In an enlightening commentary on the Yoga Sutras or Aphorisms of Yoga, expounded by Maharishi Patanjali, the father of the classical science of Yoga as we know it today, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, globally acclaimed humanitarian, spiritual master and the Founder of The Art of Living talks about how a sincere spiritual seeker can get established in the seer or witness consciousness. Read on…
Abiding In The Seer is Yoga
“Are you hanging on to “wrong knowledge” of how things are? Looking for proof or debating within yourself? You do not know how things are because the world is fluid. There is nothing solid here. Nobody is solid. Nobody’s mind is solid. No thoughts are solid. Anything can change anytime, in any way.
The world is filled with all sorts of possibilities. But your mind tries to fix everything — thoughts, people, ideas and places — into definite items or quantities. Your mind has set ideas of yourself, using proof, wrong knowledge or Vikalpa, fantasies or fears or dwelling in the past. These are the four modulations or Vruttis of the mind along with sleep, which is another modulation. And often when the mind has the wrong knowledge, it thinks it has the right knowledge. One can overpower this Vrutti through Abhyasa (Practice) and Vairagya (Dispassion).
Abhyasa Vairagyabhyam Tannirodhaha
The 12th Yoga Sutra expounded by Maharishi Patanjali states, “Abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodhaha” meaning ‘they can be restrained by practice or dispassion.’ That which you do to be in that state is called abhyasa or practice.
Tatra Sthitou Yatnobhyasaha
The 13th Yoga Sutra says, practice is the effort made to steadily be there in the seer. Abiding in the seer is Abhyasa-that which you do to be right here this moment is Abhyasa. A little effort is needed to relieve you from the five modulations and just be here, now, bringing the mind to the present and not dwelling on the past memories.
Let things be the way they are. You are not anxious to see, smell, touch, feel, or understand anything. Be it right or wrong, there is no judgment. That means that you are freeing yourself from Viparyaya (Opposites) and Vikalpa. If the mind is imagining or fantasizing; then you just become aware that it is imagination or fantasy. This is enough and it fades away. Just like when you realize that you are dreaming, the dream vanishes.
Experience the Present Moment – Try the following Yoga practice
Close your eyes. You are not going to dwell on any logic now. That means you are free from Pramana. You are not interested in Pramana or proof of anything. You are not interested in any wrong knowledge or right knowledge. You just observe and relax.
The mind might try to go to the past, to Smruti, or may try to go off to sleep and it can try to bring some logic and justification or some knowledge or fantasies. Just knowing that it is again getting into the five Vruttis or Modulations, without aversion or craving, come back to the centre, to the seer. Pleasant and unpleasant experiences are gone. The moment is free, fresh and full. Being here totally in this moment is Abhyasa.