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Pramada In Yoga

Pramada is negligence or carelessness in the practice of Yoga. It is one of the major obstacles in the acquisition of the yogic objectives, according to Patanjali (Yogasutra I.31).

The aim of Yoga is the restraint of the modifications of the mind. Even though it is extremely difficult, it can be successfully achieved through continuous practice and non-attachment. The practice of Yoga has to be followed uninterruptedly. If the practice is broken through carelessness, the desired fruit does not accrue and science is often incorrectly blamed. Thus carelessness in practice is strictly prohibited for eventual success. In addition, the details of practice, such as the different postures, control of breath and the rest, are to be performed according to the instructions and guidance of the preceptor and in conformity with the rules for the same. Any mistake in the performance of these details will be harmful. In other words, inadvertence and blunder in the practice, which are pramadas are both to be avoided. Mistakes in normal life can be forgiven, but carelessness in Yoga is unpardonable.

The Nyaya philosophy corroborates the Yoga view about pramada. Thus, Vatsyayana, the chief commentator of Gautama’s Nyayasutra, states, in a different context, that antipathy and ignorance have a part to play in the matter. Under ignorance are to be counted mithya jnana (false knowledge), perplexity due to vicikitsa (indecision) and mistakes in judgment. It is necessary, therefore, to avoid pramada one should understand the discipline correctly and practice it with faith.