Being Yoga Philosophy

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With a silent mind…

Yoga Philosophy is described in the second sutra of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras where he states, “yogas citta vrtti nirodhah”

Yogas means union or connection and the understanding is that everything is already connected [not separate]; Citta means mind; Vrtti means whirling or activity of the mind; and Nirodhah means cessation as when the mind is silent.

Patanjali’s definition of yoga may be rendered in English as: Yoga is the cessation of deriving your identity via the content and activity of the mind [seeing with the mind].

When the mind is silent [seeing through the mind] and there is no conceptualization or intellectual description of being there is no discontinuity to being. There are times throughout the day when the mind is naturally silent and such times reveal that it is true that being continues whether the mind is silent or active.

Patanjali follows what he said in the second sutra with, “Tadā draṣṭuḥ svarÅ«pe’vasthānam”

Here Tada means then [still or stillness]; Avasthanam means abiding or resting as; Sva-Rupe means essential nature or form; and Drastuh means seer or experiencer.

In other words Patanjali says that when you do not derive your identity via the content and activity of the mind, then you abide as what you already are and that is your essential nature. This means that your true nature is revealed when the mind is silent. It also reveals that there is nothing wrong with the activity of the mind – the only time mental activity is problematic is when you define your identity mentally. This understanding gives great relief and allows the mind to rest when it does not need to be used and to be very sharp when it does focus on something [because then the energy of the mental activity of defining and defending who you think you are is conserved and thereby available for appropriate mental activity].

Patanjali goes on to says in his fourth sutra, “Vá¹›tti sārÅ«pyam itaratra”

Itaratra means on other occasions; Sarupyam means there is identity; and again Vá¹›tti means whirling or activity of the mind.

The Engish renedering is: Otherwise there is identification derived out of the content and activity of the mind.

In this light yoga philosophy is a way of being [or way of seeing/awareness] where the mind finds its true place as an instrument of authentic being.

James Traverse

Originally posted 2016-03-07 16:06:37.

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