Showing posts with label Study Of Self. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Study Of Self. Show all posts

Yogic Philosophy - The Transcendence Of The Ego

The Desire for Transcendence.

" . . . the aim of science is to become philosophy, the aim of philosophy is to become religion, the aim of religion is to seek God, and thus the aim of Humanity is to become Divine." 

- Sri Ananda Acharya,  Brahmadarfonam, p. 65.

Reaching Beyond the Ego Personality. 

1 . The impulse toward transcendence is innate and universal. 

2 . This impulse has urged seekers to contemplate the Reality beyond the phenomenal world. 

  • The following three characteristics of this ultimate Reality are almost universally recognized:

 • It is an undivided Whole, singular and complete. 

• It is of a higher degree of reality than our ordinary perception of the physical realm. 

• It is the highest good (nihshreyasa) to be realized. 

3 . Realization of the Absolute is the forte of lndia's great spiritual traditions. 

  • In the quest for ultimate freedom, India's sages and pundits have explored the scope of human experience and articulated profound and diverse answers. 
  • Thus, the spiritual heritage of lndia provides us with vast psychological and spiritual models of existence. 

4 . Yoga, in the broad sense of the term, denotes all of the practices and theories of lndia's spirituality. 

  • The purpose of Yoga is to bring about freedom from suffering, or spiritual liberation (moksha). 

5. We are essentially free. 

  • We realize this when we transcend our limited notion of self or ego (ahamkara ). 

6 . Not only do we as individuals have the potential for realizing our innate freedom, the cosmos itself appears to have a tendency to move toward the Real. 

  • Evolution seems to be programmed not only for veiling the Truth from us but also for transcendence of our limited human condition. 
  • Aurobindo Ghose, with his philosophy of integral Yoga, distinguished himself from other great mystics by incorporating modem evolutionary concepts into his metaphysics. 

7 . Art, philosophy, theology, science, and technology can all be understood as expressions of humanity's innate impulse to transcendence. 

  • These pursuits characterize the human search for and expression of wholeness, happiness, and understanding. 


Ego Transcendence 

When the soul itself grows quiet, and rests from its own weariness; 

When the witness releases its final hold, and dissolves into its ever-present ground; 

When the last layer of the Self is peeled into the purest emptiness; 

When the final form of the self-contraction unfolds in the infinity of all space; 

Then Spirit itself, as ever-present awareness, stands free of its own accord, never really lost, and therefore never really found. 

With a shock of the utterly obvious, the world continues to arise, just as it always has . 

In ever-present awareness, your soul expands to embrace the entire Cosmos, so that Spirit alone remains, as the simple world of what is. 

The rain no longer falls on you, but within you; the sun shines from inside your heart and radiates out into the world, blessing it with grace; 

Supernovas swirl in your consciousness, the thunder is the sound of your own exhilarated heart; the oceans and rivers are nothing but your blood pulsing to the rhythm of your soul. 

Infinitely ascended worlds of light dance in the interior of your brain; 

Infinitely descended worlds of night cascade around your feet; 

The clouds crawl across the sky of your own unfettered mind, while the wind blows through the empty space where your self once used to be. 

The sound of the rain falling on the roof is the only self you can find, here in the obvious world of crystalline one taste, where inner and outer are silly fictions and self and other are obscene lies, and ever-present simplicity is the sound of one hand clapping madly for all eternity. 

In the greatest depth, the simplest what is, and the journey ends, as it always does, exactly where it began. 

Yogic Philosophy - Svadhyaya: Yoga And The Quest For Knowledge


Svadhyaya - Study Of Self

Knowledge is a powerful tool. Is it, however, the case? 

This famous adage, in my opinion, is terribly inaccurate. 

Nonetheless, information that leads to self-understanding is priceless, since it is self-understanding that allows us to live a life free of the unconscious's dictates. 

And this is ultimately what Yoga and other spiritual traditions are about. 

As a result, study is seen as an essential method of self-knowledge in the Yoga tradition. 

Svadhyaya is the Sanskrit term for study, and it literally means "one's own (sva) entering into (adhyaya)." 

It denotes a careful and methodical examination of the Yoga tradition as well as one's own self. 

Both traditional knowledge and self­-knowledge are intertwined. 

Traditional scriptures contain the distilled wisdom of sages who have reached the peak of self-knowledge, and therefore these writings may help us get a better understanding of ourselves. 

Study is always a journey of self-discovery, self-understanding, and self-transcendence in the yogic sense. 

It has been a part of the yogic path from the beginning of time. 

Patanjali mentions it as one of the component practices of self-restraint (niyama), the second "limb" of his eightfold path, in his Yoga-Sutra (2.32). 

Study is an important component of Yoga's pragmatic approach. 

Although yoga does not advocate blind faith, it does emphasize the supreme necessity of true, profound faith (shraddhd), or trust. 

Belief alone will not assist us in realizing what exists beyond the conditioned or egoic self. 

Instead, Yoga has always been a very experimental and experiential practice, with research being one part of this sound methodology. 

From study, one should move to practice (yoga), and from practice to study, according to the Vishnu-Purana (6.6.2), an ancient encyclopedic Sanskrit book. 

Perfection in study and practice leads to the revelation of the ultimate Self. 

"Whoever neglects learning in his youth loses the past and is dead for the future."

- Euripedes

Many Western Yoga practitioners, particularly those with a dominant right brain, avoid research. 

They'd much prefer improve their performance in one of the two postures. 

  • However, it seems that they often miss the target because they are unaware of the appropriate environment in which these methods should be developed. 
  • Frequently, they do not have a thorough understanding of the methods. 

They may attempt to compensate for their lack of understanding by attempting to re-invent the wheel and create their own yoga practices. 

  • While innovation is admirable—after all, our whole civilization is built on it—in the case of Yoga, we would be well to be humble; after all, the Yo ga tradition can boast of at least 5,000 years of rigorous experimentation. 
  • A solely left-brained (thought-driven) approach to Yoga is similarly risky, if not entirely useless, just as a mainly right-brained (action-driven) approach to Yoga has its drawbacks. 

"Armchair Yoga" isn't a substitute for hands-on experience. 

"It is better to learn late than never."
- Shakespeare

Our accomplishments will be little if our exercise is simply nominal. 

Both theory and practice, like space-time, constitute a continuum in Yoga. 

It necessitates our entire participation, as the Buddhists describe it: with body, voice, and mind. 

The Bhagavad-Gita (2.48) reminds us that yoga is about finding equilibrium (samatva). 

As a result, when we devote ourselves to the yogic path, we should activate both brain hemispheres. 

Let us not forget that "integration" is one of the definitions of the term yoga. 

Study is a source of pleasure for diligent students, according to the Shata-Patha-Brahmana ( 1 1.5. 7.1), an ancient text. 

It concentrates the student's mind and allows him or her to sleep well. It also provides wisdom and the ability to master life. 

What more could a person want? 

An Exercise In Self-Reflection.

1. What is your relationship with knowledge? 

  • Do you gather knowledge in the same way that some people collect trinkets?

  • Do you consider knowledge to be a path to wisdom?
  • Or do you think wisdom is a whole different animal than knowledge? 


2. What piece of information has had the most profound impact on you, and how has it shaped you? 


3. Do you believe in the concept of "objective" knowledge? 

  • Can we ever get out of our shell and see things for what they are? 


4. According to Alexander Pope, the appropriate topic of study should be humanity itself. What would you say to him if you were in his shoes? 


5. What is the difference between information and knowledge? 

  • The terms "information overflow" and "knowledge explosion" are often used. How do you feel about both of them? 


6. Sometimes we mean "I suppose" when we say "I know." Examine some of your basic "knowledges" to see whether you are really knowledgeable or simply making assumptions. 

  • In your situation, where do you draw the boundary between knowledge and faith? 


7. In religious and spiritual issues, what function do you think knowledge plays? 

  • Is it okay to accept things at face value, or should we constantly strive for perfect certainty? 


8. Many, if not all, Western Yoga practitioners are uninterested in studying Yoga, believing that practicing is more essential. 

  • Do you think it's possible to really practice Yoga without also studying it? 


9. While studying Yoga would undoubtedly provide us with useful knowledge, do you believe it may also inspire, elevate, and encourage us? 

  • What motivates you to pursue a degree? 


10. Do you ever have the feeling that you "don't know anything"? 

  • Or are you proud of your knowledge? 
  • Do you believe that knowledge is a kind of power?