Pratyahara – Pratyahara has a different meaning in the context of Sanskrit grammar. Here Pratyahara related to Patanjali Yoga has been discussed.

When the senses turn inward from their objects, that state is called pratyahara. In general, the willfulness of the senses is strong. With the accomplishment of Pratyahara, the seeker gets control over the senses, purity of mind, increase of austerity, reduction of humility, physical health and ability to enter samadhi.  


By the practice of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, the body of the seeker becomes pure and healthy, the mind and senses become calm, concentration comes in them. The infinite power of GOD is realized and the seeker starts keeping himself absorbed in GOD. In this way, a strong role is prepared for pratyahara by this practice.

         Sutra 54: svavidhyasamprayoge chittasya swaroopanukara evendriyanam Pratyahara

Often the mind is engrossed in external objects, but during meditation, when you engage the mind with the external environment and get stuck in something inside, it is called pratyahara. It can also be called an alternative diet for the mind. One such option from which the mind starts coming inwards. Just like when you dance after meditation, that dance is a pratyahara. To make the mind introvert, the alternative diet for the inner journey is called Pratyahara.

Pratyahara brings together the mind, body and the senses and makes them complete and one. You also feel after a deep meditation that you are complete and one. Jesus also said that I have come to make men perfect.   My aim is not only to get Kriyas and Satsangs done, but to make you a complete personality, let your energies unite and become one.

By this your senses start listening to you, you are not governed by them.   There is an uplift of enthusiasm, love and energy within you, this is the effect of pratyahara. Here the second stanza of the Patanjali Yoga Sutra ends.

Table of Contents

  1. Make Pratyahara Yoga Powerful :
  2. what is Pratyahara :
  3. What are desires in Pratyahara :
  4. What is Harm in Pratyahara :
  5. Remedy of Pratyahara :
  6. Benefit of Pratyahara :
  7. Types of Pratyahara :
  8. Pratyahara and the Other Limbs of Yoga :
  9. Pratyahara and Ayurveda :
  10. Pratyahara and Disease :

Make Pratyahara Yoga Powerful :

With their eyes they keep seeing useless things, with their ears they listen to useless arguments, with their tongue they keep on eating useless things, with their nose they keep smelling unnecessary fragrances, and with their mind, they keep on seeing useless thoughts, worries and contemplations.

Use to do it. It is pratyahara to stop unnecessary flowing energy and keep saving it in the right direction. Pratyahara keeps a person strong and healthy.

what is Pratyahara :

The fifth limb of Ashtanga Yoga is Pratyahara. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara These five are the external parts of yoga, that is, only the role of entering into yoga. Pratyahara is an attempt to keep this movement of the senses constantly moving towards the desires, returning it to the soul or making an effort to keep it steady.

Pratyahara is the attempt to turn the senses away from these deadly desires, as a tortoise wraps up its limbs. Stop the wasteful ejaculation of the senses and put it in that direction so that your life will be happy and peaceful as well as you remain healthy.

What are desires in Pratyahara :

Lust, anger, covetousness, attachment are just names, but the person indulges in many external things which are the product of modern society like alcoholism, cinematic philosophies and discussions, excessively noisy music, overeating including meat-eating. Attachment to oneself, blind race of ambitions and many such things which put more burden on the five senses and eventually she becomes vulnerable to diseases due to premature closure.

What is Harm in Pratyahara :

The eyes perceive the form, the nose the smell, the tongue the taste, the ears the words and the skin touch. When there is an excess of this instinct to enjoy, all this leads to an increase in disorder in the mind. As these enjoyments increase, the senses become active and keep the mind neurotic. The mind becomes more anxious and disturbed, due to which there is a loss of energy.

Remedy of Pratyahara :

Pranayama should be practiced to keep the senses away from the pleasures and to keep the attitude of the senses inward by turning them inwards. The senses are stabilized by the practice of pranayama. All subjects are finished. Therefore, with the practice of pranayama, the state of pratyahara starts forming automatically.

Another remedy is to meditate for five to thirty minutes every morning and evening. Despite all this, if you have a will within you, then you can be in the state of pratyahara just by having a resolution. However, many methods have been described in Hatha Yoga to cultivate Pratyahara.

Benefit of Pratyahara :

  • By practicing Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara automatically gets resolved.
  • By practicing this, the energy level of the person increases.
  • Due to purity, there is a radiance in Ojas.
  • There is no mental and physical disease of any kind.
  • Increases self-confidence, toughness and thinking ability.  

Types of Pratyahara :

There are four main forms of pratyahara

  1. Indriya Pratyahara (control of the senses)
  2. Prana Pratyahara (control of prana)
  3. Karma Pratyahara (control of action)
  4. Mano Pratyahara (withdrawal of mind from the senses)

Pratyahara and the Other Limbs of Yoga :

Pratyahara is related to all the limbs of yoga. All of the other limbs — from asana to samadhi — contain aspects of pratyahara. For example, in the sitting poses, which are the most important aspect of asana, both the sensory and motor organsare controlled. Pranayama contains an element of pratyahara as we draw our attention inward through the breath. Yama and niyama contain various principles and practices, like non-violence and contentment, that help us control the senses.

In other words, pratyahara provides the foundation for the higher practices of yoga and is the basis for meditation. It follows pranayama (or control of prana) and, by linking prana with the mind, takes it out of the sphere of the body. Pratyahara is also linked with dharana. In pratyahara we withdraw our attention from ordinary distractions. In dharana we consciously focus that attention on a particular object, such as a mantra.

Pratyahara is the negative and dharana the positive aspect of the same basic function.
Many of us and that even after years of meditation practice we have not achieved all that we expected. Trying to practice meditation without some degree of pratyahara is like trying to gather water in a leaky vessel. No matter how much water we bringin, it 2ows out at the same rate. The senses are like holes in the vessel of the mind. Unless they are sealed, the mind cannot hold the nectar of truth. Anyone whose periods of meditation

alternate with periods of sensory indulgence is in need of pratyahara. Pratyahara o4ers many methods of preparing the mind for meditation. It also helps us avoid environmental disturbances that are the source of
psychological pain. Pratyahara is a marvelous tool for taking control of our lives and opening up to our inner being. It is no wonder some great yogis have called it “the most important limb of yoga.” We should all remember to include it in our practice.

Pratyahara and Ayurveda :

Pratyahara, as right management of the mind and senses, is essential and good for all constitutional types. It is the most important factor for mental nutrition. However, it is most essential for those with a vata constitution who tend towards imbalanced or excessive sensory and mental activity.

vata types should practice some form of pratyahara daily. Their restless vata distracts the senses, disturbs the motor organs and prana, and makes the mind restless. Pratyahara reverse harmful vata and turns it into a positive force of prana.

Kapha types, on the other hand, generally su4er from too little activity, including on a sensory level. They may slip into tamasic patterns of being lazy, watchingtelevision or sittingaround the house. They need more mental stimulation and bene%t from sensory activity of a higher nature, like visualizations of various types.

Pitta types generally have more control of the senses than the others and incline toward martial-type activities in which they discipline the body and the senses. They need to practice pratyahara as a means of relaxing the personal will and lettingthe divine will work through them.

Pratyahara and Disease :

Ayurveda recognizes that the inappropriate use of the senses is one of the main causes of disease. All mental disease is connected with the intake of unwholesome impressions. Pratyahara therefore isan important first step in treating all mental disorders. Similarly it is very helpful in treating nervous system disorders, particularly those that arise through hyperactivity. Most of the time we overly express our emotions, which loses tremendous energy.

Pratyahara teaches us to hold our energy within and not disperse it unnecessarily. This conserved energy can be drawn upon for creative, spiritual or healing purposes as needed and can provide the extra power to do the things that are really important to us

Physical disease mainly arises from taking in unwholesome food. Pratyahara affords us control of the senses so that we do not crave wrong food. When the senses are controlled, everything is controlled and no wrong or artificial cravings can arise. That is why Ayurveda emphasizes right use of the senses as one of the most important factors in right livingand disease prevention.

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