Like any science there are 2 parts: 1) the theories or the pure science and 2) the application in practical life or the applied science. Many of us know mostly the theoretical aspect of yoga through books but to experience the applied science of yoga, one needs to live the science. Person who knows only pure science, the theories who never learn applied science will always be a beggar in consciousness. The utility value of applied science is that it brings value to the pure science, it inspires people towards pure science.
Samyama is the applied science of Yoga. Samyama is the technology through which the extraordinary experiences and powers; which are in our super consciousness, are expressed through our body to the world. Our super consciousness is all knowing, all pervading, but preparing our body and mind to radiate some of those great powers and expressing those powers, that technology is Samyama.
Extraordinary powers (siddhis) like materializing, teleporting, levitation, clairvoyance, walk on water and control of 5 elements etc are a part of Hindu Vedic tradition. All the juicy part of this tradition is the applied science. You would have seen many enlightened masters casually playing with such powers so as to inspire others towards the pure science. Samyama is the essence of the Hindu tradition, the core of Vedic tradition.
In the sacred text – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sutra 111 Chapter 3, Verse 5, he states that “Through the attainment of Samyama comes the light of knowledge”. If the great sage Patanjali talks about samyama, it means it is something we should know and experience.
Samyama is experienced through which concentration, contemplation meditator and meditated become one. Samyama is the science of experiencing and expressing the extraordinary powers and experiences from the super conscious through our mind and body. Our body and mind should be prepared to experience and express these extraordinary experiences and powers.
Generally, there are 2 categories of people in the spiritual field. Some who experienced amazing super conscious experience and expressed those experiences to the world – great Vedantic enlightened beings for e.g. Ramana maharishi; and some other masters who have experienced extraordinary powers and expressed only those to the world like the great yogis who can levitate, teleport, appear in 2 places at the same time. There are a few rare incarnations (like Lord Krishna) who experience the highest experiences and extraordinary powers and express both to the world through their body and mind.
Here’s the deeper truth about our body and mind. This body and mind is like clay, every day we can make it as we want. All we need to do is reclaim the superiority over this body and mind. If you don’t reclaim our body-mind, the unconscious tamasic (dullness) energy will possess the body-mind. This is the worst abuse that can happen to our body and mind. We have the opportunity to consciously own it and create a body-mind as we want.
There are hundreds of samyama recorded in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. For example, you can do a samyama to control the earth element. Just have a plate of water and Durva grass or needle to float on the water. Do Samyama intensely, put your awareness on the grass or a needle. After a while, you will feel your inner space entering into a space where your idea of you and the grass is slowly getting dissolved. At that moment, when you feel the intense oneness with the grass or needle, give comment to move right and left etc, simply the Durva grass will listen to you. You can move it in any direction you want.
Two days ago, I just started the Naabhi Chakra samyama using the navel chakra (energy center) so as to develop a complete knowledge about my own body at a deeper level such that I will be able to ‘see’ all the different bodily systems and do self-diagnosis. With this knowledge, one can’t be cheated by allopathic doctors or other healthcare practitioners! What a liberation!
To play with powers, the last 3 limbs of asthanga Yoga (8 limbs) – Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi have to become an experience. Through these 3 limbs, the samyama happens and the knowledge is achieved, lighting up of our consciousness happens. The truth is we are a human being with all extraordinary possibilities. We are God living in a human body. All extraordinary physical and mental possibilities exist in you. The ability to express extraordinary powers proves that we are practicing authentic yoga. The experience should be in the physical plane. Even when death comes to us, only the extraordinary experiences and stability we have and the powers we have acquired will raise us to the higher levels of evolution.
Some of the intellectual theologians criticized about such play of powers because they think it will distract people from the pure science. In Yoga sutras, Patanjali gave the solution i.e. after achieving the extraordinary powers, they should be renounced. Without experiencing the powers and rejecting it in the name of renunciation is hypocritical renunciation. Real renunciation is having it and then renouncing it. Renunciation and surrender should be intelligent decision from the right context.
In essence, Samyama is the capacity or the power to experience the extraordinary powers and we can either enjoy or renounce as we want. But whether to live or leave or experience or express, Samyama is a basic need as a part of spiritual progress. It is time we move from theories to the applied science of Yoga and play with it and renounce it when we don’t need it. Namaste 😀