5.Self-Restraint and the Nature of the Self : 2.
The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :
Thus, the reality of the world seems to be a process rather than being as such. So we are many a time told that man needs to be – he never is; we are to be yet. This is a slant given to the conditions of life in certain discourses of the Buddha, a point made out in Buddhist philosophy concerning the transient nature of things - which has been given a metaphysical touch by certain modern thinkers like the well-known Alfred North Whitehead, a physicist-turned-philosopher, who speaks like Buddha and speaks like Acharya Shankara, speaks like Hegel, speaks like Einstein, and speaks like Plato, from many angles of vision. What we learn from all these discussions and analyses is that this world we live in is not a permanent home of any person. We are located in a particular condition of a process, which is incessantly active, which never rests, and which moves without sleep because of the fact that the relationship of the finite to the Infinite is an indescribable impulse of the whole phenomenal nature in the direction of the heart of all things, the core of all existence, which is Thus, the reality of the world seems to be a process rather than a consciousness of an infinite centre operating at the back of all phenomenal diversities.
So, when we enter into the path of yoga, we gradually discover and come to know that in this arduous adventure of ours, we are tending to become more and more non-individual in our perspective, in our needs, and in our operations, so that the practise of yoga ceases to be a purely individual affair – it has relationships with many other things and perhaps all things of which this vast universe may consist. As threads are involved in a widespread fabric, our so-called individuality is involved in this network of creational process. Though due to the hardness of the ego – the intensity of our psychophysical affirmation – we may not be cognisant of our larger involvement in the set-up of things and may grow complacent that we are merely this hard-body individuality, when we analyse our involvement psychologically and we become more philosophical in our thinking, we would be compelled to shed this complacency, and we will be face-to-face with a new vista of things wherein and whereby we discover our involvement in a larger set-up of the nature of the universe. This is a great solace which will be administered into us by the Bhagavadgita as we proceed further and further through the chapters, until we reach an apotheosis of this analysis and the truth is unveiled in a sort of apocalypse – the Vishvarupa to be described in the eleventh chapter.
I try to continue the thread from where I left yesterday concerning the relationship between the lower self and the higher self, to which a reference will been made in the fifth and the sixth chapters particularly. The essence of yoga practice may be said to be summed up in two verses towards the end of the fifth chapter, to be detailed further on in the sixth, and these two verses are concise and pithy: Sparshankritva bahirbahyanshchakshushchaivantare bhruvoh; praanapanau samau kritvaa nasabhyantaracharinau; yatendriyamanobuddhirmunirmokshaparayanah; igatechchhabhayakrodho yah sada mukta eva sah. These two verses sow the seed for the elaboration in the sixth chapter on dhyana yoga or meditation – the integration of personality.
To be continued ...