Sunday, April 3, 2011
PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS = POST-9 :VERSE.9 = FANTASIZING & DELUSIONS = CAUSES
Summary So Far :
Aphorism.1:“now, the discipline of Yoga” begins. For being in a discipline, one necessarily has to be a devoted disciple of that discipline. One must have respect for the Guru and the Science.
Aphorism.2 :Yoga is the mastering / controlling /restraining of the oscillations of (in fact, all types of work done in) chittha.
Aphorism.3: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 : 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 : Vritthis are of five types and they may be either painful or painless.
Aphorism.6 : The five types of chittha Vritthis are (1) pramana 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 : Direct Perception; Inference or Sound Reasoning; Scriptural testimony and other competent evidence; are the valid sources of right knowledge. For all worldly affairs – we need such right knowledge so that people can lead healthy, harm-free lives. All Sciences come from right knowledge.
Aphorism.8 : “viparyayah mithya jnanam athad roopa pratisthaam”.
Wrong Knowledge is - perceiving a thing as some thing that it actually is not. Our sense perception can many times result in Mithya Jnanam or wrong knowledge – due to various reasons, like, (i) the imperfections in our sense instruments, (ii) age related effects on the senses and the brain (iii) their habit-bound nature, (iv) nature of external environment, (v) effects of time and distance on objects, (vi) effects of substances like alcohol etc.
All knowledge we are gaining is, in effect, wrong perception and wrong knowledge only to a certain extent because, sense instruments and mind are imperfect recipients and processors of all knowledge – but they are good enough for normal, living.
There is also another cause and source of wrong knowledge. It was said in ancient times that – Desire, anger, greed, lust, pride, and hatred (and also fear) are our internal enemies which cloud out all truth from us and take away all of our happiness.
If some one has written even a history text in anger or hatred, he is bound to have interpolated many falsehoods into it. So, these are all sources of wrong knowledge.
But then, the first requirement for acquiring right knowledge is - we must be willing to come out of our wrong knowledge. For reasons of gaining right knowledge only – wise people advocated meditation, listening to the wise, reading books of great wisdom and so on – and specifically advised against intoxicants, friendship of the untruthful and the unwise and reading books written by the unwise.
There is an ancient proverb from the wise that – “do not look at the roots of the sage, the river and the tree”. Their roots will be too humble and too ordinary – but, their ultimate is so useful to the world that we need to look at this finality and not at the roots.
Now – we will examine Aphorism.9 :
Shabda jnana anupaati vastu shunyah vikalpah
shabda = sound, verbal expression
jnana = knowledge,
anupaati = following, sequentially
vastu = real object
shunyah = devoid, empty
vikalpah = imagination, delusion, fantasy
Verbal delusion or fantasy follows from words or sounds having no corresponding reality of actual objects.
Some times, we hear different sounds. But, they are likely to mislead us into various fantasies and delusions in the absence of any real object to support such imagination or fantasy.
Fear, anger, desire, lust etc can act as a back drop to create in us various images in tune with these internal moods. Even the sounds we hear may be fantasies and not real.
There may not be any real person or object, as we have imagined.
Many drugs like LSD create a world of total fantasy in the addicts;and they become gradually incapable of living without such fantasies triggered by these drugs.
For that matter, any person, living away from truth in fantasies for any other reason, also will find it difficult to come back to reality.
At this point, it is worth mentioning that most people (1) do want right knowledge (2) but do acquire wrong knowledge of objects and persons and (3) do indulge in fantasies and imaginations to satisfy their, certain inner urges.
The purpose of these yoga sutras is to make people capable of acquiring only right knowledge and live with it; and then, go even beyond such worldly right knowledge to acquire the knowledge of their innermost core, which is beyond all ordinary means of right knowledge.
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