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Sanskrit for the act of retaining, maintaining, preserving in memory, etc. (from the root dhr, hold, carry, preserve, etc.). It is the sixth “limb” (anga) of the Rāja Yoga system of Patañjali (see Yoga Sutras 3.1, 4.1-2) and in that context implies a profound concentration of consciousness (CITTA) on a single idea or object. Dhāranā, thus, is a necessary discipline to prepare the mind for deep meditation (dhyana). In JAINISM, dharana is the stage at which knowledge of an object creates a lasting impression.


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