This paper was presented at the
National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

SVYASA, Bangalore,
December 26 - 28, 2007


Concept and role of Kriya yoga in Patanjala Yoga Sutra

Reena Bajpai — Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar


Maharishi Patanjali’s 195 sutras have everything from which a human being can attain the stage of samadhi. Patanjali prescribed many techniques for the attainment of samadhi, like abhyasa, vairagya, ishvara pranidhana, astanga yoga and kriya yoga etc. Kriya yoga is an important technique amongst all of them. This paper is an attempt to clarify the concept of kriya yoga and its three practices (tapas, svadhyaya, ishvara pranidhana). Patanjali used tapa, svadhyaya and ishvara pranidhana in two places first in the first sutra of sadhana pada and then in the niyamas of astanga yoga. This paper clarifies the reason for using these practices in two sutras of the sadhana pada. This paper also defines the role of kriya yoga from the psycho-spiritual point of view. 

 Key words: Kriya yoga, tapas, svadhyaya, ishvara pranidhana, astanga yoga, klesha, samadhi, karmayoga, janana yoga, bhakti yoga, three domains of the human being, chitta vratti.

Email the author, Ms. Reena Bajpai, at