Archive for January, 2010

A "lunar year" after the "Samanvaya"

January 25, 2010

Sri Virodhi Naama Samvatsara Maagha Suddha Dasami – Monday 25 Jan 2010.

This post is just to mark an year of arriving at the “Thisis” and completing my “Samanvaya” phase of Advaita Saadhana.

I (the ego) have not found any contradiction (virodha) to the Thisis arrived at a year back!

Still (i = ego) thoroughly surrendered to the GURU ( = true self = GOD!)

om tat sat

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siddhis – The final set of obstacles for Samadhi

January 19, 2010

In earlier posts we have seen the other sets of obstacles in the saadhana of Raja Yoga.

This posts discusses about the final set of obstacles called “siddhis” – attainments.

Siddhis are experiences of some divine hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell.

What is an experience? Non discrimination between the object and enjoyer! (i.e., between temporary and the eternal)

In Yoga Sutras Vibhuti Paada, Sutra 38 states:
te samādhau upasargāḥ vyutthāne siddhayaḥ – YS 3:38

These divine experiences or perfections are obstacles for final samadhi. But they can be considered as attainments in an extroverted mind. Giving any importance to these experiences will sometimes lead to “falling off” from the path of yoga itself! These siddhis will lead the YOGI back into the status of a BHOGI…

One who cleverly crosses this final set of obstacles of divine perfections will attain the true effortless samadhi beyond ALL “experiences”!

Instruction 20:
All the experiences (including the divine experiences) are temporary. The ultimate independence is beyond all the experiences. Beware of any super natural powers that may appear and never deviate from the “saadhana” for final goal of YOGA.

The “transcendental independence” (kaivalya) is achieved by Raja Yoga is only possible for the one who has developed the highest vairagya i.e., vairagya from all fruits of action either worldly or heavenly! (the fruits should always be surrendered to the LORD – the first principle of Karma Yoga and last niyama of Raja Yoga)

om tat sat

Astangas – The eight fold path

January 17, 2010

The eight “angas” of the Patanjali’s path towards “viveka-khyati” or “prajna” or “development of discrimination” is:

1. Yama – restraints
2. Niyama – observances
These two are prerequisites. In yoga vedanta path, these two limbs are sufficiently mastered during the karma yoga stage.

3. Asana – The posture
4. Pranayama – the control of vital force (prana)
5. Pratyahara – sense control
These three called external limbs of yoga or “bahiranga” practices.
The aim of the bahiranga practices is to conquer the “External Nature”

6. dharana – Fixing mind to a specific place
7. dhyana – fixing mind temporally to a single thought
8. Samadhi – absorption of thought, object of thought and thinker into one
These three are called internal limbs or yoga or “antaranga” practices
The aim of the antaranga practices is to conquer the “Internal Nature”

The “bahiranga” and “antaranga” practices are enveloped in the “yamas” and “niyamas”.

The first YAMA is the ahimasa = non-injury. (non-injury at emotional, verbal and physical modes of action towards ALL LIVING BEINGS)

The last NIYAMA is the iswara-pranidhanam = complete active unconditional surrender to iswara. (perfecting this niyama is called natural unseeded samadhi)

So, practice has to start with a strong harmless action to any living being including one’s own self. (one’s own self is also included in practice of non-injury!)

It ends in complete surrender to iswara fully established in the “prajna”. In Srimad Bhagavad Gita lord uses a word called “sthita-prajna” (one who is established in prajna or samadhi) to mention the person who has mastered this skill. (Refer to Srimad Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 verse 54 till 61 regarding the qualities of a sthita-prajna)

Instruction 19:
Learn to practice YAMAs and NIYAMAs. Without a good level of mastery over these two steps (consisting of 5 yamas and 5 niyamas) no practice will yield any result.

The true practice goes in a “spiral model” gradually perfecting the YAMAs and NIYAMAs to the highest level of “prajna” or samadhi.

WARNING: As I have mentioned earlier also, the bahiranga and antaranga practices should be “guided” by a living realized GURU. A formal initiation into the practice is mandatory.

om tat sat

అగ్ని కి సమ్మెట పోటు

January 17, 2010

అనఘునికైన జేకురు ననర్హుని గూడి చరించునంతలో
మన మెరియంగ నప్పుడవమానము కీడు ధరిత్రియందు నే
యనువుననైన దప్పవు యథార్ధము; తానది ఎట్టులన్నచో
యినుమును గూర్చి యగ్ని నలయింపదే సమ్మెట పెట్టు భాస్కరా!

— భాస్కర శతకం నుంచి

చెడ్డ వారి తో కలిసి తిరిగితే మంచి వారికి కూడా కస్టాలు వస్తాయని ఇనుము తో పాటు అగ్ని కి కూడా సమ్మెట పోటు సామ్యం చెపుతోంది ఈ పద్యం దృష్టాంతాలంకారములు బాగా వాడిన శతకం భాస్కర శతకం లోనిది. మారవి వెంకయ్య కవి ఈ శతక రచయిత.

The "FIVE" klesas

January 15, 2010

Having seen the “single principle” of how to deal with obstacles during the practice (abhyasa) of samadhi, let us now look at the obstacles for vairagya – dispassion which is the second wing of SAADHANA that is used to sustain the samadhi.

An ordinary Bhogi’s question on YOGA is:
is it not sufficient to do righteous work and continue to get the (“good”) fruits of work for one’s own consumption? Why to completely “conquer” the chittam? Or stop the “functions” (vrittis) of the chittam?

or this question can be simply put as:

Is the “RIGHTEOUS ACTION” in itself not sufficient?

Answer:
The righteous action is the first necessary condition for the KARMA YOGA. It is not sufficient to remove the “root cause” of misery.

There are five klesas
1. Avidya = ignorance
2. Asmita = “I am” -ness
3. Raaga = attraction or the colored vision.
4. Dvesha = repulsion, the opposite of raaga.
5. Abhinivesha = clinging on to life or actions; [or fear of death.]

Of these five, AVIDYA is the basis of rest of them.

What is AVIDYA?
AVIDYA is considering temporary as eternal, impure as pure, pain as pleasure and non-soul as soul.

Action is temporary. Its fruits are also temporary.
Body is inherently impure. It continuously needs purification and maintenance.
Any association of “fruits of action” with the “body and senses” will finally lead to dukha only. But due to ignorance (avidya) one considers it as pleasure.

The temporary action leading to temporary fruits leads to temporary attraction and repulsion. The attachment to the impressions produced by the raaga and dvesha leads to clinging on to the life and further unfinished actions making the jeeva to take up new set of instruments (body, mind and intellect) to carry on those actions over and over again. (this action – more action – more and more action cycle is called samsaara which is a mixture of good and bad that is daily experienced by the jeeva!)

What is the reason for AVIDYA?
non-discrimination between the seer and seen. Non discrimination between the thinker and the thought. non discrimination between the universal and particular.
i.e.,
mixing up of the “witnessing consciousness” with the “witnessed object”.

Instruction 18:
Develop the discrimination (viveka) to properly understand the eternal and temporary. This will lead to vairagya. Viveka is the only weapon on the five klesas. By properly balancing the abhyasa and vairagya one can remove all the obstacles on YOGA SAADHANA and attain the natural unseeded SAMADHI. This leads to mastery of DEATH.

Realizing one’s own true nature as the “eternal witnessing consciousness” beyond all the witnessed object manifestations is the final result of the SAMADHI.

(Patanjali Yoga Sutras SAADHANA PAADA the sutras 1 to 28 discuss this subject of Klesas in much greater detail. This is the basis of YOGA philosophy and saadhana)

om tat sat

సంక్రాంతి పురుష లక్షణం

January 13, 2010

త్రిశిరం ద్విముఖం చైవ చతుర్వక్త్ర త్రినేత్రకం
లంబకర్ణం రక్తదంతం లమ్బభ్రూ దీర్ఘనాశికమ్
అష్ట బాహు ద్విపాదం చ వికృతం కృష్ణ వర్ణకం
శతయోజనం మౌన్నత్యం విస్తీర్ణమ్ ద్వాదశం స్మృతం
ఏవం రూపం సవిజ్ఞేయం సంక్రాంతేః పురుషస్యతు

–మకర సంక్రాంతి సందర్భంగా

chitta prasadanam – pacifying the mind

January 5, 2010

Having practiced the Raja Yoga for some years, I have summarised the overall Yoga Vedanta practice in the past blog post “Practice – Saadhana” on the other blog.

During this “practice” one need to overcome Nine vikshepas (obstacles) successfully to attain the single pointed concentration which is required for “dhyana” that leads to samadhi.

The nine vikshepas are enumerated as (Yoga Sutra 1-30):
1. disease, 2. dullness, 3. doubt
4. carelessness, 5. laziness, 6. non-detachment from sense objects
7. false-visions, 8. not attaining a state, 9. not able to sustain the state

These nine obstacles are accompanied by the symptoms of (Yoga Sutra 1-31):
1. Pain, 2. Sadness, 3. shaking of limbs of body, 4. irregular breathing

Instruction 17:
tatpratiṣedhārtham ekatattva abhyāsaḥ (YS 1-32)

tat, pratishedha, artham, eka-tatva, abhyasah.

Rishi Patanjali gives a SINGLE PRINCIPLE of PRACTICE to pacify the nine obstacles and the four symptoms of those obstacles. That is:

maitrī karuṇā muditā upekṣaṇam
sukha duḥkha puṇya apuṇya
viṣayāṇāṁ bhāvanātaḥ cittaprasādanam (YS 1-33)

maitri, karuna, mudita, upekshanam
sukha, dukha, punya, apunya
vishayaanam, bhavanatah, ciitta, prasadanam.

What is this single principle?
We come across four kinds of people/situations while on the path of Raja Yoga. They are:
sukha = Happy
dukha = Suffering
punya = Helping other to be happy
apunya = Inflicting suffering on others

It is the mind’s general tendency to “desire” the sukha and punya and “hate or get angry” with dukha and apunya.

The desire is raaga and hate/anger is dvesha = the fundamental duality the mind is trapped in.

What is Maharshi Patanjali Instructing to bring the mind out of this fundamental duality?

Develop an attitude of
maitri (frindliness) towards sukha;
karuna (compassion) towards dukha;
mudita (gladness / gratefulness) towards punya;
AND
upekshanam ( indifference / non-responsiveness) towards apunya;

This training of mind will lead to pacification / purification of chitta which is a very important part of abhyasa (practice) of Raja Yoga.

Why should one develop “upakshanam” towards “apunya”?

Hating or getting angry with the evil will leave the mind polluted by evil. The best solution is being indifferent to evil at the emotional layer.

Be compassionate to the subjects of dukha
but
be emotionally indifferent to the subjects of evil.

Lord (iswara) will take care of evil doers at the correct time. Have Faith.
But
Respond to the “situation of evil” in your own capacity applying the Karma Yoga while being emotionally indifferent as suggested by Rishi Patanjali for not getting trapped by the evil!

Due to ignorance of this principle people “react” (emotionally react) to evil, causing the evil to multiply in unending action-reaction cycle.

om tat sat