Tag Archives: mind

The Yoga Marga to Freedom

The western world has made the word “Yoga” very fashionable.  Since lot of celebrities now endorse as an essential part of their lifestyle,  it seems that this path is really popular.  But contrary to what one labels as Yoga, the principles and practices as described by Sage Patanjali are very profound.

yoga

How does this Marga work in our quest for liberation, freedom?  And freedom from what?   The ancient philosophers had already worked out that the self is Supreme and all the other things which bond us, restrict us is Maya.  But the stranglehood of Maya deludes us from the truth. The prescription to transcend this is called Yoga.   The Sanskrit meaning for Yoga is Union. Is it Union with the self?  But aren’t we united already?   Yes, in the broader sense, we are.  But somewhere the disconnection arises because of the delusions cast by Maya.

Ignorance of that brings darkness.  Moving from the darkness to light that we are is Yoga.  The self is illuminated, powerful and yet we suffer.

So let’s begin on this path of Yoga. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called Ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs” (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life, directed at the ultimate bliss of the self.. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health; and they help us to connect with the ultimate reality of self.  The eight limbs are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

The eight fold approach need not be sequential. In fact, they are supporting processes.  For eg. Practicising Niyama helps in Asanas, and practicing Asanas helps in Dhyana.   The ultimate goal is Samadhi – being one without any effort, in bliss and with complete transcendence, united with the Self.

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The description sounds exotic, but in reality, we do attain Samadhi, albeit for a very small period of time.  The pleasure of Samadhi has been described as 1000 times more than that of a sexual orgasm.  Osho, in his book from Sambhog to Samadhi, describes how man seeks sexual pleasure not knowing that he is seeking Samadhi!!!

Where does one start?  Just imagine your journey has eight options. Which one would you choose? It can get confusing.   The physical plane is the easiest one to relate to.   Start with practicing Hatha Yoga and learn a few Pranayama’s. With gradual practice, one starts observing the other principles also.

The obstacles in this path can be many.  The worldly pleasures are likely to sway one’s mind back and away from the path.  It takes continuous remembrance and patience to stay on this path.   The ultimate treasure of freedom is not at the end of the path but the very path itself.    But one stops walking, and the treasure is gone.

Yoga in a sense – is the knowledge of Oneness in everything.  As Patanjali says in one Verse,

Tada drastuh svarupe vasthanam

Living through this stage of Yoga, reveals the Seer or the Self, in its most brilliant form.

sculptor at work

A way to understand Yoga is the analogy of a sculptor working through the stone.  It is the removal of the unwanted material which brings out the statue.  The sculptor doesn’t add anything!  Similarly, the practice of Yoga removes the unwanted materials (read the Samskara’s or the impressions of the mind) which block the Self.

You are the diamond which needs to be cut and polished!! That’s this path about…Are you yet ready to shine?

By Vikas Bhatia

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Jal

Aum Jalbimbaye Vvidmahe

Nila Purushaye Dhimahi
Tanno Varunah Prachodayat

The Translation:

Om, let us meditate on the reflection of water
O person of ocean blue, give me higher intellect
And let the God of water illuminate my mind

Jal is the nectar of life. Water is the original creator.  Sprinkle just a few drops of cool water on the parched earth and see how life germinates there without any external help. “Jal” symbolizes boundless energy of an original idea, which can be ruthless amidst the winds of chaos.

Jal constitutes the phenomenal energy contained by the clouds, swaying to the rhythmic vayu. The clouds personifying the dark soldiers straddling horizons, obscuring the mighty sun and then showering life all over “Prithvi” (the Earth).

Such is the power of that one thought or “winning idea” that circumvents thousands of hurdles and prevails.

Saraswati, the great river, awakens us to knowledge by the perception and shines in all our thoughts. Saraswti, the inspiration is full of her luminous plenitudes, rich in substance of thought. She upholds the sacrifice, the offering of the mortal being’s activities to the divine by awakening his consciousness so that the right states of emotion occur.

The Jal in the river has the patience of eons, of “Kalpas” because it inherently represents the truth of an honest idea which has the unfathomable patience and energy to defeat all falsehoods obstructing its way.

Jal is also the eternal calm ocean. Deep, silent and cool on the surface, hiding, like the mind of a meditative sage, thousands of storms within. The ocean is the human consciousness and is often compared to the mind, the thoughts and emotions being the waves.

The Churning of the Ocean is allegorical, symbolising the great fight in the human bosom between Virtue and Vice. The forces of Virtue, the celestials, the devas fight the forces of Vice, the demons, the asuras. In this fight Immortality is the end result and Immortality is nothing but Self Actualisation !

By Aanchal Sethi

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Akasha

Some questions provoke the innocent mind, since the beginning of time. A child may ask some questions which are related to the curiosity of the adult as well like why the stars twinkle, why the moon shines, why the sun rises, why the night comes, where do we come from, where do we go, etc. Mankind has always been struggling with these problems. To resolve this curiosity, they had to increase their intellectual powers. Philosophy and science are the result of this intellectual process. The subjects, which cannot be handled in the laboratory, can be understood by means of the imagination.

Space

The entire universe/space is called Prakriti and manifests by a vibration of the Svara, a current of a life-force or a superstring called the Parabrahman and the Purush. This in turns causes the subtle elements of the 5 ethers, or strings (the quality of ether is called sound) to vibrate, the distinct vibration causes the Pancha-Mahabhutas, the five physical elements.

The five main elements occur in the following order of aggregation: Akasha, Agni, Vayu, Prithvi and Jal. Except for Akasha, all of the elements are composed of discreet and distinct indivisible particles called Paramanu (beyond atoms) i.e. light is composed of discreet and distinct particles. Space, soul and time are eternal.

Previously we have touched upon the agni, vayu, prithvi & jal. The word akasha is made up of a+kashate (verb), which means ‘that which shines completely’ and makes others shine as well. In Latin, space means ‘spatium,’ which means ‘to lie upon.’ In Chinese Buddhism, ‘agha‘ which comes from Sanskrit, means both visible matter and invisible emptiness. (cf. Y. Raguin, Terminologie). In Chinese stories also, there is discussion about jala, vayu and akasha. Akasha means sky, the space, the one without the body, it is the stuff of which Gods & celestial beings are made of. All other elements get affected when they come in contact with each other but Akash is the purest of them all.

space earth

I believe above the earth engulfing humanity, there is the kal (time) and then there is the akasha. So the akasha is the place of space and time. Space and time together are a unit because in space we can go back, but not in time. When time and space pass through us, they look different, but they are connected to each other. Space and time make way for endless possibilities; possibilities the human mind does not even fathom, exist. Akasha has several qualities of the infinite human mind – it is mysterious, boundless & infinite beyond the comprehension of logic. So go ahead and unleash all that you hold in you, for life teaches that constraints are only in the mind and even though we live one life, it does have endless possibilities!

By Aanchal Sethi

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The 3 laws of E-motion

By Vikas Bhatia

  • First law: The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force.
  • Second law: The acceleration of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force F and inversely proportional to the mass m, i.e., F = ma.
  • Third law: The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.
  •  The three laws of motion were first compiled by Sir    Isaac Newton in his work Philosophiæ Naturalis   Principia Mathematica, first published on July 5,  1687. Newton used them to explain and investigate  the motion of many physical objects and systemsth century,  the laws of classical mechanics were the ones through which we understood the world we see.3 laws of E-motion!!First Law:  Emotions continue to be in a state of flux unless acted upon by an external stimulus called AwarenessSecond Law:  The intensity of the Emotion E is directly proportional to the importance given to the situation, divided by the level of Awareness,   the value of Awareness ranging from 1 to infinite.

    In short, Ei =  S/A  where  S  is the degree of Significance and A is the level of AwarenessThird Law:   Every emotion (positive or negative) released or expressed (consciously or unconsciously) will trigger an equal and opposite response from the universe.First Law of E-motion:  

    Emotions continue to be in a state of flux unless acted upon by an external stimulus called AwarenessThe unavailability of sunlight for prolonged periods has been found to lead to depression in many people.  The multitude of events and environmental changes creates an ever changing landscape of emotions.  The rate of change in the external environment can lead to a frustrating emotional flux.  While the positive cycle of change is always welcomed, the negative cycle is often difficult to control and is very damaging for some individuals.   The key to restore balance and to make sure we are not dragged in a whirl pool of negative set of emotions is Awareness.   Awareness is a state of disassociation, a state of witnessing oneself.   The state of Awareness calms down the turbulent sea of emotions welling up in our being.  Spiritual practices like meditation lead to an increase in awareness.    Many scriptures and spiritual Masters have spoken about this Awareness.  A state of Awareness is like being Awake, and the emotional turbulences nothing but a dream.  This state of Awareness can also be described as a state of Vairagya – or Dispassion from the internal emotional response.  Hence the first law postulates that our awakening – a sense of Higher Awareness leads to the arrest of the constant flux in our emotions.The Second Law of E-motion:

    The intensity of the Emotion E is directly proportional to the significance given to the situation, divided by the level of Awareness,   the value of Awareness ranging from 1 to infinite.In short, Ei =  S/A  where  S  is the degree of Significance and A is the level of AwarenessAwareness as described in the first law is also responsible for mellowing down the level of our response.  The emotional response itself is inevitable, the intensity experienced then is a consequence of the significance we have for the external stimulus and moderated by the level of Awareness.Shama.  Awareness does not reduce the significance we put on that event, it just helps us cope with it better.  Awareness can also be linked to Viveka –  the faculty of discernment which helps distinguish between the permanent and transient, between good and bad.The Third Law of E-motion:

    Every emotion (positive or negative) released or expressed (consciously or unconsciously) will trigger an equal and opposite response from the universe.

    Unlike the physical world where the action produces an immediate response, why does the emotional response meander through time and space?  We do not know fully understand the fabric of the consciousness, the space through which the emotional world works, but it does seem to have the mechanics of the response built in.   At the pinnacle of awareness, the field of consciousness is completely neutral, and all actions and their responses dissolve.   In some sense this is the annihilation of the positive and negative forces which creates the drama in human mind.Brahman, in absence of duality, these laws do not have relevance.  In total Awareness, I am that!

    Aham Bramhasmi

    Aum Tat Sat 

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