PLANNING STAGE – CONCEPT OF
ONLY YOG – (केवल योग) THE ENDLESS
ULTIMATE FOR ALL ‘UltimatES’
PLANNING STAGE – CONCEPT OF IMPEDIMENTS AND THEIR RESOLUTION
To begin with Patanjali considers the following nine impediments in the path of entire yogic process that indicate symptoms as well as reasons. Flaws and the reasons are inter-.dependent. One cannot embark on any planning if timely remedial measures are not taken. In other words, a planner in any field cannot afford to suffer from any of these:-
• Disease (VYADHI व्याधि)
• Idleness (STAYAN स्त्यान)
• Doubt (SANSHAY संशय)
• Carelessness (PRAMAD प्रमाद)
• Laziness (ALASYA आलस्य)
• Awareness of reason but still inability to disengage from the obstacle (AVIRATI अविरति )
• Perverted or distorted vision (BHRANTI DARSHAN भ्रान्ति दर्शन )
• Inability to form an objective (ALABDH BHUMIKATVA अलब्ध भुमिकत्व)
• Inability to stick to an objective (ANAVSTHITATTVA अनवस्थितत्व)
The above symptoms lead to a disturbed CHITT (चित्त) and Patanjali calls it CHITT VIKSHEP (चित्त विक्षेप) and not a disturbed mind (MAN VIKSHEP मन विक्षेप). There must be a strong reason of giving it this name. We know that Patanjali has studied CHITT VRITTI (चित्तवृत्ति) as a combination of three different sequential stages (ANUKRAMIK AWASTHAEN अनुक्रमिक अवस्थाएँ) of mind (MAN मन), SATTVA (सत्त्व) and PURUSH (पुरुष) as per law of APARINAMI (अपरिणामी). For him these are the normal symptoms of mind (MAN मन) and SATTVA (सत्त्व). So the name disturbed mind or disturbed SATTVA cannot be given to these symptoms. It cannot be disturbed PURUSH because PURUSH is that stage of CHITTVRITTI that can never be disturbed as explained earlier. It is absolute wisdom (KAIVALYA VIVEK कैवल्य विवेक). In other words it has to be the DISTURBANCE OF CHITTVRITTI that Patanjali shortens as CHITT VIKSHEP.
PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF A DISTURBED CHITTVRITTI
Patanjali has mentioned the following physical indicators of a disturbed CHITTVRITTI (चित्त विक्षेप) but normal symptoms of mind (MAN मन). These are:
• Unhappiness ( DUKH दुःख),
• Evil disposition (DAURMANASYA दौर्मनस्य)
• Twitching and trembling (ANGAMEJAYATVA अंगमेजयत्व)
• Abnormal inhaling (SHWAS श्वास) and exhaling (PRASHWAS प्रश्वास).
Can such a mind take decisions? It can reach impetuous or impulsive conclusions only. So create conditions in which you feel comfortable and ensure these are stable.
REMOVAL OF IMPEDIMENTS
TAT PRATISHEDHARTHAMEK TATTVABHYAS
The only solution recommended by Patanjali for removal of these impediments is following a strict regime of ‘PRACTICE and PRACTICE’ alone that he calls ABHYAS (अभ्यास). The word EKTATTVA (एकतत्त्व) in the sutra has other ramification that I have discussed under PRANAYAM in the next article. But for the time being what is ABHYAS? It is achieving stability in an effort (YATNA यत्न).
TATRA STITHAU YATNO ABHYAS
तत्र स्तिथौ यत्नोऽभ्यासः
And what is stability? The effort must have three ingredients of ‘long time’ (DIRGHKAAL दीर्घकाल), ‘every time’ (NAIRANTRAYA नैरन्तर्य) and ‘respect’ (SATKAR SEVITAH सत्कारऽऽसेवितः) as discussed earlier under the concept of ASAN (आसन). Overall it means that for each impediment an effort (YATNA यत्न) born out of EKTATTVA (एकतत्त्व) must be found out if the obstacles are to be removed. Here Patanjali gives various examples of efforts that are put in by people as a routine without understanding the principle of EKTATTVA ABHYAS (एक तत्त्व अभ्यास). The various efforts mentioned by him are inhaling, exhaling, holding breath, various functions of the various senses that promote joy and remove sadness by relaxing, sleeping, dreaming and contemplating etc. Such efforts may accidentally lead to the elimination of above mentioned nine distresses and fallacious conclusions are drawn about YOG as a concept.
A WORD OF WARNING ABOUT FALLACIOUS CONCLUSIONS
This accidental feeling of relief due to indulgence in an effort has been exploited to the hilt by all shades of the spiritualists in the following ways;-
• Promoting YOG as practice of certain body postures ONLY and substituting these for the concept of ASAN (आसन) given by Patanjali as one of the ingredients of the entire process of YOG as already discussed.
• Promoting YOG as practice of certain breathing exercises ONLY and validating it for the concept of PRANAYAM (प्राणायाम) given by Patanjali completely ignoring that he has explained it just as one of the ingredients of the entire process of YOG and nowhere he substitutes PRANAYAM for holistic concept of YOG. PRANAYAM as a concept under PLANNING STAGE has been discussed in details in the succeeding article.
• Promoting YOG as practice of contemplation, meditation and focusing attention on some material or imaginary object ONLY by inventing various techniques and substituting these for the concept of DHYAN (ध्यान) given by Patanjali completely ignoring not only the definition of DHYAN (ध्यान) but the fact that he has explained it just as one of the ingredients of the entire process of YOG and nowhere he defines DHYAN (ध्यान) as practice of indulging into meditation, contemplation etc. The details have been explained under EXECUTION STAGE – CONCEPT OF DHYAN
• Promoting SAMADHI as an accidental and rare achievement by a practitioner of above mentioned arbitrarily invented and self certified techniques of ASAN (आसन), PRANAYAM (प्राणायाम) and DHYAN (ध्यान) thus instilling false hopes about a never achievable illusion and creating awe towards a practitioner.
• Encouraging the tendency of blind faith and superstition and shunning experimentation only because there is large statistical evidence and substituting it for scientific proof. But the scientific validation is always missing that can determine through experimentation of finding out why and how of which VRITTI is responsible for such a result. No VRITTI has ever been discovered by a spiritualist in spite of a directive principle of existence of innumerable VRITTIS of various groups (JATI जाति) having definite FUNCTION (ANVAYA अन्वय) and PURPOSE (ARTHVATTVA अर्थवत्त्व) and exhortation of discovering them as given in Vedic knowledge. Rather, those already discovered and well-defined in Patanjali YOGSHASTRA have been mystified and made incomprehensible entities. While on the other hand modern science is discovering NANO concepts like genes and sub-atomic particles for such and such function and a spiritualist is just waiting to jump on the band wagon of science and quoting it as already long known existing discovery in his spiritualistic treasure and thus again promoting blind faith in some extra-ordinary knowledge.
There may be personal experiences of many that breathing exercises propagated as PRANAYAM as an effort does help in overcoming the diseases and other impediments also. However, this does not mean that other suitable efforts should not be found out. If an effort of just getting up early is required to overcome the impediment of laziness (ALASYA आलस्य), it must be practiced. If an effort of following a system is required to overcome the impediment of carelessness (PRAMAD प्रमाद), it must be put into practice. No impediment can ever be overcome if the principle of PRACTICE and PRACTICE alone of a found out effort is not resorted to.
INDICATORS OF ABSENCE OF IMPEDIMENTS
मैत्री करुणा मुदितोपेक्षाणां सुख दुःख पुण्याऽपुण्य विषयाणां
MAITRI KARUNA MUDITOPEKSHANAM SUKH DUKH PUNYA APUNYA VISHAYANAM
Patanjali has mentioned the following indicators of absence of the symptoms of a disturbed CHITTVRITTI. It is the inculcation of these VRITTIS that becomes the ultimate aim of Yogic Process:
• Friendship (MAITRI मैत्री)
• Joyfulness. (MUDITA मुदिता)
• Compassion (KARUNA करुणा) and
• Avoidance (UPEKSHA उपेक्षा ) of the conditions giving birth to AVIDYA as discussed
Overall we can consider the five KLESH and the nine impediments as the discernible symptoms (STHUL LAKSHAN स्थूल लक्षण) of mind stage (MANOVRITTI AWASTHA मनोवृत्ति अवस्था) and the above four as symptoms of CHITT stage.