Narach Philosophy

THE POWERS OF YOGA


We can understand the idea of the remaining three means of attaining to Yoga, concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and samadhi, when the contemplator and the object contemplated become identified in the same manner. These three can be taken together, and are called samyama or deep concentration; and, as compared with the preceding three, refer to the inner organ of man, beyond which there is a state called nirbija, where there is no action and no result.

Restraint can achieve many things, and makes for one-pointedness; but a really pious man follows the law of life, and is not affected by the changing conditions of things. But samyama can achieve even more, leading ultimately to perfect knowledge, born of discriminations which makes a person free.

Dharana or concentration: Dharana or concentration consists in the fixation of the mind in one place.

Dhyana or meditation: Dhyana or meditation arises when, in a state of concentration, a person fixes his attention on one and one object only.

Samadhi: Samadhi is said to be a state when the object of contemplation alone appears to exist, and one's own self, as it were, ceases to be.

Samyama: These three, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi constitute what is called samyama or deep concentration of the mind; and when that is attained, a person becomes supremely wise; and this samyama can be made use of in various ways.

These three, as compared with the five preceding means of attaining to Yoga, refer to the interior of the body; but even these belong to a state which is outside the range of what is called nirbija or that which is not followed by any result or action.

Powers of restraint: A person is said to have developed his powers of restraint when, though his consciousness has been fully awakened, he is able to control himself; when he permits his powers to express themselves and even to prevail, but knows the suitable time for exercising restraint and can control his mind, which, having been purified, functions with calmness. When he attains to this state, all search after objects of the senses comes to an end, and he becomes one-pointed; and that is called oneness of the mind and the objects it seeks.

A pious person is he who follows the law of life irrespective of whether an object is calm or full of excitement; but the development of different persons is different, and that is the cause of the different methods they adopt.

Powers of samyama: The powers of samyama or the combination of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi are of various kinds. It enables a person to have knowledge of the past and future, the proper meaning of words, his own previous stat of birth, and the approach of death, as well as of what i minute, concealed, or remote and of his body, and the whole world. A person can, by its means, put an end to hunger and thirst, become steady, have knowledge of the mind and soul, and attain to perfection. He can penetrate into the minds of others, make his body light, hear wonderful sounds, pass through space, and remove the veil and see the light. He can have knowledge of the "elements", and control his senses, leading to perfect knowledge and freedom from the bondage of life. It is this knowledge born of the faculty of discrimination that can make him free.

Freedom from bondage: The different objects of life can be attained by means of various kinds of actions; but all actions, consciously performed by the mind, are characterized by a purpose. These actions produce their own results which, in their turn, are the cause of future actions, which again produce their own results; and so the chain of action goes on from birth to birth.

We know that Time exists; and need to distinguish between mind and matter, and the mind and the soul.

It is also necessary to understand the character of the functions of the intellect, and the mind; and that will enable us to attain to discrimination and put an end to all attachment. That will be the end of all affliction, and the soul will be forever free.

Attainment of objects: Objects can be attained in various ways, conditions of birth, medicines, application of the mind, exercise of the intellect, and samadhi. But when the original stage of a substance is completely developed, it changes into another in its natural course. Nevertheless, we cannot know the purpose of the first action in the first substance in Nature.

The mind: But the human mind acts with a purpose, which arises from a state of consciousness when it acts. A person has only one mind, though it prompts a number of senses to action; but when it is associated with the intellect, it becomes free from all vice.

Actions and their results: The actions of a Yogi are neither good nor bad; while those of others are of three kinds, good, bad, and a mixture of the two. As a result of these actions, a number of impressions are made on the minds of those who are susceptible to them, so that there is an immediate store of future actions and their results, even though this may be in different births, places, and times; and that is so because memory and these impressions mean one and the same thing. But we cannot know the beginning of these actions, because desire, which is their cause, is eternal, and has no beginning. But, as all actions are governed by motive, result, attachment, and the interdependence of things, they come to an end when the latter disappear.

Time: The past and future exist as real because their course has different characteristics. The difference between them is subtle, but clear; and it is of the nature of the Gunas or the attributes of Prakrti itself.

Mind and matter: We can understand the real state of a substance from the unity of its development. But its idea is also affected by the mind; for even if the substance be the same, if it is associated with different minds, the idea of any two of them may be different.

Mind and the soul: The actions of the mind are always known to its "master" or the soul, because it is always subject to change, while the soul is not. The mind is not self-illuminated, because it cannot see itself.

Intellect: We can form an idea of the function of our intellect when we see how thought-impressions are formed, and try to grasp the disposition of the mind from the expression of the face.

Mind as a suitable instrument: As the mind is colored by both the seer (soul) and the object seen, it is suitable for all purposes. But even that mind, with its innumerable desires, acts for the sake of the soul.

Discrimination: So far as the soul or the seer is concerned, there comes a time when all thought of attachment must come to an end; and, then the mind is inclined towards discrimination, and is not far from freedom from the bondage of life. So long as it is weak, it has desires arising from the impressions of previous actions; but all affliction ends with the end of these impressions.

End of affliction: When a person has no interest even in reflection or meditation, he attains to a state of discrimination, and rises to a state of samadhi; and after that pain and action both come to an end. Then the perfectly pure one knows how infinite is knowledge, and how small the objects of Nature in the world. Then, as the Gunas or the attributes of Nature have done their work, and displayed all that they had to display, the succession of changes, connected with the moments of Time and lasting till the extreme end of change is grasped, comes to an end.

Freedom and the soul: This is the state of freedom of the soul. It means a return of the Gunas or the attributes of the objects of Nature, which have no further concern with the soul to their original state of association with Prakrti, dissociated from the soul. Or we might say that the Mental Power is established in its own true nature.