The wisdom of human life

Ekta Bathija (New York, NY) wroteon August 23, 2008 at 12:18amThe next sutra is Tasya Hethuravidya, which means “thinking that these causes are yours is ignorance”. What is the way out of ignorance? The only way is definite knowledge in the mind that your body is constantly changing. You must know that you are not the body, you are the self. You are imperishable, untouched and untainted by the probabilities of the world. Every particle in this body is changing. The mind is changing. The world is changing all the time.The entire universe is in the state of fluidity. It is full of change and it is going on according to its nature. This definite knowledge is the way to get out of the circle.Human consciousness is like a seed. A seed has the possibility of a tree, of the leaves, of a branch, of fruits, of flowers and of multiplication. A seed needs proper ground, proper conditions, sunlight, and water, soil for it to sprout and blossom. Human consciousness is like that. Either the seed can be dormant for years together keeping its possibility within itself or it starts sprouting. The sprouting of the seed of human consciousness is viveka or discrimination. Freedom comes with discrimination.All other species in this creation are governed by nature. They do not need discrimination, nor do they have the freedom. So they never break the laws of nature. The human mind has this possibility of freedom and it also has been given discrimination. It is through wisdom and discrimination that the human consciousness can progress or else it can remain where it is. You will never see an animal overeating. They have no choice. But human beings have this freedom to do whatever they want. This freedom is given along with discrimination, along with wisdom, along with the consequences of action. Knowledge of consequences of action helps humans to choose and lead life with wisdom. Are you getting what I am saying? The human life is governed by wisdom and discrimination.How should this come up? How can this be enhanced? How do you make the seed sprout? A seed has the possibility. But if it is not watered then the possibility remains a possibility and does not manifest.Time for the next sutra — Yoganganushtanadashuddhikshaye jnanadipthiraviveka khyatehe. It means that by the sustained practice of the eight limbs of yoga, the impurities are destroyed and the light of wisdom and discrimination shine forth.The husk is strong. The sprout moves through this and the grain comes out. Similarly, by the practice of eight limbs of yoga, the impurities are destroyed and wisdom as well as discrimination shines forth.What are the limbs of yoga?Yamaniyamaasanapran? ayamapratyaharadharanadhyna samadhayoashtavangan, the next sutra, is the answer. It means ‘restraint, observance, postures, regulation of breath, substitute food for the mind, ability of the mind to focus, meditation and higher states of consciousness are eight limbs of yoga’.Yoga has eight limbs and each one is connected to the whole. So, if you pull one, everything else will come. When the body is developing, the whole body develops simultaneously. Organs develop together and all the aspects or limbs of the body develop. That is why Patanjali says that these are all the limbs of yoga.Unfortunately people think that these are all stages, one after the other which has to be achieved. This is wrong understanding or misconception that has crept in yoga.The series on Patanjali’s yogasutras continues…
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