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 World According to Yoga

The concept of Guna is fundamental in Yoga philosophy. It can be confusing to people with Scientific training. However, it is just a conceptual model. One way of looking at the world. I discuss this issue in detail here. I will try and explain the Gunas in non-technical terms.

The context comes first! Imagine our world 2500 years ago. Telescopes, microscopes, spectroscopes, computers, etc had not appeared yet. All that a Yogi had were his mind and sense organs. His view of the world is constructed from the information coming directly from these organs. His main tool of analysis was introspection (i.e. meditative analysis or Saṁyama in Sanskrit).

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How Lululemon (Accidentally) Saved the World!

The goal of classical yoga is Kaivalyam or liberation. This is a state of cessation of mental activities brought about by practice of supreme renunciation. Such a liberated Yogi is called Jivan-Mukta, which means “liberated yet alive”. A glorious form of the living dead! Perhaps it is just not a coincidence that the words Zombie and Yogi rhyme!

Tens of millions of people all over the world now practice Yoga and this number is growing real fast. What if the world is run over by millions of Jivan-muktas? Can you imagine the Yogi Apocalypse we will face?

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Self Realisation

Puruṣa or Self is described in Upaniṣads as unseen, unusable, unperceivable and unmanifest. Since Puruṣa is attributeless it can only be understood through negation (it is not this, not that, etc). When one attains a state, it necessarily means one “mutates” from one state to another. Therefore, if Puruṣa is unseen, unmanifest and unperceivable, what does Self realisation or attainment really mean? That does not seem to make sense.

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