So we are going to talk a little about the yoga system and its purpose. The yoga system is meant for the purpose of complete and perfect self-realization. There are many paths or processes of yoga and they award different levels of realization. The most well-known, probably the most well-known yoga system that people in the West are more familiar with is the process of Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga actually only constitutes one part, a small part of the Astanga Yoga system. This is where anga, ‘anga’ means like, limb and asta means eight, the eight limbs of yoga, and they were eight categories of activity that were performed for the explicit purpose of coming to the platform of complete self-realization.

The most common text, yoga text, that is used by practitioners of yoga and the most widely accepted is of course the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. Patanjali although he is considered the father of the yoga system by many, in reality is not actually the father because we see in far more ancient scriptures and yoga texts a complete description of the same Astanga Yoga system. One example would be in the very famous Bhagavat Purana. The Bhagavat Purana was compiled by Srila Vyasadev more than five thousand years ago, and it is made up of about eighteen thousand verses divided into twelve books, or cantos.

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