The Yoga of Patanjali
Tapas , Svadhyaya, Isvaropranidhana
Svadhyaya (self understanding)
Yoga teaches us that the reality, the world, Nature, our thoughts and feelings, is in a continual state of change, it is called Prakriti and constitues all of existence. Yet deep within each of us is a something which is able to percieve all these changes, and yet is itself unchanging, it might be called the Self, in Yoga it is called Purusha.
The reason for existance, for Prakriti, is to be percieved by Purusha.
I was thinking about this, and decided to see if it was true, if such a thing as Purusha does exist, or whether we are just a collection of thoughts memories etc, is there something unchanging within us?. To do this I conducted a thought experiement, asking the question “Who am I?”, and removing anything that was not essential. So i started by saying for example “I am Nemir”, if I take away the name Nemir do I still exist? well, yes. next came “I am 49 years old”, same thing, so I kept coming back to “I am”. I got the same result with emotional states, any kind of condition, there was always an I am, a pre-existing state which allowed the conditioned state. Even the I AM was eventually done away with, leaving a simple state of awareness or perception.
Now the interesting thing about this I AM-ness, is that it is unchanging for all of us, deep down, the core of our existence, we are all exactly the same, un qualified awareness. So, when you remove all that is not essential you arrive at exactly the same condition as I do, and it cannot be otherwise. This knowingness (the words I AM are not essential) is the core identity of all aware beings, humans, animals, anything which is able to percieve. It is this understanding which is leading me to vegetarianism, ahimsa (non violence), because I recognise that all beings have the same essential identity (call it soul) and therefor are identical to myself. To cause harm to the other is to cause harm to my self, to meet another person is to meet myself, there can only be one Purusha, and it exists logically and rationally.
There is no need to embark on a long and difficult path to find self realisation, it is within everyones grasp at any time. Yoga , through Tapas (practice), svadhyaya (self awareness) and Isvaropranidhana (surrender), simply serves to stop us being distracted, losing our awareness of our true nature. As mark Whitwell says “We are here now”, enlightenment is simply realisation of this basic truth.
Nemir Adjina BA PGD ASB BTAA
Yoga and myopractic bodywork