The ‘Eight Limbs of Yoga’


Dhyana (Sanskrit of ‘thought’ or ‘meditation’) is the uninterrupted flow of concentration. Dhyana is distinct from Dharana in that it is the state of being ultimately aware, but without focus. In this state, the mind should be producing little to no thoughts at all. This is also the final stage that precedes ‘Samadhi’, the goal of yoga meditation.

In Dhyana, the meditator should not be conscious of the act of meditation they are practising, but should only be aware of themselves as a conscious being. This, again, is different to Dharana, which is uninterrupted concentration of an object.

Dhyana is the concentration of the mind on a single point with the intent of knowing as much of the truth as possible about the object. This deep point of concentration of the mind is meant to be the ultimate tool in self-knowledge, and to separate the illusionary from reality. The ideal, here, is to lift the obscurities of both the mind and the world, allowing clear and true emotions to be free. Meditation becomes the instrument to see the world clearly and perceive reality clearly (moksha).


  • The Essence of Yoga, Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, by Bernard Bouanchaud
  • Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006), Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Infobase Publishing

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