The Garuda Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1908 | 245,256 words | ISBN-13: 9788183150736

The English translation of the Garuda Purana: contents include a creation theory, description of vratas (religious observances), sacred holidays, sacred places dedicated to the sun, but also prayers from the Tantrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Shiva, and to Vishnu. The Garuda Purana also contains treatises on astrology, palmistry, and preci...

Chapter CCXXXV - The mode of Practising the Great Yoga

Now I shall describe the mode of practising the great Yoga, which absolves a man of all sin and grants him emancipations, and creature-comforts in this life. This (narration), listened to in a devout spirit, serves to extinguish all sin. The sense of “me” and “mine” are the root of all misery. This sense of Egoism does not cease to exist. This is what the holy Dattatreya narrated to Alarka. This tree, which sprouts up from the feeling of Egoism as its seed, has the sense of “me” and “mine” as its principal trunk, of which one’s house and field are the branches, and sons and daughters are the leaves. Riches and paddy (food-grains) are the principal leaves of this tree, virtue and vice are its flowers, and happiness and misery are its fruits. The great tree of non-knowledge exists for the relief and comfort of mortals. Those, who tired with the fatigue of life's journey, repose under the shade of this mighty tree, labour under the delusion of ignorance. By hewing down this tree with the axe of knowledge, mortals become merged in the supreme Brahma. By drinking the sinless and soothing juice of Brahma, men become endued with the perfect knowledge; clamours of contending passions are silenced in their breasts, and perfect happiness results from perfection of knowledge. O king, neither our forms, dimensions, and organs constitute our real Selves. Neither the Tanmatras (essential matter, nor speech and intellection constitute our true Selves. O thou king of kings, whom do you find to be the principal one in ourselves? Does this self-conscious being, composed of the qualities, take birth again? O thou king, the self-conscious ego and the self, though virtually one, appear, and are thought as two different entities. It is knowledge that dispels this notion of duality or separateness. The Yogins, on the extinction of this sense of separateness, through Yoga, realise their oneness with the supreme Brahma and their difference from the the hosts of qualities or attributes. Realisation of this oneness is called Mukti or Emancipation.

That is house in which one lives, that is food which sustains life, that is knowledge which leads to Mukti (emancipation). Any other kind of knowledge is ignorance or delusion. O king, by enjoying the fruits of virtue and vice in this world, and by discharging all duties which are obligatory on him. a man may exhaust and extinguish his Karma and annihilate his desires in consequence, Cessation of all killing propensities, truthfulness, non stealing, continence, and non-acceptence of gifts are the five Yamas or Niyamas (rules of self-control). There are two kinds of purity or cleanliness such as, the external or bodily and internal or mental. Contentment, bliss won by practising Tapas, and worship of the god Vasudeva are called Damas. The different seats or postures in Yoga are called Padmaka, etc., while Pranayama consists in checking or controlling the wind (breath). An art of Pranavama consists of three parts such as Purakam (taking in of breath), Kumbhakam (arresting the process of breathing) and Rechaka (fetting out of the breath). A light (laghu) Pranavama consists of ten matras; one of intermediate form, of twenty and a full Pranayama, of thirty Matras. A pregnant or Sagarbha Pranavama is that in which the votary meditates upon any definite subject at the time of practising it, while the contrary is called Agarbha. At the first stage of the practice the practiser shall conquer the soporific tendency,[1] shivering during its second or middle, and the augmented heat during its third stage, which is brought forth through the aggravation of the bodily Vayu. Hence, these defects should be conquered in the order of their enumeration. With the effulgent image of the Pranava Mantra in his heart, and his mind fully concentrated thereon, a Yogin shalt practise Yogam, sitting in a posture so as to press his genitals with his legs. One conversant with the practice of Yoga shall suppress the Tamasa attributes of his mind with the Rajasika ones, and the latter with the Satvika attributes of his mind, finally bringing about a state of mind in which it lies serene, unruffled and devoid of all thoughts and impressions. By withdrawing the mind, consciousness and sense organs from their respective objects of perception and the external world, and by keeping their functions thus in abeyance, a Yogin shall practise the art of mental abstraction (Pratyahara) and control his breath in Pranayama to the extent of ten or eight Matras. These are called the two kinds of Dharana in the parlance of Yoga. A Yogin shall concentrate his whole self either in the region of his umbilicus, or in his mouth, or within his heart, or in the region of his throat, or at the tip of his nose, or in his eyes, or at a point between the eye brows. These are the ten places of Dharana or points on which a Yogin shall concentrate his whole Self, by practising which he will suffer no decay. As fire is cast in the fire, so by merging his Self in that of the supreme Brahma, a Yogin shall mentally recite the Omkara Mantra, which is sacred of the all sacred Mantras and is symbolical of the Self of Brahma. The term Om is composed of three letters, Akara (A), Okara (O), and Makara (M), and is the great exponent of the universal Self (Brahma).

I am Brahma, the supreme light, devoid of a gross, material body. I am Brahma, the supreme light, devoid of death and decay. I am Brahma, the supreme light, divested of the principle of earth-matter. I am Brahma, the supreme light, divested of the principles of air and ether. I am Brahma, the supreme light, devoid of a subtle body. I am Brahma the supreme light which is neither bound by space or nonspace (non-extension). I am Brahma, the supreme light, devoid of the Tanmatra of smell. I am Brahma, the supreme light, devoid of the Tanmatra of sight. I am Brahma, the supreme light, devoid of the Tanmatra of sound.[2] I am Brahma the supreme light, devoid of speech and hands. I am Brahma, the supreme light, devoid of ears and skin. I am Brahma, the Supreme light, devoid of tongue and nose. I am Brahma, the supreme light, devoid of the currents of up-coursing and down-coursing vital Vavus. I Brahma, the supreme light, devoid of the vital Vayus of Vyana and Udana. I am Brahma, the supreme light, void of all Nescience. I am Brahma, the supreme light, the receptacle of supreme bliss; my self is my own wife, and devoid of mind intellect, life, Egoism and cognitive organs. I am Brahma, the supreme light, pure intellect, infinite joy, infinite reality and without a second. I am the supreme Brahma, the embodiment of perfect knowledge, an emancipated self.

Suta said:—O Shaunaka, thus I have described unto you the Science of Yoga with its eight essential appendages, and a knowledge of this Yoga brings about the emancipation of one’s Self. Those, who attain to (meet their annihilation in) the Nityam and Naimittikam dissolution, are not liberated from the fetters of Nature (physical laws), and are subjected to the necessity of being born again and again in this world, but not so are those who merge themselves in the Supreme Self. They are emancipated; and thus emancipated, they no longer die, or suffer from disease or affection as they used to do under the influence of Nescience before their liberation. Thus sin affecteth not an emancipated Yogin and ceases to exist for him for all eternity. He is not bound by the chain of necessary re-births, and is not consigned to suffer the pangs of inter-uterine existence. He is one with the unchanging, undecaying Narayana. By dint(?) of such an unswerving faith and devotion, one may attain the god Hari, the grantor of emancipation and creature-comforts. The purification of the heart is effected by means of meditation, worship, mental recitations of Mantras, and psalms, and by practising vows of charity and continence, and by celebrating religious sacrifices, and from the purification, of heart proceeds knowledge. Twice-born ones, by reciting the Pranava Mantra, have become emancipated selves. Dhruva by devoutly worshipping Vishnu, attained the region of highest bliss, as well as the god Vishnu. Prachetas, the creators of worlds, Kandu and others, by worshipping the lord of lords, became pure in spirit and obtained liberation. In the same way, and by the same means, Uddhava attained the region of highest bliss. Holy sages such as Narada etc., the celestials such as Indra etc., the Gandharvas and the Apsarasas, attained the region of highest bliss by worshipping Vishnu. The gods attained their godhead; the sages, their status of Munis; the Gandharvas, the status of Gandharvas; and the kings, their kingdoms through the merit of worshipping the eternal Vishnu. All these attained the celestial kingdom by worshipping the god Janardana.

Footnotes and references:


A kind of hypnotic sleep which is induced at the first stage of Pranayama, and with which every practiser of the art is too familiar to need any elaborate description.— Tr.


Tanmatras are in the world of perception what atoms are in the world of matter.— Tr.

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