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Now, Then, and Therefore Yoga is Expounded - Swami Rama

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    http://www.swamij.com/swami-rama-now-then-therefore.htm From Samadhi: The Highest State of Wisdom Volume One of Yoga the Sacred Science (Lectures on the Yoga
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 14, 2007
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      From Samadhi: The Highest State of Wisdom
      Volume One of Yoga the Sacred Science
      (Lectures on the Yoga Sutras)
      By Swami Rama
      ISBN 8188157015
      Reprinted with permission of the Publisher
      Copyright Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust
      Swami Rama Foundation

      Swami Rama

      Now, then, and therefore yoga discipline is being expounded. Atha
      yoganushasanam. The first word that has been used is now. Nowhere
      else has this word been used in quite the way it is used here. Now is
      very important. Now means, "Now, then, and therefore." This means
      that there are preliminaries before you practice yoga science. The
      word now indicates that you have already completed the preliminaries.
      Now you want to attain more; you want to learn more; you want to
      understand more; you want to practice more.

      When a teacher says, "Now do this," it means you have done something
      previously and you are ready to do something else now. A student
      should first be prepared and then choose the path of attainment. The
      first sutra explains indirectly, in a very subtle way, the role of
      the student. Yoga is a discipline and those who want to discipline
      themselves, who understand the importance of this discipline, should
      prepare themselves to learn, study, and practice yoga with mind,
      action, and speech. The qualification of a student is to prepare
      himself or herself not only to study and memorize the sutras, but
      also to practice.

      Patanjali studied the mind on all levels and he describes several
      varieties of students: some are prepared, some are preparing, some
      are not at all prepared, and some are totally confused. These are not
      fit enough for preparation, so they are out of the question.
      Patanjali has put all levels of mind into five categories: kshipta,
      vikshipta, mudha, ekagra, and niruddha. Kshipta is a completely
      distracted mind. Vikshipta applies to those who have no control over
      their mind. They do not have a concentrated mind, but if they make
      effort, they can learn. Sometimes they understand and sometimes they
      do not understand because of their lack of attention. Their minds are
      not yet properly trained, but they are capable of being trained and
      accepted. That mind which remains in a state of stupor is called
      mudha. Ekagra refers to those who have a concentrated mind and can
      concentrate well. Niruddha describes those whose mind is completely
      under their control. They have trained their mind perfectly and can
      use it as they wish.

      It is easy for a competent teacher to assess the mental condition of
      the student. When the student comes, the teacher can know what the
      problem is by the way the student walks. The teacher should know what
      type of mind the student has, whether the student is capable of
      studying this science or not, and if he is prepared. When the student
      comes, the teacher puts him in one of the categories. Has he got
      vikshipta mind? Is he mudha? Has he got ekagra or one-pointed mind?
      Has he got a completely controlled mind—niruddha? On this basis, the
      teacher immediately knows how to approach the student. This is like
      giving a prescription to a patient. If the teacher is wise and
      understands, he knows this.

      When you are prepared, when you have completed the preliminaries,
      then the teacher tells you to do something else. The preliminaries
      are not described here. What the teacher said before now, only the
      student and teacher know. To study and practice and apply the sutras
      in your daily life, you have to prepare yourself. Now means you are
      prepared to study the sutras, to practice the sutras. Now you come to
      me. The word now indicates that you are fully prepared and it is a
      good time for you to start the next step. Now it is good that you are
      becoming aware of Reality. It is good that you want to know more.
      Whatever you have done so far is accepted. Now, here begins the
      exposition of yoga science. That has not been done yet. So far you
      have not learned it.

      So the teacher says, "Now." You use this word from morning until
      evening but you do not understand what it means. Anyone who does not
      meditate cannot understand the word now. When you start examining
      your mind, you discover that mind is conditioned by three things—
      time, space, and causation. Time is a filter. Anything that happens
      goes through the filter of time. Today you may be sad and very
      worried and you may even be thinking of committing suicide. The next
      day, if I ask you if you are going to commit suicide, you will say
      no. If you give yourself time, later you will find that you do not
      feel that thing so much. The mind is conditioned by past, present,
      and future. The mind functions on the experiences of the past, or, on
      the basis of those experiences, on the imaginations of the future.
      Either you brood on the past, or you think of the future, but where
      is now? Now is missing. You do not know how to live here and now.
      What is the best period of a person's life? It is not that which you
      have spent already or the aspect of time you are going to utilize in
      the future. It is now. Utilize the best period of your life today and
      now. Can you really explain where that now is? You can spell the
      word, but you can never taste it. The moment you talk of now, it
      slips to the valley of the past. When you say now, then there is no
      now. It is not there. How many of you enjoy now? You plan for your
      vacation next year, you plan for going out for dinner and dancing,
      but what happens now? You know the word, you know the meaning, but
      you do not know how to enjoy it. Your mind either goes into the
      grooves of past experiences or future imagination. It has never
      realized now. But if there is no now, then where is the link between
      past and future? In your daily life you postpone your happiness
      because you do not know how to be in the present. Now is missing in
      your life. If you can get freedom from past experiences and you can
      stop your mind from imagining the future, you will enjoy now. If you
      learn how to make your mind free from time, you will be beyond all
      this. Fortunate are those who meditate and live in the now. Through
      meditation you can enjoy now. It is in now that there is enjoyment,
      or part of eternity. The moment you come to know now you will know
      past, present, and future; you will be free.

      The other conditions of mind are space and causation. If I hold up my
      hand and show you two separate fingers, what is the "cause" of these
      two fingers? The hand is the cause that creates the awareness of
      fingers. When I hold my fingers apart, they seem separate. If the
      hand were not there, then it would not create the space between the
      two fingers. This is called causation—that which creates effect. If I
      hold the two fingers together, there is no space between them and
      there will be no sense of time. Then it is one with causation. My
      fingers are still part of one whole. Mind can be freed from these
      three conditionings. So many thoughts come and you call it the
      thinking process. There is a space between two thoughts. But if there
      is no space between two thoughts, then what will happen to time? Time
      will not exist. If there is only one thought, what will be the
      condition of space? There will be no space at all. Time and space are
      variations of the same thing. If there is only one thought in the
      mind, then time cannot affect the mind. One cannot attain the highest
      state of samadhi without gaining freedom from the conditionings of
      the mind. When mind can fathom the boundaries of time, then mind can
      realize the subtler levels of consciousness and transform itself.
      Then, it can lead you to a state of peace, happiness, and joy. If
      mind is free from imagination—I am not talking about creative
      imagination—and from the memories of the past, then mind can be
      brought to a state of now. If you learn to train your mind to be here
      and now, you will know everything. There is nothing to be known
      beyond that. Now is part of eternity. When a teacher teaches you,
      first learn how to be here and now, for you have completed the
      preliminaries. Now, learn to understand the word now.

      Patanjali leads you to an inward journey. His first lesson is, You
      have to discipline yourself. Now, then, therefore, go aspire. Before
      you study yoga science, you should be fully prepared, because it
      requires discipline.

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