Posted by admin on Sep 8, 2010
Through the intelligence of the mind, we do not really discover a NEW truth, but one which has always been, with new eyes. Jnana yoga aims to do the same thing.Although the logical mind is very useful for existing in today’s society, it is ideally only used to a certain point. In discovering the greater Truth of the Universe, we must overcome argument for argument’s sake, and refrain from inflaming the mind. Through systematic inquiry we can begin to understand consciousness better, but we must eventually bring the mind’s eye to a single point. It is at this single point that we tap into an Infinite knowledge which supersedes all other intellectual learning.
In order to begin to refocus the mind to this single-pointedness, we must remove excessive and discursive thought. We should attempt not to gossip about others, as this is only a form of ‘garbage’ which makes the focus hazy. Tranquility is first maintained by removing its obstacles. Excessive concern with other’s lives, except in a way to benefit humanity is a waste of our precious mental energies.
Next, we must remove the ego from our thinking. It is a formidable task to do so because the ego is expert at taking on different shapes and hues in order to keep itself active. The ego fears its own death, well aware that there is something beyond it which will eradicate it completely, so it conspires to keep itself alive by any means necessary. It can warp the thinking in a myriad of ways. The more our egos are active, the more intolerant we are of others, and the more easily we can see them as separate from ourselves. If we see someone as separate then it is easier to justify our anger, hatred of fear of them. Through jnana yoga we are able to burn the ego to ashes, replacing it with a truer fire made only of light.
Something to be careful of in the intellectual pursuit of spiritual realization is the mistaken belief that because you understand something intellectually, you have reached Infinite Wisdom. As stated before, the Infinite knowledge we are aiming for completely transcends intellectual thought, even though we use or minds to try to understand it. There is often an analogy used which refers to the experience of tasting a piece of fruit. You can explain intellectually that an orange is round, it is a piece of fruit, it is called a citrus, and it is the color orange with juicy pulp within a tougher, bumpy skin. You cannot, however, know what it means to taste an orange unless you have actually tasted it. Samadhi is the same way. Those who have already tasted it can describe it to us. They can tell us of the obstacles in the way of obtaining it.
Eventually, the experience has to be internalized in a non-intellectual way to be understood. The reason for this is that as long as we are in a dualistic experience of reality, we only see ourselves as the ‘do’er. We use words like ‘mine’ and ‘yours.’ The Sage Ramanju called this, kshetra (the field of activity–that is, the body) and kshetra-jna (the knower of the body–that is, the soul). Once we are able to bring these two aspects of self into one, we become the Self. This is easier experienced than explained. In order to begin to merge the two aspects we can practice the following as described in jnana yoga:
1.Discrimination — or Viveka in Sanskrit. This is the ability to differentiate between what is infinite or eternal and that which is only fleeting.
2. Dispassion — or Vairagya in Sanskrit. This is the ability to detach from that which is not eternal.
3. The Six Virtues — or Shad Sampat in Sanskrit. These encompass:
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her 160-page ebook on yoga for curing disease is coming out in March. Reserve your signed copy here.
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