Sunday, July 24, 2016

Yoga is merging in the Self / LOVE-BLISS

Yoga is merging in the Self

 The warding off is to break the identifications and thus disperse ignorance. This is the kaivalya of the seer. (II, 25)

“Kaivalya” literally means “aloneness”; it is a metaphor for pure being, for residing in the Self. It also refers to the Self as pure awareness and the Selfs ability to be aware of fluctuations of the mind without becoming identified with them. This is what is called witnessing. Later Patanjali describes the situation where kaivalya arrises:

Kaivalya (is attained) when the principle of sattva is as pure as the Self. (III, 56)

Sattva is one of the the basic forces of nature, known as gunas (Sattva-Rajas-Tamas). Sattva is characterized as being “stainless, lucid and healthy” (Bhagavad Gitā, XIV, 6). The same verse of Bhagavad Gitā continues: “Sattva binds by attachment to happiness and attachment to knowledge”. What is meant in Patanjali’s sutra is that the mind should not only be sattvic, but that it should be as pure as the Self and permeated with the Self. Simply making the mind sattvic is not enough.

This all leads to a deeper understanding of Patanajali’s initial definition of yoga as “removal of the fluctuations of the mind”. We have now learned that yoga is to ward off identifications between the pure awareness of the Self and the objects of this awareness. We have also learned that yoga is to purify the mind so it becomes sattvic and then purify the sattvic mind by permeating it with the Self.  
We can thus understand that the removal of the fluctuations of the mind is not accomplished by will and subtle force. It is ultimately accomplished by removing identifications and by dissolving the mind into the Self, but in order to accomplish this dissolution, the mind must first be sattvic. What, then, is a sattvic mind? It is a mind longing for wisdom, and is happy, lucid and healthy. But also it is a mind without fluctuations; thus we come full circle back to Patanjali’s initial definition of yoga as removal of the fluctuations of the mind. We therefore arrive at:

Yoga is merging in the Self, removal of identifications and removal of fluctuations of the mind.