THIS POST IS CONTINUED FROM PART 55, BELOW--
IN THE PREVIOUS POST ( PART 55 ) I WROTE ABOUT BRAHMACHARI VIVEKANANDA WHO TOOK UP ONE EXTREME OF WITHHOLDING SEMEN .
WHAT ARE WE TO DO WITH HIS SHIT WHICH CONTAINS BEEF ?
2.33 --- vitarkabadhane pratipakshabhavanam
Principles which run contrary to yama and niyama needs to be contradicted with the knowledge of discrimination.
From Sanskrit, pratipaksha means “opposite” and bhavana means “cultivation.” When presented with disquieting thoughts or feelings, cultivate an opposite, elevated attitude. This is Pratipaksha Bhavana. It is a personal practice that "helps to change your ATTITUDE rather than hoping to change the situation or the people who cause you to be unhappy." Pratipaksha Bhavana is the practice of cultivating a perspective that sees negative situations in the opposite way and in so doing will cultivate a positive and balanced mind. Now the sadhaka is advised to cultivate an outlook which can oppose the current of ferocity, falsehood, stealing, non-chastity and venality, which is pratipaksa bhavana; and to go with the current of cleanliness, contentment, fervour, self-study and surrender to the Universal Spirit, which is paksa bhavana. The principles that prevent yama and niyama needs to be counteracted with right knowledge and awareness. When the mind is caught up in undecided ideas and actions, right perception is hindered. The sadhaka has to analyse and investigate these ideas and actions and their opposites; then only he learns to balance his thoughts by reiterated experimentation.
Some people give an objective interpretation to this sutra and maintain that if one is violent, one should think of the opposite, or, if one is attached, then non-attachment should be developed. This is the contradictory thought or pratipaksabhavana. Instead of trying to cultivate the opposite condition, he should go deep into the cause of his anger or violence. This is paksabhava. One should also study the opposite forces with calmness and patience. Then only one develops equipoise. Paksa means to choose a side (in an argument), to espouse one view; whereas pratipaksa communicates the idea of choosing the opposite position. A healthy state of mind implies keeping one’s mind free from sadness, dejection, worry, and tension and negative sentiments such as anger, hate, greed, and pride. It also implies eliminating these negative impulses and replacing them with constructive ones.
It has 3 stages: dilution—you dilute the power of the negative thought back by denying it your attention; substitution—while holding back attention from negative thoughts, start asserting that which is positive; and sublimation—as you continue doing this, you will find that the negative becomes sublimated (i.e. vaporized) and fades away. In the first stage, you recognize the presence of a negative thought the moment it arises, and take control of it. In this stage the negative thought is not allowed to root itself in the mind and held in check not so much by force but rather by simply withdrawing the attention. One of the common mistakes people make is to resist and struggle with their thoughts, emotions, habits, and situations. Instead, as you notice the negative thought and gently restrain it by not attending to it, try to develop a positive affirmation within the mind. Substitute positive thoughts that are contrary to the negative thought that is disturbing your mind. Try thinking exactly the opposite of what is going on in your mind. This is the second stage of Pratipaksha Bhavana, referred to as the substitution stage If you become angry, try presenting before your mind a state of forbearance in which your anger is converted into compassion. As you practice the substitution process of Pratipaksha Bhavana, the negative may come back again and again, but it will gradually dissipate and lose its force and momentum. The positive will begin to assert itself—it is just a matter of time and patience. With sustained practice, as you go on developing the positive within yourself, the negative becomes sublimated and, to your surprise, soon vanishes. This process of sublimation represents the third stage of Pratipaksha Bhavana. Success or failure at higher levels of consciousness depends upon yama and niyama. This fusing of paksa and pratipaksa in all aspects of yoga is true yoga. Here, it needs to be emphasised that yama and niyama are not only the foundation of yoga, but also the reflection of one's success or failure at its higher levels. When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana. Upon being harassed by negative thoughts, one should cultivate counteracting thoughts.. Negative thoughts arise in the mind as a result of the past impressions, samskaras, that are deep rooted in the chitta. These thoughts usually violate the values of yamas and niyamas. Thus these are thoughts directed toward violence, untruthfulness, stealing, sexual indulgence, accumulation, uncleanliness, discontentment, luxury, disinterest in scriptures and lack of devotion to Ishvara. When negative thoughts, which are a natural outcome of the samskaras, arise, we do not berate ourselves for having such thoughts. We simply learn to cultivate the opposite thoughts (pratipaksha bhavana). We should keep in mind that thoughts of violence, dishonesty etc. arise because of impressions of past practices of similar nature that are imprinted in the chitta. The practice of yoga helps created a stronger presence of the sattva guna which helps in activating positive thoughts when confronted with negative ones. When pratipaksha bhavana is practiced regularly, it creates a stronger sattvic field in the chitta which can prevent further activation of negative thoughts. When improper thoughts disturb the mind, there should be constant pondering over the opposites. Positive overcomes negative. This is a grand effective Law of Nature. The method of displacing or dislocating the negative feeling by substituting the opposite, positive feeling, is very easy. Within a very short time, the undesirable feeling vanishes. If there is pride, think of humility. If there is hypocrisy, think of frankness and its invaluable advantages. If there is jealousy, think of nobility and magnanimity. If there is timidity, think of courage, and so on. You will drive off the negative feelings and will be established in a positive state. Switching from negative to positive self-talk allows one to have a more positive and joyful existence at the physical, mental and spiritual levels. The difficulty is making the shift out of old habits (Samskara) of negative thoughts and action to new more positive ones. It is difficult, but each day provides many opportunities to exercise Pratipaksha bhavana. The key to Pratipaksha Bhavana is changing the environment by inviting the positive in, as well as considering the after-effect of holding on to negative/violent thoughts and actions. Pratipaksha Bhavana is a powerful technique that relies on the power of the mind-body connection. Consider the harm caused by chronically thinking negative thoughts about self and others. Thought becomes intention, and over time, intention often becomes action/deeds or physically manifest in the body (i.e. as a disease). Disease occurs because chronic negative and violent thoughts stress and overwork the sympathetic nervous system (in a continuous fight or flight response) and flood the body with stress hormones, causing illness. The practice of Pratipaksha Bhavana can help one to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response) promoting homeostasis and healing. Negative thoughts about self and others also shape one’s self esteem and actions in the contexts of inter-personal relationships. If one approaches the world and daily events with an attitude of (Ahimsa) kindness, friendliness and thoughtful consideration of others, then interactions with friends, co-workers and strangers are less stressful and have more positive outcomes. The practice of Pratipaksha Bhavana is particularly helpful in dealing with negative individuals and/or crisis situations..One must thoughtfully examine (negative) attitudes towards self and others and consider the consequences of those (or alternative positive) attitudes at every moment of time and place. Pratipaksha Bhavanamt helps us catch destructive and distracting thoughts, and redirect our minds back toward the yogic path. These methods remind us that other options exist! When we are feeling caught up in cycle of destructive thoughts, it is very unpleasant… Our judgment is obscured by the murkiness in the mind, and we may say or do something that we later wish we had not done. Such feelings have a “trapping” nature – both physically and mentally we feel tight, confined, and trapped in a corner. Pratipaksha Bhavana opens the doors for us. By creating the opposite thought and reflecting on the possible consequences of our thoughts, words, and deeds… we are instantly given more options for thinking, feeling, and behaving. We move from reacting to choosing. We are taken out of the cave and up to the mountain top, from where we can see in every direction; we can see every way down the mountain and so we are able to THINK LATERALLY and pick the best option. Reminding ourselves that negative thoughts, utterances, and deeds will result is pain and suffering for us (as well as for the recipient!) can be a powerful tool for changing our behavior. These disturbing thoughts that consume us at times arise from our past. They are based in fears and hurts from our past experiences. They are old. Pratipaksha Bhavana gives us a concrete methodology that we can use to begin addressing and changing these damaging patterns. Increasingly, we expose ourselves to new, uplifting options. The ability to catch ourselves and consider the long-term consequences can help us stay in line with our yogic goal of not harming others. Over time, the process of slowing down thought and speech, of carefully considering our thoughts and words and deeds becomes more intuitive and arises naturally.
Often our ideas toward others/ideas/situations may not be very clear. Thus reacting harshly could land us in situations we do not want to be in. In such circumstances, any opportunity to have second thought is worth considering. Sometimes harsh words are like nails driven into wood. You can take the nail out, but the hole remains. Yogis practice pratipaksha bhavana in order to actively change intrusive or destructive thoughts. It can shift the energies in our immediate life, by enabling us to choose to see the light that is absent in the darkness, and the goodness that resides in the essence of every person, opportunity, and experience we are presented with. When we change our ways of seeing - we sow the seeds for changing our very being...Pratipaksha Bhavana is a simple and direct way of keeping our minds calm and our hearts open. World leaders must practice Pratipaksha bhavana and cultivate grace and patience –WW3 can be avoided. With clarity they can realize that changing the situation may not be possible; rather they can change their attitude allows peace to bloom. Leaders ruling powerful nations cannot go berserk with rage. A feeling of revenge and retribution , “to teach a lesson” can result in loss of life. It will be too late to regret once the situation has gone out of control. The best way to predict the future is to create it.
2.34— vitarkaa hinsadayah kritakaritanumodita lobhakrodhamohapoorvaka
mridumadhyadhimatra duhkhajnananantafala iti pratipakshabhavanam
Uncertain knowledge giving rise to violence, whether done directly or indirectly, or condoned, is caused by greed, anger or delusion in mild, moderate or intense degree. It results in endless pain and ignorance. Through introspection comes the end of pain and ignorance.
Vitharka himsadhayaha – Perversities are incubators of injuries (to the mind) leading to
Kritha karitha anumodhitha – Done, caused to be done, and approved deeds originating in
Lobha krodha moha purvaka – Greed, anger and delusion of the dimensions of
Mridhu madhya adhimatra – Small medium and large, Soft average and intense degrees resulting in
Dukha agnana ananthapala – Unending consequences of emotional pain and ignorance
Ithi prathipakshabhavanam – Therefore assumption of counterstrategic stance
Indecent or perverse actions and thoughts result in endless pain. These thoughts, emotions and actions are of three types and differ in intensity - being mild, medium or acute. They are stimulated by direct indulgence, unconsciously induced, or externally abetted. Violence, for instance, practiced directly, caused or condoned, results in endless ignorance, physical pain and mental distress. Such behaviour is motivated by avarice, wrath and delusion, and can be corrected by its opposites, i.e., introspection, proper thinking and action. This sutra elaborates the discords and misguided efforts that obstruct progress in yoga.
The individual person possessing different instruments of senses is called the adhyātmic person, and the individual controlling deity of the senses is called adhidaivic. The embodiment seen on the eyeballs is called the adhibhautic person. (Srimad Bhagavatam----2:10:8)
Disease, pain and distress are of three kinds. One comes through deliberate over-indulgence in pleasures through desire, lust and pride. This is known as adhyatmika roga or self-inflicted disease. The second comes from non-deliberate habits and behaviour, which arise from the discrepancy of the five elements in the body and their sensory counterparts. These are adhibhautika rogas. The last type, adhidaivika roga, is often a disease of genetic or hereditary origin that appears without noticeable cause. All three types may be experienced in mild, moderate or intense form.
The living entity in the bodily conception of life is absorbed in the body, which is a combination of the physical elements, the five senses for gathering knowledge, and the five senses of action, along with the mind. Through the mind the living entity suffers three kinds of tribulations—adhibhautika, adhidaivika and adhyātmika. Therefore this body is a source of all miseries. (Srimad Bhagavatam----6:15:25)
Patanjali emphasises that it is by the exercise of the discriminative faculty that dubious, vacillating or uncertain knowledge, vitarka, is curtailed. When negative thoughts of acts such as violence, etc. are caused to be done or even approved of, whether incited by greed, anger or infatuation, whether indulged in with mild, medium or extreme intensity, they are based on ignorance and bring certain pain. Reflecting thus is also pratipaksha bhavana. If we bring pain to someone or cause harm to be done to another, reactions will result in ignorance and misery for us. Even if we don’t cause the pain directly, we can merely approve of someone else causing the pain due to our own anger or ignorance.Each of these categories has been further divided into three categories based on intensity – mild, moderate and intense. Additionally, they can be provoked in three ways: by lobha (greed); krodha (anger); or moha (illusion).Since greed, anger, and delusion can form the basis for violent acts done by oneself, on one’s behalf or authorized by oneself, and can be mild, moderate or intense, there can be up to 27 divisions of violence, as noted by Patanjali. To oppose these thoughts one needs to think of the consequences of acts such as violence. The sutra states that thinking that these acts lead us to unlimited ignorance and suffering, we can develop pratipaksha bhavana (opposing thoughts). The resulting suffering may come either in this life or in a future life. This follows the law of karma which Patanajali has talked about.Violence can be regarded as a result of the guna ‘tamas’. Perpetuating violence increased tamas which is ignorance of the chitta. Reflecting on these negative consequences, one should not contemplate on committing negative acts like violence.Doubts, questioning, argument -for- argument-sake (devil’s advocate) etc., have their place in the acquisition of knowledge prior to commitment. Once begun, they hinder the progress towards the goal and in fact produce what our ancestors had considered as the sources of all suffering – emotional pain and poverty of mind. Both can completely inhabit the mind to the point of inertia. Patanjali considers one of the possible perversities among many that can crop up in the mind in some detail and in the process gives us a researcher’s view of the interior landscape of the mind. We start with the thought of an act of violence and follow the thread of the act which could be performed by ourselves.A contemplated act of violence may EITHER be committed OR be restrained by force of will. If committed against another being, deprivation of another’s right to dignity enervates you ( your soul). It produces guilt which even if nobody else notices makes your long life miserable. If the wanton act is suppressed for reasons of social pressures and such, it eats you from the inside by erupting in unpredictable ways and shortens your life. Thus it’s not just don’t do it but don’t even think about it. If the thought arises train your mind to reject (kill) it. The wondrous human mind is rich in layers of many hues and a thought once allowed can reach into the recesses, play out an engaging drama, and drain your energy.
2.35— ahimsapratishthayam tatsannidhau vairatyagah
When one is confirmed in non-violence, hostility ceases in his presence
When the yogi has soundly realised the nature of violence, he is established firmly in the practice of non-violence. Peace in words, thoughts and deeds, whether awake or dreaming, is a sign of benevolence and love towards all. In the vicinity of a yogi, men and animals who are otherwise brutal and hostile towards each other, dispose off their hostility and demonstrate friendliness and mutual tolerance. When a person is fully established in ahimsa in word, action and thought, he emits harmonious vibrations. Other people in the vicinity also give up their harmful tendencies. In the ancient times, sages, firmly following ahimsa, would live in the forest harmoniously with wild animals. Ahimsa is a mind/body intentionality which triumphs over bad samskaras; not made once and forgotten thereafter but constantly and vigilantly practiced. Ahimsa in practice makes fear disappear and that’s the key. Ahimsa is about the intent, rather than the action itself. It is an attitude of universal benevolence. Patanjali says that once ahimsa is mastered, even wild animals and ferocious criminals will become tame and harmless in our presence. Traditionally ahimsa is taken to mean that a person should not kill. This is why vegetarianism is so widespread in India. Ahimsa, rightly understood, is the ultimate weapon; it turns one’s enemy into a friend, thereby banishing the possibility of further conflict. What Patanjali referred to, essentially, was the attitude of the mind, rather than the literal acts of the body. It is one’s attitude that can either lead him toward liberation, or hold him in greater bondage. An attitude of harmlessness (and its corollary, a feeling of universal benevolence) is what is meant by ahimsa. It is not possible in any case kill anyone: The soul is immortal. The principle of ahimsa must be understood in subtle ways, not only in gross. To harm anyone in the slightest way, even by disrespect, will harm the person doing the action as well as the one receiving it.
Below: Jew Rothchild's agents Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. The white invader robbed Bharatmata blind and converted India from the richest nation to the poorest nation in 250 years flat.
A few thousand white men enslaved a nation of millions - and Gandhi , told us to give the invader LOVE. We should have stoned them to death , like mad jackals on a school street .
Protecting ourselves and our watan does not violate ahimsa.
Practicing ahimsa means we take responsibility to stop the harm caused by evil invaders . Remember both Ram and Krishna initiated wars of dharma.
If China invades India we will NOT be ghumaaoing the charkha as required by Gandhi and his pathetic Gujarati sidekick – who still prays to every Gandhi statue ( only when cameras roll )
Below: Jew Rothchild's agents Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. The white invader robbed Bharatmata blind and converted India from the richest nation to the poorest nation in 250 years flat.
A few thousand white men enslaved a nation of millions - and Gandhi , told us to give the invader LOVE. We should have stoned them to death , like mad jackals on a school street .
Protecting ourselves and our watan does not violate ahimsa.
Practicing ahimsa means we take responsibility to stop the harm caused by evil invaders . Remember both Ram and Krishna initiated wars of dharma.
If China invades India we will NOT be ghumaaoing the charkha as required by Gandhi and his pathetic Gujarati sidekick – who still prays to every Gandhi statue ( only when cameras roll )
2.36— satyapratishthayam kriyafalashrayatvam
When the sadhaka is firmly established in the practice of truth, his words become so potent that whatever he says comes to realisation.
Sanatana Dharma is all about using your conscience. There is no single holy book or single messiah to guide you. Never hush your inner voice, it is who you are-it is the voice of the soul within you. Never let the voice of other people drown out this inner voice. Sanatana Dharma does not allow you to be trapped by dogma—which is the fruit of other peoples thinking. Rather this great religion implores you to have the courage and the balls to follow your heart. Yoga enables you to develop this inner vision . The human ego constantly competes with the soul for control of this inner voice. In Hinduism we do NOT cremate humans who have burn their ego. When a yogi is totally established in truth, whatever he says will come true – whether it be a curse or a blessing says Pananjali. Through honesty, a state of fearlessness comes. Yogi’s life becomes an open book. The words of a truthful person always are infallible as they always bring fruit. If the yogi says to someone, "be virtuous" (of course, the person should be deserving), then the person will become virtuous. The power of truth can sway the mind of the listener to act according to the yogi’s words. The yogi established in truth does not exploit and is fit to become the guru of a deserving disciple. Another interpretation of the sutra is that a truthful yogi has control over actions and over the fruits they bear in future births. Truth, established in mind, is the substrate for all actions and consequences of the practitioner. Truth as a substrate, not just the basis, is recommended to be integral to and guiding principle for all life’s activities of mind, word, and body. The Yogi’s attainment of the state of truth is indicated by his ability to guide by example. Satyam is truth to oneself. The yogic practice of satya (truth) focuses on carefully choosing our words so they do the least harm—and most good. The spoken word has the capacity to inspire, frighten, and delight. Because satya is presented as a yama, Patanjali’s teaching on the subject has mainly been associated with restraint rather than with action—with what we should refrain from doing rather than with what specifically we should do. The teaching of satya is not presented in this manner as an accident or oversight. In most ways, the practice of satya is about restraint: about slowing down, filtering, carefully considering our words so that when we choose them, they are in harmony with the first yama, ahimsa. Patanjali and his major commentators state that no words can reflect truth unless they flow from the spirit of nonviolence . Truth hurts only for a little while, a lie hurts forever. Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile. The naked truth is better than the best dressed lie. Denying the truth does not change facts. Mistakes must be used to derive lessons from. You cant change the truth, but truth can change you. The worst thing about being lies to is realizing that you were not worth the truth. Always be truthful to yourself. Wisdom exists only in truth. Remember , within the family , honesty is the highest form of intimacy. Honesty is better than sugar coated bull. Honest hearts produce honest actions. In the path of Patanjali’s yoga, honesty is vital. In Indian yoga, intuition is the single greatest tool to finding happiness . Intuition is soul guidance or the inner voice. Intuition helps you stay in the present, as advocated in the Bhagavat Gita. Intuition is a gift of crisis--- It tells you the right thing to do when you don't have time to figure it all out. Intuits are able to see possibilities and alternatives that aren’t immediately apparent. Your inner knowing comes from first your instincts, second your intellect, and third from your intuition. The divining power of intuition comes from our inner self. It arises from very rapid processing of bits of information that are stored in our subconscious. Intuition thinks in terms of metaphor, feelings, pictures, and the spatial whole and doesn't fit neatly into the cause-and-effect model. It is about trusting your own integrity - trusting your soul. Your intuition will not force you to do things that are truly wrong for yourself or other people in contradiction with the laws of the universe. Intuition is listening to the inner voice or heeding the promptings from within. Intuition built within by yoga , gives you the ability to cut through the thickness of surface reality. Your sub-conscious which operates a dozen times faster than your conscious mind has picked up on signals that your conscious mind has not yet processed. We function through partial information, and intuition gives us an overview, a whole sense of things. Intuition acts like a bridge between your logical reasoning and the sum total of your experience-based knowledge.Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond the conscious understanding — a gut feeling-- flashes of spontaneous thought that are done apparently without relating to facts or logic. The choices we make determine our destiny.
2.37— asteyapratishthayam sarvaratnopasthanam
When abstention from stealing is firmly established, precious jewels come.
Upon the man who does not take what does not belong to him, all riches are showered. Staying without desire, he smoothly attracts what is precious - materially and figuratively, including the gem of all jewels - virtue. The practice of asteya demands that one must not steal, nor have the intent to steal another's property through action, speech and thoughts. We steal because of greed. We don’t allow other people to use things that we own but are not able to make use of. It can also mean not hoarding materials you don't need, mindlessly consuming natural resources, coveting other people's possessions, or appropriating other people's ideas. Asteya is also the notion of not stealing the most precious and non-renewable resource of all: time. Time and tide awaits none. The yogi established in true honesty attracts not only the best of material things but also the best of noble people. Not wanting to take something that belongs to somebody else because of fear of retribution or punishment by law is a trivial case of the non-stealing attitude. Established in spiritual pursuit, the yoga practitioner strives to root out desire for ownership. The practitioner voluntarily gives up any claim for anything. Such a yogi exudes an aura. A contented mind is a continuous feast. Do unto others as you would have them do for you. When we make others wait for us we steal their time. When we ignore somebody we steal their dignity. When we get paid and not do a day’s work we shortchange our employers. Stealing encompasses everything from the simple swiping of a loaf of bread to distracting attention away from the one who merited it. Asteya is ubiquitous. Be mindful of it. Stealing in any form emerges from a deep-seated fear. Jealousy and envy often lead us to take what isn’t freely ours. Jealousy is a raw human emotion created when a person feels insecure about his value to other people. It consists of negative feelings, revolving around fear and anxiety over an anticipated loss . When you compare yourself to others , it will lead to destructive thinking. Have you noticed how people go on Facebook and feel miserable. For all and sundry are waxing lyrical of ZE good life. Jealousy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed, until they believe these to be virtues. Self worth comes with self appreciation and love. People who are truly comfortable and secure with themselves, rarely let jealousy get in the way . Hinduism maintains that anything which causes the mind to lose balance with itself , leads to misery. Envy cannot coexist with truth and spiritual wisdom. Greed, a form of stealing, is rampant in the world today and we are seeing the results as our forests dwindle, the poor starve, the skies pollute, and our waters clog with waste and toxins. As we explore Asteya deeper, we realise that it’s not enough to not-steal. Generosity is the heart of Asteya. We give because of the joy of giving, not just in order to receive what we want. Fully embodied in Asteya, non-stealing, we become content and peaceful. A peaceful mind is our greatest wealth. No item or accomplishment can bring us lasting peace and contentment like Asteya. That’s something worth striving for. Desire and want, is what causes us to go out of our way to obtain something. Often, the things we buy and don’t need, could be appreciated by someone else, but by needlessly taking them for ourselves, we rob others of the chance to have what they do need. Asteya and Aparigraha are two of several important virtues in Hinduism They both involve interaction between a person and material world, either as property, fame or ideas; yet Asteya and Aparigraha are different concepts. Asteya is the virtue of non-stealing and not wanting to appropriate, or take by force or deceit or exploitation, by deeds or words or thoughts, what is owned by and belongs to someone else. Aparigraha, in contrast, is the virtue of non-possessiveness and non-clinging to one's own property, non-accepting any gifts or particularly improper gifts offered by others, and of non-avarice, non-craving in the motivation of one's deeds, words and thought. Hoarding is another aspect to asteya. The idea is that you are keeping more than what you need for yourself instead of sharing or giving things away that you no longer need. Hoarding applies to many things such as food (eating too much), money, and possessions. Of course one should always keep what is reasonable and necessary to provide for one's self and family members, but a thoughtful analysis should be made as to what is actually necessary to keep, and what one is keeping because of various attachments. We find corrupt politicians stealing for hundred future generations. Remember, there is NO medicine for treating hoarding. This OCD is due to bad programming in your genes. You need to wipe out the blue print and insert a healthy one. Since the root cause of taking what doesn't belong to you is desire, when you give up desire for things, all sorts of wealth will come to you by itself. To master this yama we should try to curb our desires little by little through the regular practice of yoga, and eventually the mind and our actions will come more under our control.
2.38— brahmacharyapratishthayam viryalabhah
When the sadhaka is steadfastly established in continence, knowledge, vigour, fearlessness and energy rush to him.
Brahmacharya has nothing to do with withholding semen. The celibate transforms the energy of reproduction into spiritual energy (ojas), bringing in lustre. He who seeks merely to suppress or subdue his sexual energy is in effect belittling his own origins. You are today reading what I write because all your forefathers had sex. If we all abandoned sex the human race would fizzle out in one generation. The great yogi Vasista several children, yet he was called a brahmacari. It is when sensory pleasure is the sole motivating factor that brahmacarya is encroached upon. The life force, which finds sexual expression, also serves to find the warmth of one's emotions,. It is the creative relationship of purusa and prakriti which leads to freedom. Renunciation is a positive process of disengagement, not a sterile rejection. In the ancient past, almost all our maharishis were householders. The religious or educational studentship of adolescence is also termed brahmacarya ashrama. That is because the enormous outburst of energy, which is released by puberty, needs to be controlled and channelled for the child's all-round growth. If a child were to indulge in sexual activity, the moment he or she was biologically ripe, a large part of his or her human potential would be thrown away. It is OK to have sex with the appropriate life partner but in moderation. In the Hindu system four stages of life have been prescribed: brahmacharya (celibacy), grihastha (family life), vanaprastha (literally, living in a forest), sanyasa (total renunciation). In the first stage, brahmacharya, a person leads the life of a student as a celibate. After finishing the studies, he enters the married life of a grihastha. Having fulfilled the obligations to children and the society, both husband and wife follow spiritual pursuits. In sanyasa, a person completely renounces all worldly belongings and becomes a mendicant. In Sanatana Dharma a unmarried man or a widower cant perform a yajna or homam. The word ‘virya’ mentioned means power of knowledge or action, vigor in body’s organs and the mind, spiritual power or the attainment of siddhis. Senses in control, the mind gains in strength of its faculties. (Brahmacharyam is the “on the path to Brahman” and this has nothing to do with semen. Attainment of Vivekam and its application to discernment is the goal of Yoga philosophy.Brahmacharyam is recommended for boys AND girls. Girls don’t lose semen.
Attachment to sensual pleasures, ( of which excessive sex and infidelity is just one part ) is seen as an obstacle to spiritual knowledge. External denial and internal hankering after sensual pleasures is no form of discipline. Not strenuously objecting to indulgences but gently and naturally developing an indifference is what is recommended. In the context of yoga practice, driving Prakriti back to its unmanifest state is the object. Prasadham ( tranquility) is the reward. The sign of attainment of this reward is the natural ( not forced) settling down of the senses away from chaotic pursuits. Brahmacharya asks an aspirant to think about where he is putting his energy – sexual or otherwise. Brahmacharya is about allocation: using your resources effectively to achieve your aspiration. To hone our practice of this principle, we must learn to conserve and not waste energy on things that do not serve our purpose. In other words, we always have a choice between frittering away our energy on not-so-purposeful actions (and thoughts and worries), and directing them towards those that will serve us better and lead to more happiness, purpose, sense of union. Brahmacharya, is as simple as that. Brahmacharya means not misusing sex. Brahmacharya means ‘to respect the creative power of sex and not abuse it by manipulating others sexually. The sex you have with your wife is LOVE. The sex you have with a whore is LUST. Brahmacharya is a way to get to God… When sexual energy is directed wisely, it becomes a means to transcend separation, or otherness. When sexual energy is used to exploit, manipulate, or humiliate another, however, it propels us into deeper separation and ignorance (avidya). Like the other yamas, brahmacharya has to do with balance, and how we choose to use or “invest” our resources. Each and every act and thought is an outflow of energy. Some thoughts and actions offer beneficial dividends, while others simply drain our resources. In the name of continence, we are asked to be wise investors. The yamas all center around intuitive ways of being, and of treating ourselves and others, so that we can be more connected internally and externally. The yamas are about how to treat others – to achieve the aim of dissolving otherness. When brahmacharya becomes stable then the yogi gains great energy and power. In a very traditional sense Brahmacharya was a description for the early part of life, on average up to about the age of 25, before marriage, time focused on studies. Here all energy was devoted to learning of which much of that was gaining the tools to practice the ways to self-realisation. It was typically a time of sexual abstinence. Later one entered family life and naturally sex was part of it. This was the system and culture around the time of Patanjali. The yogic process is one of channeling and managing energy within, where as in average daily life this life energy, or prana, is wasted, drained out the senses. The thought of sex and the force of the sex drive is a huge component in this. One of the biggest drainers of energy is the sex impulse. Very often it plays a large distraction just in the mind even though no physical engagement has occurred. It is very difficult for that individual to find peace when the mind is continually distracted and desirous of sexual activity. It draws the energy down and keeps it low. The flip side is some people totally suppress the sexual urge which leads to an unnatural repressed state and block. Sex is a need, both for society and for our personal well-being. Abstinence should never be forced. It should come naturally. One might find at a point in life that time in sex is complete. This aspect of Brahmacharya has arisen from within. Brahmacharya is about harnessing the energy or power of our senses and directing that instead to greater personal understanding- not withholding semen. Lot of TATTUS who can get it up and homosexuals who only get sexually excited with a male asshole , have become gurus.. What is clear is that nowhere in Yoga does it suggest a liberal use of sex and random partners to satisfy one’s craving and appetite. It comes up in the Yamas after Ahimsa (don’t hurt another), Satya (be truthful) and Asteya (no greed, don’t take what is not your’s). Typically loose sexual conduct ends up with one person being hurt and very often lied to. People feel let down and something taken from them. So to follow these three Yamas is key in behaviour and relations with another. Then the sexual activity becomes shared and understood. Enjoy sex when engaged in it. Share it. Give attention and care. This is love in itself. The self control as meant by Brahmacharya brings a healthy relationship into your life and, being so channeled, gives great strength and energy, as Patanjali has explained. If complete celibacy arises then it is as a natural result of the focus and practices engaged in over the years of rigorous penance and yoga practice. Transmutation of sex-desire is a very potent, efficacious and satisfactory way to realise eternal Bliss. The technical meaning of Brahmacharya is self-restraint, particularly mastery of perfect control over the senses- not the prick alone. I repeat again , forget the bull given by fake TATTUS who cant get it up / homosexual gurus – The word brahmacharya literally means a lifestyle adopted to seek and understand Brahman – the Ultimate Reality. It means "devoting oneself to Brahman".Brahmacharya is the virtue of celibacy when unmarried and fidelity when married. It represents a virtuous lifestyle that also includes simple living, meditation and other behaviors. Brahmacharyammeans an overall lifestyle conducive to the pursuit of sacred knowledge and spiritual liberation. Brahmacharya is a means, not an end. It usually includes cleanliness, ahimsa, simple living, studies, meditation, and voluntary restraints on certain foods, intoxicants, and behaviors-(including sexual behavior.
“Now what people call yajña (sacrifice) is really Brahmacharya, for only by means of Brahmacharya does the knower attain that world (of Brahman). And what people call Ishta (worship) is really Brahmacharya, for only worshipping by means of Brahmacarya does one attain the Atman (the liberated Self). Now, what people call the Sattrayana (sacrificial session) is really Brahmacharya, for only by means of Brahmacharya does one obtain one's salvation from Sat (Being). And what people call the Mauna (vow of silence) is really Brahmacharya for only through Brahmacharya does one understand the Atman and then meditate. Now, what people call a Anasakayana (vow of fasting) is really Brahmacharya, for this Atman never perishes which one attains by means of Brahmacharya. And what people call the Aranyayana (life of a hermit) is really Brahmacharya, for the world of Brahman belongs to those who by means of Brahmacharya attain the seas Ara and Nya in the world of Brahman. For them there is freedom in all the worlds.” — Chandogya Upanishad, VIII.5.1 - VIII.5. 5000 BC.
The Vedas and Upanishadic SRUTI texts of Hinduism in their discussion of Brahmacharya, make no mention of any restraint on sexual activity. Now we have the FAKE Brahmakumari cult peddling celibacy for women.
2.39— aparigrahasthairye janmakathantasanbodhah
When one is steady in living without surplus possessions and without greed, one realises the true meaning of one's life, and all life unfolds before one.
Aparigraha is one of the five essential restraints (yamas, "the don'ts") in Hinduism, that with five essential practices (niyamas, "the dos") are suggested for right, virtuous, enlightened living. Perseverance in this austerity leads to knowledge of one's past and future lives, which appear like reflections in a mirror. When the sadhaka is free of worldly aspirations, he is a krtarthan (a happy and gratified person). Aparigraha means not only non-possession and non-acceptance of gifts, but also freedom from rigidity of thought. Holding on to one's thoughts is also a form of possessiveness, and thoughts, as well as material possessions, which needs to be shunned. Otherwise they leave strong impressions on the consciousness and become seeds to manifest in future lives. These cycles of life continue until the sadhaka is totally clean and clear in thoughts, words and deeds. Aparigraha is the subtlest aspect of yama, and arduous to master. Yet, recurring attempts must be made to benefit pure knowledge of 'what I am' and 'what I am meant for'. This judicial thinking helps one to plan one's future lives from this present life. This is what Patanjali specifies when he says that the pattern of future lives unfolds to an aparigrahin. Aparigraha is abstention from greed or hoarding, or not receiving gifts. Accepting gifts may bind us and make us lose our neutrality. We may feel obligated to return the offer one day. The gift giver may also have expectations of something in return. We want to be free of any mental binding whether we are the gift giver or the gift receiver. When the mind is calm and clear and free of desires and obligations, we gain capacity to see how our desires caused our present birth.Aparigraha means to take only what is necessary, and not to take advantage of a situation or act greedy. We should only take what we have earned; if we take more, we are exploiting someone else. The yogi feels that the collection or hoarding of things implies a lack of faith in God and in himself to provide for his future. Aparigraha also implies letting go of our attachments to things and an understanding that impermanence and change are the only constants. When awareness is focused inward and not dissipated externally, it is channeled into one’s chitta, the repository of past samskaras, thus giving access to the past lives. Chitta can be imagined as a lake and samskaras as pebbles. Only when the lake (mind) is calm can we see the pebbles (samskaras) clearly. The chitta can be purified by maximizing the sattva (purity) potential of the mind. Aparigraha refers to a state of minimalism as a consumer. Not just “not wanting” but “rejecting”. Again, we are confronted with the questions of what belongs to us and what doesn’t and what rights we have what doesn’t belong to us. We are part of the Universe and we have a right to exist but when does need transform into greed ? Also, the consideration has to extend beyond material things to intellectual property, fame, limelight, attention, dignity, personal space, etc., When the practitioner refrains from appropriating anything more than the most minimal needs, the hypothesis in this sutra is, the mind is now free to engage in thoughts of why such a need for greed arises in the first place. A certain vividness about our samskaras occurs in the mind. An understanding of the effect of past on the present and a freedom from having to react in a certain way in the future arise. Free will begins to rule over instinct.Well-known psychotherapists of the twentieth century had come to understand that the conscious part of the mind is only the tip of the iceberg and that we are driven by what is hidden in the unconscious part. They had devised many techniques ( dream analyses, word/picture association, etc., ) to delve into the hidden part of the psyche. The ancients did the same thing by not wanting things. If you don’t have your own horse in the race you are likely to see and enjoy the race for what it is. The slogan is “What do I want? Why do I want it?” and not “when do I want it?”.Aparigraha is the concept of non-possessiveness, non-grasping or non-greediness. It is one of the virtues in Hinduism. Aparigrah is the opposite of parigrah, and refers to keeping the desire for possessions to what is necessary or important, depending on one's life stage and context. The precept of Aparigraha is a self-restraint (temperance) from the type of greed and avarice where one's own material gain or happiness comes by hurting, killing or destroying other human beings, life forms or nature. Aparigraha is a concept that is related to and in part a motivator of Dāna (proper charity), both from giver's and receiver's perspective. Aparigraha is a combination word in Sanskrit, fused from "a" and "parigrah". "A" as prefix means "non-" in Sanskrit, and aparigrah is thus the opposite of parigrah. The word Parigrah means ‘to amass’, ‘to crave’, ‘to seek’, ‘to seize’, and ‘to receive or accept’ material possessions or gifts from others. The word includes in its scope outer worldly possessions as well as inner attachment to material rewards, rather than doing the right thing or good because it is the right thing or good. Parigraha thus includes the results as well as the intent, in other words the possessions as well as the craving, a sense of possessiveness and hoarding. Aparigraha is the opposite state of existence in thought, words and deeds than parigraha. The term contextually means accepting or taking a gift, acquiring, possessing, claiming, controlling something such a property, or assistance, or constraining force on others. The virtue of aparigraha means taking what is truly necessary and no more. In Yoga school of Hinduism, this concept of virtue has also been translated as "abstaining from accepting gifts", "not expecting, asking or accepting inappropriate gifts from any person", and "not applying for gifts which are not to be accepted". The concept includes in its scope non-covetousness, and non-possessiveness. Aparigraha includes the psychological state of "letting go and the releasing of control, transgressions, fears" and living a content life unfettered by anxieties. Aparigraha is the virtue of abstaining from appropriating objects because one understands the disadvantages in "acquiring them, keeping them, losing them, being attached to them, or in harming them". Patanjali suggests that greed and coveting material wealth increases greed and possessiveness, a cycle that distracts from good reasons for activity that should motivate a person, and ultimately to a state where a person seeks material wealth without effort and by harming, hurting or impoverishing someone else, or some living creature. Restraint from possessiveness and greed, or aparigraha, leads one away from harmful and injurious greed, refraining from harming others, and towards the spiritual state of good activity and understanding one's motives and origins. The virtue of non-coveting, non-possessing is a means of Sadhanaā, path of spiritual existence. In outer world, aparigraha manifests as non-possessiveness with simple living; while in psychological terms, it is a state of non-attachment, non-craving and one that envelops the sense of contentment. The virtue of aparigraha is sometimes referred by other terms such as alobha or agradhnu – which all mean "refrain from avarice", "avoid accepting and craving for gifts", and "restrain from excessive greed". The first hymn of Isha Upanishad says "Do not covet the wealth of any man!" The "do not covet" and "do not accept" virtue precept also appears in verse 8.1.10 of Srimad-Bhagavatam. In Shanti Parva and other books of the Epic Mahabharata, "non-covetousness" is described as virtue. In Vaishnava Dharmaśāstra, in the concluding chapters of a dialogue between Vishnu and Lakshmi, the concept of non-covetousness is extended to "not coveting someone's spouse".The dharmasastra includes aparigraha among virtues such as, "being friendly towards all creatures" (ahimsa), "being free from wrath" (akrodha), forbearance, being driven by excellence in one's own business, being skilled in related businesses and learning new abilities, "being humble before everyone", "being positive", "being driven by one's duty", among others.
Aparigraha implies the concepts of charity (dana) and conservation. Taking and wasting more of nature, or from others, is inconsistent with the ethical precept of aparigraha. Aparigraha allies with ideas that inspire environmental and ecological sustainability. Aparigraha suggests the reduction of waste and adds a spiritual dimension to preventing destructive consumption of ecosystems and nature. Asteya is the virtue of non-stealing and not wanting to appropriate, or take by force or deceit or exploitation, by deeds or words or thoughts, what is owned by and belongs to someone else.Aparigraha, in contrast, is the virtue of non-possessiveness and non-clinging to one's own property, non-accepting any gifts or particularly improper gifts offered by others, and of non-avarice, non-craving in the motivation of one's deeds, words and thoughts. Krishna says in Bhagawad Gita ‘Let your concern be with action alone, and never with the fruits of action. Do not let the results of action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction’. What Krishna is essentially saying here, is that we should never concern ourselves with the outcome of a situation, we should only concern ourselves with what we’re actually doing right now as we work towards that outcome. The more we hoard material possessions, the more we weigh ourselves down with not only physical, but energetic baggage, and the more we become attached to and worry about losing these said possessions. Believing that the new object we buy will bring us happiness is based on a feeling of lack that all too often enters our minds. Aparigraha offers us so much freedom - the freedom to work and do what we love without worrying about the outcome, the freedom to rely less on external and material possessions to bring us happiness, and the freedom to experience everything life has to offer, whatever that may be. Aparigraha has many translations. In its purest form, it resembles vairagya, the sanskrit word for detachment and renunciation. It is the path that our ancient sages too. They left all worldly things behind, and began a life of austerity. We are a ‘storage’ society of boxes, and closets, and cupboards, and homes—stuffed full of things we do not use, but still will not part with. It’s not that we shouldn’t enjoy material objects, but somewhere along the way we became hoarders of them. “These things here—they are mine,” we say, and put them all in a box under the bed. To begin to practice aparigraha we have to let go of some of the physical, emotional, and mental baggage we’ve amassed throughout our journey. Aparigraha heals . It is the art of decluttering . Give away all things you do not use or need anymore. In many ways our capitalist consumer culture demands that the line between what we 'want' and what we 'need' be blurred. Aparigraha is in this respect the most necessary and difficult yoga practice we can commit to because it asks us not only to define the difference between 'want' and 'need' but also to relinquish the former. The difference between want and need is self control. Are you a hoarder? Think of all the cloth in your house--inside wardrobes. attics etc. How many of them will you use for the next 3 years. What is the percentage which you have hoarded? Hoarding is an effort to manage the anxiety raised by obsessive doubts. There will be a disruption to feelings of self-worth, interpersonal relationships, occupation, or health as a result of hoarding items which are worthless. Hoarders experience intense anxiety when they even think of discarding what most others view as useless objects. They are affected by anxiety-provoking thoughts such as: "What if I run out?" "What if I need to know something and don't have the information available?" " "What if I throw it away but the day comes when I really need it?" Hoarding usually starts in an attic, then in a basement, a spare room, a closet, and then, eventually, takes over every room of the house. Strong emotional connections are formed to the extent that an individual feels a sense of safety or comfort. Hoarders are suspicious of other people touching possessions , as they feel it may be thrown away , when they are not around. All hoarders firmly believe that every single object will be useful one day, whether it is a broken toy, old magazine, torn ill fitting shoes, empty container, plastic bag , old tooth brushes, old school notebooks, old damaged music tapes .. They will have an imaginary emotional connection to all such garbage. Rings a familiar bell , right? Well be aware! Hoarders are afraid to throw away things, this is why it is a mental disease. Hoarders live with so much clutter it may endanger their physical health. Dirt, mites, ticks , insects, and bacteria that form over a period of time can cause sickness and unhappiness. Excessive paper and cloth in a home can cause a fire. Hoarders make themselves miserable and and everyone else miserable. People with personality disorders , generally, blame others for their problems. They are awful to work with because they don’t accept responsibility for themselves and therefore never change. Remember, there is NO medicine for treating hoarding. This OCD is due to bad programming in your genes. You need to wipe out the blue print and insert a healthy one. Yoga is the only way out. The yoga of non-attachment does not mean that we should give up our goals (in practice or in life), it invites us to simplify our goals by getting rid of 'wants'. Yoga practice is about cultivating satisfaction and fulfillment from within through simplifying. Aparigraha helps keep us moving forward at a steady pace, facing success and failure evenhandedly, helping us find emotional balance. Gifts from others affect the mind of the receiver. As people are extremely selfish, they make presents with various motives. These motives affect the receiver. The mind of the receiver becomes impure by receiving gifts. A student of Yoga should, therefore, avoid gifts. Attachment, and the anxiety which accompanies attachment, are obstacles to knowledge. Freedom from attachment will result in knowledge of the whole course of our journey. Who was I? How was I? What is this? What shall I be? How shall I be? In this shape comes to him the knowledge of his own experience in the past, present and future. He becomes independent and free. His mind becomes pure. Everything becomes quite clear to him. Aparigraha encourages us to consider our possessions with attention and awareness.
2.40— shauchat svanggajugupsa parairasansargah
Cleanliness of body and mind develops disinterest in contact with others for self-gratification.
Purity and cleanliness protects the body and makes it an appropriate home for the seer. Consequently it no longer inclines towards sensual pleasures and tends to refrain from contact with other bodies. Although he recognises that the body is perishable, the sadhaka does not regard it with disgust or distaste, but keeps it clean and pure out of respect for the dweller, purusa, within. To that extent, he respects the body as a temple. As a temple or a church is polished clean every day, the inner body, the temple of the soul, should be bathed with a plenteous supply of blood through asanas and pranayama. They cleanse the body physically, physiologically and intellectually. The body, having its own intelligence, develops its potentiality to change its behavioural patterns. It helps the sadhaka to disengage himself from sensual wants, and guides him towards the holder of the body, the soul. Thus, shauca makes the body an appropriate instrument for the pursuit of spiritual knowledge. Patanjali here is talking about a yogi who is deep on a spiritual path and necessarily has to discard any identification with the physical body. Any such attachment to the physical body can only become an obstruction toward spiritual pursuits. Ashtanga Yoga is a progressive methodology for cultivating sustained discrimination of intellect for the purpose of eliminating all differentiations of the Being, perceiving the Being as the ( last) sole impression in the mind, and then losing that impression as well to be in a state of nischalanam or absence of disturbance. In the Sankhya system of evolutes, mind receives sensory information, recalls from memory, and processes the composite to facilitate the ego to develop a subjective awareness of experience. A trained sathvic aspect of Buddhi can see through this mire and can display the Being as unmixed with life’s struggles. Recognition of this purity changes forever the outlook of the sadhaka. Mind is where everything happens and for the Being to be perceptible in it the mind has to be in a state of cleanliness. Cleansing the mind by a rigorous, sustained practice of yamas increases the fervor to keep the body and its desires at bay to avoid further contamination. Indifference for bodily needs and separation from crowds are external manifestations of an ascetic life. Shaucha refers to purity of mind, speech and body. Saucha is one of the Niyamas of Yoga. Shaucha, or holistic purity of the body, is considered essential for health, happiness and general well-being. External purity is achieved through daily ablutions, while internal purity is cultivated through physical exercises, including asana (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques). Along with daily ablutions to cleanse one's body, the concept of Shaucha suggests clean surrounding, along with fresh and clean food to purify the body. Lack of Saucha, such as letting toxins build in body are a source of impurity. Saucha is all about is coming to terms with the fundamental uncleanness of the human body and moving on from there. It’s not so much about trying to cleanse it or see beauty in its imperfection, but it’s really just about accepting the fact that the body is fundamentally dirty and there’s not that much we can do about it. Shaucha goes beyond purity of body, and includes purity of speech and mind. Anger, hate, prejudice, greed, pride, fear, negative thoughts are a source of impurity of mind. The impurities of the intellect are cleansed through the process of self-examination, or knowledge of self (Adhyatma-Vidya). The mind is purified through mindfulness and meditation on one's intent, feelings, actions and its causes.The most literal understanding of saucha begins with awareness of how our physical state – both external and internal – impacts our outlook. Purity of body comes from cleanliness of body as well as from what one eats and drinks. Purity of speech comes from being truthful and through use of words that are not injurious, hurtful or distressing to others or self. Purity of thoughts comes from reflection, peace of mind, silence, calmness, gentleness and purity of being . Mahabharata mentions the virtue of purity (Saucha) in numerous books. For example, in Book 14 Chapter 38, it lists Saucha as a high quality found in the liberated, happy and dharmic person,
निर्ममॊ निरहंकारॊ निराशीः सर्वतः समः | अकाम हत इत्य एष सतां धर्मः सनातनः ||
विश्रम्भॊ हरीस तितिक्षा च तयागः शौचम अतन्द्रिता | आनृशंस्यम असंमॊहॊ दया भूतेष्व अपैशुनम ||
हर्षस तुष्टिर विस्मयश च विनयः साधुवृत्तता | शान्ति कर्म विशुद्धिश च शुभा बुद्धिर विमॊचनम ||
उपेक्षा बरह्मचर्यं च परित्यागश च सर्वशः | निर्ममत्वम अनाशीस्त्वम अपरिक्रीत धर्मता ||
(He is) free from possessiveness, free from egoism, free from pessimism, looks on all with an equal eye, free from craving. (In him) is seen confidence, endurance, renunciation, purity, absence of laziness, absence of cruelty, absence of delusion, compassion for all creatures, absence of the disposition to slander others or to exult at gains; (he is) satisfied, humble, emancipated, indifferent, peaceful, unaffected by ups and downs, pursuer of Brahma, and exhibits purity in all acts aiming for tranquillity, understanding and the right.
— Ashvamedhika Parva, The Mahabharata, 14.38.5-8
Where the yamas are designed as a framework for how we approach the external world, the niyamas are more about how we view and relate to ourselves. In fact, the yamas are known as the restraints, while the niyamas are thought of as the observances. The Niyamas are mainly concerned with the relationship between the Yoga practitioner and his or her own organism and energies. They can be considered as intimate rules of conduct towards ourselves, an internal system of rules that can help us evolve and develop. Saucha, in particular, is usually translated as “Purity” or “Cleanliness”; as with many other concepts of traditional Yoga philosophy. Saucha refers to the purity of mind and of intention, and ultimately to the spiritual purity. Shaucha is the process of keeping different energies separated in order to attain evolution. Things, feelings and thoughts are pure or impure only relatively to our intention. Saucha from the standpoint of Yoga, is not about the British cry of “soap is civilization” or “wiping your asshole well with toilet paper” . It is more about making sure that we are aligned with the purpose of promoting connection, harmony and peace within ourselves and among all those who we interact with. Once the intention is clear, then purity consists in the daily practice of consciously selecting those objects, feelings, thoughts and energies that can help us in our path, while gracefully disposing of the others. Remember, the yam as and niyamas are not about “good & bad,” or “right & wrong,” but rather about what helps us achieve peace while also supporting those around us in the same. In this sense, we use the word purity not in the moral form, but like in chemistry where it is used to distinguish between a pure substance and one that contains a mixture and thus will not provide the same results. Saucha is not about labeling things as bad – whether in appearance, nourishment, or thought – but rather making the healthiest and best choices we can. Saucha is not about “judging” or “shunning” certain activities but rather being aware how some things can take us away from our natural state of wholeness and happiness. Once we realize this, rather than being restrictive, the concept of saucha becomes in fact liberating, and also naturally connects with our other principles such as non-coveting and contentment. By making the best choices we can in terms of what we put in our bodies, our minds, and our lives, we can preserve our natural health and joy, and also support those around us in doing the same… Saucha for a yogi is less about “cleansing” bodies and more about letting go of the clutter in our minds in terms of attachments, assumptions, and judgments. By entering our practice with fewer and fewer expectations, we are more able to be in the moment and to enjoy the presence that moment provides. The essence of Bhagawad Gita is to be in the moment. Saucha helps us stay aware of the thoughts and practices that tend to distract us or “congest” our lives and instead choose those that allow us to maintain our natural state of ease and joy and love….
2.41— sattvashuddhisaumanasyaikagryendriyajayatmadars hanayojnatvani cha
When the body is cleansed, the mind purified and the senses controlled, joyful awareness needed to realise the inner self, also comes through.
With cleanliness the body becomes the temple of the seer and feels the delight of self-awareness.
When the consciousness is cheerful and compassionate, the seeker becomes ready to receive the knowledge and vision of the soul.Practicing the purity of thought, word and deed will bring about all the benefits listed in the sutra. Even if you resolve to be pure, celibate and honest just for one day, your benefits will make you repeat the experiment often. Upon the purification of the mind, one attains cheerfulness, one-pointedness, sense control, and fitness to perceive the self. In this sutra we learn the benefits of the purification of the mind. Cheerfulness of the mind is attained when the mind gives up the obstacles of arrogance, pride and attachment, and becomes aloof toward the body and material possessions. State of depression is the farthest from the mental state of a yoga practitioner who, because of his discipline, is healthy of body and mind. A lot of western psychoanalysts have committed suicide.. A true yogi and a healer is never in depression.
Discriminating aspect of intelligence is refined; disposition is suffused with wellness; distractions are eliminated; and the yogi is in control of the senses instead of the other way around. These attributes grow and flourish in the mind which is prepared for the grace of revelation of the Self. Athmadarshanam refers to the revelation of the core shorn of subjective layers of perception. The word revelation signifies that this is not knowledge that can be gained by methods of knowing. This is knowing itself, a presupposition to knowledge, which shines on methods and the resultant object-oriented learning. The mind has to be in a state of clarity and readiness to accept the image. Immersion in day-to-day life keeps you away from recognizing the core. Suddha Manas or Sattvic mind (pure mind) and Asuddha (impure) Manas or the instinctive mind or desire-mind as it is called are the two kinds of mind according to Upanishadic teaching. There is the lower mind filled with passion. There is the higher mind filled with Sattva (purity). There are two minds. You will have to make it into one-Sattvic mind only-if you want to meditate. It is through the higher or Sattvic mind that you will have to control the lower or instinctive mind of passions and emotions. A Sattvic mind like solitude, silence, simple living, high thinking, study of spiritual books, philosophical discussions, concentration of mind and company of Sadhus, Mahatmas and Sannyasins. A stainless mind can be judged through speech, face and eyes. Through these expressions, the opinion can be formed whether a person has stainless mind. Higher desires, noble aspirations, lofty ideals, true religious feeling, mercy, sympathy, pure unselfish love, devotion, Vichara (Atmic enquiry), inspiration, genius-all come from the higher, pure Sattvic mind. Suddha Manas (pure mind) is Brahman itself. It is an embodiment of purity itself. A sharp, subtle, one-pointed, Sattvic (pure) mind is needed for Atma-Vichara (enquiry into Atman or the Supreme Spirit) and study of Upanishads. A gross mind or practical (Vyavaharic) Buddhi with selfishness and lust is absolutely unfit for Vichara and philosophical ratiocination. Selfishness clouds understanding. Selfishness is the bane of life. The mind of a worldling is ever ready to absorb sexual thoughts. It cannot imbibe subtle, philosophical ideas. It is callous and cannot vibrate properly to take in philosophical ideas. You can drive a nail in clay, but not in a stone. The mind has to be purified by Nishkama Karma, Japa, Pranayama and other spiritual Sadhanas. Mind is compared to a mirror. If the mirror is dirty, you cannot see your face clearly. Similarly, if the mind-mirror is dirty (full of Mala, impurities-Kama, Krodha, Lobha, etc.), you cannot see God clearly; you cannot see the Self clearly. The light of Brahman cannot shine efficiently. Clean it up with effort daily, through spiritual Sadhana, meditation, strenuous Nishkama Karma Yoga, devotion, etc. You will realise God. Sattvic minds and Rajasic minds move in diametrically opposite directions. A Rajasic mind likes crowded cities, much talking, luxurious life, low thinking, the company of women, study of romantic novels, eating dainty dishes and selfish works. Instinctive mind is the lower, impure Kama Manas with desires, passions and appetities. The vast majority of persons have this instinctive mind only. Even the so-called civilised and educated persons live on the plane of the instinctive mind. Their senses are very sharp and acute and they run after more refined things for their sense-gratification. They identify themselves with the physical body and the senses. They have no idea of the subtle Atman which is entirely distinct from the body and the Indriyas. Their 'I' is the physical, gross body only though they know that there is a mind. Sattvic mind unifies. Instinctive mind separates and divides. Voice from the instinctive mind will mislead you. Purify the mind and hear the voice of conscience (Sattvic mind). You will have to develop the Sattvic part of the mind by annihilating the lower, impure, instinctive mind. If the lower mind is done away with through the higher mind alone, then only will you have eternal happiness and peace. Then alone will you attain Moksha, supreme knowledge and perennial bliss. Slay this mind through constant Vichara and meditation. Purification is the first part of Yoga. When purification is over, the natural tendency of the mind is to go towards liberation, Moksha.
2.42— santoshad anuttamah sukhalabhah
From contentment and benevolence of consciousness comes supreme happiness.
Santosha literally means "contentment, satisfaction", it is included as one of the Niyamas by Patanjali. By contentment, supreme joy is gained. We need to understand the difference between contentment and satisfaction. Contentment means neither to like nor dislike whatever we get in life, just be contented. Cessation of desires is a requirement for transcendental happiness. An ascetic travels in the opposite direction because his objective is not survival but a knowledge of the Self. His objective is to clear the mind. He gradually reduces his needs and forces his body to acclimatize to less and less dependence on the environment until he is a minimalist. Freedom from needs leads to a sustained sense of relaxation. Imagine you being suffused with that feeling while you are free from needing anything. Santosha as contentment, means accepting one's circumstances. It is a as the lack of Trsna (craving) and desiring only that which is necessary for one's life. It is an attitude of contentment, one of understanding and accepting oneself and one's environment and circumstances as they are, a spiritual state necessary for optimism and effort to change the future. Santosha is a state of inner peace. Yoga Darshana, defines contentment as the inner state where, "exists a joyful and satisfied mind regardless of one's environment, whether one meets with pleasure or pain, profit or loss, fame or contempt, success or failure, sympathy or hatred". As intent, Santosha is doing one's best and accepting the results of one's efforts. As inner state, it is contentment that combines with and works with other virtues such as Asteya (non-coveting, non-stealing), Aparigraha (non-hoarding, non-possessiveness) and Daya (compassion for others). As outward expression, Santosha is the observed "serenity", of being “totally satisfied, not desiring anything other than the fundamental". Santosha is rooted in the desire to avoid anything negative to self, to others, to all living beings and to nature. It is not the state of abandonment or being without any needs, rather the state of neither taking too much nor taking less than what one needs, one of contended optimism. It is the habit of being able to accept circumstances one finds self in, without being upset, of accepting oneself, and of equanimity with others who are balancing their own needs as they share what they have. Santosha is also abstaining from taking and consuming something to excess, even if its appearance makes it tempting. In cases the environment is one where one is forced to listen to a painful speech or someone's anger, Santosha is the serenity of accepting it completely as an instructive and constructive message, understanding the other, then detaching oneself and patiently seeking reform and change in one's environment. Adi Shankarachaya, in verses 521-548 of the text Vivekachudamani (The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom), states that Santosha is a necessary virtue because it frees a human being from the compulsions of all bondage, manipulation and fears, whereafter he can "dwell according to his will", do what he thinks is right, pursue his own calling wherever, whenever and however he wants.
Santosha is the inner state where, "things neither distress him nor elate him much, nor is he attached to or repelled by them; in his own Self he ever joys, the Self is his rejoicing; altogether contented by the essence of uninterrupted bliss; with Santosha (contentment), he knows his Self – the Eternal, he is free from bondage, he is delighted no matter what, his life is victory; he moves where fancy leads him, unconstrained; he sleeps by the river-bank or the wood, his couch is the world; he moves in paths where the beaten road has ended; he then is one delighting in the supreme Eternal"
Santosha (contentment) is the highest heaven, santosha is the highest bliss. There is no higher experience than santosha. When one draws away all his craving desires like a tortoise drawing in all it limbs, then the natural resplendence of his soul soon manifests itself. When one does not fear any creature, nor any creature is frightened by him, when one conquers one's cravings and aversion, then is one said to behold one's soul. When one, indeed, in word and thought, seeks to injure nobody and cherishes no desire, one is said to attain Brahman (consciousness-bliss). — Shanti Parva, Chapter 21
To the man of knowledge, all that is perceived, there is both Sat and Asat. To him, this all is both the end and the middle. This truth is in all the Vedas. Then again the highest contentment (Santosha) rests upon Emancipation, which is absolute, which exists as the Soul of all mortal and immortal things, which is well-known as Universal Soul, which is the highest object of knowledge, which is everywhere, which is in everyone and everything, which is full, which is perfect intense happiness, which is without duality, which is the foremost of all things, which is Brahma, which is Unmanifest and the Cause also, from which the Unmanifest has sprung, and which never deteriorates. Ability to sense beyond the senses, the ability to forgive, and the ability to abstain from craving superficial desires – these together are the causes of perfect, intense happiness. — Shanti Parva, Chapter 270
Craving is an intense, ever-expansive compulsion to hoarding material possessions, an addiction for something or someone, and a state where the person accumulates the target of his greed or lust while ignoring dharma. We crave for what we cant have .Some people crave for faalthu sympathy or appreciation.. Contentment is the opposite state, free from cravings that create bondage and dependence, an understanding of the minimum he needs and alternate ways to meet those needs, thus liberated to do whatever he wants and what feels right, proper, meaningful to him. Contentment is the fountainhead of happiness. The richest people are not those who have the most, but those who need the least. When you run after happiness, you run away from contentment. Happiness is FREE. It is about filling up the space deep inside, or gratification of the soul. It is about equilibrium or dynamic balance between your spirit, mind and matter. For life is a combination of spiritual, intellectual and physical aspects. Santosha is sleeping well at night, because you have a clean conscience – for you have never stitched up anybody. Because you have a sense of accomplishment in managing the pieces of your day and feel like a winner. Because you have run your own race . You have no need to over analyze and then declutter your mind or tonsure the past with booze and drugs. Santosha is the ability to say NO and pull the plug. Ability to cast a shoe aside that does not fit. Being graceful , mature and poised while doing this. It is responding to life proactively , not reacting. It is the inherent ability to play a bad hand well. It is hope in defeat, faith in your abilities. Kindness, generosity, patience, tolerance, humility, fairness , helping others to grow and reach their potential -- all create santosha. Material greed to fill up the hole in your life and psyche deprives you of santosha. Inability to see your own assets with pride, inability to see the positive , taking things personally, hypersensitivity, dwelling on nasty remarks. inability to move on after grieving, seeing only problems—no possibilities, being mired in self pity, lack of grace under pressure, negative revengeful thoughts, expecting too much, concentrating on what you don’t have, breaking your own word to yourself consistently, addicted to emotional drama, hysteria and cynicism, being happy at the expense of anothers deep unhappiness, inability to adapt and CHANGE to the new order, remaining vulnerable and unhappy in the unfamiliar zone, sweating the faalthu small stuff, short selling yourself, bowing to precedent, allowing criticism to shake your confidence, inability to make peace with your past, living life on other’s terms, ALL take you away from santosha.
2.43— kayendriyasiddhirashuddhikshayat tapasah
Self-discipline (tapas) burns away impurities and kindles the sparks of divinity.
Self-discipline destroys all impurities, perfecting the body, mind and senses, so that consciousness functions freely and accomplishes divinity. By austerity, impurities of the body and senses are destroyed and occult powers are gained.The word Tapas is derived from the root Sanskrit verb ‘tap’ which means ‘to burn’, and evokes a sense of ‘fiery discipline’ or ‘passion’. In this sense, Tapas can mean cultivating a sense of self-discipline, passion and courage in order to burn away ‘impurities’ physically, mentally and emotionally, and paving the way to our true greatness. By mental tapas, we can burn away past impressions and phobias ( soul samskaras). By verbal tapas, we control speech. Tapas involves some pain. There is no elevation of consciousness without pain. However, when this pain burns away impurities then we feel joy. Sometimes we can bring happiness to others by a little pain to ourselves. If censure upsets us and praise makes us happy, we are not strong yet. As early as the Vedic texts, practice of tapas was required for anyone undertaking a vedic sacrifice, jajna. The practice of austerity removes the covering of dirt , ashuddhi (in the form of tamas and rajas) from the body and the yogi can attain siddhis or mystical powers such as clairvoyance etc. Practicing tapas can take the form of putting the body through hunger, thirst and not falling for cravings. One can control sleep, do fasting or observe strict celibacy. Tapas may also include practice of pranayama and asana. Patanjali emphasizes the practice of tapas as a means to eliminate all the impurities – physical, mental, emotional etc. Tapas denotes , self discipline , penance, vrat , meditation and a spectrum of practices ranging from asceticism to inner cleansing . Tapas practice often involves solitude. The term evolves to also mean "to suffer, to mortify the body, undergo penance" in order to "burn away past karma" and liberate oneself. In yoga tapas includes self-discipline, meditation, simple and austere living or any means of inner self-purification. Tapas in yoga is a means for perfection of the body and the organs through the lessening of impurities" and a foundation for a yogi's pursuit of perfection. The goal of tapas is to help focus the Brahmachari on meditation, observation of reality, reflection and spiritual rebirth. In India before going on a pilgrimage ,the pilgrims observe vrat.- a self resolution. It is about accepting some rigid self discipline and sticking to it. People when they want to even turn over a new leaf , do a vrat as a ritual. It is a thousand times more stronger than a bullshit new year resolution. This is always a goal in mind. It is about harnessing your meandering mind , which aids self focus to awaken your dormant powers within. Vrat has been given pride of place in Sanatana Dharma. You don't harm anybody by doing your Vrat. The practical aspect is linked a lot to regulation of diet or even abstaining from sex , rather some type of austerity. It has a spiritual tinge and hence it sends a message to an onlooker about how resolute you are in achieving your goal, that you are firm as a rock and unwilling to surrender to destiny--that you plan to forge the hinges of your destiny on your own terms. Non-violence, love, truth , unselfishness, sacrifice, grace, honesty form the warp and weft of this vrat fabric. Optimism , courage , perseverance , contemplation and fortitude form the fibre. The pilgrims have to observe a 41 day VRAT or penance , before they go to the temple . There are no cheaters. Nobody monitors, as it is about your own mind cleansing. For 41 days the pilgrims abstain from sex, alcohol, cigarettes, non-vegetarian food, foul language and lack of discipline. They have to wear black cotton clothes, be barefooted ( in preparation for a steep forest mountain trail trek ) and cannot shave or cut their hair, to remind them of their vrat and their determination keep away from worldly objects of pleasure, and NOT to hurt the feelings of others. They have to bathe twice a day and visit the local temple to offer prayers. They sleep for 41 days on the floor without pillows. Sabarimala pilgrimage is a great leveller. Vrat is all about steadfastness in purpose. Nothing can bar the way of such a determined soul--never mind that the whole world is against you..Think of Tapas as that little flame inside of you that motivates you and keeps you on track with anything of importance in life. It makes you floss when you don’t feel like it. That inner fire motivates you to make changes when you know you need to. Without Tapas, we probably wouldn’t bother to do the “hard” things in life, and therefore to make any sort of progress, especially when embarking on the spiritual path
By Truth can this Self be grasped,
by Tapas, by Right Knowledge,
and by a perpetually chaste life.
— Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad, 3.1.5-6 - - 5000 BC
In yoga practice, tapas is the heat that is generated as our internal purification, like the process of purifying gold.
TO BE CONTINUED -
CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL