This episode is part of a course.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Artwork
Season 11 - Episode 2

Sutra 2.18

85 mins - Talk
4 likes
Loading...

Description

We journey through sutra 2.18: prakasha kriya sthiti shilam bhuta indriya atmakam bhoga apavarga artham drishyam. This sutra invites us to dive deeper into sankhya yoga, revisiting the tattvas and ganas, and discussing the concept of the Seer and the Seen, the alliance between them, and how to break that alliance. The experience of life is a series of events that lead us to education, enjoyment, and emancipation, through which we may find balance and harmony.

Please see the attached .PDFs to follow along with James.

What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

Aug 19, 2022
Jnana, Raja
(Log In to track)

Transcript

Read Full Transcript

Chapter 1

Sutra 18 Prakash kriya sthiti shilam putendriyat makam pogarpavargartam drishyam So Patanjas just said in the 17th sutra that this sanyoga, this very strong conjunction of the drashtra, the seer, and the drishya, and the scene, is the cause of that which is to be removed. The pain that is to be removed, the suffering that is to be removed. So he's mentioned the drashtra, the seer, and the scene. And so now we're going to have described the scene, or the realm of manifest nature, the realm of manifold existence, also known in Sanskrit, and in the Sankhya school of philosophy, which yoga works with, it's like a sister school to yoga, and Sankhya uses the term prakriti. And yoga uses this term too. But interestingly, Patanjali, he uses the word drishya, the scene, and Patanjali departs from classic Sankhya terminology.

And this is important in the Bhagavad Gita, no less. Krishna says, ikam sankyansha yogansha yaf pashati sa pashati Those who truly see, see that Sankhya and yoga are one, in the sense that their end is the same, they orient towards the same goal, which is that ultimate recognition, that return to the source. And yoga and Sankhya are sister schools. They are sister darshanas, perspectives on reality, ways of seeing. And yoga is the practical school of Indian philosophy.

Now Sankhya is widely considered as the oldest school of Indian philosophy. Generally speaking, most schools exist in some kind of quite strong relationship to Sankhya, because they will build on it, work with it, or kind of disregard it, differentiate themselves from it in some significant way. When we come to Vedic schools of Indian philosophy, and yoga is one of these, classical schools, they all are related to Sankhya in some close way. Yoga, however, even though it is very close to Sankhya, it builds on the Sankhya model of reality. But also, yoga assumes a familiarity with the basic tenets and principles of Sankhya.

So Sutra 18 is basically, it's encoding a lot, it is a kind of summation or summary of the Sankhya view of reality from the yogic perspective. So in this Sutra, it potentially is beginning to explain how yoga works with this Sankhya model or map of reality, that yoga works with two and yet also builds upon it. So what does this Sutra say? We're going to look at what the Sutra says, and then we're going to kind of start to expand that by looking a little bit more at what this Sankhya model of reality that yoga assumes a familiarity with tells us. Because when we have a little bit of a firm grasp, a basic understanding of these foundational tenets and principles of Sankhya, it's going to make not just this Sutra much easy to understand, but the whole of the yoga Shastra, the whole of Patanjali's teaching, because this is a very important context. So this Sutra is encoding a lot. What does it say? It's describing the Drishya, so it says, Prakash Kriya Stiti Shilam Bhutendriyat Makam Bhogabhavargartham Drishyam, so the seen manifest reality.

Prakash Kriya Stiti Shilam, it is of the nature of Prakash, which means effulgence, luminosity. Kriya activity, dynamism, and stiti, which means staying or inertia. Now, some of you might notice, aha, wait a minute, luminosity, dynamism, inertia. Wait, that just sounds like that thing you just mentioned. Well, that just sounds like the three gunas, Satva, Rajas and Tamas, and it is. Satva is, it has that brightness of existing.

Rajas is like Kriya, it is dynamic, and Tamas has that stasis quality, that inertia quality of stiti. But how striking it is that Patanjali doesn't say, Satva, Rajas and Tamas, he says, Prakash Kriya Stiti Shilam, Drishya, the seen world that we experience, manifest existence, is of the nature of Prakash, Kriya and Stiti. And this is very interesting because these words, not only are they different from Sankhya, they're synonymous, but they're different terms, but these terms are also used in the tantric yoga schools that build significantly upon the scaffolding or foundation of Sankhya. Here in chapter two, Patanjali is talking about how we work with the reality of nature. And this is Kriya Yoga, it's all about how we practice dynamically in this realm of change.

So I find it very beautiful that we have these terms here, Prakasha, it is effulgent, it is full of the light, what light? The light of consciousness itself. And it is Kriya, it is dynamic, it is pulsating, it is moving. And so if we are to come to steadiness here in this realm of change, then we also need to cultivate stiti, steadiness. And stiti also in this context means having that quality of inertia. So the seen world has these three strands, it is the realm of the Gunas. Okay, Prakash Kriya Siti Shilam is of the nature of luminosity, dynamism and stasis or inertia.

What next? Bhutendriyat Makam, it is constituted of the Bhutah, the things that have become. Which means the Panchamah Bhutah and the Tanmatraha, and it is also constituted of the Indriyaha. Now Ramaprasada, who translated the Yoga Sutra in the 19th century, he described this as the powers of sensation, action and thought. So the seen is constituted of the things that have become, the manifest elements of existence, the building blocks of life and the powers of sensation, action and thought. And what is its purpose? Bhogar pavar garatam, its purpose is education, enjoyment and emancipation.

Now, before we continue, I would like to just look briefly now at a visual aid. And this visual aid is a kind of, this is one I use when we're working with yoga texts, and it shows us the tattvas, the Gunas, the constituent parts of Prakriti that Sankhya maps out and yoga assumes a familiarity with. So let's have a look at this now on the screen. So just reviewing, on this sheet we can see it says there are 25 tattvas. The basic tattvas are Purusha, consciousness, and Prakriti, nature.

Purusha in the language of Sanskrit, Dhrik, the seer, and in relation to Prakriti, drishya, what we're talking about right now, the seen. So it potentially says it's constituted of the Gunas, Sattva Rajasthamas, Prakasha, Kriyasthiti. And then it is also constituted of Bhutendriyatmakam, so the Bhutas and the Indriyas. So if you look at the yellow sheet, the bottom 20 tattvas, this is what is summed up in that phrase that we have here in Sutra 18 of Bhutendriyatmakam. Constituted of the Bhuta, the things that have become, and the things that have become refers to the 10 items at the bottom of this list.

The five great elements or the five things that have become, the five great becomings. Earth, water, fire, air, and space. And the Tanmatraha, which are sometimes rendered in English as the subtle elements. So the Panchamaha Bhutaha, the five great things that have become, earth, water, fire, air, and space. Then Tanmatraha, this word tan actually was tat, same as tattva, but when the tat final t joins with the m of matra, that t changes to n, so it becomes tanmatraha.

So tat here means that which is seen, that which exists, that which is. So we're describing here in Sutra 18, drishya, what is seen. Tat, that which I see. And the tanmatraha, they are the matras, they are the portions, the things that I can measure, things I can perceive of that. So these are the portions of existence that we have evolved to be able to perceive.

And so it's the whole realm of sound and touch and form or sight and taste and smell, which correspond to the five gross elements. The earth has fragrance, water has taste, fire is bright so we can see it, fire allows us to see and perceive things, the brightness that allows us to see. And then air allows us to feel and space is not empty but is containing vibration. So these are the bhutah, these are the things that have become. And we're going to speak much more about this soon.

So this all feels a bit like, whoa, wait a minute, what's going on here? Don't worry. This is hopefully going to become very, very clear as we continue to look at this sankhi model. But just to understand Sutra 18, the first phrase, prakarsha kriasthiti shilam, the seen realm is of the nature of effulgence, luminosity, of dynamism and inertia. It is constituted of the elements or building blocks of existence. And we see those portions of life, of existence, of nature that we have evolved to see.

Bhutendriyatmakam and the indriyaha. So the next ten up on that yellow sheet are the indriyaha. And these are the powers of sense perception and of action. Sometimes they're called the sense and action organs. And the name is very interesting because they are indriyaha and potentially uses this word, bhutendriyaha.

So they are Bhuta's things that have become and they're indriyaha. This is what the seen world is constituted of. So this tells us that the instruments with which, through which we see and experience, they are not the seer. They are also constituted of the changing stuff of nature. So our eyes, our ears, our nose, our sense of sight and smell and touch and taste, these things are also changing.

They're part of the ever-changing realm of nature. And these indriyaha, I mentioned the name is very significant. Maybe you've heard of Indra. Indra in the Vedic cosmology or mythology, he is the king of the celestials. He's the king of heaven.

Imagine that you are the king or queen or sovereign of the heavenly realm. And the heavenly realm in Sanskrit, svarga, is described or defined as a place in which desires are more or less instantaneously fulfilled. Imagine you are the sovereign of such a realm. What might you get used to? We might get used to our expectations being met.

If we want something, we get it. Now, even though we may not be the king or queen or sovereign of heaven, is it true that we do get into habits? We do fall under the sway of expectations. Would you agree? And what happens when our expectations are not met?

This is a little bit disturbing, yes? Also, so the idea that Indra, the sovereign, this relates to going higher up that sheet, the sense of aham kara, the sense of I, me, mine. So aham means I. Kara means maker. So it's the idea that we as an individual, we have this sense of I, me, mine.

And that is what kind of runs or rules these indriyaha, these powers. And when these powers give us input that contradicts our homeostasis, it can be a little bit disturbing. It can be unsettling. Nonetheless, there is the idea that these sense powers, miraculous instrumental powers though they are, they are not the seer. They too are part of drishya, of the scene, and they too are constantly changing.

And then what does potentially say next? What is the point of the scene? Bhogara pavaragar tam, bhoga, our enjoyment and our education, and ultimately our emancipation. And these three are enchained, they are linked. Yoga teaches us, yes, of course, we can learn from hardship, torment, suffering, trials and travails.

But we can also learn from the good times when we are present. Actually, we can assimilate new information and new learning much more quickly when we are relaxed. So certainly challenging situations can be great opportunities to learn and learn lessons that really stay with us. But if we can be relaxed and present, then we can actually expedite our learning. Another thing that's important in this sutra, when potentially says the purpose of manifest existence is for our enjoyment, our education and our emancipation.

Notice there's the idea, well, it's actually, you know, I'll say it very overtly. In the Indian system, it is our duty to enjoy life. Sometimes people get this idea that yoga means being very austere and almost to deny life. But in the Indian system, this is not the case. Some people, their practices may look very austere to us.

So, for example, the person who spends his or her time up in the Himalaya clad only in a couple of rags and a blanket and barely eating anything, that might look really austere to us. But the yogi who's been living like that for decades happily, they're enjoying it. It's their own richness. One person's food is another person's poison. One person's practice might be counter productive for somebody else. So is it bringing us nourishment?

The seen world is supposed to nourish us. It's such a gift to be alive on this beautiful planet that is full of this constant change. And the constant change of nature is always teaching us. And if we bring ourselves, if we can muster the courage to be a little bit more present, then we can kind of invite the learning opportunities that the constant change of nature is always offering us. So sometimes I say, and I'm sure others also say this, nature is the guru.

Guru literally means heavy. Any person, place, experience, the influence of which is heavy duty enough to shift us from one state of awareness to a state of awareness that is vaster, more open, fuller, richer, closer to the real underlying truth. So nature is always changing. It's moving from one state to another. It's flitting between this and that. And so it's an optimal stage upon which we can actually learn about the space of the centre and the state of being balanced.

So yoga says, the seen manifest world of beguiling nature with its constant whirling wonder and change. Yes, this, as Patanja's already taught us, at the beginning of the chapter, this realm of change is the field for avidya because we get associated with partiality and then we get afflicted. But this seen world is not just the arena of bondage and confusion and limitation. This seen world, this beautiful realm of nature is also the field and arena for liberation. It's all about how we engage with it.

Education, enjoyment, emancipation. So can I engage with it in an enjoyable way? So one thing that this sutra invites or prompts us towards is to be loving, respectful, friendly towards the gift of life and the gift of nature of which we are an intrinsic part. There is this strange delusion that seems to have gripped some significant part of the human population. In recent times, perhaps since the dawn of the industrial age, where somehow some people have allowed themselves to get attached to the idea that human beings are separate from nature.

But we are born, we emerged out of a womb and we exist in the womb of creation or the womb of life, the circle of life, birth, death and in between constant change. Sometimes I sing, the earth, she is our mother, the sun is our father. We are children of the elements, we're children of the earth and we're children of the sun and the sun is our best friend. This is one way it's considered in the yoga system. The sun is also a great symbol of the light of consciousness.

Without the sun, what life is there here on earth? And without the sun, the inner sun of consciousness, what can we see or experience at all? Nothing. So let us be friendly towards the earth, towards the sun, towards the powers of our own consciousness. Remember back in Chapter 1, Sutra 33, which I emphasized, gives us the essential, all the time, compulsory, non-negotiable, obligatory practice. What's the first word? Might be friendliness.

What does friendliness mean? It means being open, receptive, it means being present. I cannot be friendly towards something or somebody if I'm not present with it. So if I want to become free, then I have to grant myself permission to be present enough to actually learn and actually enjoy. And if I'm going to enjoy anything, then I'm only going to be able to enjoy it to the degree that I grant myself permission to be present here now in this, the only moment I can ever experience or enjoy anything. So again, it comes down to presence. So this Sutra 18, it's saying so, so much.

It's introducing us to the sanky model of reality that yoga works with, and it's also giving us a lot of practical guidance, or it's suggesting a lot of practical guidance of how we can work with these three principles. What's the purpose of life? Enjoyment, education, emancipation. When we become free, we have to enjoy life. We have to recognize and honor that we are apprentices, we are students in the art of living and dying. And every breath of life, we can advance our studentship. That's why the beginning of the chapter is encoded, is enshrined as a foundation pillar of yoga for the whole of our life.

Svaad Yaya, always be a student. The person who thinks they know the Upanishads tell us, such a person knows nothing. The person who knows that he or she does not know knows something and allows space for new insights to dawn. So the great rishis, the great seers of the yoga tradition, they had this attitude of studentship. They looked at nature with wonder, with gratitude, with curiosity, with inquiry. And the rishis, they gave us the sanky model of reality.

So this sutra is introduced, this sanky model of reality. Let's now look at sankya in a little bit more detail.

Chapter 2

So we've mentioned that Sutra 18 begins to give this yogic interpretation and begins to describe how yoga is going to work with the sankya model of reality. I've mentioned already that sankya and yoga are often considered as sister schools within classical Indian philosophy. And now one thing that sankya does is basically describes the evolution of life and existence. So in Sutra 18 we're talking about drishya, the manifest reality that we experience.

So the sankya model of reality or map of reality describes how from an original consciousness, a oneness or a singularity or a totality of consciousness, then emerged and became nature and manifest existence. This realm in which we experience duality, this duality, however, is not binary but is a realm of multiplicity and diversity and beauty in so many perspectives. Sankhya describes how this happens and then yoga builds upon that model. So it's really helpful to have some background in sankhya when we're exploring yoga. There is also another kind of key differentiation between yoga and sankhya.

Sometimes sankhya is described as nirishwara yoga and sometimes yoga is described as seishwara sankhya. So the word seishwara means the supreme being, the supreme reality, the ultimate reality, God, ultimate consciousness. Sankhya could be described as an atheistic system or school of philosophy, but it's not anti-theist. It just does not mention any supreme being. In yoga we do mention seishwara.

The supreme reality is mentioned in yoga. So yoga works with the sankhya model but adds seishwara to it. This is an important point more generally too. The basic sankhya model of reality, the schools of Vedanta, another school of Indian philosophy and the tantric schools of yoga, they build upon the sankhya model in different ways, sometimes in quite extensive ways. But in the tantric yogic models that build upon it, they do not negate it.

It's not like we have to throw sankhya out and start again. They work with that sankhya model but sometimes take it even into subtler realms. So what does sankhya say? Sankhya, the word, is related to the word sankhya which means number. So sankhya enumerates the evolutes of consciousness.

So there's the idea. Now I have to say as well, I will put my hands up and acknowledge it from the beginning. My perspective and presentation of this is always shot through and influenced by my background in the teachings that are sometimes described as the yoga of Kashmir Shaivism. So my main principal teacher in the early years of my yoga exploration was a direct student of Swami Lakshmanju, a great Kashmiri master of the 20th century who taught what's sometimes called Kashmir Shaivism. And this is a tantric school which builds upon the sankhya model.

So there's always this flavour that is influencing the way I present. Nonetheless, I'm going to try to do my best to represent sankhya very faithfully and in a way that situates it also faithfully, accurately, practically within the broader yoga context. Now yoga is always concerned with practicality. How can I work with nature? So what does sankhya say about how this reality became?

So we're going to have on the screen now a blue sheet and this blue sheet represents this original totality, this oneness. So you can see on the left side of the sheet I've represented as a dot, this oneness, this singularity, this totality and it's called purusha, which means consciousness. How is this consciousness? In Upanishads it said that this consciousness, going over to the right side of the sheet, is sat, meaning it's real, it is, it's chit, it's conscious and it's ananda, it's of the nature of bliss. It's filled with the joy of sat, existence and chit, consciousness. However, there is the idea that consciousness, it's sat, it is, it's chit, it's conscious and it's filled with the blissfulness of being and consciousness.

But when we are conscious as we are, we can perceive, we can experience because we are conscious. And when we can experience something, a desire often comes. We would also, we can see, we would like to be seen. We can cognise, we would like to be recognised. So there is the idea that consciousness is there as this totality. But even though it is pulsating in its bliss, it is completely full, sometimes people describe that there is an overflow of this bliss and consciousness wants to recognise itself, it wants the thrill of recognition. And so, in order to experience itself, in order to recognise itself, in order to be able to have this lovely experience, this thrilling experience of the ecstasy of recognising its wholeness, it has to create something that doesn't initially recognise itself as whole, something other than itself so it can see and be seen. So it's the idea that consciousness, purusha, emits prakriti. The right hand side, that is the big circle, you can see there is a small circle inside and an arrow and then a dotted line circle.

So the small circle within the big circle, the big circle is consciousness. And so these two smaller circles, the idea that this prakriti, the manifest existence, is emitted within the field of consciousness. So this is a more tantric model. In the Sankhya model, we have purusha as consciousness and prakriti as nature. In some tantric schools, for example, these would be described as Shiva consciousness and Shakti, the power or capacity or capability of consciousness. And Shiva and Shakti in these tantric schools are always recognised as being inseparable. We speak about them as two for convenience's sake, because we do experience duality, but really they are always one.

We can experience this separation, but it's actually because we're experiencing things only in a partial way. And when those veils are removed, we will see the underlying unity. And so the circle on the right of the screen, where we have the dotted line circle within this vast body of consciousness. This is pretty much like tantric schools represent this phenomenon of existence emerging and becoming within the field of consciousness. Sliding over to the left in the bottom quadrant on the left-hand side, we see purusha and prakriti as slightly separate. Purusha emits from within itself its own consciousness, and it emits it, sends it out.

And then there is the dotted line, dotted line circle representing prakriti. So purusha has had this desire to emanate something, and then prakriti has emerged. And now we have gone from one to two. So now we're going to look at a second diagram with a slightly different coloured background. So we've looked at how we've gone from one, the original purusha, or consciousness, to two, purusha and prakriti.

So now with this next diagram, we're going to see how we can go from one to two to three. So here in this diagram, we have also the word mula prakriti, the root prakriti. Now I said previously, there is the idea that consciousness has the desire to recognize itself. Sometimes people also talk about how when there is purusha and prakriti and they come together, when they come close, there is a perturbation within purusha that then invites this emergence of prakriti. But when it first emerges, it's emerged from consciousness.

It's nothing other than consciousness. And so it's called mula prakriti. It's the root of prakriti. What is it rooted in? It's rooted in pure consciousness. It is actually constituted of the stuff of consciousness, ultimately.

And at the mula prakriti stage, the three gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, of beingness, of dynamism and inertia, they are in equilibrium. They are in balance. But then what happens? So purusha has emitted something and then prakriti has come out. So now we have one and two. Now prakriti has emerged from the root of consciousness.

So prakriti is constituted of consciousness. But then this is the first karma, the first action. What did Newton tell us about action? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So purusha has sent out, has overflowed, has emitted prakriti.

Prakriti has gone out. What does prakriti then do? Prakriti looks back at purusha. Now really prakriti is only purusha. The existence, it came from consciousness. It is constituted of consciousness.

And at this stage of this first sprouting of manifestation, prakriti is almost identical to purusha, almost. But not quite because prakriti does not know that it is the same as purusha. So prakriti has been emerged, has been emitted and then prakriti looks back and looking back it experiences the other. It experiences differentiation. It experiences itself as not the same as that.

And then what happens? We've gone from unity to duality and almost immediately we've gone from two to three. Because now we have consciousness and we have manifest existence, prakriti. But when prakriti looks back and sees consciousness as separate, then we have the seer, the scene and the action of seeing in between. So pretty much right away we go from one to two to three. And this also relates to those three gunas.

So we've mentioned satva, beingness, rajas, dynamism, tamas, inertia. But at this very first level, the gunas also demonstrate and tell us how we go from two to three, from one to two to three. When prakriti looks back, it is acting as one that is seeing, as satva. And it is seeing an object, tamas. And what is enabling it to see? Rajas, dynamism, the power of seeing, the action of seeing.

So prakriti, nature, looks back at consciousness and we have three. We've got the seer, the scene and the means of seeing. Now then what happens as consciousness continues to continue? When we are here in prakriti, we can use an example. Let's say consciousness is like the sun.

I mentioned this earlier. The sun is a great symbol of consciousness because without the sun there's no life, there's no experience. Today I went outside, it was sunny. As I walk in the sunshine, if I consider the sun's rays as an example of the rays of consciousness, when I walk in the sun what do I do to the sun rays? In a way it's like I kind of interfere with it.

I interrupt the sun. So if, as if by magic, I was able to manifest in my hand, actually it was camera trickery, but if I'm able to manifest in my hand an orange which symbolizes the sun, then my other hand a stone which symbolizes an object or an entity or even me, for example, walking along symbolized by the stone in manifest existence. So the orange is like the sun and it's also like the light of consciousness. What is here where my finger is wiggling? This is in shadow, yes?

So what happens is that when something is in manifest form that form creates, as it were, a slight interference with the free direct unimpeded flow of consciousness because all of these manifest entities, they have their own manifest form. They have their own sense of being. And consequently, they start to interfere with that pure light of consciousness. There are these shadows. As manifestation continues, these shadows get compounded.

They become denser and more congealed. Now just imagine, for example, here I am and I look back towards my conscious essence that's allowing me to be experiencing. Everywhere I look, I take a slightly different perspective. And so before very long, over the eons of evolutionary time, all of these things that are becoming manifest, they start to create this kind of congealing of consciousness into form. And when we are in an embodied form and we're always having these different perspectives, the shadows and the congealing becomes denser.

And this becomes the persistent reality that we experience through our senses. We have evolved to be able to experience it. Hopefully that makes sense.

Chapter 3

So we've seen how from oneness we go to duality and almost immediately to three. Or not as long as, but as soon as there is a person or an entity that has a sense of identity that is differentiated from the rest of existence, then we're not just in duality, we're in at least three because there is the thing that senses itself as different and there is the other and then there is the action of seeing and perceiving in between.

So this word ahankara, we're going to explore this a little bit more quite soon, but ahankara, the eye maker, as long as there is that sense of differentiation, then we're already in the realm of three. So what I'd like to do now is we're going to look at another slide and this slide is of the map, if you like, of Sankhya and the evolution of existence that yoga uses. So we'll look at this one now. So this slide, I've titled it the Sankhya Yoga Model or Map of Manifest Existence. So first tattva is purusha, consciousness, and from consciousness is emitted, emerges, becomes prakriti.

At the level of mula prakriti, things are not yet manifest. This is going to be touched on in the next sutra. So we'll come back to this in a bit more detail later. But mula prakriti, it's not yet become manifest, but then as soon as it comes into manifest existence, then there is that sense of differentiation because there's the looking back. And we have what is sometimes referred to either as mahat or buddhi.

Mahat is at the cosmic or universal level and buddhi is the individual level. So here we are as individual beings and we have this intelligence of buddhi that allows us to discern, to differentiate. Mahat is the same principle for universal existence and it's called mahat because it's the mahatattva. It is the tattva that colors and influences all the rest that ensue because as soon as we have the capacity to distinguish, to differentiate, now we're in the realm of manifestation, of duality, of form and existence. And as soon as we can differentiate, when we look back, or when prakriti looks back, then we come from two to three because there is this sense of I, different to that.

So we now come to ahankara, so from purusha to prakriti to mahat, also known as buddhi. Mahat being the universal, buddhi being the personal. And from buddhi we come to ahankara. And from ahankara, now we have three because we have the one that's looking, that which is looked upon and the means of looking. So we have the three gunas and we have the realm and now they're moving.

They are in a state of activity, a state of perturbation, a state of dynamism. They are dancing and moving. And as they dance and move, this is because rajas is dynamic, it's always moving. And rajas in combination with sattva goes on to manifest and bring into evolved form all of those tatvas that are to do basically with the sense of subjective reality. And then rajas in combination with tamas, this then evolves all those things that are more to do with objective reality.

So on the diagram you can see we have from ahankara, we have sattvika ahankara and tamasika ahankara. So rajas and sattva, they give us manas plus the gyanindriya and the karmindriya. So it's the idea of this sense of subjectivity, of satt, of presence, of existence, of being. Together with the dynamism that is interacting with existence, this develops manas, which is sometimes known as the eleventh power or organ and the gyanindriya, the powers of sense or the powers of sense intelligence and the karmindriya, the powers of action. So there are five powers of sense.

These are our five senses, hearing, touch sensation, sight, taste and smell. And the five action powers, vark, which means speech, expression, communication, language, all of these aspects, its seat is the mouth or the tongue. Then we have pani, the hands, the arms, which we can pick things up, put things down, we can grasp things, we can manipulate things. We have pada, its seat is the feet and the legs, our locomotive capacity. We can move in so different ways as human beings.

We also have paayu, our digestive, assimilative excretory capacity and upasta, our creative, recreative, procreative and reproductive capacities. It says that these have all evolved as subjects have evolved in relation to an objective external reality. And then that is sattvika ahankara, which brought about the evolution. If it co-evolved, the subjective reality of purushas, of conscious beings, having these instrumental powers through which with which we experience, manas, sometimes translated as the mind, is the 11th organ. It's that part of our internal awareness that processes all the input from our action and sense capacities that serves as the link between the things that we encounter and interact with externally and that we sense externally and how we reflect and cognize them internally.

As subjects with this capacity, we interact with the external manifest existence which has evolved from tamas and rajas. And this gives us the tanmattraha and the panchamaha bhutah. So you can see them on the yellow sheet that we've mentioned previously, on the sankyam model map here and the next map that we're going to look at shortly. The tanmattraha and the panchamaha bhutah. So these describe the elements or the building blocks of existence.

So tanmattraha, these are those portions of reality that we have evolved to be able to perceive. So this is an evolutionary model. So if we think about where we have come from as evolutionary beings, how did we evolve? How did we survive? How did we reproduce? As an animal, what's really important every day? Pretty much all the time. On the regular, what do we need to do?

Two things. We need to find sources of food, sustenance, and we need to avoid becoming a source of food for anything too drastic. Now, of course, there are so many parasites in nature and they have a very useful effect a lot of the time. We are this seething mass of bacteria and viruses and all these things. So some being eaten is actually intrinsic to life, but we want to avoid being eaten, for example, by the sabre-toothed tiger or bitten by the poisonous snake, for example, if we're a human being. And we need to find sources of food. So this is how the subjective sattvika ahankara have co-evolved with the objective tamasika ahankara.

We have co-evolved with nature and life to get to this stage, whereas human beings, even though we only see a tiny portion of reality, we also have this capacity because our indriyaha, they are indriya, they are divine powers. Even though we can only see a tiny portion of reality, when we harness the gifts of our awareness and bring them into congruence and togetherness, yoga, then they become the means through which, with which, we can actually experience the underlying conscious essence. When we look out using our sense powers, I understand, let me try and get this correct, that if a human has a good hearing, we can hear approximately from 20 hertz to 2,000 or 20,000 hertz. I can't remember the figures, the scientific figures are not my strong point. But basically, that is a tiny portion of the spectrum of sound that is out there.

When it comes to sight, which is so important for us human beings, the sense of vision is so important, apparently, again, I don't know this from my own research and the laboratory of my own life, I don't know this, but this is what I've been reliably informed, is that as human beings, we can only see a trillionth of the spectrum of what is actually there on the visual spectrum. So this is the Tanma Traha. As we evolved, we evolved to be able to see the tiny portion of reality that is most essential to our first survival and procreation and ongoing evolution. However, as human beings, this Sartvika Ahamkara, remember why did consciousness want to emit itself in the first place? It wanted the thrill of recognition.

So there is the idea in the Sankhi model that as sentient human beings, we occupy this very special place in the broader existence because with these Indri Ahamkara, they are divine powers. We have the capacity to actually recognize that underlying conscious essence. Remember what potentially is said, what is the purpose of life? Education, enjoyment and emancipation. So working skillfully with the gifts of our subjective awareness, we can survive and we can thrive, we can enjoy, we can relish and save a life.

And as we cultivate greater presence, we can actually, even though with our external senses, we can only see a tiny portion of reality, when we harness all the subtle gifts of our innate intelligence and we turn the powers of our senses inwards and come into yoga, come into samadhi, then this human vehicle is the means to actually recognize the underlying conscious essence. So continuing to unpack a little bit further this amazing Sutra 18,

Chapter 4

prakasha kriya siddhishilam bhutin ryat makam bhogar pavargartham dhrishyam. Potentially here mentions the purpose of the manifest existence, bhogar pavargartham, bhoga, our enjoyment, our education and apavarga, our emancipation, our becoming free. Now, when we consider the map of the tatfas or the different constituents of the material world that we experience in, one of the things that we can see there, and we're going to put this on the screen now, this map on the yellow sheet of the tatfas, one thing we can see here is the indriyaha, the jnanindriyaha, those sense powers that allow us to perceive, and the karmindriyaha, the sense powers, because they also help us sense, but they also help us act and do and perform different tasks. And as an animate being that is part of the circle of life and the manifest realm of existence, one of the most important things that those indriyaha, those powers of perception and action have to do, is help us find sustenance, food sources, sources of energy, and avoid becoming a food source for anything too dramatic.

Of course, there are all sorts of bacteria and parasites that are part of a healthy symbiosis, but we don't want to be eaten, for example, by the saber-toothed tiger or some other such ravenous beast. But these sense powers, even though, as we mentioned before, they only allow us to see these, relatively speaking, tiny slivers of the vast expanse of reality that is actually out there, even though there's always more that we cannot see than we can with these two human eyes, miraculous though they are, there's always so much we cannot see. As I mentioned before, I think we can only see, apparently, about a trillionth of the spectrum of what is visually available, but it's not available to us. However, there is the idea that, as a human being, these indriyaha, they allow us also, if we bring the forces of our, the instrumental powers of our vehicle together, then they will allow us to actually perceive our underlying essence. We're going to come to that more as we continue.

Here, potentially, is defining the rishya, the scene realm. When he comes next to define the seer, there's the idea that when we work skillfully with the scene, which includes the instrumental powers with which, through which, in which we experience, then we'll be able to see and understand that underlying conscious essence more clearly. Now, one thing that's important to clarify here, when we look at that tattva's map again, so we'll look at the yellow sheet one more time. So, there's various slides I've provided. Sometimes, when we look at one of them, they can seem a little bit confusing, but when we look at them, hopefully, altogether, and we keep looking at them, they'll start to make more sense.

Let's just look at that yellow tattva's sheet again for a moment now. One thing we see here, down at the bottom, this sheet works from sotla at the top, down to grosser at the bottom, and the grossest part is the panchamaha bhutaha. These five great things that have become. And in English, I've represented them as earth, water, fire, air, and space. And just one thing I wanted to point out here, this doesn't just mean literally the earth of the, you know, the soil or the hard ground that we are sitting or walking on or supported by.

It doesn't just mean water as in H2O, or fire as in flames, or air as in that which constitutes the air that we breathe. These refer not just to those things, those things are included in these things, but they are the principles also of earth, water, fire, air, and space. So, for example, in our body, our blood is water, but it has also got fire in it because it's part of that which heats us. So, it's not saying, the sankhi model of reality, that everything is constituted of just the earth in its most literal sense or water in its most literal sense. Earth means that which is solid.

Water is that which is fluid. Fire is that which transforms. Air is that which is gaseous and that which helps things communicate and the space is that in which they all exist. And there's the idea that these elements, these things that have become, so pancha means five, maha, great, bhutaha, things that have become. So, in this co-evolution that we have been part of and that we are part of, these are the things that have become.

So, all of the manifest external reality is constituted to some degree by these elements. Now, another thing that I would like to give a little bit more attention to before we move on is the principle of ahankara, which we could render in English as the eye-maker. On the yellow sheet, you'll notice I didn't necessarily provide translations for these things, but let's look now at the map slide, which showed us purusha, prakriti, and then buddhi or mahat and then ahankara. So, when we see on this map, there's the idea that from the initial consciousness, purusha, then purusha emits from within itself consciousness, which becomes prakriti, nature. And then when nature prakriti looks back, we go from the initial oneness of purusha to two and then almost immediately to three because mahat, intelligence or buddhi at the individual level, discerns, distinguishes a difference.

There is the one that is looking at another. And so, we have the one that's looking, the thing it's looking at and the principle or the space between them or the action of looking that is differentiating those two things. And then this creates this principle of aham. Now, aham in Sanskrit means eye. Ahankara, literally we could translate it more or less as the eye maker.

It is that part of our intelligence that gives us a sense of eye, me, and mine. And this is what means there is this realm of duality isn't just binary. It is the realm of three, the magic number, which signifies it's the realm of many because as soon as there is one looking at another and there is something that is between them that is doing the look and it's enabling the looking, then we come into this realm of so many different perspectives. Sometimes people talk about Indra's web. So, the idea is something has been created, something has developed, something has evolved and it has when it looks onto the other or sees something as separate or outside from itself, there is a perspective there.

Now, for example, here we can see there is a plant here. So, I'm looking at the plant, here I am and here is the plant and I see the plant is different from myself. Now, imagine that the plant is looking back at me. It sees me as different from it, for example. Let's imagine that the plant now looks at this plant over here and this plant looks back over here and it sees this other plant and all these different things that have their own sense of identity, all these different beings, you might say, they don't necessarily have to be plants.

They all have their own perspective and then as all these perspectives compound, then we get this complex web of existence that has infinite perspectives. With so many perspectives, it's very, very hard to unravel and we are part of this. And this is also wound up with this principle of ahankara. But at the individual level, ahankara is that principle that gives us this sense of I, me and mine. Now, sometimes we can go to translations of yoga texts which people use the English term ego as an equivalent for ahankara and this is a very valid way to represent ahankara but it's important to note that ahankara, the Sanskrit term, is not an exact equivalent of the Jungian ego.

Ahankara means the eye maker. So yes, ahankara is that force, that aspect of our intelligence that gives us that sense of identity. I'm here, I'm not there. I'm this, I'm not that. I like this, I don't like that. These all fall within the remit of ahankara.

However, there are other things that ahankara includes that perhaps are not necessarily connoted or evoked or even represented by the word ego. And one of those is the ahankara. What does it mean literally? Ahum. Ah is the first sound of the Sanskrit syllabary or we could say alphabet but it's not really strictly speaking true because alpha obviously refers to a Greek letter and we have the Roman alphabet. But the first sound of Sanskrit is ah and the last sound of Sanskrit is ha.

And together, ahum. So ahum means everything from the alpha to the omega from beginning to the end of what I consider or recognize or feel or identify as I mean mine. And ahankara is also this intelligent force that helps me as an individual cohere as that individual. Similarly, in the plant, it helps the plant. The plants ahankara helps it cohere as a plant.

That plant as opposed to this one. And this is one of the reasons why I feel it's very inappropriate and misleading to say that we want to kill the ego or destroy the ego. Sometimes I've heard people say that the ego is the enemy to destroy it. It's very problematic. No.

Yoga recognizes we can be our own worst enemy for sure. We can also be our own best friend. But as long as I have a body and I'm navigating this world, I need an ego. I need an ahankara. The ahankara is absolutely essential to cross a road, especially a busy road.

Now, I'm speaking today from the north of England, but the people who are helping film this are in California. Now, I have in my life visited the United States of America. And one thing that struck me when I visited the United States of America was the outsized dimensions of the trucks on the roads. If you... Oh, I don't need an ego.

And I walk in front of an American truck. My yogic journey comes to an abrupt premature and unnecessary end. I want to differentiate myself from the oncoming truck. Similarly, I want to differentiate myself from the things that are not serving me. Sometimes when I'm sharing ideas around yoga, I talk about the wonderful things I learned at school as well as the things that were not at all helpful.

Now, one thing that I did learn at school in the form of a song, and it was a song about teaching us to not allow our bodily individual sovereignty to be transgressed. And the song went like this. It said, My body's nobody's body but mine. You run your own body. Let me run mine. And obviously the tune helps one remember it, but what sage advice? If I am to maintain integrity of my physiological vehicle, I need to take responsibility for its boundaries.

I cannot go ingesting things that are full of toxins and poisons and expect to get away with the consequences just because I think, oh, it would be egoic to think that I am different from... I am different and separate from the toxins. If I have come to that state of awareness in which I see all of existence as one field of shimmering unity, there is the idea that automatically I will be able to act with discernment. But this idea of everything being one does not mean that we have to abandon our discrimination, our discernment. No, we have to maintain healthy and realistic boundaries to help us navigate the world skillfully.

So in yoga, it's not that we have to kill the ego or kill the ahankara. Rather, it's that we want to expand the ahankara so it includes everything until we come to that state of oneness, but not at the expense of the healthy boundaries that are going to help us navigate the world skillfully. Another thing about ahankara that perhaps differentiates it from the Jungian ego is that ahankara is that force of intelligence within us that helps us cohere as this really rather miraculous being. So when I was a boy, there was a cartoon on the television called Transformers. And the Transformers, maybe you know these robots, I think there have been films made about them and there's comic books, yeah.

The Transformers, one of my friends who lived up the road, he had some transformer toys. And the toy, it looked like a car, but then you can transform it into a robot. Or it looked like a building and you can transform it into a robot. Or it looked like a boat, but then you transform it into a robot. But when you change from robot to boat or robot to car or robot to building, it's not that you destroy or pull to pieces the toy, it's like you transform it from one configuration to another.

So sometimes I say, while we have on the one side Transformers, robots in disguise Human beings, yogis in disguise because in order to become a yogin, in order to become established in yoga, we do not need to destroy ourselves. That's the last thing we need to do. All we need to do is allow ourselves to be, as it were, reconfigured to transform our understanding and apprehension of who we really are. And the ahankara is vital to allow us to do this. If we get rid of ahankara, we're going to be in a real mess, we're going to be lost because the ahankara helps us cohere as a functioning individual.

We mentioned earlier the panchamahabhuta, these five constituent elements or building blocks of existence, earth, water, fire, air and space. Is it true that I have a solid, earthy part of myself? Yes. Is it true that I have a liquidy part of myself? Well, yes, at school I was taught I was about 70% water.

Right now I need to blow my nose, as if on cue nature is demonstrating this. Yes, there is a liquidy thing that wants to be cleaned up and removed. And there is fire within me. There's no naked flames in my body, at least not that I'm aware of, but I have an internal combustion engine, so I have a fiery element within me. I'm a breathing being.

There is air and air that is allowing things to communicate, and I exist in space. So I have these five elements within this bodily vehicle. Now, this weekend in England where I'm staying, it was very cold for this time of year. There was some, you know, lovely sunny weather, but then it was below zero overnight, freezing. And I went out for a walk and it was very windy.

And when I returned home, I thought, oh, it's so cold and windy. I think I will have a hot bath. So I was very fortunate there was a hot bath facility available. And I'd been walking in a kind of in the woods amongst the trees and it'd been quite dry and very windy. When I got in the bath, some gritty bits of gravel were displaced from my body and they went into the water.

How did I know that those bits of gravel were there? Because what did they do? They all sank to the bottom of the bathtub. Earth and water don't mix so easily. If I take a clean glass of water, I put some sand into it, what will happen?

The sand won't just float around evenly all over the place. It will sink to the bottom. But in this bodily vehicle, does all the earthy bits sink to the bottom? No. Somehow, earth and water, the solid parts of myself and the liquid parts of myself, they're able to cohere.

What about the fire? The fire that keeps me warm, that helps digest my food. Fire and water, they don't sit together so easily either. If we have too much water, the fire will be doused. If we have too much fire, the water will be evaporated.

And yet, in this body, we maintain the water and the fire together quite well. How? This is part of the miraculous gift of Ahamkara. This is the intelligence, the life intelligence that helps us cohere as this relatively speaking, balanced being. And so, I would suggest that the very maintenance and continuance of our bodily vehicle day-to-day is the living demonstration, the living proof that even though we may experience limitation, even though we are subject to these cliches that Patanjali has told us about and is teaching us how to overcome, nonetheless, all the time, we are still demonstrating a quite remarkable capacity for yoga, for togetherness, and for the reconciliation of things that at first glance would seem very, very hard to reconcile.

And this is actually a function of Ahamkara. Now, another thing to say about Ahamkara, it's a big topic. I could say much more, but I am keeping this quite distilled. Maybe you've heard of Kundalini. The idea is that Kundalini, Kundalini Shakti, and Ahamkara, they're the same energy.

Kundalini is when the energy is flowing towards ultimate reality. Ahamkara is when the energy is flowing to maintain our individuality here in the manifest existence. Yes, when we're practicing yoga, we are interested in inviting our awareness to move more in the direction of Kundalini. However, we need to do that step by patient step. Otherwise, we might short-circuit the system, and then it's a little bit like, oh, I just destroyed the ego, and I'm completely lost.

I flip out. I go crazy. I cannot orient in the world. So, yes, we want our Shakti, our power, our conscious capacity to flow towards ultimate reality and deeper subtler integration. However, every step of the way towards that in yoga is the idea. We have to earth that new configuration of the circuit of our being. So, yes, we may penetrate through to deeper subtler realizations, but as long as we have this bodily vehicle, we have to respect and work with it.

Yoga works with the reality of nature. It doesn't deny nature. So, yes, this bodily vehicle is a tenuous thing, but it's also a miraculous vehicle. They say in the Indian tradition, in the yogic tradition, a body without a soul is a corpse, a shava, but a soul without a body is stuck. So, the bodily vehicle, let us respect it.

Ahankara. Ahankara can be a big problem. It can be a big barrier. We've spoken about, Patanya's already spoken about it. Asmita, the false sense of who I am, is one of the principal clashers. We have to overcome that.

And yet, at the same time, we have to respect the bodily vehicle. So, as we are steadily working inside, through, with this bodily vehicle, the very term, ahankara, I feel, is also quite instructive, as this sutra is. In this sutra, Patanjali began by saying, prakash kriyas titi shilam, bhutendriyat makam poghar pavargar tamdrishyam. So, the first three words, they invoke the gunas, these constituent aspects of nature, satva, rajas and tamas. But, what terms did Patanjali use?

He used prakash kriya and titi, which all have very strong verbal connotations. They're active principles. Similarly, ahankara, this is the eye maker. So, it's not a fixed thing. Our sense of I, me, mine is something that we can reconfigure.

We can recalibrate. We can revise and update and renew and recover and rehabilitate, we might say. The word ahankara, some of you may be familiar with the term surya namaskara, the practice of offering or bowing or orienting towards the light of consciousness, symbolized by the sun. And surya namaskara is one of the principal yoga practices. Even if one doesn't do physical sun salutations, this whole principle of orienting towards the light of consciousness is one of the basic ideas in the yogic method.

So, when I perform surya namaskara, it's like I'm making an offering or I'm orienting myself in such a way that I'm making myself open to receive the blessings of the sun, symbol of the light of consciousness. And as I do that, that then helps me refresh my understanding of who I am and perhaps shift my sense of ahankara, my sense of asmitÄ쳌r from one that is more limited to one that's not quite so limited. Now, before we conclude this sutra 218,

Chapter 5

ahankara is very much linked to this principle of asmitÄ쳌r, which is a klesha. AsmitÄ쳌r means the sense of who I am, so it's very much wound up with the principle of ahankara. And potentially the beginning of the chapter has outlined these five kleshas, these afflictions that get in the way of yoga, that stop us recognizing who we are.

First, avidya, the ground or the field for the rest of them, and then comes asmitÄ쳌r, this false sense of identity. So what's going on here? The thing with the kleshas, which are part and parcel of being an incarnate being, when we look back, when we experience differentiation from pure consciousness, straight away what happens, when we feel we're not whole, we're not one, we're something separate, what can happen? We can feel this sense of lack, I'm not whole. And then when I feel I'm not whole, what does this do to me?

It makes me feel tenuous, it makes me feel not so secure. And so I want to create a sense of comfort, a sense of solidity, a sense of something I can count on. So what do I do then? A rÄ쳌ga dvÄ«á¹£a, then I start to have my likes and dislikes, the things that give me comfort, the things that give me a sense of identity. But what happens?

I look for that sense of comfort, that sense of reliability, that sense of identity in the wrong place. Because I look to ideas that come and go, I look to material sources of comfort that fleet in and fleet away. And so then what happens? Because I keep looking in the wrong place, the things that bring me tremendous comfort and joy, when they go away, I feel disturbed or I feel sorrow. And so what happens to my sense of security?

It continues to be perturbed. And so then what happens? Apī�īvīṣa, my clinging to things staying the same way, my clinging to life, my fear of death, my fear of change, that all gets exacerbated. And so these five kleshas, they're all working as this formidable team. And so, what to do?

This sutra also encodes some very significant instruction. So at the end of the sutra it says, bhogÄ쳌ra pÄ쳌vÄ쳌ra garatam, what is the purpose of this manifest existence, nature, in which we do experience these limitations? BhogÄ쳌 means enjoyment, and specifically the enjoyment through which we can learn and grow and evolve and recognize new things, come to new understandings, and apavarga, emancipation. So there is an instruction here. And the instruction is, enjoy life.

Remember the previous sutra, in which Patanjali spoke about sannyoga, this very strong conjunction of the seer and the scene, creates this suffering, this pain, this suffering and pain that he's already told us we want to avoid, we want to remove. So, learn, enjoyably, the difference between sannyoga, viyoga, and yoga. Steadily, step by step. Steadily, step by step. So, not too much, not too little.

But tuning into that sweet spot. Yes, we're going to push ourselves. We're going to, kind of ironically, we're going to invite a little bit of trouble, a little bit of hardship, a little bit of suffering, to prompt us to a new state of awareness, but not too much, because that will derail the whole operation. It'll be like one step forward, two steps back. So, learning in an enjoyable way.

Yes, we'll push ourselves, but not to the degree that we burn ourselves out or scorch ourselves dry. We'll create just enough tapas, enough heat to transform, to clarify, to melt resistance, but without destroying the whole vehicle or the whole house or the whole system. So, in an enjoyable, nourishing way, we push ourselves, we invite ourselves into new growth and free ourselves from these bonds of our own limited ideas. In an enjoyable, nourishing way. Remember, back in Chapter 1 and Sutra 33, the essential teaching, the first word was Maitri.

Be friendly to myself and to others. We need to be our own friend in our practice. This doesn't mean being just indulgent or soft with ourselves. It also means not being tyrannical with ourselves. It means that sweet spot, not too much, not too little.

Be honest with ourselves. A really good friend will be honest and straightforward with ourselves, yes? So, we have to push ourselves, but in a steady, sustainable way. And so, when we're practicing, it's important, I feel, that we love our practice, because that's the only practice that we'll really sustain. When things get really challenging, as they inevitably will from time to time, if we don't love it, it's going to be very hard to continue with it and persevere through those tough times.

But one further note about this. Sometimes people hear, yeah, but I hear about these yogis, for example, who live in the Himalaya, and they've just got like a loincloth and a blanket and, you know, one little bow. Is that not kind of extreme? Are they not the real yogis? Well, one person's food is another person's poison. Those people, they may be thriving very well in that situation.

My very first teacher used to say, and he says, if you're practicing yoga, you want to live like a Maharaja. This doesn't necessarily mean in the type of opulence that we might immediately think of, but what he means is we want to nourish the whole being, because yoga is about integrating all parts of ourself. If I want to experience balance and harmony, so I can see more clearly, if I neglect parts of myself, is that going to work out very well? Not really. They're going to flare up and complain and interfere with me being able to feel that balance and that harmony here, in this vehicle that is constituted of the scene of nature, the changing stuff of nature. So the idea in this sutra and throughout the teachings here, as best as I can, let me cultivate balance and harmony.

Let me observe myself observing. And as I observe myself observing, I can start to uncouple myself from this false sun yoga, this overly tight conjunction of the seer and the scene. I can start to unravel myself from the miasma that has my sense of identity caught up with the things that are always changing and invite myself to come steadily, step by step, to a clearer and clearer understanding of that underlying conscious essence that is actually animating all my experience. So, Patanjali's talked about the scene, but before he goes to the seer, he's going to give us another very interesting sutra that reminds us of how we need to work from gross to subtle when we're working in the realm of nature and working with prakriti, the scene realm of manifest experience.

Comments

1 person likes this.
The steps to transformation are just as interesting and exciting as the destination, ultimate reality.  It's just our desire to get somewhere, achieve something, that makes us, me anyway, not see the rich experiences of the journey.  I like a car or train journey, why can't I savour / enjoy my inner journey?  I am going to ponder that point...thank you James for putting that in such clear language, as always
1 person likes this.
Wowwwww I will need to come back to this many times for sure! I'm very interested in trying to understand more about sankya.. thank you for this exposition / exploration!

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial