Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: The Root of Integral Yoga (part two)

Posted: February 5, 2014 at 11:46 pm


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By Advaita Mihai Stoian

Yoga Final Destination and Spiraling Evolution

Patanjalis Yoga Sutra is divided into four sections or Padas. Even if the structure described in it is a holistic one, each part is having their role just like the organs in the body are having their particular role while fulfilling their general place in the whole. And since the definition of the whole in itself becomes quite difficult Patanjali does not get to talk about the Ashtanga Yoga, the Yoga of Eight Limbs, until the 29th verse of the second Chapter Sadhana Pada. And even there it is only sketched because, without the right context and preparation based on direct experimentation, such a complex system will easily become only a self limitation.

Read here Part 1

The whole will become a separate category that will exclude its component parts, a fortress that is heavily defended by the zealots of this concept in their attempt to keep it away from the waves of diversity that are coming from everywhere.THE WHOLE risk to become a dot in the ocean of EVERYTHING.

This is a widespread symptom today among the modern practitioners. Many are those claiming today to have invented a holistic approach on spiritual evolution. They are so fast and keen to affirm their holism that they lock themselves into that concept. Busy to find new ways to display their wide views upon spirituality they are ignoring basic elements of the evolutionary mechanisms. And this is mainly appearing when wanting to make a system that can be easy for everyone, without involving much transformation and personal efforts for the spiritual evolution to take place. As in his YOGA SUTRA, perfectly in tune with the modern quantum view upon the world, Patanjali is starting the presentation by defining the goals on the yoga practice in the opening chapter Samadhi Pada.

This will not only create clarity upon the goals but in the same time will put the beginning of the path as the source of all evolutionary process and not the other way around as too often we hear today. It is the spirit that generate all the existential means and not the other way around. Here the author deals with the prerequisites of Yoga practice while already setting the course toward the final destination. From a practical perspective, the structure of the work is describing, from the core toward the periphery, different zones of the human existence and their way back toward a state of perfect balance and unity. The closer we are to the center, the more direct will be the path and simple the methods. The further away we are going from the center of our own being, the more complex and technical will be the path and longer the evolution. The whole first section is a Yoga unto itself. In fifty-one verses Patanjali deals with what many call Samkhya Yoga, Kriya Yoga or even Jnana Yoga.

Patanjali enunciates also a kind of Yoga cosmology within the Samadhi Pada. It is however a very practical analysis of the mechanisms of the consciousness into the process of becoming, serving the individual consciousness on the integration effort. From another perspective, also depicted into this simple yet very accurate model, the evolution is viewed as an ascendent spiral that is unfolding its ciclic movements around a position of neutrality (an axis of the human being, sushumna nadi that exists in every human being at a subtle level, identical with the axis of the world, axis mundi or mount meru). This ciclic movement of the evolution that is unfolding in spirals is discovered nowadays by science at the foundation of all that exist in the physical universe, from the vibrating strings (spirals) of energy in the core of the elementary particles that are forming the very fabric of the universe up to the clusters of galaxies that are spinning around the central core of the known universe (taking a shape that is amazingly similar with the mythical Iggdrasil, The Tree of Life from the nordic traditions).

Yoga Sutras give at its core a depiction of this universal pattern of the universal evolution in the first chapter. Directly stating that the very essence of the human being is a spark of the Supreme Consciousness of God the Supreme Being, the text is setting course toward the final destination: finding through direct experience this essence that is in fact the very source of existence in the first place. Evolution from this perspective reveals to be an amazing journey that begins and ends in the same place, just like in the later representations of this process as a wheel of becoming or the famous ouroboros snake that is biting his own tale. It is all just a spontaneous game of the Supreme Consciousness that is called maya.

Ignorance and Self-Realization

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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: The Root of Integral Yoga (part two)

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February 5th, 2014 at 11:46 pm