Yoga chants and Catholic mass

Oct 2015
1,106
India
#21
@Yôḥānān and @Todd Feinman

Please allow me to give some clarification which may throw light on the slight confusion here:

Patanjali-Yoga:

In "Yoga-asanas" there is no chanting of mantras, only breathing synchronized with movements in the particular yoga-asana. No vocal sound need to be uttered.

In "Dharana-Dhyana-Samadhi" also there is no "chanting." These three (d-D-S) are successively higher levels of meditation, and are about controlling the thoughts which keep crossing our mind involuntarily. A specific mantra is given by the Guru to each student to aid his meditations. It does not contain any god's name. Repetition of mantra is always in the mind, not verbal, no sound, no chanting.

The above are parts of Patanjali-Yoga, which has eight parts as you may be aware - Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayam, Pratyahar, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi. I have attended classes on Yoga and Meditation by well-known traditional gurus in India. None ever taught chanting as part of them.

As regards the two videos you have posted: (i) Vinyasa Yoga Traditional Class: The teacher is using the chant to regulate the time spent in each part of the yogic movement. An individual can do this mentally also by counting 1/2/3/4/5/6 etc. Since there is a group, teacher is suing the mantra for convenience, so that all learners move together. (ii) Ashtanga Yoga Mantra: This small video is just a chant at beginning of a yoga session, remembering the Guru etc.

Patanjali Yoga, does not mandate a practitioner to believe in any God - Hindu gods or any other religion's gods. On the other hand, it allows a practitioner to believing in his / her personal god - may be Jesus Christ, or Jehova, or Allah. Personal god can, obviously be one of the Hindu gods also, if the practitioner is a Hindu. But being an atheist - non-believer in any god - is also equally fine.

The Patanjali-Yoga system has been preserved as part of Hindu oral tradition but the commonality ends there. Its features I have mentioned above.

Chanting of Mantras / "Japa":

Chanting of mantras is called "japa" and is practiced by many Hindus. In this mantras are given to a follower and are chanted aloud and/or silently. Such chanting happens in most religions and is similar in Hinduism.

"Japa" also has the effect of controlling the thoughts in mind. If we chant a mantra enough number of times then it goes into the subconscious mind where it gets repeated on its own without our being aware of it. We can notice / observe this phenomena within ourselves occasionally. For example, on awakening, we wake up with the realization that the "mantra" was / has been going on in our mind. It is similar to the way wat we become aware of dream which we were seeing just before awakening - and soon after the awareness the dream fades away. Just as there is no doubt that we were seeing the dream when asleep, similarly there is no doubt that the mantra was being recited in mind when we were asleep.

Other Yogas:

There are several other types of Yogas in Hindu religion. Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga. etc. etc. These have nothing to do with Patanjali Yoga. Perhaps this is the reason people get confused between Hindu religion and Patanjali Yoga (which is independent of Hindu religion).

In conclusion:

One should go for Patanjali Yoga. With hundreds of yogas being taught, stick to one which says it is based on Patanjali Yoga. Believe in any God which you have always believed in. Chants in this system are to keep the time.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Yôḥānān
Feb 2012
3,888
Portugal
#22
Thank you Rajeev that brings much more light and allowed to find this article on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with very interesting developments on the points you mentioned. I imagine the Patanjali Yoga is the same as the Ashtanga Yoga.
Patanjali Yoga, does not mandate a practitioner to believe in any God - Hindu gods or any other religion's gods. On the other hand, it allows a practitioner to believing in his / her personal god - may be Jesus Christ, or Jehova, or Allah. Personal god can, obviously be one of the Hindu gods also, if the practitioner is a Hindu. But being an atheist - non-believer in any god - is also equally fine.
The teacher singing the Ashtanga Yoga Mantra says the same thing in another video.
 
Oct 2015
1,106
India
#23
Thank you Rajeev that brings much more light and allowed to find this article on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with very interesting developments on the points you mentioned. I imagine the Patanjali Yoga is the same as the Ashtanga Yoga.
Yes Yôḥānān, your view is correct.

Patanjali Yoga is also called 'Ashtanga Yoga'. Patanjali taught that Yoga consists of "Eight Limbs". And "Ashtanga" translates as "Eight Limbs".

"Ashta" of Sanskrit is same as "Eight" in English.
 
Likes: Yôḥānān

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