Showing posts with label Yogi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yogi. Show all posts

Yoga For The Inner And Outer Body.




The development of the higher or inner phases of Yoga consciousness should go hand in hand with the physical practices of Yoga, so that all of the practices and processes of Yoga, which are limiting within themselves, become an integrated activity uniting body, emotions, and mind with the Higher Nature


Yoga encompasses a wide range of topics. 


  • Yoga appeals to the logical mind because it gives full play to reason in its aphorisms and directions, with reasonable explanations for theory and practice. 
  • It is scientific because it takes a balanced approach to man's requirements and teaches practical applications of focus and meditation in daily life. 
  • Yoga permits pleasant emotions to flourish while suppressing those that are distracting, disruptive, and harmful in human nature. 
  • Friendship, compassion, empathy, unitive sentiments, and love are all attributes associated with Yoga's higher path. 


The practical component of Yoga is concerned with Kriyas or Pratcriyas, which are practices and procedures that deal with the "man within," the conscious mind, governing and regulating the body, emotions, and lower mind. 



Yoga is sometimes referred to as "mind over matter" because of its control. 


To achieve "four-fold awareness," the conscious mind must be employed. 


  • The third and fourth phases of the Asthanga, or Raja Yoga, are Asana and Pranayama


These activities help people become more conscious of their bodies, their functions, and their roles in personal development. 

The result is vigorous well health as a side effect. 



The Bahiranga, or outside limbs of Yoga practice, are represented by the four phases of Yama, Niyama, Asana, and Pranayama. 


These outer limbs serve as a solid basis for the higher practices, such as Antaranga or Samyarna. 


  • Otherwise, one's existence is founded on the changing sands of bad health, emotional and mental uncertainty, which are so frequently the spiritual aspirant's demise. 
  • Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are the Antaranga or Samyarna stages of Yoga. 


Each one develops a distinct kind of spiritual awareness. Some people refer to these stages as "above the brow" yoga exercises, and they prefer to focus only on them, believing that they constitute the core of Raja Yoga. 



"On the authority of our Spiritual forefathers and Ancestors, I declare that there can be no Raja Yoga without Hatha Yoga."


In this scenario, Raja Yoga refers to the upper Antaranga, whereas Hatha Yoga refers to the Bahiranga's basis. 


  • Sensory control, which culminates in the withdrawal of the senses from the object of their attachment, is known as pratyahara. 


In fact, most people become aware of how their senses have "misused" their bodies. 


  • Kriyas in many forms gradually pull the senses away from the world to which they are naturally drawn. 
  • By nonviolently restraining the senses, the Yogi may direct his mental focus to the Antarakarana, the inner faculty of mind activity, and acquire Dharana, or concentration. 
  • This level is about being aware of how the mind can govern emotions and perceptions while also transcending into a higher mental state. 



"Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha: Yoga starts with the limitation of the subconscious mind's activity," Patanjali correctly said. 


Until one becomes aware of the lower mind's disloyal activities, he is subject to its whims and irrational behavior. 


  • What seems to be a method of "pulling oneself up by one's own boot straps" is instead an instance of "mind elevating mind." 

"The Self is employed to raise the self," Sri Krishna says in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita


  • Dhyana, or meditation, is the practice of achieving free-flow concentration. 
  • Meditation is not the same as "thinking," as many people believe. 



Cosmic Consciousness or Universal Awareness is what Samadhi is. 


It, like other parts of existence, has various features and phases, ranging from the sudden and brief to the natural and limitless. 


  • Sabikalpa Samadhi refers to the early stages, whereas Nirbikalpa Satnadhi refers to the latter or deeper stages. 


Thus a Jivan Mukhta, a free-soul, or a realized one, is the being experiencing this condition. 



Kiran Atma


Hinduism - Who Is A Yogi?

 



 In practice, the term "yogic adept" refers solely to a yogic adept—someone who "possesses" yoga in the sense of mastering it—rather than to someone who just does yoga.

True yogis are often thought to possess superhuman abilities (siddhi) as a result of their lengthy spiritual growth, which they may and will use for the benefit of their disciples—for physical cure, psychiatric assistance, or spiritual and mundane advice.

The yogi is seen as a spiritually developed individual, and their authority is entirely based on this attribution, which, ironically, is not susceptible to external proof.

As a result, there are major differences of opinion over whether or not someone is a yogi.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.




Hinduism - Who Is A Jogi?

 


 (adept) (variant of yogi) An appellation for ascetics of many kinds.

It often refers to the Nathpanthis, disciples of Gorakhnath, the instructor.

The fact that yoga, especially hatha yoga, is one of the key foci in their religious life has earned them the moniker "yogis." 

The Aghoris may also be referred to by this word.

 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.



Yogic Philosophy - Is Yoga Considered A Religion?

 



Some Christians and Jews in the West are worried about Yoga's status as an Eastern religion. 

They are concerned that by doing Yoga, they would be jeopardizing their religious beliefs. 



Is their apprehension justified?

Is Yoga considered a religion? 


The short answer to both concerns is that, rather than eroding their personal faith, Yoga has the potential to strengthen it. 

I'll provide a somewhat more extensive explanation after that. 



Let me start with Christian fundamentalism's extreme perspective, which considers Yoga as a harmful import from the East that should be avoided at all costs. 


  • Yoga is sometimes mixed together with New Age doctrines, which are considered as a threat to Christianity. 
  • True, yoga has always been linked to India's three major religious and cultural traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. 
  • As a result, numerous Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain principles are interwoven into Yoga's teachings. 
  • The concepts of karma and rebirth, as well as the belief that there are numerous deities in addition to the one ultimate Reality, are the most conspicuous instances, which are typically a stumbling block for Westerners. 
  • To begin with, there have been Yoga gurus who have denied the concepts of karma and reincarnation, and Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain deities may be contrasted to Christian and Jewish angels. 


You do not need to believe in karma or reincarnation to practice Yoga. 


  • You don't have to believe in anything other than the potential of self-transformation, that you can transcend your existing worldview and experience, and, more importantly, that you can transcend your own egocentric way of being. 
  • The premise that you have not yet reached your full potential as a human being is at the core of all types of Yoga. 


Yoga, in particular, aims to connect you to your spiritual core, your deepest essence, and that which or who you actually are. 


  • The many schools of Yoga depict this nature in different ways. 
  • You are free to let your unique experience and realization influence your thinking rather than being forced to believe in any of the established answers. 
  • Yoga has been connected with different philosophical and religious systems throughout the millennia, none of which can be considered to describe Yoga itself. 
  • Yoga, after all, is first and foremost a practical spiritual practice based on personal exploration and verification. 
  • In other words, any theory or intellectual framework is seen as secondary to direct personal experience or spiritual enlightenment. 


As a result, Yoga may and has been practiced by individuals who hold a broad range of views and beliefs. 


  • Some Yoga students believe in a personal God who created the cosmos, while others choose a metaphysics that views the world as illusory and the ultimate Reality as solitary and formless. 
  • Others, such as Theravada Buddhism's yogins, refuse to speculate on metaphysical issues. 
  • As a result, some Yoga practitioners are religious while others are not. 
  • Yoga, on the other hand, is only a tool for delving into the depths of our human nature, for delving into the secrets of the body and mind.




An Exercise In Self-Introspection



1. Consider how you feel about Yoga's original objective of freedom. 


2. Consider if and to what extent you want to use Yoga to change yourself. 


  • Make a note of everything you do to facilitate yogic/spiritual development in your situation. 
  • Then write a list of everything you do that keeps you from making significant changes. 


3. As we progress along the yogic path, great masters' insights may be a significant source of inspiration for us. 


  • Our shared inheritance is the Yoga tradition, a live record against which we may test and analyze our discoveries. 
  • What aspects of Yoga have proven to be especially beneficial to you? 


4. "Freedom is not a method, but a manner of being in the world without being of it," a subtle issue is presented in this statement. 


  • This means that human existence may be lived from the "perspective" of awareness, or, to put it another way, pure Awareness. 
  • According to a variety of traditions, one may stay as the transcendental Witness, which is the Self (dtman). 
  • As a result, the body/mind is no longer identified. 
  • This alludes to the condition of jivan-mukti, or physical emancipation. 


5. Teachers build various frameworks and use philosophical language to transmit their ideas to a particular audience while expounding essential truths founded in personal awareness. 


  • As you read through this Study Guide and The Yoga Tradition, keep in mind whether or not the teachings are context or culture-bound. 
  • In each lecture we look at, try to perceive the dynamics of various parts of yoga practice, as well as the intricacies of spirituality involved. 


6. "All roads lead to the same objective," we frequently hear, but is freedom, the purpose of Yoga, the same in every case? 


  • Or do Buddhist nirvana, Vedantic moksha, Patanjali's kaivalya, and the Bhagavad-brahma-nirvdna Gita's all refer to different realizations? 
  • There is enough evidence to suggest that these names aren't just linguistic variances. 
  • When one contrasts the notion of liberation in theistic schools to that of atheistic systems like Classical Samkhya, this reality becomes clear. 



The seventeenth-century instructor Shrinivasa Dasa, for example, offers the following extremely important statements in his Yatindra-Mata-Dipikd (8. 1 6): 


There are two types of liberation seekers: 


  1. those who seek kaivalya 
  2. and those who want moksha. 

The awareness of one's inner Self as separate from Nature is referred to as kaivalya, and it is reached via the Yoga of knowledge. 

This realization... is without the Lord's realization. 



In contrast to kaivalya, moksha is claimed to be attained via passionate devotion to God (bhakti) or unconditional self-offering (prapatti). 


  • A close examination of the scriptures of various religions reveals even more distinctions in the notions of liberation. 
  • As a result, it seems that certain historians of religion's assertion of the transcendental unity of all faiths is a theological oversimplification. 
  • At the same time, these disparate ideas of emancipation do have a common denominator, namely the realization of a degree of existence that transcends the usual space-time continuum. 
  • However, we must not lose sight of the equally important differences. 



According to the facts, there are genuine distinctions in the condition of liberty, as seen by members of various schools. 


Sages and philosophers may choose to dispute whether these subtleties represent degrees of realization fullness. 


  • What are your own views and sentiments on this crucial theological point? 
  • Do you think there's just one ultimate Reality? 
  • If that's the case, do all sages comprehend the transcendental Singularity in the same manner, and are all discrepancies in their explanations only language differences? 
  • Or do you believe that all such theories are pointless and unworkable?





Yogic Philosophy - The Yoga Of Science

 



Yoga And Science



Rather than the observable primary reality of existence, the goal of science is search for the truth. 


And, finally, without its translation into the domain of actual life, this search, in my opinion, remains unfinished. 

If not the world, science—that is, scientific knowledge—must undoubtedly change the scientist. 

In the abstract, knowledge is simply a titillation of the mind, a little stimulation of a part of our entire humanness. 




Knowledge must find expression in the body in order to be fulfilled. 




More than that, it must use the force of its truth to transform the body. 

And truth, not knowledge, is the source of all power. 

Manipulative power, such as political leverage or overwhelming influence, is linked with knowledge. 



Truth's intrinsic power, on the other hand, is transformational in the most profound sense. 


It has the ability to reshape a person in the light of truth. 



What is the truth? 

Shouldn't we be talking about truths? 

 


Truth must be unique in order to be true. 

Always.

A plurality of truths is a logical paradox. 




The practice of speaking about many truths originated from the loss of truth and its replacement with a plethora of facts. However, facts are not the same as truth. 





Only knowledge (prajna) is freeing because it bears the truth (ritambhara). 



Without conceptual blinders, truth is reality. 

To the extent that science's path is illuminated by the ideal of truth, it may lead the scientist, step by step, to the discovery of truth—not just factual truth, but the sort of truth that sees everything in context and maintains that context. 


When considering the broader context of human existence, it is necessary to examine humanity's evolutionary potential, as well as its potential spiritual destiny. 

As a result, science may serve as a stepping stone to Yoga's "evolutionary science," i.e., a spiritual discipline that allows us to realize our entire potential. 


If mastered, yoga's concentration and meditation methods reveal the mind's transcendental potential, allowing us to experience truth at the greatest level, as "ultimate Truth" (paramartha-satya). 



Recommended Reading - Unity of Nature (New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1980), by C. F. von Weizsacker. 






East and West Spiritual Technologies, And Evolution 



Modern civilization is moving in the direction of external freedom. 


Free expression of opinion, affiliation, the ability to form personal connections on one's own terms, and the ability to follow a profession based on one's own qualities are all necessary for a productive and happy existence. 

But, in the end, outward freedom is egocentric, and interior freedom should not be overlooked as a spiritual equivalent. 





The defeat of desire, wrath, greed, attachment, pride, and laziness leads to inner liberation. 




The only way to achieve this freedom and give meaning to all forms of external freedom is for reason and love to come together in a happy marriage. 



1. Our modern technology is the result of humanity's desire for self-transcendence. 


  • Modern science and technology, on the other hand, are limited to the realm of relative liberty and happiness. 


2. The East's psychospiritual technique (i.e., Yoga) is aimed squarely at self-transcendence and inner growth. 


  • Answers to our most basic human problems require both wisdom and practical understanding of contemporary science and technology. 
  • The great Yogas of India are known for their wisdom. 

3. When we acknowledge their worth in regard to their respective areas of application, the two traditions, Eastern technology and Western scientific materialism, are complimentary. 





Reality and Reality Models 



1. The ultimate Reality is unfathomable to the human mind. 


  • As a result, adepts develop models to communicate their spiritual realizations to others. 
  • This is a crucial point: all teachings are simply expressions of the Truth, not the Truth itself. 
  • We must view them as models that may aid us in our quest to get a better understanding of life. 


2. Through the euphoric condition, it is possible to perceive things immediately, without the need of the senses (samadhi). 


3. Epistemology is the study of knowledge and the methods of cognition that are legitimate. 


  • One or more of these methods is recognized by India's different philosophical traditions. 
  • Only sensory perception is permitted by materialist schools, such as the Carvakas. 


4. The following three tools of legitimate knowledge (pramana) are recognized by several schools of lndian thought: sense perception (pratyaksha), inference (anumana), and revealed knowledge (shabda) Some of these instruments are given special attention at each school. 


  • Shabda—or apta-vacana—is the testimony of adepts who are able to give witness to the ultimate Reality via direct realization. 
  • As a result, it is often regarded as the most reliable source of spiritual information. 
  • The process of establishing a proper logical link between two things is known as inference. 
  • The process of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, or smelling is known as perception. 


5. Ontology, or being theory, is concerned with the broad categories of being. 


  • Most schools of Yoga emphasize ontology, relying on the paradigm provided by the Samkhya tradition, which has twenty-five categories, or tattvas, the twenty-fifth of which is the Spirit (purusha). 


6. Verticalism is a kind of worldview that stresses a "Reality" above and beyond the realm of senses and intellect. 


  • Much of Indian Yoga has been influenced by a verticalist or "ascending" tendency. 
  • This has often resulted in a simultaneous retreat from the "lower" reality of the material world, as in the case of Classical Yoga. 
  • "In, up, and out" (internalization, ascension, and withdrawal/transcendence) summarizes the verticalist viewpoint. 


7. Tantra philosophy provides an alternative to the ascending/verticalist paradigm. 


  • Tantra views Nature and Spirit as inextricably linked, and strives for completeness by integrating all levels, from the coarse physical world to the profound center of Being, Spirit. 
  • The intellectual foundations of Tantra forms the basis of advancement in the physical realm. 


8. Symbolism abounds in most of the world's mystical/spiritual literature. 


  • An understanding and study of pervasive intelligence expressed in existence should be our approach to  symbolism in general and the symbolic language used in Yoga literature.





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?