Let us THINK : By Dr.King (Author of books on Yoga,Spirituality,Gardening...)
Summary: This is a regular weekly podcast on topics relating to Yoga, Meditation,Spirituality and many stimulating thoughts.
[Quick links] [Pause] Once there were 5 blind men. They wanted to ‘see’ how an elephant looks like. Being blind they obviously cannot ‘see’ the elephant. But they were inquisitive and they went on their expedition. After ‘seeing’ the elephant one by one, they gathered in a place to exchange notes on their elephantine experience.
[Quick links] [Pause] In many faith-based religions, this question does not arise at all. It could even be a forbidden question to ask. It is sacrilegious to question the existence of God. Acceptance of God is the most basic prerequisite. There is no religion if there is no God. But not so in ancient India. India had a completely open system where anyone was free to question anything including God.
[Quick links] [Pause] Several years ago, I was part of a large institution. This institution used to organize frequent lectures by eminent scholars in various fields. The Head of this institution used to invite me to attend to all these lectures. The funny thing was that the topics of most of these talks were not directly connected with my field of expertise nor something that was of my interest. That used to puzzle me.
[Quick links] [Pause] Each one of us has our own idea of what our goal is. One goal that many Yoga enthusiasts have is to enjoy health. To achieve that goal, they ‘twist and turn’ their bodies with the hope of making the body stronger and resistant to illnesses. They may practice breathing exercises of Yoga to minimize their stress. Since stress is linked to our proneness to illness, they hope to achieve healthy life using these techniques. There are others who may long for the bliss experienced by meditation. They indulge in regular meditation and enjoy the bliss that results from a tranquil mind. There may be some advanced Yoga practitioners who aim at realizing the ultimate truth. That realization may bestow them eternal peace. A Buddhist may slog to free himself from the endless cycle of births and deaths. Prolonged meditation may enable him to achieve that. But have you observed something common in all these goals?
[Quick links] [Pause] In the last episode we looked at various things Yoga can achieve. Depending on where you are and where you want to go, you can stop at any intermediate goal. But the real target of Yoga is ultimate realization – the realization of the ultimate truth about this existence – existence as a totality. What this ultimate realization is, is explained in the ancient Upanishads, believed to have been recorded 5000 years ago. The sages who recorded these Upanishads arrived at this ultimate truth after prolonged meditation or practice of Yoga.
[Quick links] [Pause] Depending on what state you are in, and what your expectations are, the goals of Yoga can be different.
[Quick links] [Pause] With no offense meant, this is an important question. Buddha himself once faced this question and he handled it in his own way.
[Quick links] [Pause] I am happy to announce the release of my 22nd book namely “The ultimate book on Yoga”. This also happens to be my 5th book on Yoga. I have been working on this book for quite some time.
[Quick links] [Pause] We concluded the previous episode by questioning the Kaivalya concept of Patanjali.
[Quick links] [Pause] If you have ever done a bit of gardening, you very well know how difficult it is to keep the weeds at bay. No matter how many times you pluck them out, they regrow once again. That is because these weeds leave back their seeds before you pluck them out. And these seeds sprout back into new weeds at proper times. So, you will forever face the menace of these weeds. One way is to carefully eliminate the seeds one by one so that there is nothing left to germinate. But that is a difficult proposition. Now-a-days we have several chemical sprays that render these seeds ineffective. They literally burn out these seeds. And burnt seeds don’t germinate. Patanjali says that our mental impressions that delude us are like the seeds left behind by our past Karma. They re-germinate however much we try to suppress them. We have to somehow get rid of these seeds or render them ineffective.
[Quick links] [Pause] We were talking about the preset impressions that all of us are born with. Patanjali calls it Avidya or wrong knowledge. How does this Avidya cause problems?
[Quick links] [Pause] We concluded our previous episode by wondering why we cannot remain in an ever-blissful state even after we attain the ‘self-realization’ through the practice of Yoga. The ultimate state of Yoga namely the ‘Samadhi’ is supposed to take us back to our real state – namely a blissful state. But when we come out of this Samadhi, we once again get trapped into a mix of happy and sad states of mind. Why?
[Quick links] [Pause] It was mandatory in many ancient Indian scriptures or philosophic texts to spell out the ultimate purpose of whatever was going to be espoused in the text before starting the discussion . So, does Yoga have any practical utility? Well, I am not talking about byproducts of Yoga such as health benefits, stress reduction and so on. I am talking about the utility of reaching the ultimate state of Yoga namely the Samadhi. Does it have any utility?
[Quick links] [Pause] In the previous episode we tried to answer two important questions about the ultimate stage of meditation, namely the Samadhi. Firstly, we argued that Samadhi may not always be a result of some form of mental conditioning. We also reasoned that the blissful experience that one goes through in the initial phases of Samadhi may not be originated in the brain, though our brain experiences it and we get aware of that. Moving on, one important question about Samadhi is whether it is some form of deep sleep or unconscious state that we enter into as a result of meditation.
[Quick links] [Pause] I am happy to be back exactly after two months. I know lot of things would have happened in these two months. It is sad that there were so many deaths. I wish they did not happen. During the pause, I was observing that many of you were re-reading/listening past episodes. Some asked me quite a few interesting questions both as comments as well as through the “Ask me” page in my blog. Some even communicated with me through other modes as well. I have always tried to respond in the best possible way. I am thankful to all of you. I took the break mainly because of my voice related problem. I am better now and so I decided to break this silence. But instead of twice a week, I would be talking to you once a week – every Wednesday 12 PM PST. I am doing it both to avoid straining myself, and also to give you more time to ponder over the things I will be discussing in future episodes. The topics I will be discussing from now on are going to be a bit more technical and intense. But I will assure you that I will provide you details which probably you will not find elsewhere. At the same time, I will put every effort to provide authentic information and make it easy to understand. So, let us get back.