roughly 9000 verses.—Description of the chapter [yogalakṣaṇa]:—Bhagavān proceeds to describe how to practise Yoga. Having assumed the proper posture, the devotee should persevere in certain physical acts to draw his senses in, and then as he practises breath-control, meditate on Vāsudeva. As he continues to control his breath his meditation on God progresses to the point where God Himself [deva] is seen in the heart. A description of how He appears in His cosmic form [viśvarūpa] is given (1-15). Whoever achieves this marvellous vision through yogic practices would seem to have all things, but, counsels Bhagavān, this is only the penultimate reward of yoga. If breath-control is. perfected so that the vital “prāṇa” is directed to the top of the head-and if this is also accompanied by repetition of the dvādaśākṣarī-mantra—then one enjoys the final reward. Such a Yogin is not born again and he becomes one with Brahman [brahma sampadyate] (16-27). The final ślokas (28-31a) specify to whom such yoga as has been outlined may be taught, and praises those who undertake to practise it.

Pancaratra book cover
context information

Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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