Monday, March 05, 2012

Viparita jnana: inverted vision on the path of yoga

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 I get a lot of advice -- about being too soft, too tough, Not commercial, or too commercial. Think money or don't think money. Or whatever, if you get the drift, about what I should do to become a famous, or rich or a more in-control yoga teacher. The only thing I have been loyal through all my life, though some of these decisions have been outright foolhardy, is that I know intuitively that if I were to do it any other way, it will `block' me. I cannot quite explain what I mean by that.. but in larger issues, where self-interest would govern most people, I have chosen things that may not work at all for most people.  Choice is a very liberating thing.. the moksha whiff:)
So, yes, in certain moments I have a sense of being past-less or futureless.. feels like a lot of flab just falls off, from the mind, if you can feel that way. I think a lot of that has to do with my yoga practice. I have a recall of the past, I have plans for the future, OF COURSE!!! . But I have no more tears for the past, and no anxiety about the future. How exciting can that be!!!! I mean that, in the sense of being  indffierent to them.. U could say, this sense sort of grows more into me, and is very exciting .. and maybe the only strong feeling I have now..

When people advice me, I wonder, what prompts that... Some of the advice are outright hurdles where I am headed...

Here some more on the hurdles in the path of yoga, from a column I wrote a few years ago:

Adi Shankaracharya, the Advaitic sadguru revered in India, explains how difficult this can be. In his treatise Vivekachudamani, he explains that this adjunct of practical morality cannot be achieved by any formula: "It can never be seen by constant washing; by giving gifts, nay not even by a hundred pranayamas (yogic breathing practices)." He adds that other hurdles in yoga include "conformity with the world, concern of the body, all forms of religious learning that may create the false illusion that wraps thy Self." All these things may, in fact, create the biggest hurdle of forgetfulness, he further elaborates: " As moss moved from upon the face of water stands not away even for a minute, delusion envelops even the knowing one, if he is off his guard."

This creates a delusional state best exemplified by a tale related by the sage Cudala who uses it to explain to her husband the yogic path. Once a poor man chanced upon a gem. Though it shone in his hand as clear as a full moon against a dark sky, he could not believe that a real gem could land on his poverty-stricken hands. So he gazed at it for long. But consumed by doubt and ignorance, he threw it away. So too we, through sheer ignorance, which is the biggest hurdle, throw our proximity to the divine. We waste the proximity to the divine who is, as a Sufi saying lyrically describes, as close to us as a blood vessel in our neck and is the very reason for the throb of life in our body.

Here are more strident reminders of such hurdles: "The light of gnosis breaks not in full force upon that puny thing which is all beclouded with fear of the world, with pride of learning, and with love of life," says the Smriti, a Vedantic text.
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