Understanding reality through yoga

Posted Oct. 1, 2010 by Fallensoul in Open

commented on Aug. 7, 2011
by Fallensoul



A serious student begins exploring Yoga not to acquire curious powers, but to attain a greater understanding of oneself and of reality at large. The siddhis might be encountered in the process, but quickly transcended. So, too, parapsychologists can, in time, pass beyond an exclusive interest in the well-recognized psi phenomena and advance to a consideration of larger and more spiritual matters. The Yoga Sutras can provide guidance in such a quest. Prior uses of yoga-related processes in psi research might be likened to stealing jewels from temples. A deeper appreciation of these processes might foster a realization of the purposes for which the temples were constructed in the first place.

Patañjali Yoga and Siddhis: Their Relevance to Parapsychological Theory and Research, WILLIAM G. BRAUD: http://www.inclusivepsychology.com/uploads/PatanjaliYogaAndSiddhis.pdf

  • Fallensoul Aug 07, 2011

    SN: Yup.

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    Shankar Narayan Aug 02, 2011

    You are from India too???!?!

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    Shankar Narayan Jul 31, 2011

    @fallensoul: Thank you for the tip. I am honored to have learnt the lesson! I get too carried away sometimes and become a Bigmouth. truly Sorry and ashamed about it. I do NOT mean to belittle your or anyone's experiences. I beg forgiveness because i sounded that way!

    I am from India, and have been brought up with spirituality running deep within my family. I know 'about' the scriptures but i do not KNOW them, and cannot actually quote from them. I have practiced yogasanas a couple of years. though nowadays I have not regularly practiced yoga ,and I have not read the yoga sutras ever. I practice only DHYANA now. the experiences i had were profound for me as an individual. yet I shall not claim to have understood it all. I did speak from what little experience I had and I typed what i felt and believed was true!

  • Fallensoul Jul 30, 2011

    SN: Okay thats true, this is synonymous with knowledge (jnana - pronounced gyaan) vs realisation (vijnana -- pronounced vi-gyaan). Realization is higher than just knowledge and that can come through direct experience.

    Sharing your views are okay but if you say that you believe in directly experiencing the truth then can you share with us your direct experiences with all that you're sharing? From what you say about "Yoga means UNION to merging to discovering the divine within" -- Do you have any direct experience with any of this?

    My point is simple -- You're talking of very elevated topics, but then you say you do not know these scriptures. So if you're going to speculate or even cut and paste from the Vedic scriptures and then comment on them, at least have some qualification to do so, otherwise you're propagating more disinformation. It's akin to a bunch of grade 1 kids in math class saying "I believe 1+1=5, No 1+1=4" -- "Oh its all concepts", "Numbers arent nouns they're verbs!" etc etc. What use is that sharing? Substance is wanted.

    I'm speaking to this idea and not you specifically, but rather if one wishes to discuss a topic -- especially topics on consciousness -- at least have some direct evidence, or experience to back it up what you're sharing or take instruction from the proper teacher whom is not only realized in these subjects -- but you're a long standing student of. Then you can share "1+1=2". At least then one has some qualification to discuss.

    Theres enough of disinformation out there.

    Ofcourse if you have questions or you're curious about something, one is always free to inquire, but theres this difference between enquiring and sharing one's beliefs which you have no realization of.

    p.s Easy on caps if you don't want to be interpreted as being rude!

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    individual Jul 30, 2011

    If I may take a moment and take a critical look at the cuestion of cemantics.... when we use the word "beleive" what are we talking about ? I´ve found that most people use the word without UNDERSTANDING the limits its meaning proposes... to "beleive" or not to "beleive" insinuates a lack o fconciousness iN the use of proper wording for complete understanding.
    Lets ask ouselves what is the difference between beleif and superstition and if we are true to semantic interpretation we will find that there is none. Do I or dont I understand do I INTUIT, do I TRUST, do I or do I not KNOW . Unless of course we agree to use the word "beleive" as to mean intuitive understanding ?

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    Shankar Narayan Jul 30, 2011

    @ Fallensoul: Agreed! Vedic knowledge is direct knowledge of truth... but there is a lot of difference between information and knowledge. Direct experience is the key!

    "We all believe and think many things with our limited minds. You can speculate for many millions of lifetimes and get nowhere." Aptly put. But once we start sharing our views and our understanding of the vedas, We begin to recognize the truth in every single perspective. Scriptures are but map to the divine treasure. I Do not ask anyone to accept what i say!!!!But i rather believe in discussing and widening the perspective and transcend beyond all senses! I did not mean to be rude at all... I apologize if i sounded arrogant. that was not my intention.

  • Fallensoul Jul 28, 2011

    SN: There are limits to what we can experience with our senses, therefore taking help from the vedic knowledge is beneficial because the vedic knowledge is not some speculation from a wise man, its direct knowledge of the truth coming from a spiritual reality.

    Its not a question of what you believe. We all believe and think many things with our limited minds. You can speculate for many millions of lifetimes and get nowhere. So why should we accept what you say as true.

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    Shankar Narayan Jul 26, 2011

    @fallensoul: I DO NOT KNOW THE SCRIPTURES!!! I CANNOT QUOTE FROM THEM. But I believe in directly experiencing the truth.i believe as we evolve the scriptures are but tools to help us along the path.

    I think YOGA literally means UNION. It is a method to merge the mind and body. Liberating one from his animal tendencies and realizing the inherent divinity within. And merging the "LIMITED" Human-consciousness with the "INFINITE" Divine universal Consciousness. The Yogi or a true practitioner of Yoga starts vibrating in harmony with the Universe with prolonged practice. He instinctively understands the underlying governing Laws of the universe. And with further practice ,his mind and body get more finely tuned to the silence within, he achieves the siddhis and With the help of these siddhis his perception of the universe transforms and with each transformation his reality changes.
    The siddhis are but effects of practice on the eightfold path, the destination being a state of total unity or merging with the Infinite only accessible only to One who transcends even the siddhis themselves. He doesn't have to understand reality as he becomes one with the reality.

    @mysticalsadhu : I agree with you that experiences teach more than book thumping. "The functionality of siddhis are like having a new motor organ, as when we are young children discovering what we can do with our arms, legs, mouth and voice, for example." that is a nice way of putting it!!!!

  • Fallensoul Jun 26, 2011

    To elaborate on the topic, I wish to share this course with fellow ION'ers: www.understandreality.com/yogasutras/PatanjaliYogaSutras.zip

    For those who are interested in understanding the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali this is a very authentic and authoritative course explaining in depth the meanings of each sanskrit sutra. There are so many versions and interpretations out there -- and one may easily be confused, if not cheated into misunderstanding the message of the sutras. If one goes to the actual meanings of the sanskrit and understands this in the context of Sage Patanjali's mood, purpose and audience, then one will be successful in uncovering the mysteries of human potential offered in this ancient work.

    Ofcourse, one should also understand where in the Vedic literatures this work fits. There are six systems of Vedic philosophy and one should know the position of Sage Patanjali in respect to these systems. Here is a document explaining this: www.understandreality.com/vedas/The-Six-Systems-of-Vedic-Philosophy.pdf

    Basically one should know that the essence of all the Vedas is described in the Bhagavad-gita (vedabase.net/bg) which was spoken directly by Lord Krishna or the Supreme Source. One can also get the essential teachings from the Vedanta Sutras which was compiled by Sage Vyasadeva. But the real juice is in the Srimad Bhagavatam (vedabase.net/sb) or the Bhagavata Purana which is the natural commentary on the Vedanta Sutras -- compiled by Sage Vyasadeva after full enlightenment. It is considered the purest of all teachings of the Vedic literatures and details all aspects of the nature of reality. So the teachings presented in the Bhagavad-gita, the Vedanta Sutras and the Srimad Bhagavatam are considered superior than the philosophical presentation of Sage Patanjali, because Srila Vyasadeva is considered an incarnation of Krishna or God and therefore the teachings are not man-made or subject to defect. Still although Sage Patanjali mainly presents astanga-yoga as a means to attain self-realisation, he does concede that the ultimate goal of samadhi can be achieved through bhakti or devotion to the Supreme. 2.45: "samadhi-siddhih-ishvarapranidhanat"

    There are also other sages who are also further expand the bhakti concept and one such personality is Narada Muni. His bhakti-sutras present the highest level of self-realisation through bhakti yoga (vedabase.net/nbs), The process of bhakti or devotion to the Supreme consciousness is a natural process that even a child can perform. This should be noted because the Yoga Sutras expect one to "manually" try to control the mind and senses. But the only really effective to do this is to dovetail ones actions in the higher taste of devotional service. Bhakti-yoga purifies the consciousness directly, vs astanga-yoga first attempts to purify the body, then mind, intelligence, false ego and finally the consciousness in somewhat impractical way for the modern yogi.

  • Fallensoul Jun 26, 2011

    Now having said that, how does a common ION'er -- who is into the powers of the human being, psi, ESP, EVP etc come to appreciate the yoga system of self-realisation of the Vedic literatures?

    One may, through his personal search for truth and beauty be able to appreciate some of these truths:

    (1) That there exists a separation from the conscious living entity and his physical body. The mind does not equal the brain, or the conscious self is different from his body. e.g blind people seeing with NDE's etc.
    (2) That this individual consciousness can act in mysterious ways e.g siddhis -- certain yogis or people have the ability to do remarkable things or see and experience things which contradict the known laws of physics.
    (3) That there exists some superior intelligence or Supreme intelligence that is responsible for the arrangement of this world, its gross and subtle laws which act upon the individual conscious beings and control their movements.
    (4) Acknowledging that we are receiving or taking the help, guidance or inspiration from the Supreme being and also from other superior beings in various ways. e.g. through EVP, ESP, healing, miracles etc.
    (5) This alludes to the fact that there exists an entire spectrum of consciousness at various levels from conditioned/dull/covered to pure/clear/free under the direction of some Supreme consciousness. This would mean that the exists various conscious entities exist in appropriate realms in a multidimensional reality. e.g. UFOs, demigods, angels, healers, spirit beings etc.

    So now one naturally has the burning question, how do all these threads fit together? We know science is giving us a limited viewpoint and at the rate its accepting things is too slow. We know theres this mystery of consciousness. We know that there's some kind of Supreme being, or spiritual reality. But how can I know how it all fits and the meaning behind it all?

    Now one should recognize this. Theres not alot that we do know, although many claim we are making amazing progress and in the future... in reality what we know -- as scientific fact -- is really just the tip of the iceberg. Theres alot more we dont know and theres alot more that science just can't know because the tools of science is limited to our sense perception of which our reality is beyond that.

    So one should recognise this, even though the scientific method is a great way of accepting things as a fact, understanding the meaning of reality or putting together all these various threads is not possible simply by empiric methods. Even psi experiments.

    One has to gain knowledge beyond the senses in another way. The Vedic way is by accepting knowledge from a pure source like the Vedas, testing that knowledge through our scientific method, by our logic and reason and then by applying the teachings. So through the practice of bhakti-yoga which is the essence of the Vedas, reality can be factually revealed and one achieves all perfection.

  • MysticalSadhu Oct 16, 2010

    Yes, please elaborate.

    While the Yoga Sutras are rich with insights that yogic practice can bring results, it doesn't have -- perhaps intentionally -- methodologies for doing so. Tantrika practice is 98% experiential, does not need book-thumping to convey spiritual excellence, which is 100% experiential.

    Siddhis are a symptom, not a goal, though once acquired one must exercise them within deliberately ethically safe perameters so as to differentiate their proper use so that one will always live an ethical life while the siddhis are active in one's life. The functionality of siddhis are like having a new motor organ, as when we are young children discovering what we can do with our arms, legs, mouth and voice, for example. People still grow up to be ethical, and even saints, despite having arms, legs, mouth and voice. In fact, those become instruments of service. Siddhis are a bit rare, that's why they are coveted. A healthy human society will result in greater expression of siddhis, and far greater exercise of service, with and for each other -- empathy being a key factor in most of the occult powers by their nature.

    As humans evolve, new and more evolved learning capabilities will ensue, so much so that the answer to any dilema will come to most anyone, without having read a book or studied a subject attentively. For example, my guru never took any language courses other than his native Bengali when he was a child, yet he's spoken to people in at least 22 different languages quite fluently, and given discourses on different languages and their originations from Sanskrit, not to mention showing people their past lives, the nature of plants and life on other planets through his touch. The glory is in the spiritual attainment, not in the siddhis, while the siddhis flow naturally as a result of excellence in spiritual development.

  • frequencytuner Oct 12, 2010

    Can you elaborate please.

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