Sunday, July 08, 2012

Yoga of the Elements

The mind is a function of the body. Since the body came out of matter, the mind also has qualities of matter. Hence, the functions of the mind can be analysed using the five elements that make up matter - earth, water, fire, air & space.

Yoga of earth 

योगाङ्गानुष्ठानाद अशुद्धिक्षये ज्ञानदीप्तिर आविवेकख्यातेः - Yoga Sutras
Adhering to the limbs of yoga cleanses impurities, lights the lamp of wisdom and gives the highest discriminative intelligence.

This implies understanding of the various stages / limbs of yoga and continuous / systematic adherence to them is the Yoga of this element. This forms of the unshakeable foundation of the Yogi!

Yoga of water 

शुबाषुबाब्यां मार्गाब्यां वहन्ति वासना सरित
पोउरुषेण प्रयत्नेन योजनीया शुभे पथि!        -  Yoga Vasishta
Tendencies flow on healthy and undesirable paths. Men of wisdom put in the right effort to direct them along the healthy paths!

Like water flowing on earth waters both the thorn bush and the tulsi tree, our tendencies are nirguna (without characterisitcs). They flow in all directions. Consequently, societies and various institutions take on healthy and unhealthy shades. Identifying this and non-judgementally directing all tendencies into healthy directions is the yoga of this element.

Yoga of fire 

तपः स्वाध्याय  ईश्वरप्रनिधानानि क्रिया योगः  -  Yoga Sutras
Continuous cleansing of oneself, self analysis and surrendering to god are the action components of yoga.

This is the primary energy provider and accomplishes lot in less clock time. Continuous and rigorous cleansing of oneself of impurities in all dimensions, continuous digging deep into oneself to understand the entirety of ones being and surrendering to the divine will at all moments are the primary characteristics of this element.

Yoga of air
या निशा सर्व भूतानां तस्यं जाग्रति संयमि  -  Bhagavadgita
Those who are awake even where everyone is asleep is the Yogi!

Intuition is a sacred gift. It can transport us out of any state of darkness by first helping us identify it. It cannot be jailed. This element can never be trapped by the combined weight of all of existence. It can always find the truth and thereby stay awake.

Yoga of sky

ऋत्म्भरा तत्र प्रज्ञा  -  Yoga Sutras
Always side with the absolute truth.

The absolute holds all pairs of opposites within itself. It is without opposite. It is absolutely still and for that space is needed - the vast expansive space of the sky. This element provides the same.

All human minds have these five components. In the phase of developing them, these elements may appear to contradict each other externally. It implies lack of depth in the being internally. When sufficient depth is acquired, no external contradictions can be found.

The mind in which all these five components are continuously doing all of these five yogas is the mind that is in a state of Yoga!

1 comment:

Manasi said...

What are the various limbs of yoga?