Yoga Vasistha [English], Volume 1-4

by Vihari-Lala Mitra | 1891 | 1,121,132 words | ISBN-10: 8171101519

The English translation of the Yoga-vasistha: a Hindu philosophical and spiritual text written by sage Valmiki from an Advaita-vedanta perspective. The book contains epic narratives similar to puranas and chronologically precedes the Ramayana. The Yoga-vasistha is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, an...

Chapter V - Various significations of yoga

The Vachaspati lexicon gives us about fifty different meanings of the word Yoga, according to the several branches of art or science to which it appertains, and the multifarious affairs of life in which the word is used either singly or in composition with others. We shall give some of them below, in order to prevent our mistaking any one of these senses for the special signification which the term is made to bear in our system of Yoga meditation.

The word Yoga from the root "jung" (Lat) Jungere means the joining of any two things or numbers together. Amara Kosha gives five different meanings of it as,  ~~  ~~; the other Koshas give five others, viz.,  ~~  ~~

  1. In Arithmetic it is  ~~ or addition, and  ~~ is addition and subtraction.
  2. In Astronomy the conjunction of planets and stars  ~~
  3. In Grammar it is the joining of letters and words  ~~—
  4. In Nyaya it means the power of the parts taken together  ~~,  ~~
  5. In Mimansa it is defined to be the force conveyed by the united members of a sentence.

In contemplative philosophy it means;

  1. According to Patanjali,—the suppression of mental functions  ~~—
  2. The Buddhists mean by it—the abstraction of the mind from all objects.  ~~
  3. The Vedanta meaning of it is— ~~ the union of the human soul with the Supreme spirit.
  4. Its meaning in the Yoga system is nearly the same, i. e., the joining of the vital spirit with the soul;  ~~
  5. Every process of meditation is called also as Yoga.  ~~

Others again use it in senses adapted to their own views and subjects; such as the Vaiseshika philosophy uses it to mean, the fixing of the attention to only one subject by abstracting it from all others  ~~ 2. The Ramanuja sect define it as the seeking of one's particular Deity  ~~ In this sense all sectarian cults are accounted as so many kinds of Yogas by their respective votaries. 3. According to some Buddhists it is the seeking of one's object of desire  ~~-~~ 4. And with others, it is a search after every desirable object. 5. In Rhetoric it means the union of lovers  ~~ In Medicine it means the compounding of drugs under which head there are many works that are at first sight mistaken for Yoga philosophy.

Again there are many compound words with Yoga which mean only "a treatise" on those subjects, such as, works on wisdom, on Acts, on Faith &c., are called  ~~,  ~~,  ~~ Moreover the words Yoga and Viyoga are used to express the two processes of synthesis and analysis both in the abstract and practical sciences for the combination and disjoining of ideas and things.