Friday, December 5, 2008

१. समाधि पाद (पतंजलि योग का प्रथम अध्याय)

In the past, I wrote about the 7 parts of Patanjali's Yog that include different states of body and mind. In this edition, you would see the different tendencies of the mind that Rishi Patanjali says you should control. Yog scriptures are very focused on mind (mentioned as Chitt or चित्त). In fact, they start by saying:

"योगः चित्तवृत्ति निरोधः । तदा द्र्ष्टु: स्वरूपे अवस्थानम् ॥ वृत्तिसारूप्यमित्ररत्र॥ "

That means, Yog limits the oscillations or tendencies of the mind. When that happens, the soul gets into its "own" form. At other times or until then, the soul acts under these tendencies and does not realize its own form.

Now, there are unlimited types of such tendencies of the mind, but Yog has classified them in 5 categories and each of these tendencies may have two faces (Good or Bad):

1. प्रमाण (Knowledge) - Yog mentions 3 sources of right knowledge: प्रत्यक्ष (Direct Cognition), अनुमान (Inference) and आगम (Revelation). Either you experience it, infer it or receive it by preachings of saints and texts such as Geeta, this knowledge forms a tendency that controls the mind. प्रत्यक्षानुमानागमा: प्रमाणानि।

Of the two faces, if this knowledge is twisted, the individual gets lost in the materialistic world, desires and comforts. But, if the knowledge is pure and without doubts, the soul can realize the blemishes of worldly substances such as their short-life, misery etc.

2. विपर्यय (Illusion) - False or illusory knowledge can also create beliefs or tendencies in our minds. For example, constantly transforming nature of worldly substances can be mistaken for their short-life and thus, lead a person to renounce them. This would constitute a good face of this tendency. विपर्ययो मिथ्याज्ञानमतद्रूपप्रतिष्ठम।

3. विकल्प (Imagination) - Fantasy or imagination of an object in its absence also captivates the mind. Thus, it affects the mind. A good face of this tendency would be to believe in god without ever having seen or perceived. A bad face would be immersing oneself in the worldly forms away from achievement of Yog. शब्दज्ञानानुपाती वस्तुशून्यो विकल्प:।

4. निद्रा (Sleep) - This is the state of total lack of awareness, ego and desires. Just as you wake up with soundness and purity from this state, it presents the good face of this tendency. The bad face would bring laziness and happiness in wasteful resting. Patanjali says sleep is also a state of conscious mind because we remember this state once we wake up. अभावप्रत्ययालम्बना वृत्तिर्निद्रा।

5. स्मृति (Memory) - The impressions of the subjects or situations that are experienced by above 4 tendencies are awakened under this tendency, known as memory. अनुभूतविषयासम्प्रमोष: स्मृति:।

In the end, Patanjali says that the control over these tendencies can only be obtained through practice and renunciation. अभ्यासवैराग्याभ्याम तन्निरोध:।

Individuals behave according to these tendencies in life, irrespective of the "own" self of the soul. These tendencies are conditioned according to many factors in biological and social environment for that individual. A level of understanding that can make the individual realize such placement of soul can only be acquired through dhyan or meditation, as we awaken the Kundalini powers in ourselves. Such powers are targeted by adopting Yog sutras such as Pranayam.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The conclusive part about 1st chapter for tendencies of body & mind for patanjali yog appears is - Pranayam .
Acharya Ram Dev preaches benefits of Paranayam but related to ailments. It is however, not known whether all persons practicing pranayam can get awareness of biological & social environmental conditioning on mind for any of the categories of tendencies.