In this world of darkness…
In this world of darkness it is only the light that illuminates and the darker the night the brighter the stars. It is only the darkness that allows one to see light as the light by itself is blinding.
What is happiness? It is only temporary sensation based only in perception. It is part of duality. It is dual as all of the emotions are of mental construct. They are all modifications of the mind, mental images that exist in the mind. If there was a light bulb in a tank of water, if the water is made to be moved, it will make all sorts of patterns from the light that would be changing constantly. Is the light bulb changed? No, it remains the same, it is only the water that is creating the perceived changing of the patterns and what is seen. Does the light go out? No, it remains the same light only the movement of the water creates any perceivable change in the luminosity of the light. What happens if the water comes to stillness? The light illuminates clearly without refraction or modification. This is the emotions. They are changeable, moveable. The mind is known to be kshipta or constantly distracted or all over the place. It is just one of the five states of mind (from yogasutra 1.1 commentary by Vyasa). It takes a sadhana to move from this state of mind.
The modifications of the mind are of 5 different kinds, some of them neutral or painful. There are neutral modifications which evoke no painful reaction like if you were to be walking down a trail and have a rock come into your perception, it would most likely evoke no response in your consciousness. (There are those of us out there that give everything meaning and make perceptions evoke emotions, think about it… this is all just lower mind stuff) This is seen as neutral because of its non-evoking quality. Then there are the others, all qualified as painful modifications. The obvious ones are of some horrific sight where the mind qualifies the scenario and a response is evoked. This is where it gets tricky though. Those pleasant responses are also of the painful type. It is only our ignorance, our darkness that veils what lies beneath the response of happiness of joy.
In real yoga, the faculty of discrimination or viveka is developed and we are not blinded by the illusions of the lower life that makes us perceive pleasure in our experiences. It is our ignorance that makes us run after our desires of being happy or fulfilled by experiences. If someone actually has any sort of real yoga life or knowledge this is one of the first things that is developed. If our inner eye is developed we see that all these pleasurable experiences are nothing more than painful ones. Pain does not need to be active to exist in the experience. all of these painful experiences fall into a category called kleshas. Raga and dvesha, repulsion and attraction. Either of these will end in pain. There is a saying in india about money. When you don’t have it you need and want it, when you have it you need to guard it and due to the expense of what material it brings into your life, you want and need more.
Experiences are of two types, inner and outer. The outer is had through the direct contact of the senses with the outer world of objects. The inner are those which have no contact with the outer world through senses but are formed in the lower mind using sensuous perception that come from information of past, that has been stored and are reproduced either correctly or incorrectly but both are of sensuous contact with the sense organs previously.
Yoga only starts with the control and suppression of the lowest kind of modifications. This is determined only of the level of the consciousness of the individual’s development as the question would be asked how would you be able to suppress what you don’t have understanding of or consciousness of? It is useless to try to work with any modifications of the higher levels as those are dealt with only in samadhi.
Pratyahara is one of the main steps of yoga. The direction of the senses inward. you can see clearly why this is so important now. It is through the sense organs that we create all the modifications and responses in the busy mind. They all are painful if they evoke any response. Happiness and the over zealous drive for it in this time we are in, is it really all it is cracked up to be? Maybe there is more. Something beyond.
It is only a hungry man that needs food. It is only a thirsty man that needs water, and it is only an unhappy person that needs happiness.
In the same vain, you only have the attention to something do to the lack of it. This is duality. If you have the realization you are lonely, you desire to be around someone else. It is only because of the fact that one is lonely that they need to be around another person. In the stillness, the contentment, in the present moment, there is no need because there is no loneliness or unhappiness.
When someone is not in Self, they are splintered, in pieces. That lack of being whole or in Self creates that lack or attention to a lack. There’s never any fulfilling this lack as it is based only in those attraction and aversions and will only bring more pain of separation.
This is not only yoga but you find this in pretty much all philosophies of India. Aham Brahma-asmi or “I am brahman” is one of the great sentences. Aham is the witness-consciousness. Anything witnessed is by implication grosser than the witnessed. The witness is by implication the most subtle. It is concerning the self being realized. It is saying that I am not the ego, I am more than that. I am not the mind. It is beyond the identification of ego to anything but the realization that the Self is actually “Brahman” the unmanifest, god.
Happiness now looks pretty pitiful, huh? What about the plight of running after that happiness (what is one really running from?), looks never ending and never attainable now as it is just a perception that will only bring it’s opposite when the lack of wholeness is realized. What a downer that is gonna be.
Aananda is translated to bliss. Ananda, funny enough means no bliss or lack of. Next time you see that written in some Western yoga article you will forever be in a state of shagrin at their ignorance. Bliss itself is a big tricky character in today’s world. It is attached to sales to by products that are supposed to bring you joy and happiness. We have ignorantly thought bliss to mean happiness when it is actually that state where the water is still in that tank with that light bulb. It lacks happiness. but don’t worry, it also lacks unhappiness. They both do not exist in that state. What is left is utter bliss. Problem with all of this is that has to be realized. Faking does not make it here. Infact, it bring in more ignorance. This is why there has been this wisdom handed down in a complete form in what IS actually real yoga as well as the other living philosophies/sciences of Maha Bharata….. Great India.