Yoga: What exactly is it?
अथ योगानुशासनम्॥ १.१॥
Now, having prepared yourself, begins the instruction or teaching of Yoga
Yoga is the disintegration of those mental activities which obstruct you from seeing your real nature.
तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम्॥ १.३॥
Then the one who is witnessing begins to understand his real nature. Who he really is!
At all other times the seer identifies with subtle thoughts and other modifications of the mind stuff.
The process of disentanglement of thought
वृत्तयः पञ्चतय्यः क्लिष्टाऽक्लिष्टाः॥ १.५॥
Learn to witness 5 kinds of thoughts - some bring pain, others don't.
(both are useful in your pursuit. One has to learn NOT to suppress either of them. It is part of the Yoga-s.
Caution: While we speak of removal of certain thought patterns, please understand that some patterns are used to function in the external world. They may be useless to a Yogi, but are extremely important if you wish to achieve few things in the external world.
In fact, they actually help in many creative areas of life to bring comforts to us. Comfort and Luxury is built using these thought patterns. Even building a meditation hall or an ashram for Yoga, may require such thought patterns in the external world.
Of course, these patterns won't help in delivering the final goal of Yoga though.
It will only form an interim step in your journey towards the final goal. Later, from another standpoint, it will become Vikalpa from beingViparyaya.
It is only when our contemplations & meditations gradually become more profound & deep, that we begin to see both - the external and internal - as vikalpa or imagination alone. The cognitions begin to shift slowly. The level of reality of vikalpa of internal world is different from vikalpa of external world.)
The 5 types of thoughts are
a)Those which help you gain knowledge
b)Those that keep you in confusion and ignorance
c)Those which are mere fantasy or imagination
d)Those that have no object outside - sleep
e)Those that are based on memories from past
Each of the above has to be properly understood and seen through one's own life, so a Yogi inquires into each of the above layers or types of thoughts, one-by-one, understanding these to not be his real Self until he gets established in his true nature.
प्रत्यक्षानुमानागमाः प्रमाणानि॥ १.७॥
The thoughts which help in bringing you knowledge are - pratyaksha, anumana & agama.
(Wrong interpretations of nature of "pratyaksha" or "direct experience" and NOT knowing the Self to be "aparoksha" keep you in Duality and with a false identity.)
विपर्ययो मिथ्याज्ञानमतद्रूपप्रतिष्ठम्॥ १.८॥
The thoughts which bring pain & continue to keep you in ignorance of the self are - viparyaya & mithya jnanam. (The difference must be seen clearly. Not understanding this sutra is the cause for all confusion & obsessive attachment giving rise to grief & sorrow.
While viparyaya is "not knowing" at level of the intellect, Mithya is the ignorance or 'not knowing' at the level of EGO or Ahamkara itself.
Both, however, function in a similar manner.
Caution: The word EGO used here is not as used by psychologists.
Qualified & experienced teachers of Yoga help students understand both the above 'misperceptions' clearly and help get rid of them.)
शब्दज्ञानानुपाती वस्तुशून्यो विकल्पः॥ १.९॥
Vikalpa is mere fantasy or imagination. It is also a vritti, a thought, but having no external real object or
substance. It has no ontological reality of its own. You could express it in words too but without any real content or stuff in it. It is much like the "horns of a rabbit".
Do rabbits ever have horns?
अभावप्रत्ययालम्बना वृत्तिर्निद्रा॥ १.१०
अनुभूतविषयासंप्रमोषः स्मृतिः॥ १.११॥
अभ्यासवैराग्याभ्यां तन्निरोधः॥ १.१२॥
तत्र स्थितौ यत्नोऽभ्यासः॥ १.१३॥
स तु दीर्घकालनैरन्तर्यसत्कारासेवितो दृढभूमिः॥ १.१४॥
दृष्टानुश्रविकविषयवितृष्णस्य वशीकारसंज्ञा वैराग्यम्॥ १.१५॥
Although the world is going crazy through meditations, Rishi Patanjali had something different to say. But how will you ever know it? The original is written in Sanskrit & there are different types of meditations prescribed for different types of minds.
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