Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 3 Chapter 28:1-16

Book 3: Chapter 28

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 28: Verses 1-16
The process of the eightfold Yoga

The Lord continued : (Now) I shall tell you, O princess, the character of Yoga (meditation.) with some object to rest upon, by practising which-and in no other way-the mind gets purified and takes to the path of God. To do one's allotted duty to the best of one's ability and to shrink from prohibited acts; to remain contented with whatever is got as a dispensation of Providence; to adore the feet of one who has realized the Self and to cease from duties connected with the pursuit of religious merit, worldly possessions and sensuous enjoyment; even so to take delight in duties tending to final beatitude; to take pure food in a measured quantity[1] to dwell permanently in a place which is not only secluded but also free from molestation; to practise non-violence (in thought, word and deed); to speak the truth, to abstain from thieving, to limit one's possessions to the extent of one's barest needs, to abstain from sexual commerce, to practise austere penance, to observe purity (of body and mind), to study the Vedas and other sacred texts, to worship the Deity, to observe silence, to acquire steadiness by firmness in the very best postures, to control one's breath by slow degrees, to withdraw one's senses from their objects and direct them towards the heart with the help of the mind, to fix one's mind as well as the vital air on any mystical circle in one's body, to contemplate without break on the pastimes of Lord Visnu and thereby to compose one's mind-by these and other such methods.(e.g., observing fasts, bestowing gifts and so on) one should diligently control one's breath and then gradually curb one's wicked mind, addicted to evil ways,with the help of one's reason and apply it to contemplation on God. Having controlled one's posture, one should spread a seat (consisting of Kusa grass, deerskin and so on) in an undefiled spot. And sitting there in an easy posture, keeping the body erect, one should practise control of breath.(8) (At the very outset) the striver should clear the passage of the breath by first inhaling the air to his utmost capacity, then holding the breath and finally exhaling it, or by reversing the process( i. e., by exhaling the air in the first instance, then holding the breath outside and finally inhaling it), so that the mind may become steady and free from distraction. Even as gold throws off its dross when heated (and melted) by the force of air and fire, so the mind of the striver who has controlled his breath gets purified before long. A striver should (therefore) eradicate the disorders of the three humours of the body (wind, bile and phlegm) by the (aforesaid three) processes of breath-control, his sins by concentrating his mind, contacts (with sense-objects) by withdrawing the senses from their objects and the characteristics which are contrary to the Lord's divine nature (such as attachment and aversion etc.), by means of meditation. When his mind gets purified and concentrated by the practice of Yoga, he should meditate on the form of the Lord (as indicated hereafter) with his gaze fixed on the tip of his nose. The Lord has a cheerful lotus-like countenance, eyes ruddy like the interior of a lotus, and a body swarthy (of complexion) like the petals of a blue lotus and bearing a conch, discus and mace (in three of His four hands). He has wrapped round His loins a shining piece of silk yellow as the filaments of a lotus, bears the mark of Srivatsa (a curl of white hair) on His bosom and has the brilliant Kaustubha gem suspended from His neck. He also wears round His neck a garland of sylvan flowers, that has attracted a swarm of bees drunk with its delicious fragrance and sweetly humming about it, and is further adorned with a pearl necklace and a crown, and pairs of armlets, wristlets and anklets, all superb. With His loins and hips graced by a girdle He stands on the lotus of His devotee's heart, is most charming to look at, wears a serene aspect and gladdens the soul and eyes of those who behold Him.



  1. The quantity of food one should take has been indicated in the following Smrti-text, quoted by Sridhara Swami:-:- "One should fill two quarters of one's belly with articles of food and one quarter with water. The fourth quarter should be kept empty for the free passage of air.'

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