Wednesday, January 11, 2012

PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS = Verse.2.43 & 44 = Benefits of Tapasya and Svaadhyaaya



kaaya indriya siddhih ashuddhi kshayaat tapasah

Ø  kaaya = for the physical body
Ø  indriya = for the senses
Ø  siddhih = attainment of
Ø  ashuddhi = all impurities
Ø  kshayaat = destruction
Ø  tapasah = through the  training of senses and austerities

Tapasah – means - different rituals,austerities and other means of body and mind control and purification. The ancient sages adopted several types of Tapas for purifying the body, the senses and the mind.

Body has several impurities and develops many - in course of our actions and transactions - and even the lack of actions. Yoga exercises like soorya namaskaar -purify the body in a variety of ways - by removing all constrictions and rigidities at different places of the body and making it a one homogeneous unit. Body must feel - easy, healthy, light and as one homogeneous unit. If there are  impurities anywhere, it feels uneasy, unhealthy, heavy, constricted and painful where the impurities are. But, these are easily removed by Yoga exercises like soorya namaskaar and aasanaas.

What are impurities of the senses and the mind? The ancient India knew well that "kaama,krodha,lobha,moha,mada,matsarya" are the six internal thieves or impurities that are robbing us of our mental purity and joy. Add to them the factor of fear. The list is complete. We must constantly beware of these internal enemies - and keep them off. When mind is devoid of them -  it feels a rare joy - which really is its greatest treasure. The impurities are covering it - and obscuring it from our own self.

Along with purification, we also gain a high degree of control on them. Tapasya is one of the five aspects of Niyama. This verse emphasizes the gains that a Sadhaka attains from Tapasya. The removal of impurities is the first gain. But, the more important gain from Tapasya is – the control that the sadhaka gains  over his body and the senses. 

Purity of the body, mind and senses gives us hitherto unknown knowledge and powers on them. These powers are always there in the body, mind and senses. Just that - they were not available to us - because of the impurities surrounding them. 

Remove the impurities - all these powers in them start shining. Eyes start seeing things which they never saw earlier. Ears hear sounds which they never heard earlier. Nose smells new smells. Skin feels new sensations. Tongue feels new tastes. Mind in all its purity starts exercising its vast powers of intuition. Body becomes lighter and a whole lot more enjoyable.

As you purify your mind, body and senses, you become much more happier and joyous.


svadhyaayaat ishta devathaa samprayogah

Ø  svadhyaayaat = through self-study ( and of the science of Yoga, of scripture)
Ø  ishta = the chosen or much liked
Ø  devathaah = deity
Ø  samprayogah = remaining connected with

Svaadhyaaya - means self-study.  What do we mean by self-study? It can have two connotations. 

In the first - you study your own self. In the very beginning of Yoga Sutras (v.1.3), Patanjali has emphasized that whoever witnesses simply, without pre-conditions and without judgments - realizes the self. Tadaa drashtuh svaroopevasthaanam.

Self-study happens by witnessing. There is no separate book for self study. You are the Book. All things you need to know are hidden in your own self. Self study is witnessing the self - without conditions, without pre-conceptions, without judgments. By such witnessing, self-study happens. There is no other STUDY involved - except witnessing.

As witnessing of self progresses, You will gradually move deeper and deeper into your own self - and know your deepest self.  In the deepest self - is sitting your most loved being. You call it your ishtadevatha. Initially, it may have a name and form (like Rama, Krishna etc). As the self-study proceeds deeper and deeper, the names and forms will  vanish but the ishtadevatha remains in our closest proximity.

At another level, Svaadhyaaya also  can be initiated through study of the science (of yoga) or of scripture(like Sruthi, smrithi etc). These are great treatises on self-study. 

We must remember that when we are witnessing the self or studying the self, the self gets centred and starts residing in the self (and does not wander outside of the self). Study of Srutis and the science of Yoga also leads us to the same result.

When Svaadhyaaya is done with devotion (which is the way it needs to be done), the Sadhaka will always move towards and remain connected with his most loved deity.

Every Sadhaka has his Ishta Devatha - who, in fact, is his Role model. It may be any form of Eeswara (Rama, Krishna, Siva or any other form). Svaadhyaaya takes the Sadhaka into a closer communion with such Ishta Devatha. 

Whether you only realize your deepest self or come in communion with your most loved deity - the result finally is the same.

While Yama and Niyama are preparatory steps and also necessary ingredients of Yoga Sadhana – all the ten components of Yama and Niyama give us many of these additional, invaluable Benefits which we are examining here. This is what Patanjali is telling us. At each step of Yoga Sadhana, there are huge benefits to be gained.

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