is the sixth stage of Ashtanga Yoga. Dharana means keeping the mind
steady and concentrated. When the body has been tempered by Asanas,
when the mind has been refined by the fire of Pranayama, the Yogi reaches
the sixth stage of yoga which is Dharana. The Yogi is concentrated
wholly on a single point or on a task in which he is completely engrossed.
The mind is an instrument which classifies, judges and co-ordinates the
impressions from the outside world and those that arise within oneself.
According to Shri Vinoba Bhave, a great philosopher, the Latin
word Omne and the Sanskrit word Aum are both derived from the same root
meaning all and both words convey the concepts of Omniscience,
Omnipresence and Omnipotence. Another word for Aum is pranava, which
is derived from the root Nu meaning to praise, to which is added the
prefix Pra denoting superiority . The word, therefore means the best
praise or the best prayer. The symbol AUM is composed of three
syllables, namely the letters A, U, M and when written has the crescent
and dot on its top. A few instances of the various interpretations
given to it maybe mentioned here to convey its meaning. The letter A
symbolizes the conscious or waking state, the letter U the dream state and
the letter M the dreamless sleep state of the mind and the spirit.
The entire symbol together with the crescent and the dot, stands for the
fourth state, which combines all these states and transcends them.
This is the state of Samadhi. The letters A, U, and M symbolize
respectively Speech, the Mind and the Breath of life, while the entire
symbol stands for the living spirit, which is but a portion of the divine
spirit. The three letters also represent the dimensions of Length,
Breadth and Depth, while the entire symbol represents Divinity,
which is beyond the limitations of shape and form. The three letters
A, U and M symbolize the absence of Desire, Fear and Anger, while the
whole symbol stands for the perfect man, one whose wisdom is firmly
established in the divine. They also represent three genders
Masculine, Feminine and Neuter, while the entire symbol represents all
creation together with the creator.
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