Author Topic: Yoga - The Science of Liberation:  (Read 1203 times)

Subramanian.R

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Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« on: December 07, 2015, 03:49:56 PM »
(An article by G. Sankararaman, in Mountain Path, July-Sept 2015.)

Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Hindu Philosophy, delineating the teleological purpose
of life, that is, the freedom from the thraldom of the material process of individual existence.
The yoga system us based on the epistemology of the famous Sankhya metaphysics, according
to which the whole of existence is reduced to two basic fundamentals, the impassive Purusha,
answering to the intelligent being of existence, and the impetuous Prakriti, the unmanifest,
undifferentiated objectivity, being the potentiality of all names and forms, the entire spectrum
of existence, sentient and the insentient, organic and inorganic.  This is termed as avyakta, akshara,
pradhana, being the primary substance, the prime mover of Aristotle, of which the variegated
existence of the phenomenal beings represents all possible configurations.  This is identifiable with
the, 'alayavijnana' or the 'tatagata-dhatu', of Buddhists.           

While Prakriti is only a material and mechanical force, void of intelligence, and Purusha is a passionless
non objective awareness unmediated by the externals, that is existing for itself, the question arises,
as to the why, how and whence of creation in which all beings are implicated. The metaphysical
solution of Samkhya, the father of Yoga, for this mind-boggling question, is that by the power of
the Purusha, the energy of intelligence, Prakriti, which is in a state of equipoise, all the three primary
qualities of light, action and dullness not being opposed to each other, is set into movement.  That is,
the light of energy of intelligence falling on undifferentiated matter, the Form of Plato, all the potentiatlies
of individual existence manifest from the Mahat, the first born Cosmic Intelligence.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 03:57:56 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2015, 09:28:02 AM »
The entire metaphysics of existence is explained in four chapters known as,  i) Samadhi Pada,
ii) Sadhana Pada,  iii) Vibhuti Pada and iv) Kaivalya Pada. 

The Samadhi Pada extensively dilates on the gnostic knowledge which enables one to sunder the
spirit from matter. 

The Sadhana Pada talks about the practical implications. 

The very first sutra of Patanjali in Samadhi Pada defines Yoga as pure attention or awareness
inhibiting the fluctuations of the mind, which are five fold.  When the fluctuations come to a stop,
the Seer, that is Purusha, abides in himself, taking the form of these fluctuations otherwise, which
are either hindered or unhindered, being grouped under the following:  right knowledge, wrong
knowledge, predicate relations, sleep and finally memory.

The right knowledge constitutes perception, inference and verbal communication.  Wrong knowledge
is an erroneous idea about some thing.   The predicate relation, which can be equated with fancy or
being in brown study, is devoid of any objective content.  Sleep is that state of inner being totally
bereft of any mental content, the bare light of Purusha illumining the undifferentiated matter, known
as Avidya, the metaphysical ignorance of the nature of the Self.  Memory is that faculty of the thought
process having the capacity to recollect the past, either a reality or a delusion.  According to Vyasa
and Vachaspati Misra, the commentators of the Yoga Sutra, the reason for memory being placed
as the last mental state is that it is the resultant of the earlier mental states, being generated from them.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 09:55:57 AM »
The raison d'etre of Yoga is the direct intuition of the Self unmediated by all the objective categories,
belonging to the realm of the Prakriti.  The first two steps of Yoga, yama, niyama, refer to the ethical
qualities demanded of the aspirant.  The third one, asana, is as regards the perfection of the body.
The fourth, pranayama, is by way of stabilizing the psychic energy, which in concert with relative
consciousness, perceives the manifest world.   The fifth step, that is pratyahara, refers to the idea of
stopping the objective knowledge flowing through the senses being resolved back to the mind, taking
the form of the mind, only the past impressions remaining.     

The subsequent stages, which are proximate to the inner being, are the following a) dharana - this
is by way of the isolation of the mind to a seamless whole from the present objectives; b) dhyana -
this refers to the stage of abidance in this, not by way of time process, but as pure knowledge.
Finally, c) Samadhi, the grand finale, refers to a state of mind in which the object alone shines in its
purity without the notions of observer being foisted on it. In the last three processes the linear flow
of mind, the discursive way of thinking through the mediation of the senses, all these are no longer
there.   There is a direct perception of the object, which Patanjali calls ritambhara, which can be

Dharana, dhyana and samadhi constitute a unitary process, the consummation termed as Samyama
in yoga, and Prajna by the Buddhist, revealing the essence of the objects, through a direct perception.
The knowledge obtained through Samadhi, that is truth-bearing consciousness, which is a balanced
state, 'swarupa sunya' (empty of selfhood as it were), reveals the very thing itself, with the memory
of the past not insinuating itself into the being.  This knowledge is beyond the five fluctuations.  Samadhi
is the disjoining union of the matter and spirit, leaving the individual all alone.  It is not even becoming
one with Cosmos, but refers to something beyond time and space.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 03:31:09 PM »
The various stages of Samadhi, described in the Yoga Sutras, are as follows:  First, Patanjali makes a
distinction of it as one of Samprajna and Asamprajna, the former having an objective prop, and the
latter being devoid  any such prop, the intermediate stages being like this:  There is first, the
Savitarka, based on deliberation on gross objects, where in the yogi's attention is conveyed to a
single object with the exclusion of all others,  which is not so much as objective concentration, but is
one of seeing the essential ingredient of thought.  The deliberative stage leads to the non-deliberate
stage, wherein there is no censor, but only impressions. This is a stage of void, 'a cloud of unknowing',
as it were rendering the censor immobile, a transition from the Samprajna to the Asamprajna.  From
this void the yogi proceeds to see the Universe in its essential form of the Tanmatras, (meaning suchness
of things) a state of idealism of things the descent of which is the gross world.  This  is known as
Savichara Samadhi, involving analysis, the observer-observed dichotomy still being there in a subtle
form, the objects involved being the subtle essence of the gross world.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2015, 02:41:40 PM »
There is a transition from the Savichara to the Nirvichara, the latter being a perception without
the perceiver in a similar manner,the further subtle impressions alone remaining, constituting
the next state of Asamprajna.   This state of void for utter want of objects leads to Samadhi
of the object-less bliss. An abidance here results in the abandonment of bliss even in view of its
involving duality still, even in view of its involving duality still, albeit in a very subtle way, this
being the precursor to the meditation on  the very fundamental substratum of the mind itself,
this being known as Asmita in yoga parlance.  The term Asmita refers to the bare ego, the nearest
approximation.to the spirit, being the matrix of all phenomena.  Here there are no objects to
be meditated upon, but only a discriminative knowledge, involving the unbroken awareness
of the distinction between Buddhi, the finest essence of objective knowledge, and the Purusha
which is beyond all phenomena, being the sanctum sanctorum of existence, which is an illimitable
Void, devoid of the distinctions of subject and object, existence and non existence, the matter
and spirit. 

Patanjali says that in the higher state of Samadhi, there is no overlapping of the word, the thought
behind the word and the intended object, which enables the yogi to understand the essence of
everything without the intermediary of language.  This can be equated with the statement  of
the modern spiritual teacher, J. Krishnamurti, that in the total emptiness of the mind, one can
hear the very sound of the Universe, and have a total insight into it. In the state of Samadhi,
involving the removal of  the yoke between the buddhi and the Self, the entire existence,
involving the identification of the pure spirit with material process, comes to a grinding halt,
with the energy of intelligence no longer informing the undifferentiated matter.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 02:56:39 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2015, 02:27:07 PM »
The Prakrti, which according to Samkhya world-view exits only for liberation of the shadowy
incarcerated reflection of the Purusha in the buddhi, is restored back to its balance, only
the undifferenitiated Void  remaining with no spectator to contemplate upon it, the unhappy
wedlock of two primal entities being broken, and the individual being immersed in the
Silence of Alone-ness.

There are cases of Yogs, who have merely merged their differentiated being in the unmanifest
Void. They have the potentialtiy  of  reborn., as they have not removed the skein of tangled knot.
Such personalities are known as Prakriti leena Purusha in Yoga parlance.   The progressive ascent
involved in  the various stages of Samadhi is a subtle transition from the gross to subtle, it being
realized that the subtle  pervades the entire gamut of manifest and unmanifest existence,
the gross layers covering up the transcendental truth beyond name and form the transcendental
truth beyond name and form like a cloud. The final stage of objectivity is that of the intellect
the most rarefied component of the Prakriti.


contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 03:50:23 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2015, 04:07:24 PM »
All experiences of life only pertain  to the reflection of the impassive Purusha in  the mirror of
the buddhi, resulting in the  confusion of real being himself subject to the trammels of existence.
The Samkhya teleology at the summit takes the ontological position of the individual being always
free, and the phenomenal existence being only an illusory contact with the true Person, with the
buddhi.

Patanjali defines the state of mind in meditation as follow:  Firstly, there is the awareness of the
arrested and emergent states of mind arising and disappearing, there being no identification
with them, which is known as Nirodha Parinama.  Initially, the Yogi is not aware of this thought
which is known as Samadhi Parinama.  When the sameness of thought process is come upon,
it looks as though the present and previous thoughts are one and the same.  This is known as
Ekagraha Parinama.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

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Re: Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2015, 04:31:29 PM »
Actually, this is a state leading to the stoppage of flow of time, having nothing to do with the
thought, the mind alternating between the arrested state of no-mind and the object of meditation,
the distinction between concentration and distraction having been overcome by the background
of emptiness of the no-mind, this being termed as 'choiceless awarenss', or 'attention, by the great
religious teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti.  Actually,in the highest state of attention, there are no thoughts.
Neither the thinker, nor even the thinking process, all actions relating to the empirical world being
tinged with the truth-bearing consciousness, the observer being lost in the blaze of silence of the
no-mind.

The abidance in this luminous natural state of emptiness takes the Yogi to the natural awareness
of that which is behind the phenomenal existence.  This is not a thought, but the gateway to the
discriminating knowledge, which gets dissolved for want of any prop objective or subjective,
the Yogi remaining in the Solitary Grandeur of the Transcendental Aloneness named as Kaivalya.
The function of nature  has become, 'functus offico' , that is, having performed its function,
the Purusha is released from tentacles of matter.  This is termed as Maha Videha by Patanjali,
meaning the great, grand, disembodiment.  Here there is no time and space interval between
buddhi sattva (thinking mind), and that which is behind the phenomenal word.
   
contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

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Re: Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2015, 05:06:00 PM »
Further, the overlapping of the words, the ideas, and the intended object, are no longer there,
the trio of the observer, observation. and the observed, being simultaneously lit by the light of
Purusha, whereby one is able to understand everything in the phenomenal world, seeing in one
stroke the past, present and future. Since here the duality or the interval between buddhi and the self
is also removed,no discrete experience of the senses is possible.

The subsequent chapter,known as Vibhuti Pada expatiates upon various thamaturgical    powers
that the Yogi comes upon, which  albeit not relevant to the enlightenment, are a pointer towards
the mastery obtained by the Yogi over the entire existence. These are not equated with the cheap
tricks pursued only by some "soi disant" or self styled swamis to gull the unwary public.


The last chapter Kaivalya Pada contains a vivid description of the state of freedom of the spirit
which is not adventitious, but essential.

Thus Yoga   is reading the book of life, to borrow an expression from Krishnamurti, here there
being no reader, the reading also not not being one of page after page, but in one stroke free
of time.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.