The Garuda Purana
Chapter CCXLVIII - The eight essentials of Yoga, etc.
(and the merit that may be acquired by hearing the narration of the Garuda Puranam etc.)
The God said:—O Arjuna, O thou the son of Pritha, rules of self control, rules of penitence, posture, Pranayama, abstraction of the mind from the external World, meditation, comprehension and Samadhi (psychic trance) are the eight essential components of Yoga, which leads to liberation. Cessation of all killing or hurtful inclinations to all creatures and at all times is the highest virtue; compassion spells as the highest bliss. An animal duly killed on the celebration of a religious sacrifice is not killed at all. Speak what is true and pleasant. Cease to communicate an unpleasant truth, nor a pleasant untruth; this is the eternal virtue, Acquisition of a thing by stealth or force is called Steyam, the contrary of this leads to virtue. Renunciation of sexual intercourse at all times and under all circumstances, whether in mind, speech or act, is called Brahmacharyam (continence). Non-acceptance of gifts even in moments of peril and a studious renunciatiôn thereof is called Aparigraha. Purification, which is either external or internal, may be effected either with the help of earth and water, or by purifying the thoughts of one’s mind. Contentment is resting happy with whatsoever is easily obtained without solicitation. Tapas consists in concentrating the mind and the senses to any particular object, or in bringing about the emaciation of the body by practising Chandrayanam and Krichchha Chandrayanam penances. The inner purification of a person effected by reciting the Pranava, Shata Rudriya and Vedanta texts is called Svadhyayam. An undiviating faith in the god Hari, with performances of rites enumerated in the Shrutis and Smritis, is called divine contemplation. Svastikas cross) Padmasanam, etc., are the different postures (Asanas) of Yoga; the Vayu which courses in the organism of a person is called Prana (life) and Pranayama consists in checking the out-flow of breath. O Pandava, Pratyahara consists in restraining the mind and the senses from wandering among the unreal objects of the external world. Meditation (Dhyanam) consists in meditating upon the self of Brahma, whether embodied or disembodied. The embodied Self of Brahma should be meditated upon at the outset of Yoga, while the disembodied Brahma should be contemplated in its later stage, with the acquisition of increased psychic power. The knowledge that I am the supreme Brahma represents the state of Samadhi, the speech, the knowledge, the perception that ‘I am Brahma’ lead to emancipation.
Vyasa said:—The Rishis such as Shaunaka, etc., having drunk these ambrosial words, pertaining to the glory of Vishnu and encompassing the knowledge inculcated in all the Shastras, became extremely happy. This sacred, purifying, sin-absolving Garuda Puranam should be constantly recited, and by hearing it recited one is enabled to witness the fruition of all desires. The hearer of its narration shall make gifts of beddings, etc., as described before, otherwise he will not acquire the merit of hearing it duly narrated. The text of the Puranam should be first worshipped; after that, the reciter shall be propitiated with presents of land, gold, kine, food and Dakshina. Mortals, who recite this sacred Puranam, or hear it recited by others, ascend to the eternal region, absolved of all sin, and freed from the fangs of existence.