Thursday, October 6, 2011




This cycle of “Subtle Impressions -> Actions -> Subtle Impressions -> Actions” result in our birth, longevity and the good and bad experiences that we feel in life. Pleasure results to us from our past good and benevolent deeds. Pain and suffering result from our past bad and wicked deeds.

But, wise man  can see sorrow in every thing. The Duhkham experiences are any way Dukham only in the past, present and future. Even the experiences of sukham are preceded by duhkham in its anxious expectation, then, fear of its losing even when it is with us and sorrow for losing it when it is gone.

But, Duhkham which is already gone is not with us any way. It is not to be worried about. The sorrow now with us also is not much in our hands to remedy and we probably will suffer from it in the present. The worst sorrow is the sorrow that is yet to come – in future. Because, we can prevent our Future Karma, and thereby our future sorrows – by our present actions and some planning. 

Why do we feel so sorrowful frequently? The main cause of our sorrow is the coming into contact of the pure witness (the seer or the self) with the Drisyam or the world of experience. But, what really is Drisyam? Drisham is the Universe, which we experience – and consists of the Sathva, Rajas and Thamas – which make it illuminated, active or inert respectively by their imbalance.

The universe exists only for 2 purposes – (i) for experience of Drasta and (ii) for his liberation. Universe is like a training school -where the Karma has to be extinguished by experience – and then, the Drasta can liberate from the experience of the universe.

The Drasta is basically pure, but by his coming together with Drisyam, he appears to take on the virtthis of the Drisyam.

As earlier said, Drisyam has no other purpose than being there for the experience of Drasta. But, Drastas being many, when one Drasta gets liberated, the Drisyam does not become extinguished. It is needed for experience of other Drastas.

The reality of the Prakrithi and Purusha (or Drisyam and Drasta) become evidenced only when these two come together in Samyoga.  The cause of this Samyoga is Avidya or Ignorance. If Avidya is extinguished (when knowledge happens), Samyoga disappears automatically and then, the Drastaa become liberated. This liberation is called Kaivalyam. Incessant pursuit of Nitya-Anitya-Viveka or discrimination between the permanent and impermanent is the way for achieving this liberation.

 tasya saptadhaa praantha bhoomih prajnaa

Ø  tasya = to the person (who attained viveka khyaathi)
Ø  saptadha = seven types of
Ø  pranta = final, ultimate
Ø  bhumih = stage
Ø  prajnaa =  jnaanam, wisdom

Seven kinds of ultimate insight come to one who has attained this degree of discrimination. This is the way Moksha comes to us in seven types of changes. While Patanjali has not mentioned the seven steps / stages – some other commentators have mentioned the following stages, which Swami Guruparananda has also mentioned in his lectures. Swami Vivekananda, though he has not mentioned the names of the stages, has mentioned seven stages / steps – with minor differences.

1.   Jignyaasaa Nivritthi : The ardent desire that - I have to learn a lot – must go. People who are of thamasic temperament may not have Jignyaasaa even initially. That is not Jignyaasaa Nivritthi in the right sense. One must have yearning  for learning and make all out efforts to learn. Once the seeker of knowledge knows what he sought, his Jignyaasaa or yearning will go. What to learn is most important. Learning about medicine or art is not what Patanjali is hinting at. The truth about what is permanent, what is liberation is the knowledge to attain. By such yearning and effort – we must attain this truth. Then, this yearning will go automatically – when we know that we have known what we set out to know and there is nothing more to know. We then become calm – and all of our dissatisfaction will go. Swami Vivekananda says further that – this will be known only when the search becomes diverted inward – and that is where, this truth will be known. No amount of external search can give us this knowledge. Constant Practice of discrimination – otherwise called as Nitya-Anitya-viveka is the tool for this search. 

2.   Jihaasaa Nivritthi :- “I do not need – I don’t want – I want to leave this habit / characteristic out etc” = This desire also goes – but it goes when these have gone – especially from the mind. We wanted them to go, but they were not going for a long time; now they have gone from the mind and the mind is free from them. The ownership of mind itself goes – because, I – am not the mind. I am the witness of all that mind does, but not the mind. This knowledge has come. Swami Vivekananda states this slightly differently as - absence of all pains. It will be impossible for anything in the universe, external or internal, to give us pain. We can put the 2 interpretations together. What gives pain is WANT. All pain and suffering is supposed to be due to 2 wants – (i) when what we want to have or possess – does not come to us and (ii) when what want to go away from us (like an illness or an unwelcome guest) does not go. These are the 2 wants that result in all suffering and pain. These wants must go.

3.   Prepthaa Nivritthi :- The desire that I want to attain this now (some thing newly) goes away from us. This means, I have attained all that I want to attain. So, this desire also goes. Swami Vivekananda says – this is the desire for attainment of full knowledge. Here also, the interpretation is to combine both the above. When can I say – I have attained all that I want to attain? Only when I have attained total knowledge. It would appear that total knowledge about the self is all that we need – not about the entire Universe, which is really considered unnecessary.

4.   Chikeershaa (or jigeershaa) Nivritthi : The desire that - I want to do this – also should go. We always have a long list of TO DOs. We feel there are so many things pending. Once, this pending list is completed – this desire also must go. There is no more TO DO  list. Swami Vivekananda also says the same and adds that this happens through discrimination.  We can add that – it does not mean that this person does nothing. He goes on doing many things. Lord Krishna also said so about himself in the Gita. He has nothing more to attain – and yet he indulges in worldly actions. So is the case of every Yogi who has attained to liberation and has no TO DO or DON’T DO lists.

5.   Soka Nivritthi : All Sorrow goes away from us in this stage. This is because of the above four. Soka Nivrutthi is the result – the first four are the causes that bring this result. Swami Vivekananda says calls it as - freedom of the Chitta. Obviously - Soka is of the Chittha, and only of the chittha – not of the self. When the vacillations of Chittha fall down – chittha becomes free itself – and the self becomes free of the Chittha. Soka Nivrutthi happens to us.

6.   Bhaya Nivritthi : All fears go away from us. We were afraid only because of not achieving the first five. Now, there is no more fear. Swami Vivekananda says - Chittha itself melts away into its causes whenever we so desire. This also really means that – all our fears melt away. Swami Paramarthananda, in one of his classic lectures says – liberation or Moksha is nothing but TOTAL FEARLESSNESS, or the melting away of all fears. How do they melt? When the chittha, which is just a bundle of fears (or feelings) is resolved into its causative factors, it finds that the causes are meaningless and there is nothing to be feared.

7.   Vikalpa nivritthi : Now, Real knowledge has come to us. All false knowledge has ended permanently. Swami Vivekananda says - we shall find that we are established in our Self, that we have been alone throughout the universe, neither body nor mind was ever related, much less joined, to us.

All these will come  to us with the praantha bhoomi prajnaa – or knowledge of the ultimate stage. The minor differences, if any, are not at all important. What is important is - that these are seven extraordinary benefits that Yogi achieves through yoga and final liberation. This is important. 

Yogi will experience the gradual achievement of many of these benefits – as his Yogic practice proceeds uninterruptedly. It is not that all benefits will come all of a sudden in the last stage. Yoga is a science wherein, many benefits do accrue to the practitioner at every stage. Patanjali mentions many benefits at many stages, but also cautions against complacency. These benefits  give the Yogi a reassurance that he is proceeding on right lines. Ordinary man

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