The Three Pillars of Kriya Yoga: Insights from Yoga Sutras Second Chapter

Patanjali's Yoga Sutras second chapter unveils the core of Kriya Yoga, guiding seekers on a journey of discipline, introspection, and divine surrender.

The transformative teachings of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras second chapter beckon us to delve deeper into the heart of Kriya Yoga, revealing a path of self-awareness, discipline, and divine surrender.



The Essence of Kriya Yoga

The first chapter of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, known as "Samadhi Pada," delves into the nature of meditation and the means to achieve a state of superconsciousness where the individual merges with the universal consciousness.

Patanjali's Yoga Sutras second chapter introduces us to the foundational pillars of Kriya Yoga: tapas, svadhyaya, and Ishvara pranidhana. These Sanskrit terms translate to self-discipline, self-study, and surrender to God, respectively. But what do they truly signify in our spiritual journey?

"The pinnacle of self-study is the realization of the true Self."

—Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian

Tapas: The Flame of Self-Discipline

Often misunderstood as mere deprivation, tapas is the fire of determination that fuels our spiritual endeavors. "There's nothing of great benefit we can accomplish without self-discipline," Yogacharya O'Brian reminds us. It's about aligning our actions with what brings joy to the soul.

Svadhyaya: The Mirror of Self-Study

To master the mind, one must first understand it. Svadhyaya is the reflective practice of studying our reactions, behaviors, and the timeless teachings of ancient scriptures. It's a continuous feedback loop, where self-awareness leads to deeper discipline and vice versa.

Ishwara Pranidhana: The Grace of Surrender

The pinnacle of Kriya Yoga is the act of surrender, Ishwara pranidhana, recognizing the divine intelligence permeating the universe. Whether we view it as a supreme being or the universal oneness, surrendering to this higher power is essential for true spiritual progress.

Integrating Kriya Yoga into Daily Life

Beyond the meditation cushion, Kriya Yoga is a conscious way of living. From surrounding ourselves with reminders of our spiritual goals to continuously checking in with our soul's yearnings, it's about making every moment an act of divine remembrance. For a deeper understanding, listen to the audio recording of an interview with Yogacharya O'Brian.


Recommended Resources for Further Study

For those keen on diving deeper into the Yoga Sutras, several commentaries and translations can enrich one's understanding:

  • The Science of Self-Realization: A Guide to Spiritual Practice by Roy Eugene Davis offers Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translation with commentary.
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Edwin F. Bryant offers a comprehensive look into the history and subject matter of the text.
  • Raja and Kriya Yoga: The Ultimate Path to Self Realization by Stephen Sturgis delves into the origins of yoga and the Yoga Sutras.

The Timeless Call of Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga, as illuminated by Patanjali's Yoga Sutras second chapter, is not just a set of practices but a call to a higher way of living. It's a journey of discipline, introspection, and surrender, leading us to the ultimate realization of our true nature.


Dive Deeper into Yoga Teachings and Practices

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Engage in this six-week online course with Yogacharya O’Brian and learn how to meditate and live by spiritual principles. This course, based on the science of Self-realization of Kriya Yoga, will provide the method, practices, and philosophy that will facilitate the direct encounter with your divine Self that will transform your life.

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