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Yoga as the Science of Inner Transformation Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 9

Day 8: Thinking vs. Awareness

60 min - Talk


Welcome to Day 8. In today's meditation, we tune into awareness as the mechanism of transformation before continuing our discussion on what it means to be the "right actor" from the perspective of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. We explore the faculties of manas (thinking) vs. buddhi (awareness) and the uniting of the mind with higher consciousness. We look at some of the ways in which the Bhagavad Gita defines yoga. We finish with homework to reflect on our session.
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Nov 02, 2018
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Chapter 1

We'll practice something in our meditation in order to verify a very important idea. That awareness is the mechanism of transformation. First of all, simply just to become aware of your breathing without deciding to change it in any way, either to deepen it or to do quickly or to hold the breath, nothing. You're simply watching your breathing taking place. Sometimes, it may take a little longer time than usual, but just watching, gradually one would see that the quality of my breathing changes.

Similarly, if we pay a quick attention to various parts of our body right now, and some parts may have a little bit more tension than is necessary, I don't specifically do anything. I simply watch that I am tense. For example, in my case right now, my hands seem a little tense, but each one of us needs to follow it. Just have a quick look at various parts of your body. One, people who wear glasses tend to have an ongoing tension around the eyes, and some people in the shoulders or in the hands, and almost everybody has tensions around the area, around the navel, but the invitation now is not to be doing anything, but simply to be aware of the fact, wherever I am tense.

And impartially watch if that brings about a change. If you have any kind of tension in the head, sometimes bordering on a mild headache, or sometimes one has a serious headache, there is a tendency in us to wish to do something about it, maybe even to take some kind of medicine or pill, but I invite you to look right now, maybe, whatever I become aware of, changes in its quality, and in its relationship with me. If I see something in my body which I do not like, or I don't find it comforting, or I disapprove, there is naturally a wish to change it. How is the change to be brought about, serious change? If I can become aware of it, that awareness comes from a slightly higher level of consciousness than the functions in my organism.

Plastic is a function, tensions are functions, breathing is a function, digestion is a function, so all these functions are working at one level of consciousness, and awareness can bring energy from a slightly higher level, and can have an effect or a change on those functions in what is organically the right direction, without my deciding what is the right direction, deciding mentally. Right now I invite you to pay attention to different parts of the body, to the legs, one leg at a time, one arm at a time, head, abdomen, back, every place, and that attention is assisted by bringing my breath to be placed in different parts of the body. So if I wish to be aware of what is taking place in my right leg, I bring my attention to it, and intentionally place my breath in my right leg, simply watching what effect takes place, not deciding what should take place. Gradually the other limbs, I can gradually try all the limbs. And if I accept this principle, but only if it makes some sense to me in my own experience, then it becomes more obvious that what I need is to enhance the quality of my awareness, the depth of awareness and impartiality, not approving or disapproving, simply watching.

Right now it becomes more obvious that what I need is to enhance the quality of my awareness, and that what I need is to enhance the quality of my awareness, and that what I need is to enhance the quality of my awareness, and that what I need is to enhance the quality of my awareness, and that what I need is to enhance the quality of my awareness, and that what I need is to enhance the quality of my awareness, and that what I need is to enhance the quality of my awareness. Now especially to focus our attention or awareness, mostly in the region of the head, because that is where a lot of noisy mental activity goes on, and that awareness as if I am more interested in the organism rather than the content in the head, and if I stay without becoming tense, staying, becoming more and more aware of it, there is a kind of cleansing that takes place, a quietening of the mind. Then not knowing, but simply wondering, internally I can even say to myself, watching my head, I wonder why I am here, not deciding, not speculating, simply hearing some whispers. Now we take two more breaths and we'll stop, but I can also place my out-breath in my head, keeping it clear. Thank you.

Chapter 2

Let me begin today by first of all reminding a couple of sentences from yesterday that Dharma is dealing with what is the right action, and then the suggestion from Krishna that no action can be right until the actor is right, and therefore the necessity of practicing yoga, which is required for transformation of the actor to be the right actor, and then very much the suggestion from Krishna that until Yajja or Yajja is involved, which is basically to say unless there is also an input from a deeper level within myself or a higher subtler level of reality, a deva, that yoga cannot be accomplished. So today now we'll focus on what is the right actor from the perspective of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. Here we need to have just a simple description of essentially three levels or three parts within ourselves in every human being, and first is the body, then the mind. Now this is a little difficulty here because the word mind can cover many things. So here I recommend first of all to use the Sanskrit word manas, which is almost always translated as mind, but then there is another level of the mind which is called buddhi.

So we may think of this as lower mind and higher mind, that is a possibility, or monkey mind and the buddha mind. It is useful to be aware that there are levels of the mind. Sometimes all of this gets called mind, sometimes there is a distinction that is made. So in the Bhagavad Gita there is a very clear distinction between manas and buddhi. So then the suggestion is, which is something that I already mentioned three or four days back, that in all spiritual teachings it's the soul or an element of the spirit or element of divinity which has taken on the body for some purpose.

It's not that the body has the soul. So in the Bhagavad Gita Krishna sometimes does not even give it a label, he simply calls it the Sanskrit label is the hin, which simply means the embodied, that which has taken on the body. So then the suggestion is that the wrong order, which is usually the one unfortunately most of us are driven by, is that the body is controlling the manas, the ordinary mind, that whatever the body wants or decides, sooner or later the manas will justify it. So it's really a little bit like a, almost like a prostitute of the body. Whatever the body decides, the mind will rationalize it.

And you can look at all our political activities. Body desires are standard ones, shelter, power, sleep, wealth, etc, etc. This is exactly what ultimately ends up being the temptation for even the greatest sages like the Buddha is tested. And it's also useful to keep in mind that bigger or higher the sage, bigger the devil they need to test. Little guys like us may be seduced by $10,000, big guys need a million dollars.

So big sages need larger devils to test them. But in any case the wrong order from the perspective of the Bhagavad Gita is that the body is essentially driving manas and then manas tries to interfere with the buddhi. It occasionally even succeeds, tries to persuade it one way or the other. But that is the wrong order. The right order is that buddhi is able to receive, sometimes we say able to hear or able to see what is subtler than the buddhi, which is to say the soul or the spirit, which has come into the body, but generally speaking the body is not listening to it.

Again keep this in mind, again and again we have varieties of ways of saying it that we have the spiritual nature and we have the animal nature, but the animal nature is not listening to the call of the spirit. So buddhi can hear or be aware of, will be the better way of saying it, of what is subtler than itself. And then buddhi can control the ordinary mind and then the mind can control the senses of the body, which is why one would say a yogi has a disciplined body. So the right actor therefore is one who is able to be aware of the call from something if you like above himself or herself, and is able to then have sufficiently disciplined body that it can actually carry out what it hears as the demand. But what is very important here is to recognize that buddhi is personal, meaning your buddhi is different from my buddhi, spirit is not personal, but in a way it's a little bit like if you are driving on a road, I'm sure this is true here, but many places in Canada I often watch this, suddenly there is a sign saying a good lookout or a nice view.

So buddhi is like a good lookout, it can see something on the other side, but it is still on this side. So it is not itself part of the spirit, it is individual, but it can be aware of something transpersonal, something far subtle. It can see the beautiful scenery on the other side, but it is still on this side. So it's important to keep this in mind. Therefore the suggestion is that buddhi is really what we need to be working with, because it is still somehow related with us in an individual manner.

And the whole suggestion is that buddhi has both, if you like, a psychological aspect as well as the cosmological possibility. By cosmological I mean something subtler than myself, or transpersonal than myself. It is very difficult to translate this word buddhi, I should tell you this. You read some of the very important writers who translate the Bhagavad Gita, and you will see many different translations. For example, quite often intelligence, or intellect, or simply the mind, or awareness, and one of the translators actually R.C.

Zayner, by the way, who himself was of a Catholic background, he insisted that buddhi is to be translated as soul, because it performs all the functions that soul does in the Biblical tradition. So I'm intentionally giving you some of this large variation on this word, and many different ways of translating this, which indicates the complexity of the idea here. And the root of this word buddhi is the same as of the word buddha, or also I mentioned the other day, buddhi, which is translated often as knowledge, buddha is someone who is awake, so buddhi is the, it is still personal, but it is the part in me that can awaken, can connect me with something transpersonal, can become aware of this, and can also be able to control my ordinary mind and my body. So it is, sometimes I myself translate this as integrated intelligence or awareness. And there is another remark that is relevant here in most of the Indian philosophy and also in the Bhagavad Gita, that not, a separation is not made between emotions and thought.

Manas is both lower emotions like jealousy, competition, worry, anxiety, buddhi is not only higher thought or higher mind, but it is also higher feelings, such as gratitude, wonder, compassion. So that one organ, rather than saying head and heart, one organ is used, or one word is used. So Manas, we could say, if you wish to clarify it, mind-heart, but then buddhi will be mind-heart with a capital M, capital H, just to make a distinction between the two. Now in that context, I should also just remind you, it's interesting language difficulties. These days, as you know, there is much, especially on the internet, much emphasis on mindfulness practices, mindfulness.

Well, it depends. Is the mind full of the monkey mind or the Buddha mind? And in this context, it might interest you. One of the very great Upanishads actually says in so many words that the highest state is the Sanskrit word is Amani Bhava, literally, mindlessness, freedom from the mind. After all, what is Padanjali saying in the Yoga Sutras, to stop all the movements of the mind?

So when one thinks of mindfulness, be really careful. What kind of mind is being filled? Is it the monkey mind or the Buddha mind? What is being called? And by the way, especially I mentioned this here in the, I suppose, the Western context, Thomas Aquinas, the great Christian philosopher, theologian, actually exactly says very much the same in his words that the highest state of consciousness is mindlessness.

It's really freedom from the mind. So be a little careful about any of these internet propaganda about what is being proposed in all of these. But coming back to the question of buddhi, so buddhi one could say is an integrated intelligence, including higher feelings, higher intellect, higher thought, awareness, all of these various words I'm using just to mention that any single word is not really quite sufficient for it. So buddhi, we can stay with it. Then the important thing to really emphasize that what Krishna very much emphasizes is the central yoga that he's teaching is buddhi yoga, yoga of awareness.

I actually published a paper in 1959 published by the Cambridge University Press in which I expressed much surprise that I never hear any yoga teacher speak about it. They all seem to be speaking about either karma yoga or jnana yoga or bhakti yoga, etc. But nobody ever speaks about buddhi yoga, whereas this is the central yoga that Krishna is teaching. And it created a little bit of an academic ruffle. Then I discovered in 2006, that is many years later, a book by Sri Yandirvan, a very great sage who actually died in 1978 in Bengal.

I had the great fortune actually to spend about half an hour with him practically on his deathbed. He had written a book in Bengali in 1981 or 82, but it was translated into English only in 2006, and the book is called buddhi yoga in the Bhagavad Gita. So it's not that I was the first one to discover this, but it seems to be very rarely mentioned by any yoga teachers that I have ever come across, much to my surprise. But therefore I thought I will specially even read to you three times, Krishna explicitly speaks about one is when his teaching begins, which is in the second chapter, as you know. Because the first chapter is basically describing the battlefield, etc.

And so in the second chapter, this is what he says, what has been declared to you O Arjuna is the theoretical wisdom. Now listen to buddhi yoga. When you are disciplined with it, you will be free from the bondage of action. This is the 39th shloka in the second chapter. Then there are total 18 chapters, 10th chapter is more or less the middle of the Bhagavad Gita, and this is what he says.

This is the 10th shloka in the 10th chapter. To those who are constantly disciplined and who adore me with love, I give buddhi yoga by which they come to me. I don't know why we don't take him seriously, he is saying again. Now then, very last chapter, the 18th chapter, this is the 57th shloka, just there are only a few more shlokas after that in the Bhagavad Gita, this is what he says. Put yourself fully to me as the Supreme, renounce all your actions consciously to me, take refuge in buddhi yoga, be always one with me in heart and mind.

So as you can imagine, why I was so surprised, why people don't mention it. I mean, three times he says this right in the beginning of his teaching, in the middle of his teaching, at the end of his teaching. But some things, once somebody says it just gets repeated again and again, fresh look at a scripture or anything is not easy. I must say, this is actually partly my physics training that does it. Almost intentionally, I never look at any of the commentaries, for just want to look at the text, first of all.

And then, commentaries can help. In fact, I advise others also, my own commentary on the Gospel of John or on the Bhagavad Gita or the Yoga Sutra, no, first of all, just read the text and reflect on it yourself. Then some commentaries can help, some are misleading, all that, but you can be the judge for this, because there are many commentators which are naturally using the text to support their point of view. Every politician does that. So we have politicians in the religious circles as well, or in the academic circles as well.

They just want to support their point of view. But if you have read the text carefully yourself, then you can be a little bit more careful which translations or which commentaries make some sense or don't make some sense. But in any case, I was, as I said, very surprised, but I draw your attention to this, because buddhi yoga is really, essentially includes all the other yogas. It's a little bit like the conductor of an orchestra. Sometimes one wants the flutes, sometimes the strings, sometimes the drums.

So these other yogas, such as Yoga of Action, it's not against Yoga of Knowledge. How could it possibly be against it? But it's not always that you should be sitting there studying the scriptures. It's time to act. But these various yogas are not contradictory, they are not exclusive of each other.

No human being I have ever met, including, I imagine, all of you here, who doesn't act sometimes and who doesn't know something. So everybody surely is involved in action and is involved in some kind of knowledge. So not to take any of this as exclusive yoga. It is true, on the other hand, that some people are much more actively activity oriented and some are much more contemplatively oriented, some are much more devotionally oriented. All that is true.

So this is not to say that everybody must have the same combination, but I invite you to think of these various yogas, it's a little bit like saying everything in the universe is made out of electrons, neutrons and positrons, but combination is unique. So everything, every path is made of some knowledge, some action, some devotion, some contemplation, but every combination is unique. And in fact, this is one of the very important features of whole Indian thought, including in the Bhagavad Gita very much, that religious conversions don't make any sense. Why? Because we are all on the surface of ourselves, and I can go from one point on the surface to another point on the surface.

What is required is for me to go inside. So each one of us needs to have a unique path, therefore a unique yoga. There the word yoga would mean a path, a way. So various other yogas are ways of describing major attributes of something, but each one of us needs to discover what is the right path for my journey to my own center. Then I come closer and closer to other people's center as well.

So there is not, therefore it sounds actually very odd to people in India to say there is only one way to God. This would seem very strange to them, because each person has to discover one's own absolutely unique way or a unique yoga. So these various yogas are not contradictory to each other, they are not exclusive, but it is certainly true that each one of us would be much more sympathetic to certain kind of practice than to other practice. This is fine. One needs to see essentially what is the goal again and again to keep in mind.

It is expressed in many different ways, right now I just finished saying, can I be connected with something in me that can be aware of something subtler than myself? Another way of saying it, can I come gradually closer and closer to Krishna's own being? Another is to discover my deepest self, which in Indian texts would be said to be identically the same as the highest or subtlest reality, Brahma. So varieties of different ways of saying it. But always the idea is that it is to be discovered deep within myself, not outside somewhere.

All the teachers, all the scriptures, sages can assist by showing even how I might meditate, how I practice something, how I might understand something. But the search remains uniquely individual. So having now very much emphasized the question of Buddha yoga, but don't take this as against other yogas, it's actually inclusive of all the yogas. But sometimes one thing needs to be emphasized, sometimes something else needs to be emphasized. Then I already spoke about what is the right act from the point of view of the Bhagavad Gita and then the emphasis on Buddha yoga, meaning becoming more and more aware.

And as I said earlier also, awareness is the mechanism of transformation. This is something that needs to be really clearly understood. If somebody has had, let us say, a great deal of trouble even as a child, let us say seven or eight year old kid has been assaulted, the experience will stay in one's psyche and even in one's body. But it is part of our survival mechanism that we need to forget this. So there is amnesia.

On the other hand, it stays in the body and the psyche and therefore one is maybe unable to hold a proper job or depending on the kind of assault, maybe one is unable to have any kind of a normal relationship with the opposite gender, there can be many consequences. I'm sure this is nothing unique, everybody can easily think of cases like this. Then sometimes even 20 years later, 30 years later, one ends up seeing a psychiatrist. What does the psychiatrist manage to do? By making the person feel easy maybe by even the way they sit or they lie down, depends on the kind of psychiatrist they are or giving them something so that their inhibitions are at least temporarily removed, they can actually speak about things which they are hesitant to speak about.

But ultimately, the only way they can actually be cured is if they become aware of what actually took place. If they can become aware of this and not be therefore unhinged, this is what the psychiatrist can actually help them. Then a transformation can take place. I am actually making this point strongly again and again. If you know any other mechanism of transformation, I'll be happy to learn.

This is the mechanism of transformation. One can watch this in oneself, as we tried even in meditation. We don't have sufficient time there to watch these things, but any tension in the body, especially in the head, headache, etc., you pay attention to it. There are many different ways of expressing being aware. We sometimes say, I see, or paying attention, or becoming conscious of.

Don't get attached to the word awareness, but these are all related words. If I pay attention to what the problem is, that itself, the source of attention or awareness is at a higher level than where the problem is. Problem is to do with one function or the other in the body. Because the source is at a higher level, the source of perception, that has the possibility of making a shift or making a change. Then there is another remark that I need to make.

Krishna speaks about yoga in two very different ways. One is more or less describing this, if you like, classes of yoga, the kind I just mentioned, the yoga, or karma yoga, or jnana yoga, etc. Another is describing the quality of a yogi, what changes in a practitioner of yoga. I will take some examples of this in a few moments, but let me actually, maybe I take that example right now. For example, one of the definitions of yoga, the definition may not be the right word or description of yoga, if you like, is yoga is breaking the bond with suffering. This is not describing karma yoga or buddhi yoga or any other, it's not one of those categories.

But yoga is breaking the bond with suffering. By the way, it's the 23rd Shloka in the sixth chapter. But if we actually focus on this for a few minutes, we see something very important here. First of all, everywhere the suggestion is, what does it mean to be transformed? That I need to be free of myself.

What is it that keeps me most attached to myself, is my whole entire past conditioning. And in that past conditioning, what is the feature that is likely to be most important? Any time or place or a person who created some serious suffering in me. Patanjali just quickly says, to be free of like, dislike, that raga comes from attachment to pleasure, dvesh comes from attachment to suffering. But he doesn't go into more details here.

But what is important, that we are more attached to our suffering than to our pleasure. What keeps us more tied to our past is suffering than happiness. Curious it may seem, it seems rather perverse actually, but we need to look at ourselves to see if this is true. So then the suggestion that unless I can break that bond with suffering, I can't be free of my past or past conditioning, I can't be free of myself if you like. What is myself?

One needs to always keep asking this question. Myself is the end product of my entire past, even the species past. If we were born in the fifth century, you can be sure we'll be wearing different clothes, taking different language, eating different kind of food, and having different kind of relationships than we do if we are born in the 20th century. Similarly these days they are talking about all these millenniums, millennials, they have different attitudes, etcetera. Certainly my son seems to be very clever about fixing the cell phone, etcetera.

No, but these are very external examples. But it's obvious that depending on which century we were born in, which culture we were born in, what language we were listening to, in fact there has been a fair amount of research now done. It actually started with Yehudi, what was his name, Yehudi Yasmin, a great English musician with a child prodigy of music. He became very interested in Indian music because he met Ravi Shankar and they were often listening to music. So he actually started an institute which is still continuing and they have done a lot of research in which they are now completely convinced if one grows up listening to say Chinese music rather than Indian music, that one's brain structure is different.

Earlier the notion was that we have a, this comes from a computer kind of analogy, that we have a hard drive and then we have a software, but that the hardware is the same. More and more that the hardware is influenced by the so-called software. Even the DNA structure changes depending on the language you grow up using or the music you grow up listening to. So you see, imagine that we can be so easily free of all our past, it's not so easy. So in any case, the suggestion really is on the other hand that freedom from myself requires freedom from my past and that the suffering keeps me much more connected with the path than anything else.

Let me take one or two other kind of description of yoga that Krishna gives which is not part of the standard divisions. For example, a yogi sees the self in everyone and everyone in the self. This is a description of yoga. Now by the way, when we use the word self here, one little distinction which is useful to make, Greek script as well as the Latin script, Latin script is in which we write English, they have an upper case and a lower case. Sanskrit script doesn't have an upper case or a lower case.

So there things have to be understood by the context in which the word is being used. However, very much the suggestion there is that I could therefore change the word self with the capital S self which in the Indian context means same thing as God. Keep this in mind again and again. So it is really to say that a yogi sees the divine in everyone and everyone in God. You see, this is again becomes the definition of yoga.

This is not one of these Karam Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, etc. So one needs to realize that yoga is described in many different ways in the Bhagavad Gita. And intentionally now just for a moment focusing on non, it's not a group which is being described as Karam Yoga. I will speak about that maybe tomorrow. And here it's maybe I give you a specific example which is to see the God in everyone is not so easy, but most of you I'm sure know the name of Mother Teresa.

When she got a Nobel Prize for Peace, immediately she became much more internationally known. Obviously, she could also travel to many places and she also came to Canada and was going to be interviewed by a very well-known Canadian television interviewer on CBC. CBC stands for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I have to describe this in the USA because they have different labels here. And actually a very well-known interviewer called Patrick Watson, I still remember his name.

This was many, this was at least 30 odd years ago we're talking about. And he was well-known because he had a very nice way of making the interviewee sort of feel comfortable and nice. So Mother Teresa was going to be interviewed by him. And he starts out by saying, well, Mother, you're so kind. You obviously must love the poor because you spend all your life.

And he practically fell off his chair. She said, I don't love the poor. And he could hardly believe this. Very well-known interviewer. But gradually he recovered and he says, but Mother, you spend so much of your time and energy.

She said, there is nothing especially lovable about the poor. I love the Christ in them. Very interesting. How many people could actually say that? And now I should also remind you, this is slightly in passing.

She very Mother Teresa very much insisted that nobody could be a volunteer with her unless they were also willing to engage in prayer and meditation with her. Because she was not just gathering volunteers. Of course, I know one or two exceptions that had to be made, but you know, power has its place. When Princess Diana wanted to have her picture taken as a volunteer with Mother Teresa, well, an exception gets made. But generally, she always insisted that they had to actually engage in spiritual practice with her before doing, as it were, good works.

It's very important for her. So I give this only as an example. So here is an example of a yogi. Yes, because I'm concerned, a yogi sees the self in everyone and everyone in the self. Actually, Patrick Watson practically fell off his chair, could hardly believe this.

Okay, so let me take one or two other examples of how yoga or yogi gets defined. This is actually one of my own favorite expressions. This is the 19th shloka in the 7th chapter. At the end of many births, a wise person, which is his way of defining a yogi, a wise person comes to me, Krishna says, realizing that all there is is Krishna. Such a person is a great soul, but very rare.

So it's not such a common thing, Krishna himself is saying, such a person is a great soul, but very rare. So here is, for example, this becomes another definition of yoga, that for a yogi, all there is is Krishna. These things are easier to say, these words are easy, but to actually realize this. And of course, we have extraordinary sages. In this particular instance that comes to my mind is, some of you may know the name of Raman Maharishi.

I especially recall on one occasion he was asked by somebody, how should we treat the others? And he said, but there are no others. Now, anybody could use these words, but you see for him, but there are no others. So as it were, everybody is part of the same energy, same Krishna. So there are many different ways Krishna describes yoga or yogi.

Sometimes it is describing a yogi, the quality of a yogi, sometimes explicitly saying yoga, like I just mentioned earlier, yoga is breaking the bond with suffering. Then there is a very much emphasis, and that I will largely focus on tomorrow, but that a yogi is free of attachment to the fruits of action. One does what needs to be done, but then whether it succeeds or fails is not a matter of him worrying about it. Only because Krishna then goes on to say later on that there are many factors that enter in the success or failure of any action. Of course, the way the action is done is relevant.

Who is doing it is relevant, but then he uses the word daivam, which literally means the benediction of the devas or the will of the devas. That same action, we have many examples of this, especially in history of science, more so in history of mathematics and physics than other sciences. Many people have much the same data, but only one person comes up with a theory that has some magic to it. Why? We often say, well, he was lucky or it was his destiny, but these are just different ways of saying that we don't know.

But this aspect is extremely important, and I need to keep repeating this. If we don't recognize that there are many levels of reality, that I am not at the top of the universe, that there are subtler levels than myself, then none of this would make any sense that God exists. What the hell does that mean, unless it is a level higher than myself, or that there are angels or devas. These are different words. Don't get attached to that these have to be with wings or with more eyes or more ears.

Now, these are just artists have some way of describing different qualities, emphasizing them. But much more importantly, and now let me here repeat something which is extremely important to keep in mind, there is a tendency, especially in the Abrahamic tradition, to personalize everything. So God also gets personalized. So you can have a nice picture of God in the even in Vatican, in the Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo, you know, this is funny in a way because the tradition insists not to make any images of God. This is heart of the tradition and right where the popes are selected, right there, you have a picture of God, which would seem completely ironic.

But they will go around destroying other people's pictures of God that happens. But in general, the very much the suggestion that in the Abrahamic tradition, very strong tendency to personalize everything angels also that also exists in India, but mostly at a folk level, none of the philosophers are like Raman Maharishi or Krishnamurti or Arvindo. None of them would personalize it. For them, what we would call God or Brahma is a very subtle and, if you like, high level of energy, very conscious level of energy. So for them, it's a different meaning or different kind of description of this.

And of course, that there are many levels, naturally, therefore mean, whether we call them devas or we don't call them just different levels of consciousness and different levels of energy. So in any case, again, coming back to the idea that there are many different levels of energy, and that unless a subtler than my usual level is involved, which of course deep within me, and how do I contact it by becoming quieter, by invoking it, by allowing listening to what it is saying, and that unless that is involved, my action remains just at my usual level. So this is what that attachment needs to be sacrificed. This is what becomes the yagya part of it. So we will continue tomorrow to describe maybe one or two specific kind of yogas, especially Karami Yoga and etc., and maybe the last day we'll have Bhakti Yoga.

Chapter 3

Let me mention the homework for everybody here. Maybe within yourself you see, if you can make a distinction in your experience, don't get attached to the words here, between what you would call thinking and what you would call awareness. They don't need to be opposed to each other. They can even assist each other. But are they different from each other?

That's the point I'm more asking. What you yourself would call, now you could use the word, what is buddhi and what is manas in you. But you can stay just with the English words. What is the thinking faculty and what is the faculty of awareness? And can they assist each other?

After all, every great sage ultimately uses some words. They have to come through the language, which has to be learned by the ordinary mind, so it can hardly be against it. But one needs to understand, what is leading what?


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Thank you YogaAnytime for offering these insightful talks.
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Thank you for the lecture. Thinking, Awareness are not opposites as you said.
What role does Consciousness play in relationship to these two?
Much enjoying my courses. Thank you.🙏🏽
Thank you for bringing buddhi yoga into my awareness - like you said not many teachers mention this, and if awareness is the mechanism of transformation then we'd better be aware...the meditation at the beginning was an example of how we can use awareness to reach parts of the body, then surely it can be used to reach and connect us with deeper levels as well.

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