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Patanjali starts with the first sutra
Patanjali starts with the first sutra where he says “Now I will enunciate the discipline of Yoga”.
Shasana means rules that someone imposes on you. Anushasana is the rule you impose upon yourself. Why is yoga called a discipline? When is there a need for discipline? When you are thirsty and want to drink water, you do not say “Oh! This is a rule, I must drink water”. Discipline arises when something is not very charming to begin with. Isn’t it? When the mind is wagging its tail all the time, then discipline is essential to calm it down.
There are three types of happiness.
Sattvic happiness – When somethingi s not so pleasurable to begin with, but ends in joy
Rajasic happiness – When something seems to begin well but ends in misery
Tamasic — there appears to be happiness but in reality there is only misery from beginning to end
Homework 1 – Observe your mind and see if it is getting attracted to Rajasic or Tamasic happiness like eating too many gulab jamuns when your stomach is already full or lazing around all day watching TV on the couch, then gently make your small mind aware of the rajas or tamas and resolve to do a Satvic activity (like mediataion or kriya or go for a walk, etc)
Patanjali says…. NOW…. when things are not clear and when your heart is not in the right place…… Now let us look into the discipline of yoga.
Yoga is the act of restraining or freeing the mind from the clutches of its modulations. There are five types of modulations of the mind:
1) Pramana – Wanting proof for everything – The different kinds of proof the mind requires are the obvious experiential proof, inferential proof and scriptural proof.
Pratyaksha means obvious, experiential. Our mind constantly wants to have an obvious, solid, experiential proof. This is one modeof activity of the mind.
Anumana, which means, it is not so obvious, but you infer and whatever you infer, you believe.
Agamaha is the proof the mind takes from scriptures or from books, internet, because it is written. Even today in certain remote villages, anything printed is the gospel truth.
Yoga is when you drop this search and abide in the Self. Abiding in the Self does not need proof. Truth cannot be understood through proof. God is beyond proof.You cannot prove God, nor can you disprove God. Proof is connected to logic and logic is very limited in its purview. This is the same with Enlightenment, same with Love. Love can never be proved or disproved. This is not in the realm of the seer. The seer is beyond proof.
2) Viparyaya -Wrong Knowledge or Lack of comprehension – Wrong understanding is knowing the unreal in a form that is not its own. Most of the time you impose your own ideas, views and feelings on others and you think that is how they are. This is called viparyaya. You have an inferiority complex and you think someone else is behaving very arrogantly. They might not be arrogant and you are not being ill-treated by them. But you suddenly you feel that you are being ill-treated.You feel you are not respected because you do not respect yourself. This tendency of your mind is viparyaya. Suddenly people feel that they are not being loved.
3) Vikalpa –Imagination – It is a sort of hallucination followed in sequence by mere words or knowledge and which, in reality, is devoid of truth. Vikalpa is a sort of a hallucination. Nothing of that sort exists, just mere words which do not carry much meaning hover in the mind. This fantasy is called Vikalpa and can be of two types. One could be a joyful, pleasurable fantasy and the other could be baseless fears. “What will happen if I die tomorrow? What if I have an accident?” These are all just simply sounds which have no value, just baseless fears in the mind.
4) Nidra –Sleep – If the mind is not in any one of the above mentioned three modulations,then in the fourth place it goes to sleep
5) Smruti – Memory – The fifth activity of the mind is smruti, which is remembering the experiences you had.
All through the day, your mind is in one of these modulations. In those moments when you are not sleeping, not remembering old things, not imagining, or looking for proof, then that moment yoga has happened. At that moment – You are just by yourself in the journey of your own Self, which is the source of joy, the source of love, the source of peace and knowledge. Yoga means uniting with your source. When does that happen? This happens when the mind, which is chattering all the time, suddenly becomes silent for e.g. when you are watching the sunset or when you experience lot of energy in the body e.g. in pranayama or during meditation or after yoga asanas (yoga postures), essentially when the body, mind, and breath are all in one rhythm.
Homework 2 – Keep observing your mind throughout the day and label your thoughts as pramana, viparyaya, vikalpa, smruti. Bring your mind again and again back to the present moment.
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Love & Bliss,
Art Of Living Foundation – USA
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