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The Value of Raja Yoga.
Beloved Immortal Soul! Radiant Atman! Greetings to you all again in the name of my holy Master Swami Sivananda. I would once again like to tell you that the specific motive with which I am speaking to you, the objective with which I give these classes, is not so much to provide you with an academic knowledge of the subject. That also, of course, you will acquire during the course of these talks. But, much more than that academic knowledge, you gain the greater purpose.
The more important approach with which these talks are given, is that they may be able to help you right now in overcoming some of the difficulties and problems you have in your life, in your own efforts to bring about a certain harmony and balance and equipoise within your own pcrsonality, in your efforts at acquiring certain degree of self-governance, certain degree of control over your own inner being, mind, its thoughts, its desires and its various tendencies, so that to that degree and extent to which you will apply the knowledge you will get during these talks, to that degree and extent, your life may become enriched, your life may gain something in terms of more clear understanding of what is going on within you.
You may also be put into possession of certain fundamental truths, lacking the knowledge of which the individual is bound to come to grief again and again, is bound to be caught in the net of sorrow, suffering and grief, and gaining the knowledge of which one could definitely, to an appreciable degree, liberate oneself from avoidable suffering and grief. It won't be either an exaggeration or a frivolous statement, if one said that to some extent, in some way, Raja Yoga enables the person to be one's own psychiatrist, enables the person to be one's own psychological counsellor, so that he need not have to go to some one else to help him to overcome his problems. You become capable of helping yourself to overcome many of your problems.
Because, the key of overcoming problems is understanding the problems.
As long as you do not understand a problem in its proper light, you are confused. But once you understand, it becomes simple, it becomes clear. You are no longer confused. Your way is clear. You know what to do. This is the value of Raja Yoga. And more than anything else, the specific intention here is to put into your hands or into your possession certain facts, certain new information and basic knowledge about the inner dimension of your being.
You can be helped here and now. It is pragmatic. It is practical. The immediate intention of giving these talks is that you may be put into possession of a clear under- standing of many of the new unclear areas of your own interior being, your mind and its activity. Therefore, I wish also that you will listen and try to attend to these talks in the same approach, looking it at the same angle-in what way it is going to help me? In what way I can make use of this knowledge? In what way I can apply it in my life immediately? Not merely have the satisfaction of feeling that now I know what Raja Yoga is, I have had an exposition of Patanjali's Raja Yoga Sutras, and so, I have got some knowledge about the higher Yoga, not Hatha Yoga, but the inner Yoga.
Now, it is not merely to give you this satisfaction, but more to provide you with a knowledge that can be applied immediately, and an understanding which will be of immense pragmatic value, and over and above that, to give you an academic knowledge of what this science tells you and what Yoga is. In this consideration, last time, we briefly touched upon some of the broad aspects of Yoga itself. What is the meaning of Yoga? What is the purpose of Yoga? What is the process of Yoga? How does it help man?
Yoga. The Essence of All World Religions.
Yoga is the fundamental Universal essence of the world's religions, isolated from its specific framework and presented in the most general terms so as to be acceptable to human beings all over the world, no matter what the religious belief or what particular faith one belongs to.
Yoga does this by going to the innermost spiritual depth of man and by-passing the rituals and ceremonials, superstructure of practical religion. It has formulated and presented a method by which the spirit of the human individual can liberate itself from its involvement in matter and in the material world of sense-objects, its involvement in mind and the interplay of the mind-activities. The spirit is restored back to the pure experience of its Self in its positive, untouched state. We saw how the basic thesis of Yoga is that this innermost spiritual nature of yours is of the nature of Bliss, is of the nature of absolute, perfect joy. Once you are united into the pure experience of your pristine real nature, you are in a state of Bliss.
All religions have as their ultimate aim, giving to man this highest experience of perfet Bliss. They call it beatitude, felicity; call it salvation, call it God-experience, call it heaven. The aim of all religions is to show man the path beyond sorrow and pain, and to show him the way to Bliss, to show him the way to supreme Blessedness, a perfect experience of absolute joy. They are described variously in different theological terms and scriptural languages. But there is an essence of the aim of religion, and Yoga has merely done this great service to mankind and systematically taking him through certain definite processes.
Whereas the religions have tried to give it in a generic way, Yoga has scientifically systematised these processes of going beyond sorrow and entering into a state of absolute perfection, Bliss. Yoga liberates our inner spiritual Consciousness from its bondage to the outer sense-world and restores it to its pristine state. This true Self-experience, Raja Yoga emphatically declares, based upon the personal experience of Seers. It emphatically declares that this Self is of the nature of absolute Bliss.
Yoga is the path to Bliss. It is the essenc of all religions, because the fundamental aim of all religions is to take man beyond sorrow to a state of supreme blessedness, of beatitude and perfection. Thus Yoga is a quest after the Eternal, the Permanent, the Infinite. That which hampers man's effort to move towards this Bliss, is his involvement in the non-eternal, in the finite world of objects, in the impermanent, involve- ment in mind and body, in the way of experiencing Self-consciousness; and therefore, Yoga is the process of turning away from the non-eternal and diverting of the personality potefitial of consciousness towards the Eternal.
How Yoga does it
We saw that it takes the help of whatever powers that are available to you, the power to feel, the power to think and reason, and the power to concentrate or the power to fix your mind upon a particular object. When you invoke the power of reasoning and make that the channel of your movement towards the Eternal, then you are a Inana Yogin, you are a philosopher, man of wisdom. When you make use of the power to feel and try to divert your consciousness through devotion, love for God, then you are a Bhakti Yogin or the follower of the path of devotion and love.
When you invoke the power of the mind to think intensely, to focus itself steadily upon that one Reality and enter into a state of absorption in that continuous, unbroken, focusing your mind, fixing your mind there, then you become the follower of meditation. This is Raja Yoga.
Study of the Human Mind.
Western psychologists studied the human mind, the individualised mind of man. Whereas the for- mulators of Yoga Science based their science upon their knowledge of their mind as such, as one of the cosmic principle, mind as one of the factors that be- came manifested during the course of cosmic projection.
When the Unmanifest becomes manifested, It assumed innumerable names and forms. One of the factors that came into manifestation is the mind-principle. That was the state in which it was studied, and based upon a knowledge of the mind-principle as such, we saw among other things, that the mind principle is characterised by the outgoing tendency, the objectifying tendency and multifariousness, constant fritting from one object to another. It never remains upon any single object. We saw how the inevitable tendency of the mind-stuff was the direct contradiction of the Self. Self is the innermost reality, whereas the mind is outgoing in its tendency.
The Self is of the nature of Supreme Bliss. It is not an object of conception. it is the Subject. There- fore, the constant objectifying tendency of the mind came in the way of the subject dwelling upon the Self-going back to its own inner pristine nature, original nature, original state of Consciousness, subjective state of Consciousness. The constant dispersal of the mind amongst the many, the multifarious objects, was the contradiction of Self-experience.
Because, the Self is of the nature of non-dual Consciousness. It is one. It is the Universal Principle. It unifies all lives into one, homogeneous, non-dual oneness, unity. Fragmentation is the tendency of the mind. So, total reversal of the mind-nature in its constant manifestation in these activities, externalised modes of activities, constant objectification, constant assuming of names and forms, dwelling and acting in terms of names and forms, this oscillation and fickleness, has to be totally countered. They have to be overcome. They have to be blazed by the opposite. The mind has to be turned inward, and trained to remaifi as a subject, and also has to be made to focus itself upon one and not the many. This is the task before Yoga. As long as this state is not achieved, it is not possible to experience the Self. Because, when consciousness is involved in mental activity, it moves away from the Self, and con- sciousness involved in mental activity, itself becomes the basis of your earth experience, your various mental states.
When the consciousness is thus involved in mental activities, you have joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. Because, then you are caught in duality. The mind swings always from one object to the other. It is impossible to avoid it, as long as your consciousness is caught and held up within the mind-frame. Mind-activity and mind cannot be separated. Mind is what the mind does. When mind ceases to act, there is no mind. For, the entire range of human experiences is a question of activity of the mind. The moment the mental activity ceases, all activities come to an end. Theretore, they say there is no mind apart from thought It is something which you have to reflect and try to grasp the subtle meaning of it. How do you know that when thoughts totally cease, there is no mind? Again, how do you know that when there is no mind, there is no experience?
Mind and Thought are Inseparable.
Both these questions are answered for you everyday, but you have not cared to perceive the answer. You have not cared to realise the significance of this answer. Is it possible for the mind to cease these activities, and if the activities cease, how do you know that all experiences also are put an end to? The answer to this comes to you not from outside but it springs up from within your own personal experience.
This answer keeps on recurring to the human individual regularly, unfailingly in the cycle of 24 hours.
And this deepest personal experience brings home to you the truth that mind is not apart from thought. There is no mind apart from thought. And by the cessation of thought for the time being, you overcome all experience, you cancel all experience.
This experience is given to each human individual, every time during the total cessation of all his mental activity. You go into a state of deep sleep every night all the days of your life. When you enter into deep sleep, mental activity ceases so. completely, to such an extent that even your self-awareness is no longer there. Your awareness of the universe, the world outside, is no longer there. You have no problems. You have no problems of either love or hatred. You have no problems either of anxiety or tension. You have no problems either of fear or worry. You have no problems either of bondage or any restrictions of your personal liberty.
Because, the whole universe is cancelled, totally faded out of your experience, faded out of your consciousness, the moment you enter into deep sleep state. Because, that deep sleep state is characterised by the cessation of active thought. The mind assumes the thought of nothingness. So the universe is annihilated and therefore, all experiences that come to thc human being normally from the objects of the universe, from people, from sense-objects, are canceled. Neither are you aware of yourself You don't know whether you are a man sleeping or a woman sleeping. You don't know whether you are a child sleeping or an old person sleeping. You have no consciousness of human personality either; whether you are a god sleeping or a human being sleeping, you don't know.
There is a total silence.
Is this condition consciously brought about?
The unfortunate thing is that it is not consciously brought about. Some mysterious force pushes you into it, and the same mysterious force pushes you out of it again into the conflict of life. The second defect in this wonderful state into which you go is that though it immediately liberates you from all worries, fear, anxiety, tension, love and hatred, passion and all these things, when you come out of this state the next day, you are no better than what you were before you went into it. You come back the same person with the same attitudes. with the same ignorance, with the same folly. You are no wiser, no better. Therefore, you are once again subjected to the same torments of all the past previous days and the future. That is the defect of this state.
The science of Yoga tells you clearly that this is also a mental condition.
Sleep also is a mental condition. Sleep also is one of the states of the mind, a state of entering into the holding on to the thought of nothingness. Otherwise, it would be perfect. If you are transformed into that condition, when you wake up, you wake up as a sage or a seer or a person of wisdom or illumination. Then it would be grand.
But the value of this state is, that it answers your two questions. When thought ceases, mind is no longer present. Because, if the mind is present then you must be able to see the whole world. When the mind is active; it functions through the five senses. It hears, sees, tastes, touches and smells, and perceives the external universe. If the mind is active and present, you can say `I am'. In sleep you do not say `I am'. Even the awareness of one's own self is annihilated. It is not there. Therefore, mind is absent when it ceases to function.
When thoughts come to an end, mind is absent. It resurrects in the morning. But during the temporary state of sleep, there is a temporary annihilation of the mind. It sinks, it sets. There cannot be any mind apart from thought. There is no perception when thought-activity of the mind is annihilated or ceases to be. This is one answer you get and this answer gives you knowledge of your mind. And the second answer is that when thus with the cessation of thought, mind ceases to be, experience ceases, you are liberated from all experience. But that liberation is not permanent. That is the only flaw. But this valuable knowledge of the mind is gained, mind is not apart from thought. When thought ceases, all experiences are cancelled and this leaves the working ground for the practices of Yoga.
Mental Activity Hides Your Real Nature.
If we can consciously overcome the activity of the mind and control it, master it and totally subdue it then we can rest in a permanent state where all ex periences are overcome. They are negated, and in that state of a conscious cessation of mental processes, you can attain to a state of perfect peace, perfect rest, perfect silence. Thus when the state of absolute silence of the mind is attained, whatever is beyond the mind becomes manifest. It now prevails in a field of your experience. Consciousness becomes characterised not by the experience of mental state, but consciousness becomes eharacterised by the experience of the Self, your true Self. For, there is nothing to obstruct. There is nothing to bar it or prevent it.
When consciousness is characterised by mental activity, this mental activity becomes, as it were, like a cloud in front of the sun. Sun is there. When the cloud comes in front of it, it cannot be seen. Light goes away. Shadow comes. Or, upon the surface of an absolutely placid lake, you can see the bottom, the pebbles at the bob torn clearly. But, if the surface is agitated, if it is made into ripples, then you cannot perceive clearly the bed of the lake. In the same way, the inner basis of your being is your Self.
That is the Reality.
That is of the nature of peace and joy.
But, if that which is covering it, if it is in a state of constant agitation, activity, the substratum cannot be seen clearly. It appears to be agitated also, because of its association with the cover- ing medium, the mind. Mind is the agitator of the surface of the lake of human consciousness and this consciousness is a part of the Divine Consciousness and it is of the nature of Bliss.
So, they entered into It through the study of different ways in which mind-activity is constantly kept up.
What is this mind dynamism? They perceive that this mind dynamism, constantly characterised in the waking state of the human individual consciousness is basically, fundamentally fivefold. The moment you open your eyes, you see things. I touch an object with my hand; I immediately know cold or hot, whether it is soft or rough. The moment I open my eyes I see this wall whether it is grey, green, yellow, red or blue. The moment I listen, immediately I know, I begin to have knowledge whether I am hearing a motor car passing or a jet plane passing or some one speaking or a bird is cooing or leaves are shaking in the breeze.
Mind is constantly, all the 24 hours, every moment of its waking consciousness, knowing things by seeing, by hearing, by tasting, by feeling and by smelling.
So, this process of knowledge through perception is one of the inveterate continuous activities of the mind. This is simple. Later on, it is more complex also.
Secondly, another activity of the mind, is wrong knowledge, perverted knowledge. This is also a knowledge, but you see it in a wrong way. You mistake a friend for an enemy, or mistake an enemy for a friend. It gives rise to various things. It gives, rise to fright and wrong reaction. You mistake this external universe for something very permanent. You mistake it to be a likely source of your happiness.
'I will be happy if I get this object'. 'Oh, I am alone'. 'I am unmarried'. 'I have no companion'. 'If only I have a nice partner, if I fall in love and had a wife, if I fall in love and had a husband, then I will be happy'.
So think man and woman. And then tries to get the happiness which is lacking by going after objects. But, ultimately fails. My thought was one thing, but the fact is another thing. So marriage ends in divorce. 'I have no children. So I don't have happiness. All have children'. You go after children. You want children. You try to go to a doctor, consult some one and try to get blessings of a saint. And when the children come, perhaps they become the cause of great unhappiness, great anxiety, great sorrow?
This is the case with every object. There is delusion. We mistake impermanent things for permanent ones and go after them, and then when they come to an end, we are plunged in sorrow. It is like children getting delighted when you go to a fair and you get them a big balloon. They laugh, they rejoice, and after some time, when the bal- loon bursts, they start weeping. In the same way, the impermanent and the transitory are taken to be per- manent mid vainly one hopes for happiness from the impermanent. When it is suddenly destroyed, then happiness turns into misery. Because, you made a primary error, and that primary error was a perverted knowledge, wrong knowledge. Perception was not cor- rect, was wrong knowledge. So, taking the unreal for the reality, and making one's life a complete quest for happiness, will end in unhappiness.
Pleasure Mistaken for Happiness.
Delusion is also a process of the mind. And this delusion is very peculiar. Wjthout using the intel- ligence, without stopping to enquire, investigate and analyse, we take for granted certain things and make it the basis of our activity, and then we find ourselves in a very pitiable situation.
We mistake pain for pleasure. If you go deeply into an analysis of this universe, you will suddenly discover that there is not one vestige of happiness or pleasure in this universe. Not even as a mustard seed. This entire universe, this outer phenomenal world contains not one vestige of real happiness. Analysis makes this perfectly clear to you.
Pleasure is one thing, and happiness or joy is totally a different thing. The human being concludes wrongly, through delusion, that pleasure is the same as happiness or joy, and tries to be happy by attaining pleasure, but finds that pleasure does not bring joy. After all, what is pleasure? Pleasure is enjoyment of sense-object through one of the five senses, and all such experience which covers the entire range of so-called human experience, will be discovered to be mere gross, physical, biological phenomenon, biological process.
If you analyse all experiences of sense-objects, they are either coming into contact of the eye with an object of sight, or coming into contact of the ear with an object of sound, or coming into contact of the sense of touch with a physical object or coming into contact of tongue, the sense of taste, with an object of taste, or coming into contact of the nose with an object of smell. These go to make up the sense-experience of the human individual in this universe.
Analyse this. What is this?
This coming into contact with one or another of your five senses with its respective object, is purely an animal process. It is something duplicated in the life of every animal. This coming into contact of your sense with its respective object. When it comes into contact what happens? A certain message is sent from the sensory organ of yours to that particular sensory field through one terminal of a nerve network system.
When you touch an object, a tactile nerve works and that conveys from counter sensory nerve an impulse into its respective brain centre and in the brain centre a certain irritation is created, a certain stimulation is thcre; and you perceive that I have touched something. If that particular nerve network is not functioning, it will mean nothing to you. This irritation, this stimulation brought about in that particular brain centre is interpreted by the mind in a particular way.
Why? Due to previous memory. These senses have gone through previously these sense-experiences and so, in your computer of the mind they live. When the mind says `yes', we call it pleasure, a pleasant sensation. If the mind says `no' and rejects it, it is a painful sensation. That is pain. So with everything. If your eyes come into contact with some shape, form or colour, light rays are reflected on the retina, and the ocular nerve, optic nerve takes it to the respective brain centre of sight and immediately that brain centre is stimulated or there is a certain irritation in the brain centre and the mind which is the feeler of all these various stimulations interprets it either positively or negatively, 'yes' or 'no', and these can change also.
If at a particular period in your life, you like something, mind always says `yes' to it. When later on, due to some bitter experience, you saw the evil effects of that, and that which you liked one time, you began to like it no longer. Then the pattern of the mind and reaction became different. That which said 'yes' formerly, now says 'no'. That which was pleasurable before, now becomes painful. You don't want it. You don't want to accept it. So, it is all a question of how your mind is conditioned, and thus the sum total of all objective experience of man, when analysed is proved to be nothing but a pure biological process of conveying of some sense-contact through a particular network of nerves to a specific centre in the brain and creating in the brain centre a certain stimulation which is purely objective depending upon some object. Desire and aversion. It cannot be joy. It cannot be a conscious subjective experience, it is not a state of mind at all.
It is only a certain reaction in the mind to a certain external stimulant. And, therefore, to call it. joy is a delusion. Call it pleasure and not joy. Pleasure is not happiness. Pleasure is a mere biological process. It is a gross sense-experience. But, humanity has been under this delusion so long, that it has become part of its spontaneous nature, has become natural. Take for granted that you have many objects and you possess them. If you feel you are secure and think they can make you happy, there cannot be a greater mistake.
But this mistake is universal.
It is taken to be correct, and man still obstinately, blindly pursues sense-experience in his quest after happiness. And the result is, it is predestined to fail. Because, joy or happiness is at a higher level of your being. It is a state of Consciousness. It is a state of the mind. It is not a biological or a physical process. It has nothing to do with the nervous system. It has nothing to do with the brain. On the contrary, if you go deeply into an analysis you will recognise that the moment you give up this sense urge, this continuous hunting after sense-experience, you suddenly begin to find that you have that joy, that happiness which hitherto you never had.
So, the very giving up of this feverish pursuit after sense-experience - this grasping mindstate - becomes the condition, the prerequisite for coming into a state of contentment, joy and happiness. Even this so-called deluded concept of pleasure, if it is further expounded, if you try to analyse this experience, it will become clear to you that even this temporary sensation that is labelled pleasant for the time being, which is bringing you to a state of so-called happiness, is really no positive experience at all. It is only a temporary cessation of some type of pain.
For example, a person goes into a restaurant and has his lunch. He enjoys the lunch. He enjoys the dishes. He says it is a wonderful lunch. It gave him pleasure. But what was the actual state? What is the actual structure or anatomy of this experience he just had? He was hungry. And this hunger bothered him. It was a demand of a physical nature for food and it made him restless. Hunger was an uncomfortable experience, and as it began to grow and continued, he became restless. So, he did not want to continue it, prolong it. He could not tolerate it, and therefore he wished to put an end to this painful condition of hunger and the taking of the lunch brought about a cessation of the pain. How long? Till hunger starts once again, may be in the evening.
So, the interval between two states of painful experience, when tilled by a temporary stoppage of that state by somc process, you label that process pleasure. You are shivering in the cold, you get caught in the rain. Then some one invites you, takes away your coat, puts your legs in thc basin of hot water, and gives you a hot cup of coffee. Now you put yourself in a warm blanket and you think you are enjoying a very comfortable state. But it is only that painful condition in which you were a moment before that has been cancelled by this, and that cessation of pain you take for positive experience. It is not positive experience at all. So those who have entered into an analysis of all sense-experience reach this discovery that what man labels as pleasure is nothing but an interval between two states of painful experience, just an intrigue interval. This is delusion. But the mind is constantly in this delusion.
And the fourth activity of the mind is, as we have just now seen, in sleep. That is also an obstacle. Because in the state of sleep, there is a total extinction of consciousness temporarily, and the Self is not realised. You are not aware of the bliss and joy of the Self. That is its defect. Otherwise, it is a perfect experience. If you try to evaluate it in terms of waking consciousness, sleep is a wonderful state, because it liberates you from everything. A beggar also attains the same state as an emperor or a multimillionaire attains. One who is poor, a beggar, nothing to eat - if he goes into deep sleep state, he is no different in experience than a multimillionaire who has gone into deep sleep state. But here, there is no awareness of the Self. It is the fourth mood or it is the fourth state the mind-activities asume.
The fifth state is the most bothersome of all. The constant perception of things is the process of knowledge; perverted knowledge is mistaking things temporary for the permanent, etc.; delusion is mistaking pain for pleasure, and thinking that if I possess things, I will be satisfied; and then sleep - these are the four activities which we have already seen.
The last activity is memory. Impressions of past experience are constantly coming into your mind. You can never overcome the past. You can never master the past. Constantly come thoughts of the past memories of previous experiences, whose impressions have already found lodged in your mind. They are constantly coming into your mind. And this is the fifth activity. All these five activities have to be overcome. You must be able to master your memory. You must be able to overcome sleep. You must be able to remove delusion. You must be able to convert perverted knowledge into right knowledge and you must be able to check and get into your control the ceaseless activity of perception and knowledge in the mind. Why? Because, it is directed to external world, towards the many. Therefore, it becomes an obstacle to go in- ward and rest upon the One, wherein alone lies fullness, wherein alone lies true satisfaction, wherein alone lies true happiness, wherein alone lies true experience of Bliss, wherein alone lies the true peace and which is to be had within yourself and not outside. Therefore, to overcome these activities, we have to find out the practices.
First of all, Patanjali gives the practice in two words briefly and then he goes on to elaborate their details. He says this overcoming can be done firstly by developing dispassion towards all things, seen or unseen, all experiences which you see before you, which you have already undergone and which you might not have experienced but you have heard about them from others. Give up completely craving, desire and thirst for all experiences, seen as well as heard. Then you must constantly practise driving the mind, taking the mind inward, turning it away from outer sense-perception, and making it fixed upon the one inner objective. Why is this? Why did not Patanjali say merely continuous application and practice, that is the way to overcome the mind. Why did he tag into it dispassion or ceasing to thirst or desire after sense-experience?
Because this is something which does not appeal to men. They ask: can we not practise Yoga and at the same time have our dancing and drinking and other pleasures also? It is simple. If something has caught fire, you call the Fire Brigade and they are doing everything to put the fire down by pouring water. Then, when they are trying to put the fire out, logically, you cannot expect them to succeed if you are putting some petrol, oil, and other things back into the fire. You have to withdraw all combustible material nearby. You must try to take them away. The fuel has to be withdrawn and you must make an attempt to extinguish the fire. If you make the attempt to extinguish the fire, and at the same time, go on supplying fresh material for burning, then you are working against yourself.
So, as you are trying to overcome the propensity of the mind sense-ward, towards pleasures, towards sense-experience, you will have to help this process by withdrawing the fuel, not go on adding to the fire of craving fresh and fresh sense-enjoyment. Because, unfortunately, the mind is such a intricate and mysterious thing, the moment you provide it with a sense-experience, immediately it makes a photographic impression of the sensation, a lightning impression of the sense-experience, and this immediate, instantaneous impression becomes the basis of a further movement towards the self-same experience, just as the grooves that are in a gramophone record or an invisible impression created in a tape.
Every sound that has been put into it has the power and the capacity to recreate the same sound at given condition. In the same way, every impression that finds enlodgement within the mind has the power, just as a seed has a power to recreate the entire tree out of itself. These impressions are not merely inert or static. They are alive. They are dynamic. They create in the mind a tendency towards the self-same experience. Therein lies the need to be careful regarding them. If you go on continuing sense-experience, you go on putting new impressions and the mind will always be in a state of sense oriented activity. Because, these impressions are constantly being freshly put in. So, while you are trying to annihilate the experience already created, you have to simultaneously put a stop for the inflow of fresh experiences, fresh impressions which are called 'Samskaras' in Sanskrit.
So, this putting a stop to fresh experiences and impressions is called Vairagya or turning away from a passionate longing for sense-experience, a craving for sense-experience, a thirsting after sense experience, and it is called dispassion. So, simultaneously, there should be an effort and practice to concentrate, turn the mind inward, at the same time, withdraw the senses from the sense-objects, withdraw the mind from the senses and withdraw yourself even from the mind.
There should be then three-way (triple) withdrawal. As far as possible, let not the senses go towards the sense-objects. Secondly, even if the senses are amidst sense-objects, let not the mind go towards sense-objects in order to enjoy it or experience it. And even if sometimes, the mind through force of habit goes, you separate from it and say; "No, now I am in quest of something greater, something infinitely grand. So I will not go for the passing petty. I will not go for the little. I want that which is complete, the whole and that will give me eternal satisfaction. Therefore, I refuse to link myself with the mind and move towaids the senses and go towards the objects."
You withdraw yourself from the mind and the senses. In this way, Patanjali formulates a ceaseless turning away from desire, turning away from sense-objects and sense-experience. A ceaseless pursuit of practice with regularity, with persistence and with intensity is required. The means employed also should be intense. In this way, if you persist in this practice continuously, with keen interest, you will attain success. You have to be interested in yourself. I cannot be interested and give you highest welfare. Someone else cannot be interested to give you highest joy. You have to be interested in yourself. Therefore, with keen interest, you persist in this effort and continuously carry on over a long period of time.
That is the declaration of Yoga in and through Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
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