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yajvan
19 September 2009, 08:29 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

Namasté

I often wonder when we use yoga here on HDF, if all are seeing this word for its core meaning. One may think of the various yoga-s people discuss, yet only use the term 'yoga' in the conversation.

We can look at the definition of yoga from two angles… one is how its defined classically by its roots and the other is how Patañjali defines it in his yogadarśana (the yoga sūtras of Patañjali) - this can be addressed if there is interest.

yoga योग is rooted in yuj the act of yoking , joining , attaching , harnessing. But to what?To the Supreme, to bind one back to the source, to yoke one back to anuttara ( the Supreme). Yoga is also defined as a means , expedient , device , way , manner , a method.

Hence with 'method' we get various yoga-s; here are some of the names of the major approaches:

rāja ( some write rāj ) राज- king , sovereign , chief or best of its kind
karma (some write karman) कर्मन्- action consisting in motion ; act, special duty, skill in action
jñāna ज्ञान - knowing , becoming acquainted with , knowledge , (esp.) the higher knowledge of SELF, Supreme.
bhākti or bhākta भाक्त - ' the faithful ones'
haṭha Yoga हठ - 'by force' ; ' necessarily , inevitably , by all means ' ( we will review this one on this post)
kriyā क्रिया - action; doing , performing , performance , occupation. For me this looks much like a definition for karma yogaAre there others? Yes. Some may add kuṇdalinī yoga to this list, which is fine. This is also tightly coupled with kriyā yoga practices. There are other yoga practices that the originating guru may coin his/her self. Perhaps other HDF members that are interested in this subject may wish to post their insights/studies on one of the yoga-s mentioned above or add to the list.

Let me start ( if I may) with haṭha yoga. In the West when one mentions yoga, it is implied that hatha Yoga is being discussed - that of āsana postures or specific ways of sitting and/or breathing.

The etymology of this word is interesting... If one were talking to a hatha yoga sādhu and asked what he/she was doing, they would most likely answer 'finding balance' or 'working with and balancing the sun and moon forces'. Now how can we get to this notion offered by the sadhu from this word hatha? We know if we look at some of the roots it may help us:

ham हम् - is an exclamation expressive of anger or courtesy or respect. We then can see where some of this force & obstinacy may come from, from this root; yet lets also consider the following:
haṭ हट् - to shine , to be bright
ṭha ठ - the moon's disk, a disk ; also a loud noise.We can see where this notion of sun ( bright) and moon (disk) may have its origin. Why sun and moon? From a Jyotiṣ perspective, Sun is ātman, moon is mind, home of the senses. It is the notion of the co-operation of the mind-body-ātma working in concert that brings harmony and health to ones body.

Sun and moon are sometimes viewed as day and night, opposites. Haṭha is designed to integrate night and dark (opposites) to the benefit of the practitioner.

A bit more on this...
The sun and moon divide time into day and night and only meet during the twilight known as saṁdhyā (the gap, twilight ),where we are able to take advantage of not-sun , not-moon , but that wonderful gap in time. The harmonizing time for meditation.

Yet when one does haṭha yoga, each pose is held for a few moments, some for minutes... that is the grooming of sandhya in that pose; to bring balance to the mind-body-ātman and perhaps to easily allow haṭha "violence, force, obstinacy, pertinacity or persistency" to dissipate.

As we are influenced by the sun-moon's movements [ they are considered the creative principle in Jyotiṣ ] this stimulates the human biological system to the cycles of the sun and moon. Hatha is designed to harmonize these influences for the benefit of the practitioner.

praṇām

yajvan
20 September 2009, 02:28 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~


haṭha yoga... 'finding balance' or 'working with and balancing the sun and moon forces'. It is the notion of the co-operation of the mind-body-ātma working in concert that brings harmony and health to ones body
'As lions, elephants and tigers are tamed very slowly and cautiously, so would prāṇa be brought under control very slowly in gradation measured according to one's capacity and physical limitations '
Haṭha Yoga Pradipīkā - chapter 2, 16th śloka

yajvan
21 September 2009, 10:45 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~
Namasté



Patañjali’s yogadarśana (the yoga sutras of Patañjali), defines yoga thusly - samādhi-pāda ( 1st chapter, 2nd sutra):
yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ

yogaś - process of yoking; union from yuj reviewed in the 1st post
citta - as a noun it is thinking , reflecting , imagining , thought; some put this as active mind
vṛtti - ' rolling , or rolling down' i.e. patterning, turnings, movements.
nirodhaḥ - suppression , destruction ; some prefer stilling, cessation, restrictionMy view
Yoga is the stilling (nirodhaḥ) of the active (vṛtti) mind (citta).

What others say

Yoga happens when there is stilling (in the sense of continual and vigilant watchfulness) of the movement of thought - without which there is no movement. - Svāmi Venkatesānanda (śiṣya of Svāmi Śivānanda)
Yoga occurs when the field of consciousness is liberated from its patterned spinnings. Then the mind rests in clarified stillness devoid of any conditioned bias - Śakti Das (a.k.a. sahaj yogi)
Yoga is the suppression of the modifications of the mind. - Yogāchārya Svāmi Hariharānanda Āraṇa praṇām

rkpande
22 September 2009, 02:07 AM
In yoga literature, which even describes number of nadies, physic centers and anatomical details of a human body, the organ or body part or a centre which stores human experiences, impressions and memories have not been distinctly mentioned or described by various translators. Every one has taken manas and chitta to mean the same thing or else chitta as active mind as mentioned by shri Yujavan.
Maharshi Patanjali had been very cryptic and frugal with expression of his thoughts; he would have never used these two terms separately in his work unless they meant two different things.
Now, Shri Shankra in his Vivaka Chudamani And Viveka-aviveka, tells us that Anthahkarana consists of Manas, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahamkara ( against so many who say, including Swami Vivekananda that it consists of only three, less chitta.)
He says function of:-
Chitta Ė Retention &
Chitta vratti nirodah is technically the first sutra of his work and, if we make a mistake in understanding the first sutra than the whole of his narration will be misunderstood.
Even in Mandukya Upanishad, The 19 mouths are supposed to mean, the five organs of sense, the five organs of action, the five vital breaths, the manas, budhhi, ahamkara and chitta.
Chitta contains all your experiences of life; the impressions, feelings and the like (even of your previous incarnations, but are out of bounds, till you attain the so called siddhies)
The manas gets attached to the organ of sense for jiva to experience it.
If your mind is not on the orator, you donít listen any thing even if you pretend to be doing so.
I will take an example,
ď You are sitting in the garden and your eyes happens to see the rose, you perceived the rose because the manas was attached with the eyeand the rose is percieved by the jiva, now the manas will get connected to Chitta which has all the attributes of roses stored along with all your experiences with it, depending on what state the jiva is ( rajas, tamas or sattivic), may be, you get reminded of the day you presented a rose to your first love, The Buddhi tells you that donít waste time, go back to yoga, but the ego takes over, after all it was not that every one could get her affection and you keep contemplating on that experience.

Itís a crude example though, but none the less, will tell the difference.
Now you still the mind so that it doesnít connect with chitta, or else you cleanse the chitta of all its vratties good or bad.

yajvan
22 September 2009, 08:25 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~
Namasté rkpande


I will take an example,
“ You are sitting in the garden and your eyes happens to see the rose, you perceived the rose because the manas was attached with the eyeand the rose is percieved by the jiva, now the manas will get connected to Chitta which has all the attributes of roses stored along with all your experiences with it, depending on what state the jiva is ( rajas, tamas or sattivic), may be, you get reminded of the day you presented a rose to your first love, The Buddhi tells you that don’t waste time, go back to yoga, but the ego takes over, after all it was not that every one could get her affection and you keep contemplating on that experience.

It’s a crude example though, but none the less, will tell the difference.
Now you still the mind so that it doesn’t connect with chitta, or else you cleanse the chitta of all its vratties good or bad.

Thank you for your post... you bring out good conversation items. The mind gets 'carried away' with objects that are viewed, no? And the intellect intercedes to get the thinker back to business - what ever at the time that could be.


You mention 'still the mind' . What is the mind connected to that may assist in pursuing stillness? Prāṇa is tightly connected to the mind's movement. Manage prāṇa and you manage the mind. What is one way of managing breath ? We know prāṇāyām is the regulation of the breath ( that is why I call it 'management').

Prāṇāyāma is one method to control the breath/life force, but at the same time āyāma, to extend it. The ultimate extension is perfect balance, the center or mādhya, of breath-and-no-breath.

Its like turning down the flame of a pot of boiling water. Manage the energy source (prāṇa) and one's mind follows suit. It is said as prāṇa goes, so do the senses. He or she that manages/ befriends prāṇa is able to manage and control the various dimensions of prāṇa - the mind, taste, touch, etc.

But what are we shooting for ? The notion is to experience sūkṣma gati. What is that ? Refined, subtle, awareness. Svāmī Lakṣman-jū calls this unfoldment of sūkṣma gati, anusandhāna, ever-refreshed awareness.

If we look at the word anu+sandha+āna we have anu or orderly , methodically , one after another , repeatedly; sandhi¹ we discussed on various posts + āna is exhaling the breath through the nose or inhalation ~ breath inspired , breathing. This produces continually refreshed awareness.

How does one pursue this continually-refreshed awareness? Vijῆāna Bhairava tantra gives us some hints. This HDF post may be of use if there is interest. http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=2323 (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=2323)

It is through this prāṇāyām method the breath becomes calm, some call this centering the breath and the mind. This centering, mādhya or standing between two, a neutral position, is called madhyamaṃ prāṇam .
So as one practices, madhyamaṃ prāṇam becomes established and the ability to experience this sandhi¹ unfolds. It is here where turya resides.

praṇām

words
sandhi or saṃdhyā (saMdhyA) संध्या - juncture, or joining point; Some call the 'gap' where turya is more easily experienced.

Eastern Mind
22 September 2009, 01:32 PM
Sometimes I think its really complex, and other times I think its simple. Look at the expression, "Work is worship." Is that not saying karma yoga is bhakti yoga?

Aum namasivaya

proudhindu
23 September 2009, 12:39 AM
"Work is worship." Is that not saying karma yoga is bhakti yoga?

Simple and profound.Just one more small step turning Karma Yoga in to bhakthi yoga i.e. Dedicate your work(karma) to god.It goes without saying that the Karma(Work) will have to be Dharmic(righteous).

yajvan
23 September 2009, 12:24 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~
Namasté




My view
Yoga is the stilling (nirodhaḥ) of the active (vṛtti) mind (citta).

Another view -
Vaśiṣṭa speaking to King Karaka ( of Janaka's race) - Mahābhārata , śānti parva ( or parvan division or section)

When men of knowledge, conversent with the rules of yoga, become as fixed (steady) as a stake of wood,
and as immovable as a mountain then they are said to be in yoga. When one does not hear , and smell, and taste, and see ; when one is not conscious of any touch; when one's mind becomes perfectly free from every purpose; whe one's mind becomes perfectly free from every thought, then is one called the wise to be in perfect yoga.


praṇām

bhaktajan
24 September 2009, 10:25 AM
This seems to define the athletes' ideal mental state aka, being in the 'Zone'. Also, it would describe the mental state of an assembly-line factory worker:

"Yoga is the stilling (nirodhaḥ) of the active (vṛtti) mind (citta)".

..............................................................................
wise/perfect yoga/men of knowledge/conversent with the rules of yoga/fixed (steady) as a stake of wood/and as immovable as a mountain =

one does not hear, smell, taste, see;
not conscious of any touch;
one's mind perfectly free from every purpose;
one's mind perfectly free from every thought,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Why does this NOT translate properly? It seems to describe a dead state of being.
Maybe it is too elementary?

Can you imagine a Gur/Instructor/Teacher/Professor/Office motivational Guest Speaker/Prsidential Canidate making promises, that offer:

"When I finish with you all, you will all gratefully be . . . without hear, smell, taste, see; not conscious of any touch; free from every purpose; free from every thought ----VOTE FOR ME!!!"

I assume Yajvan Prabhu speaks from personal experience?

yajvan
24 September 2009, 11:24 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~
Namastť


I assume Yajvan Prabhu speaks from personal experience?

My teacher has taught me the benefits humility and not to nibble at worms when they present themselves.

praṇām