Wednesday, March 30, 2011
PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS = POST-9 :VERSE.9 = FANTASIZING = THE UNKNOWN ART OF LISTENING
Summary So Far :
Aphorism.1:“Atha Yogaanusaasanam.” Now, the discipline of Yoga begins. For being in a discipline, one must be a devoted disciple of that discipline. One must have respect for the Guru and the Science.
Aphorism.2 :“Yogah chittha vritthi nirodhah”. Yoga is the mastering / controlling /restraining of the oscillations of (in fact, all types of work done in) chittha.
Aphorism.3:“Thadhaa drashtuh svaroopevasthaanam”. When Chittha Vritthis are restrained (kept outside the chittha itself!) - the watcher / witness (the real self) returns and abides in his real form, unobstructed by the veil of Chittha.
Aphorism.4 : “Vritthi saaroopyam itharathra”. When the chittha Vritthis are not restrained and the watcher / witness is not abiding in his real self, he identifies with the chittha Vritthis.
Aphorism.5 : “Vritthayah panchathayyah klishta aklishtah”. Vritthis are of five types and they may be either painful or painless.
Aphorism.6 : “pramaana viparyaya vikalpa nidraa smritayah” are the five types of chittha Vritthis. These are (1) pramaana is right Knowledge having valid proof; (2) viparyayah is wrong knowledge; (3) vikalpah is imagination / fantasy (4) nidra is deep sleep and (5) smritayah is remembering or recall.
Aphorism.7 : “pratyaksha anumaana agamah pramaanani”. Direct perception; inference or sound reasoning; scriptural testimony and other competent evidence; are the valid sources of right knowledge
We have seen that – even right Knowledge from valid sources has to cease, as this also is a Chittha Vritthi – if the SELF has to perceive itself and abide in its true form.
Aphorism.8: “viparyayah mithya jnanam athad roopa pratisthaam ‘ = which means that - wrong knowledge is the unreal or false knowledge which has no real basis or is away from the real nature of things. Wrong Knowledge is also a type of knowledge and not total non-knowing or Ignorance of a thing. It is - perceiving a thing as some thing that it actually is not.
Let us now examine aphorism.9 dealing with delusion or fantasy, which is another Chittha Vritthi.
shabda jnana anupaati vastu shunyah vikalpah
shabda = sound
jnana = knowledge
anupaati = following
vastu = real, existing object
shunyah = devoid, empty
vikalpah = delusion, fantasy
Vikalpa – is another Chittha Vritthi – in which we fantasize the existence of an object – even when the actual object is totally absent. It is our delusion or imagination only. Why and how is the question.
We hear a sound and follow the sound mentally. This mental imagination leads us to certain false conclusions about the source of the sound. Even the sound it self may be a mental imagination. And this imagined sound leads to an imagined object, animal, bird or man. There is absolutely no limits on fantasizing.
In many ancient, folklore stories, young men imagine a beautiful lady, by the smells that are floating towards them from a distance. There may not be any such person at all.
We have also seen how Dasaratha, the father of Rama (in Ramayan) went by the sound, imagined a deer and hit a young boy with his arrow. Sounds, unaccompanied by the object – can mislead us terribly.
People at some distance may be talking about some person unknown to you. You are listening but half heartedly. Because of the distance, there is no clarity in the listening also.
But, if what they are talking is somewhat derogatory, or if your mind perceives their talk wrongly like that – your mind will further tend to imagine that they are talking derogatorily of YOU.
If they are praising some one – you may imagine that they are praising your enemy! Either way, your mind is performing a vikalpa chittha Vritthi on you.
In modern days also – we recognize very clearly that listening is at best, a highly imperfect art.
When we see – we see some thing and we imagine it as some thing else. But, there is an object which we have seen. In seeing, some object is there – even if objectivity disappears. Our field of vision may be very big – but what we actually focus on may be a very small portion of it and that’s all what we actually see. So, we assimilate a small portion of what we think we have seen. Then again, the mind does not retain even that for a reasonable time.
In hearing – our faculty is much worse. “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see,” says Benjamin Franklin, for the same reason.
Michael Walsh of Kaizen Consulting says – “Apparently we hear half of what is said, listen to half of what we hear, understand half of it, believe half of that, and remember only half of that.” I think he is very right. Listening is such an imperfect art.
"Big egos have little ears," says Robert Schuller, which means, our egos cloud our hearing faculty and we can’t listen and understand clearly with such big egos.
“Are you really listening... or are you just waiting for your turn to talk?”, asks Robert Montgomery, indicating a very common phenomenon that we are just not listening but are just awaiting to speak up in our turn or out o our turn.
Most quarrels arise out of imperfect listening. Nothing may have been said or meant, of what you think you have heard and started the quarrel. That is what is meant by “sabda jnaaanupathi vastu sunyah vikalpah”.
What you love becomes so beautiful – but only in your imagination. Some one may say – what this dumb fellow (or dumb girl) has seen in that ugly girl (or ugly boy), to fall so madly in love with her or him.
They have seen so much of beauty – but only in their imagination, in their fantasy and, in what they hear in each other’s sweet nothings and so on. Most love arises out of imagination. But, so does most hatred.
Hitler’s supermen concept arose in his own imagination. But, it led to the killing of so many Jews. Most oppression is imagination. Most of bravery arises out of imagination. Most love is imagination. Most hatred is imagination. A lot of life is lived not in truth, but, in imagination, hallucination and fantasy.
Some one asked “why is it so dark?”.
His Guru replied “open your eyes.”
It is always “much ado about nothing”.
We are on our path to open our eyes.
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