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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-15

Facets of Nidrā - in Yogasūtra: Analysis based on the views from Vyasa's commentary and its sub-commentaries

Research Department, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Jayaraman Mahadevan
Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, No. 31, 4th Cross Street, RK Nagar, Chennai - 600 028, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijny.ijoyppp_8_16

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Good sleep is an important indicator and also a requisite of good health. Yoga sūtras discuss the concept of Nidrā. A survey of commentaries of Yoga sūtras reveals elaborate discussions, which are seldom noticed, regarding the concept. There are more than a dozen commentaries in Saṃskṛta on Yoga sūtras. However, this article presents the views of Vyāsa, the principal commentator and the four available subcommentaries to Vyāsa's commentary on the -Nidrā. All later commentaries respect and follow Vyāsa's commentary. The study reveals that Vyāsas commentary and its subcommentaries address 's commentary and its subcommentaries address aspects on Nidrā including – Why Nidrā after Pramāṇa, Viparyaya and Vikalpa? Is Nidrā a Vṛtti?, Is Nidrā deep sleep or does it include dream state also? How does one fall asleep – the Yogic way, Guṇa-based 3-fold classification of Deep Sleep, Half Deep Sleep and Complete Deep Sleep, Nidrā vis-a-vis the states of Ekāgratā, Niruddha and Kaivalya and why should sleep be restrained like any other Vṛtti? Thus, understanding various aspects of Nidrā indeed would be handy in the correct practice of the technique based on Nidrā (PYS 1.6, Patañjali, 2015, p.24)[2] to attain the goals specified in the Yoga sūtras. Therapeutically, the implications of the 3-fold classification of Nidrā based on Guṇas need to be developed into an elaborate model that includes the factors that induce such kinds of sleep and ways in which one can move toward the desired (Sāttvic) state of sleep, etc. A collaborative approach with allied disciplines such as Āyurveda on this topic might prove to be more beneficial.

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