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Thread: A bit more light on yoga

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    A bit more light on yoga

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~


    namasté

    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:

    atha haṭhayogapradīpikā|
    śrīādināthāya namo'stu tasmai yenopadiṣṭā haṭhayogavidyā |
    Vibhrājate pronnatarājayogamāroḍhumicchoradhirohiṇīva||1


    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.

    iti śivaṁ


    1. adhikārin - fit for; a rightful claimant ; entitled to
    Last edited by yajvan; 04 October 2016 at 12:45 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A bit more light on yoga

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~


    namasté
    to get a handle on the conversation, the offer and to compare and contrast vivekaja mārga to yogaja mārga
    definitions will be needed i.e. viveka, yogaja, etc. We well take this up and continue the conversation in the following post.

    • vivekaja - produced or arising from discrimination
    • yogaja -produced by or arising from yoga or yuj
    • mārga - passage , channel; journey, seeking , search , tracing out , hunting ; some may call it patha -a path , road , course


    Within patañjali’s yogadarśana we find vivekaja mārga, and within the of vijñānabhairava kārikā-s we find yogaja mārga. It must be said that these are not opposing or competing views.

    Within vivekaja mārga offered by patañjali¹ we are presented with the knowledge to recognize/experience the distinction (viveka) between puruṣa and prakṛti; Specifically the distinction between buddhi (intellect) and puruṣa ( transcendent) Being. This comes out in chapter 2 ( 6th śutra) and chapter 3 (35th śutra)

    Before going on to yogaja mārga one must first ask, why is there need to comprehend the distinction between buddhi and puruṣa ?
    It is my humble opinion this question properly answered & comprehended can remove much doubt, to the point of considering it a concrete example of śāmbhavopāya
    (śāmbhava + upāya = śambhu or śiva + a means ,technique, way or approach).

    We will take a look in the next post.

    iti śivaṁ

    words

    • Patañjali is also known as śeṣa patañjali as was more aligned to the śāṁkhya dṛṣṭa (view) as it deals with puruṣa and prakṛti. He also wrote the paramārthasāra. Why mention this? This is brilliant (prakāśa) work to say the least consisting of 85 verses.


    • Abhinavagupta-ji saw this brilliance, expanded it to 105 verses, and adapted it to the advitīya (~ non dual~, without a second) kaśmir śaivism POV for one's kind use.

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A bit more light on yoga

    Namaste,

    Welcome back!

    Pranam.

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    Re: A bit more light on yoga

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~


    namasté


    why is there need to comprehend the distinction between buddhi and puruṣa ?
    Because buddhi has taken on the condition of being the self. The intellect poses as the Self , where it is not. It, buddhi is ( in the final analysis) an object. The Self is the final subjective level of Being in which no other tattva has it as an object of experience. That is why many call Self¹ anuttara, or Supreme because nothing else is beyond It to have It as an object of experience. This ( IMHO) is a big deal. We engage the intellect often
    in our spiritual endeavors – it can take us so far as a vehicle, yet the SELF is not something that is acquired by ~reasoning~ of the intellect.

    This intellect acts as the psychological empirical (depending on experience) self (puryaṣṭaka) , an object to the SELF. This term puryaṣṭaka is the 8 parts/components ~limbs~ some may say of the body + mind; some call the group of 8 which are the tanmātra-s¹, buddhi, anaṁkāra ¹, and manas¹. Also there may be a few reading this saying that the human condition is called out as the city of 9 gates, 10 gates, some even suggest 11. Yes, this remains so, yet for this conversation the most appropriate verbiage is puryaṣṭaka.

    So, if we step back the notion of the intellect that we engage every day ‘plays’ as being the Self, which it is just a spark of it. That is why one needs to ‘get’ the difference between buddhi and puruṣa. This puruṣa is very much a śāṁkhya view as this darśana groups all of Reality ( manifest and unmanifest) as puruṣa and prakṛti ( pure Being and nature or the manifest field). Some too call this avyakta (unmanifest) and pradhāna (primary un-evolved as yet creation or nature where the 3 guna-s are there but are in balance).

    Do we have any śastra’s that support this view ( other then yajvan saying it is so) ? Yes. I encourage the reader to look to the bhāgavad-gītā , 3rd chapter 42nd & 43rd śloka for one view; another (one of my favorites) look to the kaṭha upaniṣad, section 1.3 śloka-s 10 and 11. Are there more? Many more, but for now let’s use these two authoritative śastra-s for verification.

    If the reader (praghaṭāvid¹) has been giving thought to this conversation there should be an observation that one is painted in the corner. , If I cannot depend on the intellect to get me to this Self, and it plays as the self ( as ‘i’ ) how then am I capable of coming to this notion of being established in the Self ( Being, Presence, pure awareness) ? Said from a kaśmir śaivism POV how do I re-recognize my real essence (sāraḥ) or Being, Self, svātman? This is a good question. We will need to take this up after the next post because we still need to look at the yogaja mārga notion talked about in post 1 above.

    iti śivaṁ

    words

    • Self (svātman) used here is the ultimate final, sattā, samvit; some may call brahman, yet this term is not exactly equal to the notion found in trika (kaśmir śaivism);
      for now we will not split hairs on this matter.
    • tanmātra-s – considered śabda ( sound), sparśa (touch), rūpa (form) , rasa ( taste) & gandha (smell)
    • buddhi – intellect ; the power of forming and retaining conceptions and general notions , intelligence , reasoning abilities
    • ahaṁkāra – ego that is connected with objectivity
    • manas – mind in its widest sense; many see this organ as ‘thought production’
    • praghaṭāvid – a general reader
    Last edited by yajvan; 04 August 2016 at 09:58 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A bit more light on yoga

    Welcome back, Yajvan ji !

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: A bit more light on yoga

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~


    namasté


    We need to address the following so there’s a clear run way for comprehending yogaja mārga mentioned in posts 2 and 3 above.
    This part may be a little thick , so bear with me as I try to lay out this POV.

    I wrote,

    Because buddhi has taken on the condition of being the self. The intellect poses as the Self , where it is not.
    Who confirms this ? It is found in the 4th chapter, 2nd śloka of the īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā¹ .
    Let me offer 3 views – the actual śutra and 2 translations on the matter and the assistance of abhinavagupta-ji:

    tatra svasṛṣtedaṃ -bhāge buddhyādi-grāhakātmanā |
    ahaṃkāra parāmarśa-padam nitam anena tat || 2


    PN Pandit’s view
    The active knowing entity ‘the intellect’ or buddhi and others in relation to the self-created objective existence has been manifested of the ego ‘i’.

    Said from one of svāmī lakṣman-jū's sisya-s , (Jaideva Singh) he translates it this way :
    In His light of consciousness the Lord makes in the objective world , created by Himself, buddhi, (prāṇa, body, etc.) function as subject – the substratum of pseudo I consciousness because they can function as limited subjects.

    This is saying in a fancy way that the substratum of pseudo ( or stand-in) I consciousness is buddhi , it is made as the ‘stand-in’ final subject ( a sort of fractional Self).

    Who can bring more clarity to these word ? Abhinavagupa-ji , one of the luminaries of the trika darśana. (My words and not abhinavagupta-ji’s are in parenthesizes), He says, The Lord manifests within Himself by His power of perfect freedom (svatantra – complete perfect freedom and independence) the objective world ( we know as the total universe) which is limited in nature. ( Limited because it is time and space bound, size, form, duration, color, etc.).
    In the mist of this creation there are objects such as buddhi, prāṇa, body, etc. They are objects and are referred to as ‘this’. But they can appropriately function (as within the notion of the intellect or buddhi) as subjects in relation to objects that are separate from them.
    ( Due to this) they cannot completely cast off objectivity, so they shine illumined with (less than full or condensed) imperfect Self-consciousness and appear as a finite (limited) ‘I’ ,
    (and then say) I am devadatta, I am caitra ( I am yajvan, I am Billy, I am going, I am coming, I am
    hot, I am cold, I am this, I am that, I want this , I want that).

    What then does this suggest? The ‘i’ we experience is the throttled-down version of universal I or ahaṁ and it is recognized as ahaṃkāra. This term ahaṃkāra is ahaṃ+kāra or ‘I’ maker or ‘I’ making of ‘self’. It is this ahaṁ that ~makes~ a subset of itself, a scale model. Universal Self is now the individual bound self (ahaṃkāra) .
    Bound within the constraints of space-time, size, matter, likes and dislikes, size/shape/colors, feelings and the like - it is not in a ‘penalty box’ but it is something the Supreme does on its own volition ( iccha śakti) to become finite as human beings and all the other diversity found in the universe. Hence based upon this throttling down it, buddhi takes on the roll of Self in a limited way.


    Within trika, the human condition is a condensed version of the Supreme. This throttled down I ( or Self appearing as ‘i’ ego or the limited me) allows the Supreme by
    Its own free will (svatantra) says our trika āgama-s and śastra-s to enter into finiteness, into individuality, to aṇu ( atomic, minute, small, limited).

    Hence this now sets the stage to explain yogaja mārga: yogaja = produced by or arising from yoga or yuj + mārga - passage , channel. It is the re-union of the 'i' with its fullness of 'I'. It is self once again taking on its universal Self. One is not becoming something that it is not all ready. That is why trika uses the term pratyabhijñā – it is the re-recognition of one’s full nature.

    iti śivaṁ

    1. īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā (īśvara-pratyabhijñā-kārikā) = concise statements (kārikā-s) on the recognition (pratyabhijñā) of the Lord (īśvara) is authored by utpaladeva; it would be considered the brahmasūtra-s of trika or kaśmir śaivism. There is substantial weight of drawing logical conclusions and inferences ( called anumāna) about proving the fact of eternal and Supreme consciousness , we know to be in this doctrine as śiva or paramaśiva, which in term is applied as īśvara – the final and authoritative Ruler, Being, anuttara, unsurpassable.
    Last edited by yajvan; 06 October 2016 at 04:25 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A bit more light on yoga

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~


    namasté

    So, once again we end up in this quandary… what is one to do if they wish re-recognize their fullness, wholeness ( called purṇāhantā ¹) ?
    For many there is no issue, all is well and I am fine being within this human construct. My desires are somewhat fulfilled, I am somewhat
    happy, I am somewhat content. Yet for others these things too are within their purview ( somewhat happy, content, etc), yet there
    is this feeling of non-fullness, of something lacking.


    For them the wise tell us the Slayer of the real ( of Self, of Being) is the mind; slay the slayer. For them the īśvāsya upaniṣad holds
    true: ātma-hano janāḥ¹ , humans have become the slayers of the Self.

    What is one to do?
    magnaḥ svacittena praviśet || 21 śiva-sūtras
    (magnaḥ) plunge/sink being immersed + (sva+cittena ) one’s own mind + (praviśet) one should enter || 21

    What is one entering? That which was called out in the 20th sutra , caīturthaṁ , or the 4th, turīya.

    One view of this 21st śloka by kṣemarāja¹ suggests:
    One has to enter the divine consciousness by thought-free non-relational awareness. How? By dissolving the personal self,
    consisting of body (awareness), prāṇa, ego ( ‘i’ of me-ness condition) into the sap of universal consciousness (saṃvit).

    Why should that work ? Because śiva Himself says there is neither bondage or liberation for me. This liberation and
    bondage is just an attribute to the jīva ( or human condition), a refection in buddhi ( intellect), and these two notions
    make him vibhīṣikā ( frightened)¹.

    This means one’s alignment to divine consciousness drops away the limitations of ‘me’ness, ego, ‘i’ – all of the limitations
    And one bathes in fullness (purṇāhantā).

    Another view from patañjali’s yogadarśana would be the following from chapter 2:
    te pratiprasavaheyāḥ sūkṣmāḥ||10
    Those (te) acute/subtle (sūkṣmāḥ) (kleśa-s or ~afflictions~ which was called out in the 3rd sūtra¹) are to be abandoned/removed (heyāḥ) by (pratiprasava)||10
    The key word is pratiprasava which means ‘returning to the original state’ , ‘counter order’. The wise say reversing the birthing process.

    But what birth ? In this case , for simplicity, and to align to patañjali’s 2nd sūtra of his book, it is the birth of thoughts. If thoughts come-and-go all day
    long, it suggests there must be some start to them i.e. their original state. And the way to get to them is by ‘counter order’ , going back within.
    Some may call this atyuttama ; at = to walk + uttama = the highest; others call it transcending.

    Hence the notion of ātma-sākṣātkāra ( direct sight of Self) from a few points of view.

    iti śivaṁ


    words


    • purṇāhantā is the perfect ‘I’ ahaṃ consciousness of īśvara or śiva ; purṇā = full, whole + aha = certainty, granted + anta = nature or condition
    • kṣemarāja – this is from his commentary of the 21st sloka of the śiva-sūtras.
    • vibhīṣikā - from the of vijñānabhairava kārikā-s 135th verse
    • ātma-hano janāḥ - from the 3rd śloka of the īśvāsya upaniṣad
    • The kleśa-s called out in the 3rd sutra: avidyāsmitārāgadveṣābhiniveśāḥ pañca kleśāḥ||3

    Ignorance (avidyā) confusing the non-Self as Self, egoism (asmitā) thinking/acting as if ’I’ is the intellect/buddhi) attachment (rāga), aversion (dveṣa), fear of death (abhiniveśāḥ)
    abhiniveśāḥ = abhi+niveśāḥ = fearlessly staking claim, residing, camping; Hence this means intencely clinging to life are the five (pañcakleśāḥ) kleśa-s

    • sākṣāt – with one’s own eye
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A bit more light on yoga

    Namaskar yajvan-ji,

    You have given us a great wealth of knowledge here. Thank you very much for your efforts; you have definitely shed more light on the subject of yog for me. I can't help but feel an immense amount of peace and gratitude when I read your entries here. Please, if you have time and are willing, share more of this knowledge; I continue to thirst for more and more of it. Oh, and by the way, welcome back! _/\_

    Pranams,
    LightofOm
    ॐ मृत्युंजयाय रुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय शम्भवे l
    अमृतेशाय शर्वाय महादेवाय ते नम: ll

    Sanātana Dharma Worldwide

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    Re: A bit more light on yoga

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~


    namasté



    I wrote the following from post 6 above,

    What then does this suggest? The ‘i’ we experience is the throttled-down version of universal I or ahaṁ and it is recognized as ahaṃkāra. This term ahaṃkāra is ahaṃ+kāra or ‘I’ maker or ‘I’ making of ‘self’. It is this ahaṁ that ~makes~ a subset of itself, a scale model. Universal Self is now the individual bound self (ahaṃkāra) .
    Bound within the constraints of space-time, size, matter, likes and dislikes, size/shape/colors, feelings and the like - it is not in a ‘penalty box’ but it is something the Supreme does on its own volition ( iccha śakti) to become finite as human beings and all the other diversity found in the universe. Hence based upon this throttling down it, buddhi takes on the roll of Self in a limited way.
    Why would the Supreme what to come within ( or manifest ) the finite world of things, places, people, feelings, animate and inanimate objects, time, space, directions, cause and effect ?
    Because of this one thing: The Supreme is so complete, so whole and full it must also contain all that is not full, not whole.
    Let's say you are the total and absolute ruler of a land; your rule must include all the complete and full towns with proper laws, good people, ethics, pure air, health and wealth, and all those
    towns that filled with thief's, brutes, impure air, lawlessness, and the like. It is because your rule is complete it includes everything, not one thing within that space of possibilities is left out.

    Like that, the Supreme's
    purṇāhantā ( wholeness and completeness¹) must encompass the finite, the infinite and absolute simultaneously. For the Supreme holds within Itself the field of all possibilities; nothing is outside of It, so every possibility ( even the impossible) must be contained within this Being. Hence our world that is the 'impossibility' of the whole being to be viewed as parts. 'As if' you can cut-up the infinite and view it as a finite entity.


    iti śivaṁ

    1. wholeness - another term for this is niḥśeṣa – finished, complete, totally; some say without remainder
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A bit more light on yoga

    Namaskar yajvan-ji,

    This is how I see this cosmic manifestation as well. The Supreme Being is the Fullness, the Wholeness, the IS and This includes Everything, not one thing is left out, not even so-called 'nothingness'. As soon as we wake up to this (that we are the Supreme in a minute form experiencing itself through a unique possibility) we begin to truly LIVE. I have spent years trying to become something when all the while I already was IT. I knew this as a child but for some reason as I grew older I became severely deluded. However, your words bring me back to Reality. I appreciate the way you explain these things and the way you reference scriptures and various school of thought. You are a great asset to this forum.

    Pranams,
    LightofOm
    ॐ मृत्युंजयाय रुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय शम्भवे l
    अमृतेशाय शर्वाय महादेवाय ते नम: ll

    Sanātana Dharma Worldwide

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