Īśvara Praṇidhānā – The Express Way!

Samādhi or Yogic Concentration is a tool that is employed to achieve Viveka Khyāti or discriminative knowledge. This knowledge aids in destruction of attachments, aversions and fears arising from Avidya or incorrect knowledge. As a result, an adept Yogi’s mind is established in clarity and tranquility. Sūtra 3.55 summarises this beautifully.

(Sūtra 3.55) sattva puruṣayoḥ śuddhi sāmye kaivalyam / Through purity the intellect resembles Consciousness or Self (Puruṣa) and leads to liberation (Kaivalyam).

Now, Yoga Sūtras say that there are three ways to get to Samādhi. Some people are naturally gifted with the ability to effortlessly get into deeper states of concentration. Samādhi come easy to them. Continue reading

Veganism, Non-Violence and Yoga

I had the pleasure of conducting a workshop on Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali recently in Singapore. One of the participants raised an interesting question on Ahimsa. “Isn’t injury to oneself also considered part of the definition of “injury”? Doesn’t a vegan diet inflict injury on oneself? Where do we draw the line?”

My thoughts (and the answer to the question) are as follows.

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Weekend Musing – The Happiness Problem

Observation

The world is always changing. Objects arise, wither and disintegrate. Mind, the instrument of perception, is also in constant flux.

Implication

We desire an object. Attainment of it produces happiness. However, the object changes. We change. Our own preferences change. What produced happiness does not produce happiness anymore. It produces suffering. Continue reading

The Essence of Yoga

Yogaḥ Samādhiḥ / Yoga is Samādhi

– Sage Vyāsa

Saṁyama is a process of meditative analysis. It aides in the development of the faculty of discrimination or Viveka-Khyāti. And the faculty of discrimination is the means to liberation from bondage and suffering.

Saṁyama is a way of directing attention on an object or a specific feature of an object in order to understand it correctly. Correctly here means to see an object for what it is, uninfluenced by one’s biases and conditioning. Correct understanding helps in renunciation of those objects that ensnare us in a cycle of attachment and suffering.

In other words, Saṁyama is the essence of Yoga.

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Yoga for Traders

I have a suspicion that Patañjali was a derivatives trader. Yoga seems to have been created specifically for traders. There is much in Yoga that can aid a trader to become better at what he or she does.

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Heart in Yoga

It is fashionable to bash intellect in modern spiritual circles. One often hears: “Heart, not brain”. Or some variation of it. Interestingly, although “gut feel” is used in popular discourse, it does not seem to be popular in the spiritual circles. I wonder why!

Is using one’s brain actually detrimental to spiritual growth? What do the classical texts on Yoga say on this? Continue reading

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