I thought I should finish this off. So today is the fourth section from [asin id=”0853301123″ title=”The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”] today. Part 3 focused on the results of union. Part 4 focuses on illumination.
Continue reading “Sutras of Patanjali – Book IV”
We take the third section from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali today. Part 2 focused on the steps to union. Part 3 focuses on the results of union. The very first three dharana, dhyana and samadhi are the subject/object of zen.
- Concentration is the fixing of the chitta (mind stuff) upon a particular object. This is dharana.
- Sustained concentration (dharana) is meditation (dhyana).
- When the chitta becomes absorbed in that which is the reality (or idea embodied in the form), and is unaware of separateness or the personal self, this is contemplation or samadhi.
- When concentration, meditation and contemplation form one sequential act, then is sanyama achieved.
- As a result of sanyama comes the shining forth of the light.
- This illumination is gradual; it is developed stage by stage.
- These last three means of yoga have a more intimate subjective effect than the previous means.
- Even these three, however, are external to the true seedless meditation (or samadhi) which is not based on an object. It is free from the effects of the discriminative nature of the chitta (or mind stuff).
- The sequence of mental states is as follows: the mind reacts to that which is seen; then follows the moment of mind control. Then ensues a moment wherein the chitta (mind stuff) responds to both these factors. Finally these pass away, and the perceiving consciousness has full sway.
- Through the cultivation of this habit of mind there will eventuate a steadiness of spiritual perception.
- The establishing of this habit, and the restraining of the mind from its thought-form-making tendency, re- sults eventually in the constant power to contemplate.
- When mind control and the controlling factor are equally balanced, then comes the condition of one-pointedness.
- Through this process the aspects of every object are known, their characteristics (or form), their symbolic nature, and their specific use in time-conditions (stage of development) are known and realized.
- The characteristics of every object are acquired, manifesting or latent.
- The stage of development is responsible for the various modifications of the versatile psychic nature and of the thinking principle.
- Through concentrated meditation upon the triple nature of every form, comes the revelation of that which has been and of that which will be.
- The Sound (or word), that which it denotes (the object) and the embodied spiritual essence (or idea) are usually confused in the mind of the perceiver. By concentrated meditation on these three aspects comes an (intuitive) comprehension of the sound uttered by all forms of life.
- Knowledge of previous incarnations becomes available when the power to see thought-images is acquired.
- Through concentrated meditation, the thought images in the minds of other people become apparent.
- As, however, the object of those thoughts is not apparent to the perceiver, he sees only the thought and not the object. His meditation excludes the tangible.
- By concentrated meditation upon the distinction between form and body, those properties of the body which make it visible to the human eye are negated (or withdrawn) and the yogi can render himself invisible.
- Karma (or effects) are of two kinds: immediate karma or future karma. By perfectly concentrated meditation on these, the yogi knows the term of his experience in the three worlds. This knowledge comes also from signs.
- Union with others is to be gained through one-pointed meditation upon the three states of feeling-compassion, tenderness and dispassion.
- Meditation, one-pointedly centered upon the power of the elephant, will awaken that force or light.
- Perfectly concentrated meditation upon the awakened light will produce the consciousness of that which is subtle, hidden or remote.
- Through meditation, one-pointedly fixed upon the sun, will come a consciousness (or knowledge) of the seven worlds.
- A knowledge of all lunar forms arises through one-pointed meditation upon the moon.
- Concentration upon the Pole-Star will give knowledge of the orbits of the planets and the stars.
- By concentrated attention upon the center called the solar plexus, comes perfected knowledge as to the condition of the body.
- By fixing the attention upon the throat center, the cessation of hunger and thirst will ensue.
- By fixing the attention upon the tube or nerve below the throat center, equilibrium is achieved.
- Those who have attained self-mastery can be seen and contacted through focusing the light in the head. This power is developed in one-pointed meditation.
- All things can be known in the vivid light of the intuition.
- Understanding of the mind-consciousness comes from one-pointed meditation upon the heart center.
- Experience (of the pairs of opposites) comes from the inability of the soul to distinguish between the personal self and the purusa (or spirit). The objective forms exist for the use (and experience) of the spiritual man. By meditation upon this, arises the intuitive perception of the spiritual nature (the purusa).
- As the result of this experience and meditation, the higher hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell are developed, producing intuitional knowledge.
- These powers are obstacles to the highest spiritual realization, but serve as magical powers in the objective worlds.
- By liberation from the causes of bondage through their weakening and by an understanding of the mode of transference (withdrawal or entrance), the mind stuff (or chitta) can enter another body.
- By subjugation of the upward life (the udana) there is liberation from water, the thorny path, and mire, and the power of ascension is gained.
- Through subjugation of the samana, the spark becomes the flame.
- By the means of one-pointed meditation upon the relationship between the kasha and sound, an organ for spiritual hearing will be developed.
- By one-pointed meditation upon the relationship existing between the body and the kasha, ascension out of matter (the three worlds) and power to travel in space is gained.
- When that which veils the light is done away with, then comes the state of being called discarnate (or disembodied), freed from the modification of the thinking principle. This is the state of illumination.
- One-pointed meditation upon the five forms which every element takes, produces mastery over every element. These five forms are the gross nature, the elemental form, the quality, the pervasiveness and the basic purpose.
- Through this mastery, minuteness and the other siddhis (or powers) are attained, likewise bodily perfection and freedom from all hindrances.
- Symmetry of form, beauty of color, strength and the compactness of the diamond, constitute bodily perfection.
- Mastery over the senses is brought about through concentrated meditation upon their nature, peculiar attributes, egoism, pervasiveness and useful purpose.
- As a result of this perfection, there comes rapidity of action like that of mind, perception independent of the organs, and mastery over root substance.
- The man who can discriminate between the soul and the spirit achieves supremacy over all conditions and becomes omniscient.
- By a passionless attitude towards this attainment and towards all soul-powers, the one who is free from the seeds of bondage, attains the condition of isolated unity.
- There should be entire rejection of all allurements from all forms of being, even the celestial, for the recurrence of evil contacts remains possible.
- Intuitive knowledge is developed through the use of the discriminative faculty when there is one-pointed concentration upon moments and their continuous succession.
- From this intuitive knowledge is born the capacity to distinguish (between all beings) and to cognize their genus, qualities and position in space.
- This intuitive knowledge, which is the great Deliverer, is omnipresent and omniscient and includes the past, the present and the future in the Eternal Now.
- When the objective forms and the soul have reached a condition of equal purity, then is At-one-ment achieved and liberation results.
Alice Bailey talks about the three yogas: Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Hatha Yoga. Her view is that Raja Yoga is the yoga for this development period of the human race. Those are big thoughts. I guess for me, Zen is my Raja Yoga. I also think it’s easy to overlook the needs of the emotional and physical bodies. We need physical exercise and stretching. And equally we need some kind of emotional exercise and stretching.
I find starting my day with four or five questions very motivating. I guess they’re about states. What states do I want to be in every day. Gratitude and clarity are two of them. So what in my life already makes me feel that way. This is a lead in to a round of visualisations.
Essentially what I’m trying to do here is maintain emotional health, while I move towards liberation. There are also some powerful insights that help. One is that every experience arises within the mind. So why not choose those experiences that are going to work for us, while we liberate ourselves from experience.
Equally we develop our physical energy. We drink water, exercise and eat well, which gives us the energy and flexibility we need to sit comfortably and to have focus and enthusiasm through our days.
I think this is the modern middle way. We have, or rather are living in, a monkey living in the modern world. We need to look after it while we seek enlightenment.