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Yogic Vision: Knowledge through action!

Knowledge through experiencing has always been a motivating force for me. We as humans spend entire lives in experiencing, but almost all of that experience becomes the cause for wanting for more, and the effect, being a repetition of same thing again and again. Very few of these experiences are converted into knowledge.

There is a shloka from Vishnupuran which says:

तत्कर्म यन्न बन्धाय सा विद्या या विमुक्तये।
आयासायापरं कर्म विद्यऽन्या शिल्पनैपुणम्॥१-१९-४१॥
—श्रीविष्णुपुराणे प्रथमस्कन्धे एकोनविंशोऽध्यायः

tatkarma yanna bandhāaya sā vidyā yā vimuktaye|
āyāsāyāparaṁ karma vidya’nyā śilpanaipuṇam||1-19-41||

—śrīviṣṇupurāṇe prathamaskandhe ekonaviṁśo’dhyāyaḥ


“That is action, which does not promote attachment; That is knowledge which liberates [one from bondage]
All other action is mere [pointless] effort/hardship; all other knowledge is merely another skill/craftsmanship”

Also in Yoga Sutra, Patanjali writes:

तदर्थ एव दृश्यस्यात्मा॥२१॥
Tadartha eva dṛśyasyātmā||21||

“Prakriti only exists to give experience to Purusha. It has no other purpose than this.”

“The goal of experiences of nature is to give us knowledge. It depends on us what we make out of it. Whether we turn it into a vicious circle never ending cravings and wanting, or we come out evolved and content of that experience. “

These words from Gurus have always been a source of inspiration on the yogic path. After all we pronounce yoga as evolutionary science. Evolution of a human being to its fullest! Our teachers have always said that we are born animals. We have to grow up to being a human. Yoga is one of the methods to achieve the full potential of humanity. According to me if we can reach the extreme of humanness, it’s similar to reaching god.

God realization or Self realization or enlightenment are not different words. They are just the same expressions for one state, and that state is of exploring your full potentials. But this potential is not just an intellectual idea, rather a very dynamic phenomenon where all the attributes of relaxation, calmness, neutrality, harmony, love, compassion, oneness etc come alive.

Yoga, always, have propagated that our actions should be performed with a view to attain knowledge out of them. This is karma yoga simply stated. Yoga never asks one to abolish karma or give up, rather it focuses on choosing the right set of actions which makes your path more convenient and generates more knowledge and almost none desires.

This is difficult to assimilate for most of us as we are all conditioned to be driven by desires. We have been taught and told to have desires so as to achieve them through actions. What is common in this and the yogic perspective is Karma. Both these viewpoints emphasize on karma. We cannot abandon the action. Just like god or nature are never out of action. If they stop acting even for a fraction of second, we cannot assume to be surviving. So giving up actions is not what is being taught. Rather what is said,  is that our actions can be a source of our delusions, frustrations and sufferings and at the same time our actions can also be the source of freedom, tranquility and happiness. We have to choose.

Yoga, as a discipline, teaches us to make the right choices. Picking up the right set of actions which eventually becomes knowledge.

Now the question is how do we choose?

We choose with our intellect.

To support this Patanjali said:

द्रष्टा दृशिमात्रः शुद्धोऽपि प्रत्ययानुपश्यः॥२०॥
Draṣṭā dṛśimātraḥ śuddho’pi pratyayānupaśyaḥ||20||

The Self, Seer or Drushta, is only the seer, although pure, can be colored by the intellect.

Intellect is like a processor provided to us that help us make choices. Vedanta confirms that intellect can be colored by the various inputs it receives from outside and based on that color its functions are also modified.  So what kind of coloring we have provided to our intellect, the kind of choices it will make. For example, you color it with sensuality, and it will pick up sensuality for you into everything. That’s how our cultures are getting more and more pornographic today.

Yoga in addition gives us method to refine this intelligence in order to make healthy choices. This is like a mutual relationship that is served. Healthy intellect, healthy choices.  More healthy choices, more intellect grows healthy.

So where to start?

We can start with following:

  • Indulge into a routine which includes more and more yogic activities.
  • Wake up early morning. It’s a very different kind of energy in the morning which is soothing and rejuvenating to the whole nervous complex.
  • Practice Asanas in the morning. They provide magnificent workout for the entire psychosomatic system. You can choose a flow practice or more static focus on each particular asana. if you feel more rigidity in the body select a static version of practice. If you feel an un-channelized flow of energy, choose the flow or vinyasa pattern.
  • Learn to breathe fully and properly. This is the most precious gift we have received from existence. Be grateful for that and fulfill your dharma by breathing properly. Spend atleast half an hour on pranayama. The results are amazing!
  • Take time out from your routine for some aware moments. Just at any point of time become aware of yourself. What are you thinking? How are you reacting? How are you moving? Try and get hold of your thought process. This small practice will lead to big conclusions in the form of keeping daily stresses to accumulate in the system.
  • Chant a Mantra! You can pick a mantra suitable for your temperament and chant it over a Mala for 108 times every day with a whispering tone of voice. Choose a secluded place for this, and a time when you are free enough to give at least 15 minutes to the chant. Forget all about anything else and just think about the mantra.
  • Spend some time in nature! Being with tree, plants, animals and natural surroundings has a very soothing effect on the overall system. if you don’t have such things around, look out for a place around. A park, a sanctuary, eco garden or anything like that. Just try and visit it for a couple of minutes every day. Even if you have to leave early from work, you must, as you got to make correct and healthy choices.
  • Cultivate generosity, harmlessness and care in your heart. You are forced to show such feelings all the time, but they should be there like seeds which are buried deep in your psyche. You don’t become compassionate just by basking your attitude towards all. You can also be compassionate just by having that very subtle feeling inside your heart and then you don’t need to showcase it all the time.

I believe if we can adhere to the recommendations mentioned above, it would be a bright exercise to align the intellect towards making healthier choices for ourselves and thus leading us to the mark. For sure these factors mentioned above are going to influence the way we do our actions by nullifying the cravings and orienting us to more knowledge oriented Karma.

Have a happy yogic life!!

For any assistance we are at Jeevmoksha@gmail.com

Hariomtatsat

Acharya Vinay

 

 

 

 

 

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Tittabhasana

yoga teacher training in rishikeshThis is Tittabhasana. Tittabh is the word for a firefly. This asana is primarily beneficial for:

  • strengthening lungs and abdominal organs.
  • a profound stretch of the spine
  • gaining strength in shoulders and arms.
  • empowering wrists
  • thighs are contracted and made stronger.

While performing the posture the initial preparation must be done for preparing arms and wrists and training the abdomen to help the arms in resisting the gravity while lifting up from the floor.

For more information and guidance please visit us http://www.jeevmokshayoga.com

Remarkable Yoga teacher training experience November 2013

This november we had a fantastic experience with our students in a month long yoga teacher training program at Jeevmoksha. The students were aspiring, motivated and clear on their objectives. They share a common interest of learning and gaining the insights into yoga and assimilating their experience into knowledge. They were dedicated and connected towards realising more about themselves through this discipline of self realisation. We all had a great time sharing with each other and learning all together. Every time you share you learn and this sort of learning is far ahead of just gaining information. Because it goes deep down to your psyche and creates an impression which is constructive. More constructive patterns in psyche gives more opportunities of higher experiences. And i believe this is what we are trying to do when we practise Yoga. My congratulations to all the students of Jeevmoksha and heartiest wishes for their upcoming lives. Whatever they do may it evolve them in awareness and bliss.

Hariomtatsat

Acharya Vinay

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Art of Yoga

Yoga is an art, an art of body, breath and mind. Body is the canvas, breath is the brush, and mind is the color. Unless and until these attributes are symmetrical, a perfect picture cannot be painted. To paint the picture of life we need to bring a harmony in these three aspects which are very much obvious and known to us. Through the body, mind expresses itself in vivid patterns and breath is what is acting as the link of this expression. A painter, no matter how lucid and creative, cannot give form to his imaginations in the absence of an aligned brush, a clean canvas and favorable colors. With yoga we learn to align our breath, coordinating our physical actions with our mental projections. Art of yoga turns out to be the science of life in that it lends us a systematic and experiential way of doing and observing. And it reaches a step ahead in that the observer itself is going through certain fundamental transformations through the reactions taking place in the elements of body and mind.
Body, being the primary instrument of all kinds of movements which are extrovert and which leaves a remarkable impression on the states of our mind, is dealt with extreme caution and respect in yoga. As it is said in all the texts, this body is the abode of Lord, lord being the ultimate reality of this existence. As we keep our houses clean and tidy to get a comfortable and homely feeling, we also need to keep this abode clean and healthy. Just for an experience, when our house is filthy, dirty and scattered, there is a strong feeling of disturbance and chaos in our mind and we want to escape. If there is a continuous conflict and struggle between the residents of a household, there prevails a strong negative vibration and it becomes impossible to relax in such an atmosphere. Such a state leads to aversion on part of the persons living in the house, and they become frustrated and can get lost. Similar is when observed on part of our body, when all the systems of this household are in a regular conflict, the resident inside becomes inert which is referred to as ‘JADTA‘ in yoga. This is a state of extreme Tamas where there is no awareness of anything internal as well as external. Machines are an example of this state. This inertia leads to dullness and lethargy and the person is living but not lively. Yoga helps cleaning the household of lord and making it fit for the self to be realized and manifested. But again there is a very fine line of differentiation between respecting the body and freaking out for the body. Too much orientation and clinging on the body again leads to a state of inertness of a different kind where the mind cannot perceive anything more than physical sensations. This balance is achieved with yoga by keeping the body in a naturally healthy condition and going beyond the realm of physical experiences, thus the canvas become clean for a perfect piece of art.
Breath is the facilitator of the movements that we make with the body and also of the patterns that are formed in the mind. If we observe closely our mind sometimes, we can find that the patterns which comprise of different kinds of thoughts in form of visual imagery and monologues are changing throughout the day. In the mornings there is a different kind of flow then in the evenings. And if we look more closely then we will recognize the close association of breath patterns with the mental patterns. Variety in the density of brush gives different strokes on the canvas and feel to the painter. Thick brushes are used to express heavy emotions and fine brushes are used to give way to sleek feelings. Prana is the force behind the breath which brings along these variations in our body and mind at different intervals of time. Prana flows along with the breath to maintain a subtle pathway in and out of the body. This is like a network of subtle channels inside the physical body in form of pranic body called Prana Sharira. We can understand it with the example of Optic Fiber cable. The thick covering in an OFC contains numerous wires inside and inside those small wires there is another set of copper wires running along, and through those small wires the data is transferred electronically which is unseen. Similarly within the physical body there are subtle wires or nadis and through those nadis there is prana travelling. This prana manifests itself in various physical actions that we do day to day in our lives either voluntarily or non- voluntarily. Another manifestation is in the form of various mind states that we experience in a single 24 hour regime. Just like the data transferred through OFC is being accessed in several forms on internet, prana expresses itself on different levels of our personality. And breath is through which is travels and maintain this whole phenomenon. To experience, maintain and expand this circuit of prana in the body is another aspect of practice of yoga. This comes when asanas are perfected and prana is controlled through the practise of Kumbhaka or retention. The brush then becomes aligned for vivid strokes on the canvas.
As the prana is controlled, mind ceases to wander and becomes more disciplined. It starts reflecting on itself and the colors of reality become obvious. The painter is able to access all the three attributes of his want and can paint the desired. The expression becomes clear and realization becomes possible for the self.

Acharya Vinay