This whole week I was reading the chapter on Sankhya Yoga in Bhagavad Gita. Interestingly, I discovered so many clicks from Lord Krishna, the Purnavatar (complete incarnation) when he started to address Arjuna’s fear in waging a war and the patterns he was stuck in.
Sankhya Yoga is the philosophy of reality – the ultimate existential reality from Vedic tradition which gives us the right cognitions about who we are and an understanding that there is no death in reality! What exists as reality is perceived by you without the interference, perversions created by your powerless patterns. I feel this true knowledge should be given as the powerful cognitions about self in all schools as it will fundamentally change the way the next generation make important decisions in their lives, the way it had shifted my entire understanding and my life!
Here are some of the key truths from Sankhya Yoga:
First truth: Lord Krishna declared that ‘I am the Divine. If you believe in me, you too shall realize your inner divinity. Whatever state you are in now, you are still divine within!
‘Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you and all these kings, and never in the future shall any of us cease to be’ revealed by Lord Krishna. We existed in the past, exist in the present, and will exist in the future. Your face and body may change but you continue to exist. In our spiritual state, that of our soul, we are divine, one with the universal energy, Brahman. We are all enlightened because we are all a holographic part of the reality of the universe, Brahman. All that we lack is the awareness of the truth of our enlightenment. There is no path to enlightenment because we already are enlightened. All that is needed is the awareness of our enlightened state. You may ask – what prevents us from realizing that we are enlightened? It is your ego. This ego is not necessarily about any arrogance. It is the perception of who you think you are. It is the collection of thoughts, experiences and emotions that go to make up that ‘I’ and ‘mine’. Your identity is that of the body and mind, not of your spirit. Therefore, it perishes with this body and is transient. This identity with the transient reality of who you think you are and what ‘yours’ is, is Maya. Maya is the illusion that creates a barrier between you and your awareness of your enlightened state.
Second truth: Just as man casts his worn clothes and puts on new ones, the Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters new ones. Weapons do not cleave the Self, fire does not burn it, water does not moisten it and wind does not dry it. The Self is eternal, all pervading, stable, immovable and ancient.
No nuclear weapon can destroy the energy within the body. Fire cannot burn it, water cannot wet it, and air cannot dry it. The soul is not made of the elements and hence cannot be destroyed by the elements. It is the energy behind the elements that creates the elements. Death is just a passage. Sensory experiences are from the body-mind which are all temporary, separate from the body-mind is our spirit that lives on eternally. The transition of the spirit through the body as it ages is no different from the transition of the time through the seasons. At death, when the spirit leaves the mind-body system, it becomes one with the Universal energy. The spirit passes from one body into another body. When one understands this difference between what is eternal (Nithya) and what is ephemeral (Anithya), one becomes a seer and knower of Truth!
Third truth: Maya can be transformed, perception can be transformed. Perception can reach completion when you bring completion into the perception.
A pattern is any action that is unfulfilled as per your fantasy, either because of an outside hindrance or an inside hindrance and is in incompletion. The way your patterns react and respond to the facts is perception, perception is nothing but processed facts. The process where we perceive or receive information through five senses, internalize it with our root thought patterns and respond based on our patterns is Cognition. As long as we are in this present moment, we have a pure perception without patterns, only then we are truly complete and integrated. A person who is in control of his senses, his mind and thoughts, lives in the present moment, in full awareness of his true nature and is one with Brahman. He is the only one who is truly awake, not the rest of us who think we are awake. We are all still in deep sleep. Such a person who is self-aware is fully awake even when he is asleep. The present moment never ceases to exist. In fact. That is all that exists. The present moment alone is Sat – truth, everything else as Asat – untruth. One who realizes this truth and acts out of completion is enlightened.
Fourth truth: You can never be peaceful unless you are aware and conscious, you cannot be aware if you are led by your senses.
Krishna says that from attachment springs desire, from desires arises anger, from anger arises delusion, from delusion comes loss of memory, and from loss of memory develops loss of discrimination which then leads to one’s destruction. As long as your senses lead you into what you think is a pleasurable journey, you cannot really be happy or peaceful. It is just another trick your mind is playing on you. The only way to stop this, the Lord says, is to centre oneself in the present and surrender to Him, the universal energy and achieve everlasting peace.
Five truth: Completion will lead you to experience Sankhya, the reality, existential reality. Follow that complete man!
Completion means feeling empowered, powerful without any hangover, without feeling powerless, during and after every situation in your life! If you are powerful, you won’t be violent. You will not in guilt, fear or carry incomplete desires. Completion can make you experience Advaita (non-duality), the ultimate space of consciousness immediately. Then true surrender to the Universe and identification with one’s true nature occurs, and enlightenment happens. You become the Divine.
Krishna describes the person who is established in Yoga, “This man is free from patterns of desires and emotions. He has neither greed nor fear. He is always centred in himself. Pleasures through the senses do not interest him. He has withdrawn his senses from the external world and has focused them inwards, directed them towards that supreme Truth that is beyond all pleasures, attachments, emotions and sense objects. Once he realises that truth, even the longing for that truth leaves him. ‘Nirmohatve niscalatatvam’ says Adi Sankaracharya, an enlightened master, taking a cue from the master. It means: Absence of desires leads to a clear and still mind, steeped in wisdom. When there are no desires, there are no emotions such as joy, elation, depression, sadness, anger, disappointment, jealousy that normally arise from the fulfilment or non-fulfilment of such desires. When the mind is without fear and anger, without expectations of success and failure, the unattached mind seeks that which is unattached. The desire for the objects disappears as truth dawns. Krishna says that the only way is to focus one’s mind on Him once the senses are under control and the mind is steady. The mind cannot be stopped. Thoughts cannot be stopped as long as the body exists. You can only focus your mind on something that transcends sensory pleasures and it will become quiet by itself.
In essence, Yoga is completion with the Divine. Yoga is realization of your own Self, your realization that you are divine. It is the state of completion, the state of truth, the state of present, when all that you do will be in righteous consciousness, dharma. When you perform with this completion, and with no expectations, you will do what is right and just. Namaste 😀