Yoga Philosophy

The Fourth Limb of Yoga: Pranayama

The word pranayama contains two parts: prana and ayama. Prana refers to the life force, vitality, or energy that sustains us, and indeed, sustains the entire universe. Ayama means “extension” or “expansion.” Pranayama, therefore, means “extension of life force.” Prana... Read More

Sankhya Philosophy

by Gwen Burdick The dualistic theory of creation or causation is called Sankhya Philosophy and it appears in texts as ancient as the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. Its founder was the sage Kapila who is considered by scholars to be older than Buddha. It is also the... Read More

The Gayatri Mantra

by Gwen Burdick Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah Tat savitur varenyam Bhargo devasya dhimahi Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat   Translation:  With loving reverence we bow to the inner Light, the supreme wisdom in all the world.  May this Divine Light guide and illuminate our... Read More

The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

by Gwen Burdick Om Triyambakam yajamahe Sugandhim pushti vardhanam Urvarukamiva bandhanan Mrityor mukshiya mamritat Translation:   I meditate on, and surrender myself to, the Divine Being who embodies the power of will, the power of knowledge and the power of action. ... Read More

The Four Purusharthas: Moksha

The Fourth Aim: Moksha Our investigation of the four Purusharthas, or aims of life in the Vedic tradition, concludes with Moksha, which means release, liberation or self-realization. The harmonious interactions of the first three aims, Dharma, Artha and Kama, are the... Read More

The Four Purusharthas: Kama

The Third Aim: Kama As our investigation of the Purusharthas continues, we come to the third aim, Kama, which means longing, wish, or desire. Kama pertains to the enjoyment of life and needs to be in balance with Dharma (duty) and Artha (means) if we are to experience... Read More