Progress in the yogic path:
The factor which determines the rate of the yogi’s progress is the nature of the means he adopts in the pursuit of his aim, Ashtanga yoga of Maharishi Patanjali points out only the broad principles of the general method which has to be followed in liberating human consciousness from the limitations of ignorance and gaining self realization. It is true that in this system well defined technique has been laid down for achieving this end but the different parts of this technique are not rigid in their nature but sufficiently elastic to allow the aspirant to adapt them to his personal needs, temperament and convenience. A system which is meant to sub serves the spiritual needs of different potentialities and capacities could never prove very useful and could not withstand the ravages of time if it demanded adherence to a rigid and uniform course of discipline. The value of Patanjali system of yoga lies in its elasticity and the capacity to subserve the needs of different types of individuals who share the one common purpose of unraveling the Great Mystery which is hidden within them and are prepared to make the necessary effort and sacrifices to achieve it.
Although Patanjali system allows great latitude as regards the means which may be adopted in achieving a particular purpose, still, being a scientific system, it is based on following a well defined technique in tackling the different problems of Sadhana. The technique is involved the progress in achieving any particular purpose must depend upon the nature of the means employed. If we want to be transported to a spot at a distance, however keen we may be to reach it , our progress will depend upon whether we use a bullock cart, an automobile or an airplane. There are processes which do not involve any well defined technique in the usual sense of the term. In such cases the question of means does not enter the problem at all. For example, if a person is in a fit of temper and wants to become calm he can come back to his normal condition by an adjustment of his attitude which can be so rapid as to appear almost instantaneous. The success in yoga is decided by the intensity of the practice and devotion towards the master and path.