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yajvan
16 January 2007, 11:35 PM
Hari OM
~~~~~

Namaste,

This conversation is on Siddhi (complete, perfection, from "sidh" = to attain.) There is a general agreement that this ability has the potential to be somewhat of a disruption or distraction to moksa - or Dharmamega as Patanjali points out in his work.

Yet, why would one of the greatest rishi's of yore ( Patanjali-ji muni) then consider this? What was he thinking to offer this up to folks on the path if it is a distraction? If the sutra's are stitches of wisdom, why would Patanjali-ji waste one breath at all on this and not pay attention to other area's of import?

Let also me offer up my humble assessment on this. First, I need a little run way to set the stage…so bare with me just for a moment to set the framework.

If you look at the 2nd sutra of Patanjali's work, he sets the ground rules for yoga:
"yoga citta vritti nirodhah" to describe/define yoga. He chose a key word nirodha. As you can see Patanjali-ji was not long winded and chose his word-selection very specifically & formulaically to deliver the instruction. This nirodha is "ni"= down or into; "rudh" = to obstruct ,arrest.
In the yoga of Patanjali this nirodha is both the PROCESS and the STATE of restriction of this ~ citta.

Now, Citta in our parlance is considered "mind stuff" - which is much too gross a definition - even "cit" = to perceive, be aware , or think, is also too gross a definition for this application. The most insightful definition I have seen so far ( in the last 10 years) is the following. (from Vyaas Houston of the American Sanskrit Institute):
- Citta consists of the purest and subtlest form of matter/energy (sattva guna).

- Citta can be focused anywhere, in any location (dharana) and sustained continuously in a single location (dhyana). This means that citta can illuminate any form of matter or energy by taking its form, as if having no form of its own.

- Citta is programmable. It behaves in whatever way it is programmed or habituated to behave. If it is not consciously directed it will conform to the activities (vrtti) that have shaped it in the past (vrtti-sarupyam). i.e. past habits and impressions made on the mind.

- Citta is like a movie screen, in the sense that when the movie is playing we're not aware of the screen. The difference being that while the screen remains the same size, citta can take the form of anything from the smallest particle (paramanu) to an infinite magnitude (parama-mahattva).

So here's my assessment - by practicing samyama (assume all know what this is, if not, let me know and I will reply) on various formulaic sutras one exercises the ability to maintain and manage this citta AND maintain this samadhi. This grooms one for enlightenment - perfect "restful alertness" - walking and acting in silence.
This becomes the "concentrated "mind or Nirvija , seedless concentration - that is, arresting (nirodha) the mind, without any object ( seed) of concentration - THIS FULFILLS the formula of yoga citta vritti nirodhah Patanjali gives in the very being of his work. Yoga is arresting (nirodha) the modifications ( vritti) of the mind stuff ( citta).

I am in hopes others have ideas and have the opportunity of practicing this approach.

pranams,

sm78
16 January 2007, 11:57 PM
Rather than considering chitta as the entire mind stuff which is our tool of cognistion, i follow that patanjali's chitta is same as in when we say that our manomaya kosha consists of mind (mana), intelligence (buddhi), chitta and ego (ahang/asmita).

mind is merely the place where sense perceptions take a specific form. The specific form it takes is guided by the chitta ~ the storehouse of our experiences, hopes, fears and aspirations. It spins out the web of imagination based on its database of past experiences. It is verily a tool of creation. Often reffered thus as "brahma granthi"...the first obstacle to Atma.

buddhi is on the other hand a tool which cuts through this and points out to the truth. buddhi nirodha will make one dumb :).

For me chitta vritti nirodho in simplest sense means to retrain the web of imaginary creation of the chitta and see things as they are, analyse only to the extent possible ~ in buddha's language, "to see the world as it appears".

I'm sure patanjali uses it in a more general sense ~ where we cross the domain of the manomaya kosha itself...but thinking that way will not be a effective practice of nirodha of chitta ;)

Sudarshan
17 January 2007, 02:02 AM
Singhi is right. Though Patanjali talks about chitta vrtti nirodha, anyone who reads his sUtras will know that the scope of his Yoga is not merely chitta vrtti nirodha, but the cognition of the puruSa seen apart from prakrti. We call this the realization of the self(puruSa) which is close to the vision of Brahman.(puruSottama). Patanjali's Yoga certainly covers the antahkaraNa ( not just chitta).

Of course Advaitins will have some problems in accomodating the idea because that would put Patanjali Yoga as describing Self Realization (puruSa=brahman in Advaita), or the highest goal (which does not tally with its philosophy of plurality of puruSa).

The whole domain of Patanjali Yoga is a valid one in VA( separation of puruSa from prakriti), but this will be still incomplete Yoga, without the realization of Brahman.

satay
17 January 2007, 04:40 PM
Hari OM
~~~~~

[SIZE=2]Namaste, by practicing samyama (assume all know what this is, if not, ]
Namaste,
May I ask what is samyama? Please share.

yajvan
17 January 2007, 11:08 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

Namaste,
May I ask what is samyama? Please share.

Namaste,
First let me say that Patanjali-ji yoga is superb and not an island onto itself. This Yoga works with the other systems. There is a post on ther 6 systems if you care to look. http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=584
Together there is complete knowledge, not competing knowlege.

Regarding Samyama - it is a technique or condition one can practice that is made of the following components, that is, when all three of these components are present ( some say exercised) then one is practicing samyama - at the end of this we will discuss samyama on or for what? So, the three components are dharana, dhyana, and samadhi.

We know these as the following:
dharana is fixity of the mind , dhyana or meditation, and samadhi as consentrated mind. Lets click down one more level:
Dharana is this fixity or attenton , consciousness of a single object, idea, etc. and the other senses are withdrawn i.e. do not apprehend the object/idea at hand. some say one-pointed.
Dhyana is that continuous flow of the same knowledge/idea in Dharana - some call this meditation. Continuoous flow of the onepointedness found in Dharana.
Samadhi is when the object of meditation (dhyana) only shines forth in the mind, as if devoid of the thought and is considered concentrated mind ( not concentration or the act of, but again, resolved to simple one pointedness). When these three are in sync, and pointed to the same object of reference, then one is practicing samyama.

Well why so? Patanjali-ji says by mastering this, than the light of knowledge (prajana) dawns for the sadhu or native. It is by this samyama that one pratices the siddhi's called out in Patanjali-ji work of yoga sutras. The samyama is the formula to do this.

Now, how can one go right after this samyama? Not likely as one needs to groom the mind for this state. How so? By practicing meditation, this grooms the silence. The acquantence of samadhi, the concentrated mind... not concentrating ( this is the misnomer of this technique). Over time the nervous system gets cultured to be with clarity of thought, that is no thought and the mind is clear. Some call this pure consciousness, just awareness itself., pure awareness on its own. Some even call this restful alertness. One then can introduce a concept or idea (a.k.a a sutra of Patanjali) and this stays fixed in ones mind, just entertaining that one thought. When that erodes back to silence, it is brought there again, so fixity on one continuous flow of one idea, or dharana + dhyana.
This is why nirodha came up in the original post...it's part of the formula. And converstations on the HDF on vasana's or past impressions, these too become arrested . These items become a part of what gets 'roasted like a seed, not able to sprout again' when the proper methods of yoga are applied. We go back to the original post of what yoga is according to Patanjali-ji. Atha ( now then) yoga citta vritti nirodhah.

If one where to ask me, what would be one book to read and study in 2007, it would be the Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali. My favorite is by Swami Hariharanaanda Aranya, put to english by P.N.Mukerji. Other books are available too, so we read them. This takes one quite far into this science.

The book is my companion I read and reference. Yet it is my humble suggestion and experience that one serious about this endevor of yoga, or sadhana must learn to meditate from someone accomplished in stilling the mind, transcending the thought and not beating the mind into submission. This is key. We have all the ingredients within us to do this correctly. People say , but my mind jumps from thought to thought. Yes, this is true , it is looking, seeking more.. more what, more of any thing, more happiess, more news, more interest. Until its directed to the ocean of stillness , it will continue to hop as a bee goes from flower to flower.

Then one comes to apprecate what Patanjali-ji says about yoga : yoga citta vritti nirodhah.


pranams,

Nuno Matos
27 July 2007, 12:25 PM
Namaste yajvan

I do agree with you in most of the aspects you presented over Patanjali yoga
never the less i Think that the correct explanation in English for the first aphorism would be instead of "Yoga is arresting (nirodha) the modifications ( vritti) of the mind stuff ( citta)"; so that for me the most correct would be " In (yoga) mind stuff (citta) modifications ( vritti) arrested (nirodha) .
I do find as well, like you i think, that the aphorisms trough the 4 books are all structurally connected like in an Hyper link.

yajvan
27 July 2007, 01:57 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

Namaste yajvan

I do agree with you in most of the aspects you presented over Patanjali yoga never the less i Think that the correct explanation in English for the first aphorism would be instead of "Yoga is arresting (nirodha) the modifications ( vritti) of the mind stuff ( citta)"; so that for me the most correct would be " In (yoga) mind stuff (citta) modifications ( vritti) arrested (nirodha) . I do find as well, like you i think, that the aphorisms trough the 4 books are all structurally connected like in an Hyper link.

Namaste Nuno,

Yes, arrest works fine for me too...This nirodha is "ni"= down or into; "rudh" = to obstruct ,arrest.

Do you have the opportnity to practice samyama?

pranams,

Nuno Matos
27 July 2007, 06:49 PM
Namaste yajvan!


Yes i do have that possibility! And i do believe, that for the ones who don't have it may be generated! That's, for me i think, one of the main objective in Patanjali Yoga Sutra.
A path of Freedom and empowerment.