Category Archives: Yoga

How Jnana-Yoga Leads to Yoga

Jnana/Knowledge of the Self evokes bhakti/devotion towards the Self. It is this bhakti that acts as anchor for the mind. Yoga means union or integration. Normally mind is divided in many parallel activities consciously, subconsciously and unconsciously jointly. Most of the times inner-chatter/verbalisation goes on in the mind in the background while we perform some act. It is bhakti that integrates the divided mind and union/yoga happens.

Self Realisation & Self Actualisation

Self Realisation or Enlightenment means direct knowledge of the Self. It is a realisation that you are impersonal awareness. This realisation takes place in the mind but may not change the unconscious mind completely since unconscious mind is programmed for several years. However, this realisation slowly changes the depth of the mind as one gets to see more clearly how thoughts arise and is therefore able to purify the mind. As mind rewires itself, the general feeling of bliss increases. When the mind steadily abides in Self, it is Self Actualisation. Self Actualisation implies happiness by default.

 Yogi with happy mind abiding in Self neither grieves for anybody nor expects anything. [Bhagavad Gita 18.54]

[Bhagavad Gita 18.54]

The above implies that the Yogi with happy mind abiding in Self neither grieves for anybody nor expects anything.

4 Speech (Vaani) Types

Vaikhari Vaani Vocal/Verbal speech.
Madhyama Vaani Internal mental speech like self talk or inner talk or dream state. This happens when verbal speech settles deeper.
Pashyanti Vaani When there is the absence of attachment with vocal or inner talk (like saakshi chaitanya or witness consciousness). Here, the voice is in its potential/seed form (like dreamless deep sleep state which has no expression in itself but has the potential to move either to the dream state or to the waking state). This happens when mental speech settles even deeper towards non-duality.
Para Vaani Beyond speech like in nirvikalpa samadhi or when the body is unconscious like in near death experience (NDE) or in an epiphany. In this state the Self can possibly know itSelf.


Misunderstood Word, “Yoga”

The word, “Yoga” brings into mind images of various postures to most people  – some of them being quite difficult ones and hence repulsive. However, the word “Yoga” simply means union. It may involve various practices all of which leading towards the realisation that a being is neither the body, nor the mind but is consciousness. Once this realisation takes place one sees oneself in everything and thus the union takes place.

How to break the chain of repetitive thoughts?

Some ways are as follows:

  1. Have at least one higher goal in your life which will act as an anchor for your mind.
  2. Body stress can give rise to mental unrest. Eat according to your body type (Vata/Pitta/Kapha etc.). A very careful analysis may be required to understand your body type probably requiring professional ayurvedic consultation.
  3. Nature made us to do some physical labour.  Make it a point to do some physical exercise daily.
  4. Experience the sensation of breath above the upper lip every few minutes.
  5. Be aware of your presence, body sensations and activities of the surroundings once in awhile.
  6. Periodically mentally say “I Am” or “AUM” and abide in IAmness.
  7. Periodically watch how thoughts pop-up on their own. Also watch body parts doing various activities. This is witness attitude.
  8. Relax/Take a Nap/Slow Down. Listen to your body.
  9. Listen to music.
  10. Try a herb like Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) for certain minimum duration in consultation with an Ayurveda Doctor.
  11. Take deep breath occasionally.
  12. Increase the flow of blood in the brain by bending the head towards the floor after taking Sukhasana posture once/twice a day.
  13. Accept yourself, i.e. don’t be over critical of yourself.
  14. Try to develop the attitude of play in your activities.