Thoughts 40

40: When one tries to remember God, its only because God remembers him; so Bhakti is also grace.

Thoughts 39

39: Yoga dries up the wet wood to be burnt by Vedantic fire; however, Vedanta itself can dry and burn wet wood.

Yoga and the three states

I've fought much to understand the dream and sleep states in comparison to the waking state. Although I found much solace in reading the Mandukya upanishad and a little of the karika, still a lot remained (and remains still) to be understood.

Another thing I was trying to ascertain is the sleep that gets induced while reading a book or while trying to concentrate in hope of meditating. Now I know that both are not very different since all these, including these two aspects of svAdhyAya and dhAraNA, are within the bounds of the mind. So says ajAta-vAda.

Not much of anyone apart from Shankara has been helpful in my spiritual journey, since only Advaita gives the core! So again this time, Shankara threw more light on these states in his vivarNa on yoga sutra vyAsa bhAshya. What happens when a person concentrates, meditates and gets into samAdhi is quite clear in some of the yoga sutra translations and bhAshya-s. That is, the previous samskArA-s are burnt and the mind gets purified. Mind, while being against its own dying into manonAsha, is up against all the sAtvic activities such as svAdhyAya or yogic practices. What are minds weapons to fight against us then? When we try to concentrate during yoga, what we're doing is to focus on the-one-thought in order to drop this too, later. Mind starts jumping, bringing back all the likes and/or dislikes that one has built over lives. These are verily the vAsanAs due to samskArA-s that arise mostly during meditation and one gets carried away with them. Most books talk of such a thing as allowing the vAsanA-s to resurface and getting over them through various means. Mainly, the three means to get over these are: suppression, redirection and sublimation; the first being the worst and the last, best. Redirecting is used only as a means when one understands that one must not suppress and one's not matured enough to sublimate the vAsanA-s.

Thats not sufficient understanding since the knowledge is not complete. What happens when one tries to do even this is to be very well analyzed. One may succeed at completely understanding the above and even try consciously to do whatever it takes. However, mind has an extremely powerful tool against such activities. Everyone knows it but no one *really* knows it! What happens when a person tries to focus on an intense reading or svAdhyAya? Sleep takes over! Thats precisely how mind makes one to believe that s/he's exhausted, tired or incapable of focusing, concentrating and meditating. Why does this happen? The samskArA-s get burnt only in high stages of meditation and samAdhi/transcendental states. Just when a person's concentration deepens to lead into meditation, the mind, unpurified still, awakens past samskArA-s. These samskArA-s are being fought in the waking state. As such, the mind does something that an untrained person does not have any control over. It puts us to sleep and drags us into dreams, where it can make us live those samskArA-s and make the vAsanA-s stronger, so that even fighting them in waking states becomes difficult. If one fights more and more in the waking states, so that the rajasic dreams don't get tainted by tamasic samskArA-s, clearly the mind puts one into the tamasic deep-sleep!

An advanced sAdhaka, however, gets into prolonged periods of samAdhi and washes away vAsanA-s, burns samskArA-s and in turn, the samAdhi period also increase. At such a stage, the mind is fully ripe to receive the highest knowledge that cuts asunder all bindings whatsoever.

(It may be only appropriate here to make a mention of what is samAdhi counted in time. 12s of concentration/dhArana makes one unit of meditation/dhyAna, while 12 units of dhyAna result in one unit of samAdhi. In short, if one meditates for 1728s or 28.8 mins, one is in samAdhi! Sounds very simple, doesn't it?)