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The Results of Abstinences and Observances

The Observances

(1) The result of purity: Purification of the body, inward and outward, greatly helps towards purity of conduct. It eliminates disease, prolongs life and renders impure contacts displeasing.

"From outward purity arises contempt for one's own limbs and dislike for contact with other bodies.'' (Yoga Darshana 2, 40.)

"By purity of the inner faculties, the mind becomes happy and concentrated, the senses conquered and a man is qualified to witness the Self." (Yoga Darshana 2, 41.)

(2) The result of contentment: Contentment makes any form of unhappiness impossible. Hence there can be no obstacle to perfect happiness.

"Through contentment incomparable happiness is achieved." (Yoga Darshana 2, 42.)

(3) The result of austerity: Austerity burns all impurities and leads to the achievement of great mental and sensory powers.

"Through austerity, impurity is destroyed and [supra-natural powers or] attainments (siddhis) are reached by the senses." (Yoga Darshana 2, 43.)

There are eight attainments, namely:

Anima—to become as small as an atom.

Laghima—to have no weight or (according to the Markandeya Purana) to have extreme speed.

Prapti—to transport oneself instantaneously anywhere (or, remaining where one is, be able to touch far distant objects such as the moon) or (Shiva Samhita) to have at hand all one wishes for; or (Markandeya Purana) to obtain that after getting which nothing remains to be desired.

Prakamya—to obtain all that one desires; or (Shiva Samhita) to be at will visible or invisible; or (Markandeya Purana) to pervade all.

Ishita—to have divine powers; or (Markandeya Purana) "be like a god" or (Shiva Samhita) create, i.e. make things to live and die in the past or the future.

Vashita—to have control over beings and the elements, "whether they belong to the past, present or future" (Shiva Samhita).

Kamavasayita—to feel ever satisfied.

For the last attainment, some authors substitute garima—to possess enormous weight.

The secret of all attainments is always in concentrating on the contrary of the thing one wishes to defeat, such as thinking of heat to defeat cold, of lightness to defeat weight etc.

"In order to conquer a thing, think of its opposite." (Yoga Darshana 2, 33.)

(4) The result of self-development:

"Through self-development an actual vision of the divine aspect worshipped is obtained." (Yoga Darshana 2, 44.)

(5) The result of the constant thought of Divinity:

"Through the constant thought of Divinity, identification (samadhi) is reached." (Yoga Darshana 2, 45.)

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