The cure for all troubles and disease
Did you know that all the thoughts you have, the speech you make and the actions you take are all wrapped up into what makes you as a physical being. Yes, you are made up of all your experiences good and bad. Just thoughts alone are the causality of your physical body. All the troubles in your world are of just that.
This where yoga steps in with the yamas and niyamas. It is the first step of real yoga that is highly stepped over in Western yoga on the leap to the physical postures or asanas. They in themselves will not make anyone spiritual in the least bit and Western yoga has proven this time and time again. The yamas and niyamas are roughly ways of being internally and externally. They are the first step of yoga due to the fact that the mind has to be taught how to perform in a way that is within the nature of the yogic path. The vrittis or eddies of thought forms that swirl around in the mind, are what come from a untethered mind and stop one on the path of yoga*, nirodha*, and samadhi* as well as create the physical in an unattractive patterning feeding the ego instead of dissolving it. *(These words are interchangeable and are the main function or only goal of yoga.)
In brief due to them being described in earlier posts:
- Ahimsa(अहिंसा): Nonviolence. Abstinence from injury that arises out of love for all, harmlessness, the not causing of pain to any living creature in thought, word, or deed at any time. This and Satya (सत्य) are the “main” yama. The other eight are there in support of its accomplishment.
- Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, word and thought in conformity with the facts, honesty.
- Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing, non-coveting, non-entering into debt.
- Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): being constantly aware of the universe, immersed in divinity, divine conduct, continence, celibate when single, faithfulness when married.
- Kshama (क्षमा): patience, releasing time, functioning in the now.
- Driti (धृति): steadfastness, overcoming non-perseverance, fear, and indecision; seeing each task through to completion.
- Daya(दया): compassion; conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings.
- Arjava (अर्जव): honesty, straightforwardness, renouncing deception and wrongdoing.
- Mithara(मितहार): moderate appetite, neither eating too much nor too little; nor consuming meat, fish, shellfish, fowl or eggs.
- Shaucha (शौच): purity, avoidance of impurity in body, mind and speech
The ten traditional Niyamas are:
- Hri: remorse, being modest and showing shame for misdeeds;
- Santosha: contentment; being satisfied with the resources at hand – therefore not desiring more;
- Dana: giving, without thought of reward;
- Astikya: faith, believing firmly in the teacher, the teachings and the path to enlightenment;
- Ishvarapujana: worship of the Lord, the cultivation of devotion through daily worship and meditation, the return to the source;
- Siddantha Sharava: scriptural listening, studying the teachings and listening to the wise of one’s lineage;
- Mati: cognition, developing a spiritual will and intellect with the guru’s guidance;
- Vrata: sacred vows, fulfilling religious vows, rules and observances faithfully;
- Japa: recitation, chanting mantras daily;
- Tapas: the endurance of the opposites; hunger and fullness, thirsty and quenched, hot and cold, standing and sitting etc.
There are paths of yoga that do not have the yamas and niyamas due to the fact that anyone in the lifestyle of an actual meditator is already going to be living them. From this you can see that yoga is a life path, not a class, not a fashion that changes with the season, and not a physical workout.
So why do thoughts, speech an actions create the physical? Lets quickly look at sankhya philosophy, a science that yoga is base in.
Samkhya, the efficient cause of the world is Purusha and the material cause is the Prakriti. Here Purusha stands for the ‘Supreme spirit’ and Prakriti stands for ‘matter’. Purusha (spirit) is the first principle of Samkhya. Prakriti is the second, the material principle of Samkhya.
Purusha is neither produced nor does it produce. Prakriti is not produced but it produces.
Prakriti is uncaused. It is eternal. It itself is not produced but it has inherent potential or tendency to produce.
Purusha is the Transcendental Self. It is absolute, independent, free, imperceptible, unknowable, above any experience and beyond any words or explanation. It remains pure, “nonattributive consciousness ”.
Prakriti is the material cause of the world. Prakriti is dynamic. Its dynamism is attributed to its constituent gunas. The gunas are not only constituents, nor are they simply qualities. The gunas are the very essence of Prakriti. Gunas are constituents not only of Prakriti but also of all world-objects as they are produced by Prakriti. Prakriti is considered homogeneous and its constituent gunas cannot be separated. The gunas are always changing, rendering a dynamic character to Prakriti. Still a balance among three gunas is maintained in Prakriti. The changes in the gunas and in the Prakriti may take two forms: Homogeneous and Heterogeneous. Homogeneous changes do not affect the state of equilibrium in the Prakriti. As a result, worldly objects are not produced. Heterogeneous changes involve radical interaction among the three gunas. They disturb the state of equilibrium. This is the preliminary phase of the evolution. The evolutionary process is initiated by the rajas, which activates sattva and then the two gunas overpower the inertia of the tamas. An important factor behind the disturbance is Purusha . The relation between Purusha and Prakriti may be compared to that between a magnet and a piece of iron. Purusha itself does not come into contact with Prakriti. But it influences Prakriti. Thus, the Prakriti is prompted to produce. As the gunas undergo more and more changes, Prakriti goes on differentiating into numerous, various world-objects. Thus it becomes more and more determinate. This is what is termed as evolution.
Here is the good stuff. In evolution, Prakriti is transformed and differentiated into multiplicity of objects. Evolution is followed by dissolution. In dissolution the physical existence, all the worldly objects mingle back into Prakriti, which now remains as the undifferentiated, primordial substance. This is how the cycles of evolution and dissolution follow each other.
The radical interactions among the three gunas disturb the state of equilibrium in Prakriti. Then there may be dominance of one or the other guna. This disequilibrium, with certain other influencing factors, prompts Prakriti to differentiate into world-objects.
The evolution results in 23 different categories of objects. They comprise of three elements of Antahkaranas or the internal organs as well as the ten Bahyakaranas or the external organs.
The first to evolve is Mahat (the great one). Mahat evolves as a result of preponderance of sattva. Since it is an evolute of Prakriti, it is made of matter. But it has psychological, intellectual aspect known as buddhi or intellect. Mahat or intellect is a unique faculty of human beings. It helps man in judgment and discrimination. Mahat helps to distinguish between the subject and the object. Man comes to understand the self and the non-self, the experiencer and the experienced as distinct entities with Mahat. Mahat, by its inherent association with sattva, possesses qualities like luminosity and reflectivity. Buddhi can reflect Purusha owing to these qualities.
The second evolute is ahamkara (ego). It arises out of the cosmic nature of Mahat. Ahamkara is the self-sense. It is concerned with the self-identity and it brings about awareness of “I” and “mine”.
According to the Samkhya there emanates two sets of objects from ahamkara. The first set comprises of the manas (mind), the five sense-organs and the five motor organs. The second set consists of the five elements which may exist in two forms, subtle and gross.
The five subtle elements are also called tanmatras. These five subtle elements or tanmatras are: elemental sound, elemental touch, elemental colour, elemental taste and elemental smell. They are shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa and gandha respectively. The gross elements arise as a result of combination of the subtle elements.
The five gross elements are space or ether (akasa), water, air, fire and earth.
This needs further elaboration… Ahamkara has three aspects that differ according to the preponderance of the three gunas- sattva, rajas and tamas. With the dominant sattva-guna, the Sattvika-ahamkara produces manas (mind), the five sense organs and the five motor organs. The five sense organs are chakshu (to see), sroto (to hear), rasna (to taste), ghrana (to smell) and tvak (to feel). The five motor organs are concerned with the powers of speech, handling, movement, excretion and procreation. These organs, in Sanskrit, are referred to as vak, pani, pada, paya and upastha respectively. All these ten organs together form external organs (bahyakaranas). Mahat, ahamkara and manas form internal organs (antahkaranas.)
The manas or the mind is different from Mahat or the buddhi. Manas or the mind in co-ordination with the sense-organs, receives impressions from the external world, transforms them into determinate perceptions and conveys them to the experiencer or the ego. Thus manas is produced and is capable of producing also. But though Mahat is produced, it can not produce.
Ahamkara produces both the subtle and the gross elements. These gross elements are produced by various combinations of subtle elements. For example shabda produces akasha (space) while shabda and sparsha together produce marut (air). Rupa produces teja (fire). Shabda, sparsha, rupa and rasa together form ap (water). All five elements combine to produce kshiti (the earth). The five gross elements combine in different ways to form all gross objects. All the gross elements and the gross objects in the world are perceivable.
So it is as the band “Love and Rockets” put it, “Its all in my mind” or the mind is causation of it at least.
All your troubles of the mind come out in the body in physical form. Any disease you may have is certainly a pattern that has been made through this lifetime or another, thru trauma that has been handed down paternally or maternally or even generationally. It is not at all conscious. It isn’t that easy and it is not something to even try to make meaning of or figure out. Most of how you act is pretty much out of your control as it is based off of so much patterning and trauma, due to the past impressions that make up how you perceive the world. It even governs the functioning of your physiology. Yes, this is where all the disease comes from, the strength of your immune system, the functioning of your pancreas, etc… If you really can see the depth of all of this you can see how all your choices are even part of the patterning. Those choices create the karma that turns into disease and as we are faced today with more and more cancers and deeper disease states that the Western medical institution continues to blame on stuff out side of us, you can easily see how we create and manifest our dis ease. You can even go as far as to see a traffic accident is nothing more than the choices you made that put you into the incident whether it was your fault or not. All of it just causal chains.
So what to do?
This is why all of yoga comes down to Samadhi. Samadhi is reached thru meditation. Meditation is technically only when the merging of object and subject happens. Nothing else.
Meditation has a magical way of releasing one from karma accrued in this life and others. All it takes is to actually do it. 5 minutes a day is not what I am talking about. It takes one sitting an hour a day minimum for several years to just start to make progress and most people that meditate never make any progress because of being in the mind. There is no way out of the mind from inside the mind. Simple as that.
When you focus or bring your awareness or bring your energy down to the pelvis, the mind has an extraordinary way of silencing. For some this may be easy and for others who are only in their mind it may take a long time. Only the practice will tell. If you are energy savvy, bring your energy to the tailbone and connect yourself to the center of the earth. It is really that easy. In the beginning for most it may be something that is done with the mind. In time and practice, you will see that it is not something that is done with the mind but with the body.
In time, there will be all sorts of sensations from pains and aches to pure bliss. the idea is not to get high and float off as this is a sign of low capacity and will stop any progress. Any pains are just of the mind as well. You can even sit in a chair to do this but ultimately sitting on the floor in lotus is preferred In the beginning you may just want to sit your pelvis on something like a pillow to bolster yourself up to release the tension in the hips. It is of no progress to try to sit deeper than your body is ready for. Injuries of the knees and hips are had this way.
With practice you will find that the body will release and open as long as you stay out of the thoughts. We are not trying to stop them though. That would be like teasing a tiger while you are in its cage. The mind will only fight back. Simply finding the stillness and the silence in the energy being in the pelvis is all it really takes.
Caveat for the path of fire…… as you sit and ground, as anyone that is a real meditator wil tell you, stuff comes up. As you get more and more silent and still, all the stuff that you have stuffed or suppressed consciously or subconsciously (this is the reason for not being able to sit and meditate and the restless mind) will start to arise. There is nothing to do with it at all. Just witness it. You will be surprised at the random stuff that has been looked over or swept under the rug. It is transformative and a healing process. There is nothing to do with it and there is no meaning to give it. In fact, when you give meaning to it and try to figure it out analytically you just push it deeper. So please don’t. Just watch it. Sooner or later you will realize that you are watching everything in your life. This is where the west makes a fatal flaw. At some point, you will realize that there is nothing to do about any of it and you will maintain watching and witnessing. The more you meditate, the more you will want to meditate. There will seem like there is nothing more valuable to your spirit to do. If we start to try to change the things that come up in hopes of healing it… well, we are only coming from a place of fear and in the future, not present at all. There is a radical self acceptance that happens through real meditation. You will be able to just witness how your actions are made by your thoughts and emotions. Your speech will be in the same vain. In time, as the stuff purges out, all will purify. If we try to make it into something it is not in our anticipation of healing or when we identify in the pain that is not witnessed, we only stop all progress and self denial is created. With this you will maintain in the space of being witness to “all that is.”
I wish this for everyone.