A bit more light on yoga
A question one might ask: yajvan, where have you been ? We are instructed to withdraw, then withdraw from the withdrawal. That is where I have been, following the instruction.
So, I thought to offer this to the reader on yoga. It is known by many as a general term, but only few are aware of some of the subtleties , and very few
are aligned (yuj - united , connected , combine , bring or put together) as a direct personal experience.
Let's start here
From a hatha yoga point of view, the 1st verse of the haṭhayogapradīpikā by yogī svātmarāma says the following:
śrīādināthāya namo'stu tasmai yenopadiṣṭā haṭhayogavidyā |
now then (atha) offering light (pradīpikā) on haṭhayoga (haṭhayoga) |
let there be (astu) salutation (namas) to that (tasmai) splendid/ radiant (śrī) principle/first (ādi) lord (nāthāya) whom (yena) has been taught
(upadiṣṭā) haṭhayoga knowledge (haṭhayoga-vidyā) |
shining forth (vibhrājate) in the form (iva) of a stairway (adhirohiṇī) who wishes (icchoḥ) to ascend (āroḍhum) to the superior (pronnata) rājayoga (rājayogam)||1
So, beginning here, this very first kārikā (concise statement) informs us that haṭhayoga is offered for those that wish to ascend to rājayoga. It is a preparatory offering to make one fit (adhikārin ¹) for rājayoga.
Poise and Silence
Now what then is this rājayoga ? It is none other than the offering of aṣṭāṅga yoga ( the 8 limbs) found in patañjali’s yogadarśana. In the west this haṭhayoga is taken ( mostly) as an exercise regime which I will assume this is fine, but misses the preparedness of the approach. And what is that? What occurs between each āsana.
Note that āsana is a term for posture, this is so. Yet too it is defined as halting, stopping, staying, abiding. It is akin to aśrama meaning without fatigue. Those may see this term within āśrama, a hermitage, but more importantly ‘a halting place’. The beauty of these two words i.e. āśrama and aśrama is rooted in the term śrama which = fatigue. By adding the ‘a’ in front of it , it becomes ‘not’ or without fatigue.
Why then am I making a big deal out of āsana aligned to āśrama and aśrama ? It is because between each posture there is this halting place, without fatigue , that prepares one for rājayoga. And this halting place is referred to as the middle or madhya. It is not only a pause that would occur physically, but mentally also. This gap is the ~between point~. This between point is also found between each breath, this rest between jīva and prāṇa.
Jīva is the ‘code’ used by the wise for inward breath and prāṇa for outward breath. It is the inward breath that sustains the human condition thus jīvā (living , existing , alive) is apropos to this inward breath.
Now the question: What then is being prepared? Two things - poise and silence. Poise comes from making/culturing the body to sit (āsana) in aśrama ( without fatigue) and to become accustomed to the silence of madhya ( or silence of the gap between two breaths).
I offer the above to bring the following to one’s attention and consideration - that of yoga, and jui found in the various practices. We can consider patañjali’s yogadarśana vivekaja mārga; some too consider saṃkhyā ( some write saṇkhyā) darśana (aligned in part to vedānta and the 6 schools or darśana ) as vivekaja mārga also.
And, there is another . That of vijñānabhairava kārikā-s that is a subset/chapter of the rudrayāmalasāraḥ āgama. It too deals with yoga, and is considered yogaja mārga. So, to get a handle on the conversation, the offer, and to compare and contrast vivekaja mārga to yogaja mārga some definitions will be needed i.e. viveka, yogaja, etc. We well take this up and continue the conversation in the following post.
1. adhikārin - fit for; a rightful claimant ; entitled to
Last edited by yajvan; 04 October 2016 at 12:45 PM.
because you are identical with śiva