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Yoga Sutras 2.23-2.25: Freedom of the Self beyond Ignorance

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras 2.23-2.25: FREEDOM OF THE SELF BEYOND IGNORANCE http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-21225.htm#2.23 (Useful graphics are shown at this link) YOGA
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2006
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      Yoga Sutras 2.23-2.25:
      FREEDOM OF THE SELF BEYOND IGNORANCE
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-21225.htm#2.23
      (Useful graphics are shown at this link)

      YOGA SUTRAS 2.23-2.25:
      Having an alliance, or relationship between objects and the Self is
      the necessary means by which there can subsequently be realization of
      the true nature of those objects by that very Self. Avidya or
      ignorance (2.3-2.5), the condition of ignoring, is the underlying
      cause that allows this alliance to appear to exist. By causing a lack
      of avidya, or ignorance there is then an absence of the alliance, and
      this leads to a freedom known as a state of liberation or
      enlightenment for the Seer.


      YOGA SUTRA 2.23:
      Having an alliance, or relationship between objects and the Self is
      the necessary means by which there can subsequently be realization of
      the true nature of those objects by that very Self.
      (sva svami saktyoh svarupa upalabdhi hetuh samyogah)

      sva = of being owned
      svami = of being owner, master, the one who possesses
      saktyoh = of the powers
      svarupa = of the nature, own nature, own form (sva = own; rupa = form)
      upalabdhi = recognition
      hetuh = that brings about, the cause, reason
      samyogah = union, conjunction

      ALLIANCE WAS NECESSARY TO KNOW OBJECTS:
      If the alliance between the seer and the seen had never happened, it
      would not be possible for the seer to have objective knowledge.
      Later, as practices unfold, that so-called knowledge is seen to be
      based on ignorance (avidya, 2.5), and thus, is seen to be not
      knowledge after all.

      ALLIANCE ALLOWS BREAKING THE ALLIANCE:
      Furthermore, having that false alliance between seer and seen allows
      one to seek, and to find the true Self (1.3). Had there been no
      alliance, this journey would not have been possible. In other words,
      the alliance itself (between seer and seen) was an essential
      prerequisite! Thus, it is sometimes said that the entire universe is
      all lila, or play.


      YOGA SUTRA 2.24: Avidya or ignorance (2.3-2.5), the condition of
      ignoring, is the underlying cause that allows this alliance to appear
      to exist.
      (tasya hetuh avidya)

      tasya = of that (of that alliance, from last sutra)
      hetuh = that brings about, the cause, reason
      avidya = spiritual forgetting, ignorance, veiling, nescience

      HOW THE ALLIANCE AROSE IN THE FIRST PLACE:
      All of the alliances between seer and seen, which have been described
      in the previous few sutras (begin 2.17), were able to arise because
      of the foundation klesha (coloring) (1.5, 2.3) of avidya, or
      ignorance (2.5). Without that primary foundation, the other alliances
      simply could not have grown. It is somewhat like saying the walls and
      roof of a house could not be built without a foundation, or that
      plants could not grow without some form of soil or substratum in
      which to grow.

      NEUTRALIZE THE FOUNDATION:
      By neutralizing or eliminating the foundation of avidya or ignorance
      (2.5), all of the would-be alliances are effectively dealt with. This
      is described in the next sutra (2.25).


      YOGA SUTRA 2.25: By causing a lack of avidya, or ignorance there is
      then an absence of the alliance, and this leads to a freedom known as
      a state of liberation or enlightenment for the Seer.
      (tat abhavat samyogah abhavah hanam tat drishi kaivalyam)

      tat = its
      abhavat = due to its disappearance, lack or absence (of that
      ignorance in the last sutra)
      samyogah = union, conjunction
      abhavah = absence, disappearance, dissolution
      hanam = removal, cessation, abandonment
      tat = that
      drishi = of the knower, the force of seeing
      kaivalyam = absolute freedom, liberation, enlightenment

      CAUSING AN ABSENCE OF IGNORANCE:
      There is an important subtle point here that is very practical. By
      removal of the ignorance (avidya) (2.5), there remains a void,
      absence, or lack of avidya. It is this absence of avidya (ignorance)
      that is desired, not just the act of eliminating it. If we say that
      our goal is eliminating avidya, it sets the stage for the mind to
      continue to produce ignorance or misunderstanding, so that we can
      fulfill our goal of eliminating it. If we want to take on the false
      identity of being an eliminator of ignorance, then more and more
      ignorance will be produced, so that we may fulfill the desire of
      eliminating. However, if we have the stated goal of the absence of
      ignorance, our mind will become trained to seek that state of absence
      of avidya. The elimination of ignorance becomes the process along the
      way towards that eventual final goal (4.30).

      SEE ALSO the article:
      Bindu: Pinnacle of Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra
      http://www.swamij.com/bindu.htm

      FREEDOM BEYOND IGNORANCE:
      With avidya or ignorance (2.5) seen as the foundation or soil out
      (2.24) of which grows the many alliances of seer and seen (2.17), we
      see one of the key points of all sadhana (spiritual practices), that
      of moving beyond the misperceptions of avidya, of which there are
      four major forms (2.5): 1) regarding that which is transient as
      eternal, 2) mistaking the impure for pure, 3) thinking that which
      brings misery to bring happiness, and 4) taking that which is not-
      self to be self.

      DISCRIMINATION IS THE TOOL:
      Over and over, with our razor-like discrimination, we set aside the
      alliances between seer and seen (2.17), seeing beyond the four forms
      of avidya (2.5). This constitutes breaking the alliance of karma.
      This process of discrimination is described in the next (2.26-2.29)
      and later (3.1-3.3, 3.4-3.6) sutras.
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