¿What is Yoga?

18 April, 2019

What is Yoga? Gunas? What are the afflictions of being according to Vedanta and according to Tantra? RAJA YOGA DE PATANJALI, DEFINITION OF YOGA AND IMPEDIMENTS FOR AUTOREALIZATION. Yoga is the union of the individual being (Jivatma) with the universal being (Paramatma). Yoga is the union of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.

Yoga is a tool that allows the practitioner to control and attenuate the fluctuations or modifications of the mind. But not controlling from the perspective of repressing, if not from the perspective of becoming the master of the fluctuations of the mind, letting all states of consciousness express themselves in a free way to recognize at all times what we are.

It allows the practitioner to become master of his mind and to evolve the witnessing consciousness of his own being and of the world. The practitioner becomes master of his conscious and unconscious developing in such a way the supraconscious where the vision and ultimate reality is experienced.

In Vedanta there is talk of controlling the fluctuations of the mind “Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodha”. This definition of Yoga would not be the same for Shaivism of Kashmir or for tantra (non-dualistic vision) where yoga is the process of creating space to recognize, recognize what we have always been, what has always been there but we have never been able to see.

Recognize what we are despite our emotions, not without them, with them too. Vedanta tells us not to pay attention to the senses, to the organs of perception, while Tantra invites us to enjoy the fullness of these, as they bring us to life constantly.

The tantra explains to us that everything is a reflection of Shiva or of the universal consciousness, therefore as we are going to deny something that comes from so deep of our being. In my opinion, tantra is the perfect method to stop feeling guilty, to stop hiding our vulnerability and open ourselves to the world from the eyes of the heart and not from the mind.

Yoga is a tool that allows us to generate space to start recognizing ourselves. Every moment is a good time to recognize who we are, to embrace it with our virtues and limitations. We must unite or recognize two aspects of our existence to begin to recognize ourselves:

“The union with oneself”, the harmonic integration of all strata of the human being. We must accept and recognize ourselves first.

“The union of the individual with the cosmos”, the experience of integration of the individual with the surrounding universe, in which the feeling of being one and the same thing with the whole prevails. Do not feel separated from the rest of the beings that live in our near or distant environment. Know that we are co-dependent in a certain way.

This does not mean that we should put false smiles or give hugs of three minutes all the time. You can be in union with the world and be a person who wants to live in a cave, from time to time leave or stay in it forever. It can be a person who wants to be in company all the time, there is nothing wrong … there is nothing that will come, there is nothing to change, everything is fine as it is. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root “Yuj”, which means to link, join, join etc … there are many ways of expressing it. In general terms what we want to unite is the mind – body – spirit.

When talking about yoga and practicing yoga, it is essential to talk about the three natural characteristics of which everything and everyone is composed: Illumination – purity (), action () and inertia (). The man caught in the wheel of time like a ceramic vase in an artisan’s wheel is continually affected by these three fundamental characteristics. Through the practice of asana and pranayama the aspirant or sadhaka is leaving this state of inertia to move to the action.

Little by little, thanks to the practice of dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation) the aspirant rests in that state of enlightenment and purity called Sátvico. In the Vedanta, enlightenment can not be attained despite the fact that we pass from Tamasic to Rajasic and from Rajasic to Sattvic states. While in tantra (non-dualism) we must achieve enlightenment, recognizing ourselves, our essence in spite of all this. Despite the state in which we find ourselves, there is always the opportunity to recognize ourselves. Since everything emanates from our inner being, nothing is impure, everything is here to make us drunk with his presence. Every moment is a good time to recognize our own divinity.

The main difference between Samkhya, Hinduism and yoga is that yoga is pure practice whereas Samkhya is pure theory. It is very important in my opinion that unless it is a scholar the practical part is accompanied by a theoretical part and vice versa. Knowledge without action and action without knowledge does not help the human being. Man is endowed with mind (manas), intellect (buddhi) and ego (ahamkara), these three are collectively known as consciousness, which is the source of thought, understanding and action. As life advances, consciousness experiences 5 different miseries that move it away from the union of the individual being with the cosmos.

Kleshas are the impurities found within the dualistic vision of Vedanta while malas refer to impurities within the non-dualistic tradition. These are:

Ignorance (avidya) When speaking of ignorance we are not talking about the lack of knowledge but rather about the lack of awareness in our actions. We talk about the lack of not knowing why we do things. Not knowing our purpose in this world and why we are here. Most men and women move around the world, eat, shower, work without knowing what they are in this world for. They live without being aware of their limitations, virtues, etc.
Egoism (asmita). To think that our well-being or happiness or serenity depends solely on ourselves and not knowing that in a certain way it also depends on those around us. Sometimes the aspirant is blinded by his own presence and forgets that he coexists with other human beings.
Attachment (Raga). We speak of attachment to pleasure, encourage and nurture desires and vices.
Aversion or hatred (Dvesa). Very intense rejections that cause us to always flee towards pleasure and not observe pain to transcend it or at least learn from it.
Love of life or fear of death (Abhinivesa). To reach the necessary understanding that will allow us to transcend the fear of death. We run for life acquiring education, experiences, jobs, human relations and in general we seek pleasure in external objects. We identify with these external objects for fear of facing what is inevitable …
The three bad or impurities within the non-dualistic vision of Tantric Shivaism of Kashmir.

Bad karma (gross). The first is related to actions. They are the impurities that remain impregnated with the experiences like for example: I am happy, I am sad, I am not good enough. It refers to being anchored between pain and pleasure and not being able to observe from the equanimity of the situation.
Mayiya Mala (subtle) This house is mine, that’s not it. This is my friend, the other is not. This is my job, my talent and the others are not.
Anavamala (more subtle) It is the feeling of not being complete. Imagine that it brings you closer to the state of feeling close to universal consciousness, but suddenly you fall. That is due to the feeling that you feel incomplete, therefore you start looking for that fullness. You start looking for wanting to be complete and satisfied.

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