Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blog EntryOct 31, '07 9:48 AM
by Thimmappa for everyone
It is often said that the purpose of yoga is to quieten the mind - that is always reverberating with thoughts fed by the sensory objects from the external world - to offer space for the inner divinity/wisdom to surface.yet, at the same time, it also offers optimum condition for effective perception of external reality as well. In fact, the eight limbs of Patanjali Yoga just provides such a possibility.
1.Yama : Self-restraint consisting of being non-violent,truthful,non-misappropriating,religious studentship and non-possessiveness. These are universal norms unconditioned by place,time and class.These contribute to a guilt free mind that can attend to the objects unhindered psychologically, an essential condition for perceiving the objects.
2.Niyama : Observance that are well established such as cleanliness/purity,contentment,a burning desire,self-study and surrender to the Universal Reality/God. All these enhances alertness and keep ready for the task ahead.
3.Asana : Posture that is steady and comfortable is essential for any prolonged activity of perception.Experiments have shown the erect posture contributes greater span of attention.
4.Pranayama : Regulation of breath.Shallow and faster breathing come in the way of accuracy of perception.Slower and deeper breathing freshens the mind and quietens the body to attend.
5.Pratyahara : Withdrawal of the senses from its object toward its opposite,i.e.,inner awareness.This process help overcome external distraction,another condition suited to perceptual activity.This process culminate in the control of sensory activity.
6.Dharana : Focusing on the object of perception, binding mind to a space.With the complete readying the body and mind to the perceptual activity with the above,mind is now ready to concentrate on the task.
7.Dhyana : Meditation,a steady and continuous flow of attention towards the directed.This is the core of perceptual activity.
8.Samadhi : A higher state of consciousness in which the object of meditation engulfs the meditator,appearing as the subject,where self awareness is lost. Here, with the fusion of subject and object, the object of perception is illumined objectively,as things as they are without biases and prejudices, all of which has already been subdued by the earlier processes.
An ordinary example will illustrate further the employment of all the above eight 'limbs' in perception.Imagine a very loud and strange sound is suddenly heard and immediately we turn our self towards the sound(postural adjustment),breath is arrested(regulated breathing),not aware of anything else in the surrounding(withdrawal of senses),focus on the sound(mind bound to space),dwell continuously on it(mediation) and then the reality dawns(subject/object fusion),not otherwise,not with the opposite process to the  above eight,that would disturb our mind and spoil the perception leading to to false perception too.  

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