Showing posts with label Renunciant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Renunciant. Show all posts

What Is The Meaning Of Freedom In Yoga?




TABLE OF CONTENTS
DISCOVERY OF INDIA
THE EXOTIC UNKNOWN
THE MEANING OF BEING
THE PATH OF YOGA




DISCOVERY OF INDIA


There is no more fascinating tale than that of Western awareness' discovery and understanding of India. 


Not only do I refer to its geographical, linguistic, and literary discoveries, as well as expeditions and excavations—in short, everything that forms the foundation for Western Indianism—but I also refer to the diverse cultural adventures sparked by the increasing revelation of Indian languages, myths, and philosophies. 


  • Raymond Schwab's excellent book La Renaissance Orientale describes some of these cultural experiences. 
  • However, the exploration of India is still ongoing, and there is no reason to believe that it will be completed soon. 
  • For the most part, analyzing a foreign culture shows what the seeker was looking for or what the seeker was already willing to learn. 



The discovery of India will not be completed until the day when the West's creative powers have run dry irreversibly. 


  • When it comes to spiritual values, the contribution of philology, as important as it is, does not exhaust the object's richness. 
  • Attempting to comprehend Buddhism would have been futile if the texts had not been properly edited and the different Buddhistic philologies had not been established. 
  • The truth is that having access to such great instruments as critical editions, polyglot dictionaries, historical monographs, and so on did not ensure understanding of that huge and complex spiritual phenomena. 




THE EXOTIC UNKNOWN



When one approaches exotic spirituality, one is primarily understanding what one is predestined to learn by one's own vocation, cultural orientation, and the historical period to which one belongs. 


This axiom may be applied to any situation. The image of "inferior societies" that our nineteenth century created was largely derived from the positivistic, antireligiose, and ametaphysical attitude held by a number of worthy explorers and ethnologists with whom he shares, his unconscious—and above all by history, by his historical moment and his own personal history. 


  • Western philosophy is still dominated by this final finding of Western thought: that man is fundamentally a temporal and historical creature, that he is, and can only be, what history has created him. 
  • Certain philosophical trends even conclude that the only worthy and valid task proposed to man is to accept this temporality and historicity honestly and fully, because any other option would be equivalent to an escape into the abstract and nonauthentic, and would come at the cost of the sterility and death that inexorably follow any betrayal of history. 
  • It is not our responsibility to debate these claims. However, we may see that the difficulties that now occupy the Western mind prepare it for a greater comprehension of Indian spirituality, indeed, they encourage it to use India's millennial experience in its own philosophical endeavor. 




THE MEANING OF BEING.



The goal of the most modern Western philosophy is the human condition, and above all, the temporality of the human person. 


  • All additional "conditionings" are made possible by this temporality, which, in the end, renders man a "conditioned being," an infinite and ephemeral sequence of "conditions." 
  • Now, the fundamental issue of Indian philosophy is the "conditioning" of man (and its counterpart, "deconditioning," which is often overlooked in the West). 


Since the Upanisads, India has been concerned with just one major issue: the constitution of the human condition. ( As a result, it has been claimed, and rightly so, that all Indian philosophy has been and continues to be "existentialist.") 


As a result, the West would benefit from learning, 


( 1) what India thinks about the multiple "conditionings" of the human being, 

( 2) how it has approached the problem of man's temporality and historicity, and 

(3) what solution it has found for the anxiety and despair that invariably accompany consciousness of temporality, the matrix of all "conditionings." 



India has devoted itself to studying the different conditionings of the human person with a thoroughness not seen elsewhere. 


  • We accelerate the Bhagavad Gita because, in some ways, the problem revealed itself in these words for Christianity. 
  • How shall we resolve the paradoxical situation created by the twofold facts that man, on the one hand, finds himself in time, given over to history, and that, on the other hand, he knows that he will be "damned" if he allows himself to be exhausted by temporality and historicity, and that, as a result, he must find a road in this world that issues upon a transhistorical and atemporal plan at all costs? 
  • The Bhagavad Gita's suggested remedies will be addressed later. 




THE PATH OF YOGA



What we want to highlight right now is that all of these solutions represent different Yoga applications. 


For the fact is that the answers offered by Indian thought to the third question that concerns Western philosophy (that is, what solution India proposes for the anxiety produced by our discovery of our temporality and historicity, the means by which one can remain in the world without letting oneself be exhausted by time and history), all more or less directly imply some. 


  • As a result, it is clear what knowledge with this issue may imply to Western researchers and philosophers. 
  • To reiterate, it is not a simple question of adopting one of India's suggested answers. 
  • A spiritual worth is not gained because a new car model is fashionable. 
  • It is not, above all, a question of intellectual syncretism, "Indianization," or the abhorrent "spiritual" hybridism pioneered by the Theosophical Society and perpetuated, in exacerbated forms, by numerous pseudomorphs of our day. 


The issue is more severe; we must grasp and comprehend a concept that has had a central position in the history of global spirituality. And it's critical that we understand it now. 


  • For, on the one hand, we are now forced—Westerners and non-Westerners alike—to conceive in terms of global history and to create universal spiritual ideals, since any cultural provincialism has been surpassed by the path of history. 
  • On the other hand, the issue of man's place in the world today dominates Europe's intellectual consciousness—and, to reiterate, this problem lies at the heart of Indian philosophy. 
  • Perhaps this intellectual conversation will not continue without some disappointments, especially at initially. 



A lot of Western researchers and philosophers may consider the Indian assessments to be too simplistic, and the suggested remedies to be ineffective. 


Any technical language based on a spiritual tradition is inevitably a jargon, and Western philosophers may regard the jargon of Indian philosophy to be out of date, lacking in clarity, and unusable. 


  • However, all of the dangers that the conversation faces are insignificant. 
  • Under and despite the philosophic jargon, the profound discoveries of Indian thinking will eventually be acknowledged. 
  • It's impossible, for example, to ignore one of India's greatest discoveries: consciousness as witness, consciousness freed from its psychophysiological structures and temporal conditioning, consciousness of the "liberated" man, that is, of him who has succeeded in emancipating himself from temporal-ity and thus knows true, inexpressible freedom. 


The pursuit of this ultimate freedom, of complete spontaneity, is the aim of all Indians, and it may be attained primarily via Yoga, one of the many forms that India has to offer. 


  • This is why we felt it would be useful to write a relatively comprehensive explanation of Yoga philosophy and practices, to chronicle the history of its many manifestations, and to explain its place in Indian spirituality as a whole.




You may also want to read more about Kundalini Yoga here.

You may also want to read more about Yoga here.


You may also want to read more about Yoga Asanas and Exercises here.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.




Yoga's Origins and Evolution of Consciousness



Yogic Evolution


1. Yoga's psychospiritual technology, in its fully developed form, dates from the "axial age," the crucial period around the middle of the first millennium B.C.E., when Lao Tzu and Confucius lived in China, Mahavira and Gautama the Buddha lived in India, and Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle lived in Greece. 


2. These geniuses and a host of other path-makers of the time - The Swiss cultural philosopher Jean Geb­ ser has brilliantly defined what this new perspective implies in the broader history of human civilisation. 


3. He believes that mankind has traveled through a succession of four mental structures, or cognitive styles, that he has labeled the fol­lows: 


1. Archaic consciousness: This is the simplest and oldest cognitive type, with the lowest level of self-awareness and is still nearly entirely instinctive. 

 

  • It dates back to the period of Australopithecus and Homo habilis in terms of history.  

  • Today, this curiosity expresses itself in us as the desire for self-transcendence, for example.  

  • It's also involved in ecstatic experiences (samtidhi) and drug-induced altered states of consciousness, when the barrier between subject and object is temporarily removed. 

 

2. Magical consciousness: The magical consciousness, which emerges from archaic consciousness, is still pre-egoic and has a diffuse awareness. 

 

  • It works on the concept of identity, as represented in analogical thinking, a gut-level (archetypal) reaction that connects seemingly disparate parts into a whole.  

  • Over one-and-a-half million years ago, this kind of consciousness may have defined Homo erectus.  

  • When we are captivated or in sympathy with someone or something, it is still effective in us now.  

  • It shows itself in a variety of ways, like blindly falling in love or momentarily forgetting one's judgment (and perhaps one's humanity) when under the hypnotic effect of a big crowd.  

  • The magical consciousness is also evident in parts of Yoga that require intense inner concentration, which leads to a loss of bodily awareness.  

  • Of course, it is also the conceptual foundation for all kinds of sympathet­ic magic, which is a component of certain yogic pathways, particularly Tantric schools that stress the development of paranormal abilities, or siddhis. 

 

3. Mystical perception: This indicates a higher level of self­awareness, similar to but not equal to that of a toddler. 

 

  • Rather than mystical identity or mental duality, thinking is based on the concept of polarity.  

  • Symbols rather than mathematics, myth rather than hypothesis, emotion or intuition rather than abstraction are used to tell the story.  

  • The legendary consciousness may have been mainly embodied by the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons.  

  • It, like the other structures of consciousness, is still functional today and played a key role in the development of a vast array of spiritual traditions, including Yoga.  

  • When we shut our eyes and immerse ourselves in mental images, or when we give lyrical expression to our deepest feelings, we engage mythological awareness.

  • Most traditional Yoga methods have a significant mythological component, and they may be effectively put together under the term of Mythic Yoga, as opposed to a more integrative approach, such as Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga. 

  • "In, up, and out" is the verticalist slogan of Mythic Yoga. 

  • All of this is covered in more depth in Wholeness or Transcendence?

 

4. Awareness of the mind:

 

  • This cognitive style, as its name implies, is the realm of the thinking, logical mind, and it operates on the concept of duality ("either/or").  

  • Here, self-awareness is high, and the world is seen as divided into subject and object.  

  • This cognitive approach has controlled our lives since the Renaissance in Europe, and it has even become a harmful force.  

  • Today, the naturally balanced mental awareness has degenerated into what Gebser refers to as the rational mode. 

 

When Patanjali authored his Yoga-Sutra and Vyasa penned his commentary on it, mental awareness was still at its peak. 


  • Yoga does not rule out this specific cognitive approach, but all classic Yoga systems emphasize the transcendence of the mind, both in its lower and higher forms as manas and buddhi. 
  • The truth is always thought to exist outside of the mind and senses. 
  • The mind is often depicted as the arch adversary of the spiritual process in what I've termed Mythic Yoga. 
  • This belief, on the other hand, is a restriction that does not exist in more integrated Yoga. 


Although, in order to know the Self, the mind's mechanism must be transcended and liberated from its egoic anchoring, intellectual work is not always harmful to spiritual development. 


  • Gebser claimed that now we are seeing the emergence of a fifth structure of consciousness, which he termed integral consciousness, in his excellent book The Ever-Present Origin and many other writings. 
  • This is not the place to provide a comprehensive explanation of this new human mental mode. 
  • I only want to point out that this new awareness, in Gebser's opinion, is an antidote to the one-sidedness of the excessive logical mentality, which is a degeneration of the original mental consciousness. 


In Gebser's interpretation, logical awareness is overly egoic and at conflict with spiritual Reality. 


  • In contrast, integral awareness is naturally ego-transcending and receptive to what Gebser referred to as the "Origin," or the Ground of Being. 
  • There are clear similarities to Sri Aurobindo's philosophy here, and Gebser confessed to being in that great sage's spiritual gravity field. 

The job before us, both personally and collectively, is to assist this developing integrated consciousness in ourselves and our human civilization as a whole to take effect. 


  • Only in this manner can we expect to rebalance awareness' different structures, enabling each to express itself according to its inherent values. 
  • I believe that the Yoga tradition, like other spiritual traditions, has many aspects that, when used wisely to our current circumstances, may significantly aid in this difficult process of integration.



You may also want to read more about Kundalini Yoga here.

You may also want to read more about Yoga here.


You may also want to read more about Yoga Asanas and Exercises here.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.




HINDU PHILOSOPHY AND YOGA





    Hinduism - A Philosophy, Religion, Way Of Life, And Identity



    The difference between philosophy and religion in Hinduism is not as obvious as it is in modern Western culture. 


    • The terms "philosophy" and "religion" have no clear counterparts in Sanskrit, Hinduism's holy language. 
    • Anvikshiki-vidya is the closest synonym for "philosophy" ("science of examination"). 
    • Only the Nyaya school of philosophy, which deals with logic and dialectics, uses the similar word tarka-shastra ("discipline of reasoning"). 
    • To describe what we understand by "philosophical inquiry," modern pundits use the phrase tattva-vidya-shastra ("discipline of knowing reality"). 


    Sanatana-dharma The Sanskrit word dharma, which meaning "jaw" or "standard," captures the idea of "religion" (with many other connotations). 


    • Sanatana-dharma ("eternal law") is a Hindu term that relates to the Western concept of philosophia perennis. 
    • For Hindus, philosophy is more than just abstract knowledge; it is a metaphysics with moral consequences. 
    • To put it another way, whatever one's theoretical conclusions about reality are, they must be put into practice in everyday life. 
    • As a result, philosophy is usually viewed as a way of life rather than a meaningless exercise in logical thought. 

    Furthermore, Hindu philosophy (and Indian philosophy in general) includes a spiritual component. 



    • All philosophical systems accept the presence of a transcendental Reality and believe that a person's spiritual well-being is based on how he or she interacts with that Reality, with the exception of the materialist school known as Lokayata or Carvaka. 
    • As a result, Hindu philosophy is closer to the spirit of ancient Greek philosophia ("love of knowledge") than to the modern academic field of conceptual analysis, which goes by the name of philosophy but isn't especially concerned with life-enhancing insight. 
    • Ontology (which deals with the categories of existence), epistemology (which is concerned with the knowledge processes by which we come to know what there is "in reality"), and logic (which defines the rules of rational thought) are all areas of rational inquiry that have preoccupied Western philosophers since the time of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle (which seeks to understand beauty). 


    Hindu philosophy, like Christian philosophy, is deeply concerned with humanity's ultimate spiritual destiny. 


    • As a result, it is often referred to as atma-vidya ("science of the Self") or adhyatmika-vidya ("spiritual science"). 
    • Though sophisticated self-critical systems seem to be the result of the period following the birth of Buddhism in the sixth century B.C.E., the ancient Rig Veda contains the first philosophical musings or intuitions of Hinduism. 



    Six systems are traditionally differentiated, which are referred to as "viewpoints" or "visions" (darshana, from the verbal root drish "to see"). 


    • This statement alludes to two important aspects of Hindu philosophy: Each system is the result of visionary-intuitive processes as well as logical thought, and each system is a unique viewpoint from which the same reality is seen, implying a stance of tolerance (at least in theory, if not in practice). 
    • And that same Truth is what has been passed down by word of mouth (and esoteric initiation) as the ultimate or transcendental Reality, whether it is referred to as God (ish, isha, Ishvara, all meaning "ruler"), the Self (atman, purusha), or the Absolute (brahman). 



    The Vedic revelation (shruti), especially the Rig-Veda, is a major element of Hindu philosophy, and tradition refers to it. 


    • The Hindu philosophers had to defer to, or at least pay lip service to, the ancient Vedic legacy in order to establish their separate schools inside the orthodox fold. 
    • Purva-Mimamsa (which proposes a philosophy of sacrificial ritualism), Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta (which is the nondualist metaphysics espoused especially in the Upanishads), Samkhya (whose main contribution concerns the categories of sacrificial ritualism), Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta (which is the nondualist metaphysics espoused especially in the Upani (which is primarily a theory of logic and argument). 
    • I'll provide a short overview of each school and its connection to the Yoga heritage. 



    Purva-Mimarnsa. 


    The Purva-Mimamsa ("Earlier Inquiry") school is so named because it analyzes the "earlier" two parts of the Vedic revelation: the early Vedic hymnodies and the Brahmana texts that explain and deepen their sacrifice rites. 


    • It is opposed to the Uttara Mimamsa ("Later Inquiry"), which is represented by the Upanishads' nondualist doctrines. 
    • The Mimamsa-Sutra of Jaimini gave the Purva-Mimamsa school its unique shape (c.200300 B .C.E.). 
    • In line with Vedic ritualism, it expounds the art and science of moral conduct. 
    • Its main point is the idea of dharma, or virtue, as it relates to an individual's religious or spiritual destiny. 


    The ethical authorities (dharma-shastra) are in charge of defining and explaining the secular applications of dharma. 


    • There have been many well-known Jaiminis, and the author of the Sutra must be differentiated from the sage who was a Vyasa student during the Bharata war. 
    • Mimamsa philosophers, or mimamsakas, see ethical conduct as an unseen, exceptional power that shapes the world's appearance: 
      • Action affects the quality of human life in both this incarnation and future incarnations since humans are inherently active. 



    Bad acts (activities that violate the Vedic moral code, which is believed to reflect the global order itself) result in negative life circumstances, while good actions (actions that follow the Vedic moral code) result in favorable life circumstances. 


    • The goal of leading a morally sound life is to enhance one's quality of life in the present, the afterlife, and future incarnations. 
    • Because the person has free will, he or she may utilize good acts to accrue positive consequences and even cancel out bad ones. 
    • The fact that the fundamental Self is transcendental and everlasting ensures free choice. 
    • Unlike Vedanta, the Mimamsa tradition believes in many fundamental selves (atman). 
    • These are considered inherently unconscious and only become aware in the presence of a body-mind. 

    For the Mimamsa philosophers, awareness is always I-consciousness (aham-dhi). 


    • Although some members of this school began to believe in a Creator God in the fourteenth century, there is no God above and beyond those numerous everlasting and omnipresent Selves. 
    • Because the Self is said to lack both awareness and joy, the early mimamsakas naturally considered the liberation goal sought by other schools to be unappealing. 
    • The eighth-century philosopher Kumarila Bhatta and his disciple Prabhakara were opposed to this viewpoint. 
    • They both taught that abstaining from forbidden and simply optional acts, as well as diligent execution of prescribed actions, inevitably result in the separation of the Self from the bodymind—that is, freedom. 
    • They saw the Self as awareness, but they didn't completely grasp the metaphysical consequences of their viewpoint. 


    Yoga methods have no place in Mimamsa, which extols the concept of obligation for the sake of duty. 


    • "As a philosophical perspective of the world, it is startlingly inadequate," said Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a former president of India and a renowned scholar, of this school of thought. 
    • Nothing in such a religion can "touch the heart and make it shine." However, since Poorva-Mimamsa was one of the cultural influences faced by the Yoga tradition, it must be included here. 
    • Though Poorva-Mimarnsa was important in the development of logic and dialectics, this school of thinking would scarcely be considered philosophical by Western standards. 



    Apart from Jaimini, Kumarila, and Prabhakara, Mandana Mishra (ninth century c.E.) is the most notable thinker of this school, which has a fairly extensive literature. 


    • He subsequently converted to Shankara's Advaita Vedanta school and took the name Sureshvara. 
    • In the fourteenth-century Shankara-Dig-Vijaya, a fictitious biography of Shankara, the tale of the electrifying meeting between Shankara and Mandana Mishra is recounted. 

    According to tradition, the youthful Shankara, who had taken up renunciation, came to Mandana Mishra's magnificent home just as the renowned scholar of Vedic ritualism was about to begin one of his rituals. 


    • Shankara, who lacked the customary hair tuft and the holy thread across his breast, irritated him. 
    • Mandana Mishra, quite proud of his knowledge, challenged the guest to a discussion after a torrent of nasty comments, which Shankara accepted quietly and not without pleasure. 
    • They decided, as was usual at the time, that whomever lost the argument would adopt the winner's lifestyle.
    • Their intellect and wit duel attracted huge groups of academics and lasted many days. 


    Ubhaya Bharati, Mandana Mishra's wife (who was really Sarasvati, the Goddess of Learning in disguise), was named umpire. 


    • She quickly proclaimed her husband's loss, but quickly countered that Shankara had only beaten half of the battle; for his victory to be complete, he needed to vanquish her as well. 
    • She slyly pushed the young renouncer to a sexuality debate. 
    • Shankara requested an adjournment without losing his cool, so that he might familiarize himself with this field of expertise. 
    • Shankara took advantage of the fact that the monarch of a neighboring country had recently died and utilized his yogic abilities to enter the body and reanimate it. 
    • He returned to the palace to the joyful exclamations of the king's family. 


    Shankara enjoyed and explored for a while the pleasures of sexual love among the deceased king's wives and courtesans in the spirit of Tantra. 


    • According to tradition, he became so engrossed in his new life that his followers had to sneak into the palace to remind him of his previous existence as a renouncer. 
    • Shankara regained his real identity and skillfully dropped the king's corpse before returning to his argument with Mandana Mishra's wife. 
    • Of course, he triumphed. Mandana Mishra said that he was a Shankara student, prompting his wife, Ubhaya Bharat!, to disclose her real identity. 
    • Shankara's win is often seen as a triumph of his better nondualist metaphysics against Purva-less Mimamsa's complex philosophy. 
    • Although this is true, it was mainly a victory of yogic experientialism over intellectualism. 




    Uttara-Mimamsa 


    The many-branched school of Uttara-Mimamsa ("Later Inquiry"), also known as Vedanta ("Veda's End"), takes its name from the fact that it arose from the study of the "later" two portions of Vedic revelation: the Aranyakas (forest treatises composed by hermits) and the Upanishads (esoteric gnostic scriptures composed by sages). 


    • Both the Aranyakas and the Upanishads teach the absorption of archaic rites via meditation, which is a metaphoric reworking of the old Vedic legacy. 
    • The Upanishadic doctrines, in particular, gave birth to the Vedanta tradition's whole consciousness technology. 
    • The Upanishads (of which there are over two hundred books), the Bhagavad-Gita (which is accorded the holy rank of an Upanishad and may date from c. 500-600 B.C.E. ), and the Vedanta Brahma-Sutra of Badarayana (c. 200 C.E.) make up the Uttara-Mimamsa school's (Vedanta) literature. 


    Vedanta is the pinnacle of metaphysics. 


    Its many sub-schools all teach one form or another of nondualism, in which Reality is seen as a one, homogenous totality. 


    Sureshvara (the former Mandana Mishra) articulates the basic concept of Vedantic nondualism in the following stanzas from the Naishkarmya-Siddhi ("Perfection of Action-Transcendence"): 


    • The failure to see the single Selfhood [of all things] is [spiritual] ignorance (avidya). 
    • The experience of one's own self is the foundation of [such ignorance]. 
    • It is the beginning of the world's transformation. 



    The emancipation (mukti) of the ego is the elimination of that [spiritual ignorance].


    • The illusion of [there being a separate] self is shattered by the fire of correct knowledge (jnana) originating from magnificent Vedic words. 
    • Because action is not incompatible with ignorance, it does not [eliminate it]. 
    • Action does not eliminate illusion since it originates from ignorance. 
    • Because it is the polar opposite of ignorance, right understanding [alone] can eliminate it, just as the sun is the polar opposite of darkness. 



    One gets scared and flees after mistaking a tree stump for a thief. 


    • Similarly, a misguided individual superimposes the Self on the buddhi [i.e., the higher intellect] and other [aspects of human identity], and then acts [on the basis of that erroneous belief]. 
    • Advaita Vedanta turned the previous Vedic ritualism on its head. 
    • It is a gospel of gnosis, which is the liberating perception of the transcendental Reality, rather than cerebral or factual knowledge. 
    • Shankara (c. 788-820 C.E.) and Ramanuja (c. 788-820 C.E.) were the two greatest exponents of Vedanta. 
    • The former was successful in building a cohesive philosophical framework out of Upanishadic ideas, and is mainly responsible for Hinduism's survival and Buddhism's expulsion from India. 



    Ramanuja, on the other hand, came to the Advaita Vedanta tradition's rescue when it was on the verge of becoming dry scholasticism. 


    • His concept of the Divine as encompassing rather than transcending all characteristics aided the public push for a more devotional Hindu faith. 
    • Many other Vedanta gurus, like Shankara and Ramanuja, have significant ties to the Yoga tradition. 
    • Samkhya has moved toward intellectualism in later times as a result of its focus on discriminative knowledge rather than meditation, while Yoga has always been vulnerable to straying into simple magical psychotechnology. 
    • The Samkhya philosophy has been the most dominant school of thinking within Hinduism, second only to Vedanta, and Shankara saw it as his primary foe. 
    • The Sage Kapila, who is attributed with authorship of the Samkhya-Sutra, is believed to have established Samkhya. 
    • Despite the fact that a teacher with that name existed during the Vedic Era, the Samkhya-Sutra seems to have been written according to certain 



    Samkhya



    The Samkhya ("Enumeration") tradition, which includes a wide range of schools, is mainly concerned with enumerating and explaining the major kinds of existence. 


    In Western philosophy, this method is known as "ontology," or "science of being." 


    • Samkhya and Yog are closely related in their metaphysical concepts, and they originally constituted an unified pre-classical school. 
    • However, while Sankhya's disciples utilize discernment (viveka) and renunciation as their primary methods of salvation, yogins primarily use a combination of meditation and renunciation. 
    • Sankhya is often mistakenly described as the theoretical component of Yoga practice. 
    • As late as the fourteenth or fifteenth century C.E., each traditions had their own unique ideas and practical scholars. 



    The Samkhya alluded to in the six darshanas is the school of ishvara Krishna (c. 350 C.E. ), creator of the SamkhyaKarika. 


    • Ishvara Krishna taught that Reality is multiple, not single, in contrast to Vedanta and the older Samkhya schools described in the Mahabharata epic. 
    • On one hand, there are numerous changeable and unconscious forms of Nature (prakriti), and on the other, there are countless transcendental Selves (purusha), which are pure Consciousness, omnipresent, and everlasting. 
    • When examined more carefully, plurality seems to be irrational. 
    • If innumerable Selves are all omnipresent, they must also be endlessly intersecting one another, making them logically identical. 



    While Shankara's nondualism is the most academically beautiful, Ramanuja's qualified nondualism may satisfy both reason and intuition the best. 


    • Ishvara Krishna went on to say that Nature (prakriti) is a huge composite or multidimensional structure produced by the interaction of three main forces: the dynamic characteristics, the material qualities, and the spiritual qualities (guna). 
    • The term guna literally means "strand," yet it has a lot of other meanings. 
    • The word signifies the irreducible ultimate "reals" of the universe in Yoga and Samkhya metaphysics. 


    The three kinds of gunas are believed to mirror the energy quanta of modern physics. 


    • Sattva, rajas, and tamas are the three gunas. 
    • They are at the root of all physical and psychological processes. 
    • Their distinct characteristics are described as follows in the Samkhya-Karika: The [three kinds of] gunas are of the natures of joy, joylessness, and dejection, and have the functions of enlightening, activating, and limiting, respectively. 
    • They outnumber each other, and their actions are interconnected, productive, and cooperative. 
    • Sattva is said to be uplifting and enlightening. 
    • Rajas is energizing and dynamic. 
    • Tamas is passive and oblivious. 


    Like a lamp [made up of many components that together create the single phenomenon of light], the action [of the gunas] is purposeful. 


    • Just as atoms are matter-energy, the gunas are Nature. 
    • They are collectively responsible for the vast diversity of natural forms that exist on all levels of existence, with the exception of the transcendental Selves, who are pure Consciousness. 
    • We can best explain the gunas by the general idea of two opposites and the middle term between them, or as Hegel's thesis, antithesis and synthesis, which are manifested in nature by light, darkness, and mist; in morals by good, bad, and indifferent, with many applications and modifications, according to German Sanskritist Max Muller. 
    • The gunas are in a condition of equilibrium in the transcendental dimension of Nature, known as prakriti-pradhdna ("Nature's basis"), according to the Samkhya-Karika. 


    Mahat, which literally means "great one" or "great principle," is the first product or evolute to emerge in the process of development from this transcendental matrix to the diversity of space-time forms. 


    • Because of its brightness and intelligence, it is also called as buddhi ("intuition" or "cognition"), which means "greater knowledge."
    • But, in fact, mahat (like other elements of Nature) is completely unconscious, and it simply symbolizes a highly refined form of matter-energy. 


    Its "light" of intellect is derived from transcendental Self-Consciousness. 


    • The principle of individuation, ahamkara ("I-maker"), arises from the mahat, or buddhi, and ushers in the difference between subject and object. 
    • The lower mind (manas), the five cognitive senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing), and the five conative senses all emerge as a result of this existential category (speech, prehension, movement, excretion, and reproduction). 
    • The ahamkara principle is also responsible for the five subtle essences (tanmatra) that underpin sensory capabilities. 
    • The five gross material elements (bhuta), namely earth, water, fire, air, and ether, are produced by them in tum. 
    • As a result, Classical Samkhya acknowledges twenty-four different types of material existence. 

    There are innumerable transcendental Self-monads outside the guna triad and its products, which are unaffected by Nature's ramifications. 


    • The closeness of the transcendental Selves (purusha) to the transcendental matrix of Nature triggers the whole evolutionary process. 
    • Furthermore, the procedure is for the release of those Selves who, for some inexplicable and erroneous reason, identify themselves with a specific body-mind rather than their inherent state of pure Consciousness. 
    • The Samkhya tradition's psychocosmological evolutionism is intended to help people transcend the world rather than understand it. 
    • It is a practical framework for individuals who seek Self-realization and come across many levels or types of existence while practicing meditation. 



    Vaisheshika


    The Vaisheshika ("Distinctionism") school of thought is concerned with the distinctions (vishesha) that exist between things. 


    Liberation is achieved via a comprehensive knowledge of the six fundamental types of existence, according to the teachings:


    l. The ninefold substance (dravya): earth, water, fire, air, ether, time, space, thought (manas), and Self (atman)

    2. quality (guna), which is divided into twenty-three categories, including color, sensory impressions, magnitude, and so forth. 

    3. take action (karma)

    4. universality (samanya or jati)

    5. the specific (vishesha) Yoga particularly refers to the school of Patanjali, the author of the Yoga-Sutra, among the six schools of Hindu philosophy. 

    • This school, also known as Classical Yoga, is regarded a relative of ishvara Krishna's Samkhya school.  

    • Both are dualist ideologies that teach that the transcendental Selves (purusha) are fundamentally different from Nature (prakriti) and that the former is eternally unchanging, while the latter is always changing and therefore unsuitable for long-term pleasure. 


    6. inherence (samavaya), which refers to the logical connection that must exist between wholes and pieces, or substances and their characteristics, and so on. 


    Kanada, the author of the Vaisheshika-Sutra, who flourished about 500 or 600 B.C.E., established the Vaisheshika school. 


    • Kanada seems to be a nickname, literally meaning "particle eater." 
    • Although some Sanskrit sources say that the term immortalizes the fact that this great ascetic lived on grain particles (kana), it is likely that it alludes to the kind of philosophy he developed. 
    • Both readings may be accurate. Kanada's school of thinking has an enigmatic beginning. 



    Some academics believe it is a descendant of the earlier Mimamsa school, while others view it as a continuation of the materialist tradition, and yet others believe it has its origins in a schismatic branch of Jainism. 


    • The Vaisheshika school is similar to the Nyaya system, with which it is usually associated, in terms of general direction and metaphysics. 
    • Both of these systems are the closest to what we think of as philosophy in the West. 
    • They contributed to Indian thinking for a long time, but neither school has remained dominant. 
    • The Vaisheshika school is almost extinct, while the Nyaya school has just a few adherents, most of whom live in Bengal. 



    Nyaya


    The Nyaya ("Rule") school of thought was founded by Akshapada Gautama (c.500 B.C.E. ), who lived during a period of intense debate between Vedic ritualism and such heterodox developments as Buddhism and Jainism—an era in which critical thinking and debating were at an all-time high, similar to that of Greece. 


    One of the first efforts to establish sound logic and rhetorical principles was his. 


    • Gautama's moniker, Akshapada, suggests that he had a tendency of gazing down at his feet (perhaps while being immersed in thought or in order to purify the ground while walking). 
    • He is credited with writing the Nyaya-Sutra, which has been the subject of many comments. 
    • Vatsyayana Pakshilasvamin's commentary (c. 400 C.E.) is the earliest surviving commentary, written at a period when Buddhism was still dominant in India. 


    Bharadvaja's or Uddyotakara's Nyaya-Varttika is another excellent commentary, with a good subcommentary by Vacaspati Mishra, who also wrote on Yoga. 


    • Around 1200 C.E., Nyaya began flowering, marking the start of the so-called Nava-Nyaya era (or "New Nyaya"). 
    • In order to live properly and pursue meaningful objectives, Akshapada Gautama began with the realization that we must first define what constitutes right knowledge. 
    • He developed sixteen categories considered essential for anybody wanting to discover the truth, in keeping with the Indic flare for categorization. 
    • These topics include the acquisition of genuine knowledge (pramana), the nature of doubt, and the distinction between discussion and simple bickering. 


    The Nyaya school's metaphysics is of particular importance. 


    • There are several transcendental Subjects, or Selves, according to Nyaya's disciples (atman). 
    • The ultimate actor underlying the human mind is each infinite Self, and each Self enjoys and suffers the consequences of its acts in the limited universe. 
    • God is seen as a unique atman in Classical Yoga, and he is the only one who is aware. 



    The Nyaya thinkers advocated the pursuit of freedom (apavarga) as the greatest aim in life, despite the fact that the human Selves are all regarded unconscious, like in the Mimamsa school. 


    • Of course, their opponents did not miss an opportunity to point out the impossibility of a freedom that would result in a rocklike, insentient life. 
    • The fact that Nyaya followers sought spiritual shelter in Shaivism's religious doctrines demonstrates how little they believed in their own metaphysics. 
    • Between Nyaya and Yoga, there are many places of interaction. 
    • The NyayaSutra describes yoga as a state in which the mind is in touch with the Self alone, resulting in mental balance and a lack of sensitivity to physical discomfort. 



    Vatsyayana Pakshilasvamin said that yogins may see distant and even future occurrences while addressing different kinds of perception, a talent that can be developed by consistent practice of meditative focus. 


    • The word apavarga refers to liberation, and it is also used in the Yoga-Sutra (2. 1 8) to contrast it with the concept of world experience (bhoga). 
    • Another interesting similarity is that both Nyaya and Classical Yoga follow the sphota theory. 
    • The everlasting connection between a word and its sound is referred to by this phrase. 



    The notion is that the letters y, o, g, and a, or even the whole term yoga, cannot adequately express our understanding of the phenomenon known as "Yoga." 


    • Over and above these letters or sounds, there is an everlasting idea, the essence of a thing, which "bursts out" (sphuta) or exposes itself spontaneously in our mind upon hearing a sequence of sounds, leading to understanding of the object so indicated. 
    • A last point of connection is that a Nyaya follower is also known as yauga, which means "one who does Yoga." It's unclear what this designation conceals. 


    Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools, which is rather arbitrary. 


    • Many other schools, particularly those connected with sectarian movements, have played an important role in the development of Indian philosophy at one point or another. 
    • It's important to remember that Yoga impacted most of these methods and traditions, but it did so more as a loose collection of ideas, beliefs, and practices than as Patanjali's philosophical framework (darshana).

     


    You may also want to read more about Kundalini Yoga here.

    You may also want to read more about Yoga here.


    You may also want to read more about Yoga Asanas and Exercises here.


    You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

    Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.