Friday, February 19, 2010

Patanjali's Yoga Sutra -


IV Sutra 26 tada viveka-nimnam kaivalya-pragbharam cittam

Inclined (nimnam) towards this method of non-dual differentiated awareness based on the profound mutuality of wholographic relationships (viveka), then consciousness (cittam) gravitates and is propelled toward (pragbharam) kaivalya (total and complete liberation).

Commentary: Starting with viveka as vigilant awareness, the awareness of the observer expands eventually to the realization of relative truth which discloses the mutual interdependence of all phenomena as well as their common source and origin existing as a natural unconditioned whole. This is the way to realize "Self" in non-dual terms of the whole, as well as the whole in terms of the many. Without differentiated consciousness (viveka) there is no Self knowledge -- there is no form and nothing to see and no seer. Attempting to isolate the seer from the seen or negate one or the other is even more futile. Rather total and complete natural liberation (kaivalya) only demands natural transconceptual non-dual clarity which is won by renouncing conceptualization process as a mental state. Thus the yogi differentiates between renouncing a dualistic or ideational mentality (way of perceiving phenomena) and that of renouncing form or phenomena. Hence kaivalya is a wholistic way of seeing, being, and engagement.

Here one can only move toward Kaivalyam, approach it, and knock on its door so to speak; but it can not be entered into as long as viveka has not become clarified (khyater) -- where it still maintains any dualistic limitations or blemishes. The word, viveka, is often misunderstood because its use in authentic yoga is used very differently from that used in the samkhya context, as it is a state which has defeated conceptual and intellectual analysis, not one which is ruled by such. In samkhya the word, viveka, is most often translated as discriminatory awareness within a dualistic context, for example, making the distinction between the real and the unreal, knower and that which is known, subject and object, and other dualistic and comparative analytical techniques/methodologies.

The astute student will have noticed that this is the healing direction which Pada 4 has been moving in all the while, from fragmentation to integration; i.e., putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. One of the signal differences between Yoga as praxis and samkhya as a philosophical tradition is that samkhya's "enlightenment" is based upon philosophical abstraction, extraction, isolation, and dissociation, while that of yoga is based on integrative experience or union (samadhi). Yoga, (not samkhya), thus defines viveka as an instrumental awareness tool born from pure intrinsic attention (prajna), but seamlessly extended into multiplicity (differentiated awareness) in terms of ALL OUR RELATIONS. It arises as naked awareness or simple self awareness in meditation or astanga yoga, but when practiced over time this awareness grows to all things and beings as well as to the workings of the true nature of mind -- consciousness. Thus the practitioner starts to reap the fruits of yoga practice (liberation). It is realized through yoga praxis. In particular the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali can only be understood by the practitioners of its yoga (the Sutras acting as its guidebook).

So for example, at first in the practice of dhyana one begins to notice the elementary means of awareness where one is aware of the fluctuations of the citta-vrtta and how the mind chatter influences what apparently is seen or imputed. As the citta-vrtti clear, one is able to perceive the true nature of nature (phenomena wavering as impermanent and on fire) as the practitioner focuses awareness to the underlying ever present Now presence -- the all encompassing and all interpenetrating intrinsic seed source intelligence which is always available as awareness acknowledging awareness of timeless awareness reflected in All Our Relations, as the true nature of mind reveals the true nature of nature simultaneously, transpersonally, trans-cognitively without limits. Abiding in sacred presence in short doses, then one becomes more inclined toward abiding in this Now awareness more often.

After consistent practice over time then one develops the ability of viveka-khyatir (the self illuminating discrimination wisdom which reveals the one in many, and the many in the one, then differentiated consciousness and undifferentiated consciousness unites as inseparable. -- where this awareness of awareness shines forth more steadily and continuously from everywhere and everything interdependent and interconnected, whole, complete, and self liberating. here the evolutionary power has accomplished her natural job, effecting the innate momentum of Maheshvara/siva/isvara.

Rather than remaining imprisoned or limited to a philosophic or intellectual inquiry into "self", the yogi engages in viveka as a recognition of the self luminous innate awareness found within an authentic yogic practice such as meditation (dhyana). Here viveka is a pointer that brings about a realization/recognition of the union of the innate light (the param purusha) in ALL OUR RELATIONS -- where the intrinsic and extrinsic worlds unite. Thus over time the yogi advances into an advanced`dhyana (meditation) practice experientially within an overall objectless/formless context, where even the most subtle object of thought or activity of mentation (vrtti) must become still (nirodha) and let go (hanam). As mentioned in Chapter II astanga yoga develops viveka, and viveka wakes us up so that our awareness and energy (cit-shakti) no longer becomes distracted, dissipated, nor dulled eventually pointing to the eternal Source of that awareness -- to the awareness of that awareness.

In the previous padas, Patanjali addresses dharana (concentration), samyama, and pratyaya where the observer mind still has objects of concentration, be they subtle or coarse. Viveka meant in that beginning phase is elementary. It is the application of awareness or vigilance which grows through consistent meditation practice, so that the practitioner (sadhak) becomes increasingly aware of the dualistic contents of the mind (pratyaya). Then the sadhak is no longer unconsciously victimized by it, but can then let it go. With this elementary sharpened viveka, as soon as the mind begins to wander, the wandering is dropped. Eventually the yogi learns how to recognize even the very beginning tendency of vrtti, and hence being able to empty those contents freeing the old mental and energetic habits and patterns (citta-vrtti) before they even arise. When the obscurations sufficiently let go, then the inherent light of siva starts to shine more brightly. Siva is seen in all things and beings, yet at the same time, through the eyes of the singularity, the richness of the differentiation process is magnified fearlessly and immeasurably.

In dhyana, unlike dharana or samyama, the advanced sadhak does not bring the awareness back to an object (be it the breath, the energy centers, or even subtle thought processes), but rather no object, no separate self, no observer, no meditation just pure awareness -- awareness of timeless awareness leading up to viveka-khyatir (a self revealing luminosity of discriminatory wisdom which is all encompassing). So normally at the beginning of meditation, it is a time to experience and relax in the empty mind, open, and clarified mind. Then as the sword of viveka becomes sharpened, then tendencies toward distraction, agitation, and dissipation (vrttis) eventually cease. We follow this awareness back to its Source and back again as one coherent non-dual vibratory process of the evolutionary power connected up with source. (see pratiprasava in Sutra 34) .

After successful mastering the process of elementary self awareness (noticing the wandering of mental tendencies and the arising and falling away of the obscurations), they lose their power over the mind. Something larger is recognized . Then this elementary type of sharpened pure awareness (vigilance or viveka) opens the door to purusa consciousness without an object. Although viveka, as an awareness tool, is extremely valuable to develop through astanga yoga and especially in meditation, like all "techniques", it must eventually be given up like a boat which has reached its destination, in order to cross over onto the yonder shore (viveka-khyatir, nirbija-samadhi, and kaivalyam). When differentiated reality (the relative world) is understood as seamless with undifferentiated formless reality (absolute reality), then liberation (kaivalyam) is realized.

A special grace of viveka is that it discloses the nature of the wandering mind through its own self revealing innate awareness of reversing its focus upon the true nature of mind -- the intelligent consciousness principle underlying consciousness itself (cit) while engaged in differentiation/existence (shakti). It thus creates the space for the awareness of the pre-existing innate space which always existed since beginningless time but was ignored -- remained unrecognized. That is the transpersonal non-dual primordial awareness of universal undifferentiated conscious (the purusa) to enter into Now awareness as Now awareness and hence one realizes swarupa as being empty of a separate self. Through subject/object nonduality, the ego (as separate self) gets out of the way.

Repeated application of viveka (via astanga yoga) is needed at first in order to take us across the river, but it too must also be left at the shore, like a boat and its oars, in order to step upon the shore of viveka-khyatir. Clarity of what? What does the mid see then? WHo is this mind who sees? Who/what is the true purusa? This and more are revealed in authentic yoga practice

This is where yoga practice and even meditation ends. HERE we are no longer locked into the world of form only. There is no longer the separate object of the meditation, no object for the ego to become absorbed into, no separate observer, no meditator, no meditation, and no one who is meditating. Then there is non-dual integration in nirbijah samadhi. In other words according to Pada II and this sutra, viveka is used to prime the pump of the refocusing process upon kaivalyam as a non-dual experience (free from subject/object duality), then the new awareness takes off by itself but is hindered until the past samskaras (conditioned associations) are completely eradicated (as it is in nirbija samadhi).

In darkness are they who worship only the world. In greater darkness are they who worship the Infinite alone. Those who accept both (seen in relationship), save themselves from death by the knowledge of the former and attain immortality by the knowledge of the latter…And one who sees all beings in his own Self and his own Self in all beings, no more loathes and hates." Isha Upanishad 9-11

Swami Venkatesananda translates Sutra 26:

Then the whole mind flows towards wisdom and the realization of complete freedom or liberation.

Practice: In hatha yoga such as in asana and pranayama practices the opposites are balanced out through adjusting physical movements, movement of breath, energy, and awareness in relationship to nature. In such a balanced (sattvic) state a profound state of synchronicity is invited in The Great Continuum is like the Saraswati River at prayag, eternally flowing although "normally" hidden. Hence sunya is associated with the sushumna nadi -- sometimes called the sunya nadi whenthe two polar opposites are united and the middle channel is open. Better said, this occurs spontaneously when the central channel is opened, uniting undifferentiated pure awareness with form, spirit with nature, heaven with earth, crown (sahasraha) and muladhara, shiva with shakti, or ayn soph with shekinah as a co-emergent experience.

The Buddha said, "kulaputras, there is a comparison that can be drawn between the countless flowers conjured up by the Buddha that suddenly withered and the innumerable conjured buddha images with their many adornments, seated in the lotus position within the flowers, who cast forth light so exceedingly rare that there was no one in the assembly who did not show reverence. In a similar fashion, kulaputras, when I regard all beings with my buddha cakshur (eye), I see that hidden within the kleshas (barbs) of raga (greed), lobha (confusion), dvesha (hatred) and moha (obscuration) there is seated augustly and unmovingly the Tathagata jnana , the Tathagata-vision and the Tathagata kaya. kulaputras, all beings, though they find themselves with all sorts of kleshas, have a tathagata-garbha that is eternally unsullied, and that is replete with virtues no different from my own. Moreover, kulaputras, it is just like a person with supernatural vision who can see the bodies of tathagatas seated in the lotus position inside the flowers, even though the petals are not yet unfurled; whereas after the wilted petals have been removed, those tathagatas are manifested for all to see. In similar fashion, the Buddha can really see the beings (sattva) tathagata-garbha. And because he wants to disclose the tathagata-garbha to them, he expounds the sutras and the Dharma, in order to destroy kleshas and reveal the buddha-dhatu (buddha-element, buddha-nature). kulaputras, such is the dharma of all Buddhas. Whether or not buddhas appear in the world, the tathagata-garbha of all beings are eternal and unchanging. It is just that they are covered by kleshas of sentient beings. When the Tathagata appears in the world, he expounds the Dharma far and wide to remove their ignorance and tribulation and to purify their universal wisdom. kulaputras, if there is a bodhisattva who has faith in this teaching and who practices it with ekagra-citta (single-pointed citta), he will attain vimukti and correct universal enlightenment and for the sake of the world he will perform Buddha deeds far and wide."

The Buddha, The Tathagatagarbha Sutra"

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