To attend worship at Kadavul Hindu Temple make a reservation here

The "Penultimate" Talk On Yoga

Trilogy Commentaries, DWS Sloke 39, MWS 34/253/300

"Yoga is the process of uniting with God within oneself...Truly a living satguru is needed as a steady guide to traverse this path." Attaining equanimity, equal mindedness, balanced mindedness under all conditions. Different aspects of awareness: traveling-consciousness stationary, detached, dissolving; when awareness is aware of itself, it's abiding in it's essential form. In Shum defining: Shumif, sidisi, vumtyeudi karehana simshumbisi, imkaif, iikaif, kaif, makaif. The four subpadas of yoga. If awareness dissolves or goes away then you are experiencing Parasiva.

Master Course Trilogy: Dancing with Siva, Sloka 39, Merging with Siva, Lessons 34/253/300


Sarvajnanottara Agama

Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

We are continuing our series in the four padas of Saiva Siddhanta. We've done the first two, charya and kriya so far. Today is the yoga pada.

So as we did previously we'll read the sloka from Dancing with Siva which gives an excellent explanation of the Yoga Pada.

"What Is the Nature of the Yoga Pada?

"Yoga is internalized worship which leads to union with God. It is the regular practice of meditation, detachment and austerities under the guidance of a satguru through whose grace we attain the realization of Parasiva.


"Yoga, 'union,' is the process of uniting with God within oneself, a stage arrived at through perfecting charya and kriya. As God is now like a friend to us, yoga is known as the sakha marga. This system of inner discovery begins with asana--sitting quietly in yogic posture--and pranayama, breath control. Pratyahara, sense withdrawal, brings awareness into dharana, concentration, then into dhyana, meditation. Over the years, under ideal conditions, the kundalini fire of consciousness ascends to the higher chakras, burning the dross of ignorance and past karmas. Dhyana finally leads to enstasy--first to savikalpa samadhi, the contemplative experience of Satchidananda, and ultimately to nirvikalpa samadhi, Parasiva. Truly a living satguru is needed as a steady guide to traverse this path. When yoga is practiced by one perfected in kriya, the Gods receive the yogi into their midst through his awakened, fiery kundalini. The Vedas enjoin the yogi, 'With earnest effort hold the senses in check. Controlling the breath, regulate the vital activities. As a charioteer holds back his restive horses, so does a persevering aspirant restrain his mind.' Aum Namah Sivaya."

There's a verse in Tirumantiram which gives a more detailed explanation of the Yoga Pada which I, is 1492.

"Purification of adhara chakras and thereby purification of 14 channels (nadis), specific discipline associated with 16 kalas, medha and others, vision of transcendental light within the heart's space, shaping the five senses and the four internal instruments including the intellect (buddhi tattva) in such a way that they remain bereft of their common nature and induced with the nature of Siva, shaping the body to appear as the temple of knowledge--these are the disciplines of Sahamarga."

Nicely said.

There's a verse in Sarvajnanottara Agama which give the spirit of practicing yoga; I thought is true.

"Keeping the mind balanced well when honored or abused, and in the same way when delighted or distressed and having completely freed himself from being subject to excessive delight, fearfulness and despondency, the sadhaka should repeatedly practice the disciplines of yoga."

So it's talking about equanimity, the need for equanimity and equal mindedness, balanced mindedness under all conditions, positive or negative.

I was giving some thought to what materials from the Trilogy to choose for Gurudeva's approach to yoga and dawned on me, I didn't really have any choice. There's only one main theme the way he explained meditation after The Sivaya which was developed in late 1960's which was awareness. We focused a lot on awareness. Awareness traveling, awareness aware of itself, awareness dissolving. Different aspects of awareness.

So the basic idea is, it's a quote, I read a few weeks ago, but I want to read it again because it's needed to introduce the idea of awareness.

Merging with Siva, Chapter 5. The Story of Awareness. Saturday, Lesson 34.

"Awareness and Consciousness

"Consciousness and awareness are the same when awareness is totally identified with and attached to that which it is aware of. To separate the two is the artful practice of yoga. Naturally, the Shum-Tyaef language is needed to accomplish this. When awareness is detached from that which it is aware of, it flows freely in consciousness. A tree has consciousness. Awareness can flow into the tree and become aware of the consciousness of the tree. Consciousness and mind are totally equated as a one thing when awareness and consciousness are a one thing to the individual. But when awareness is detached from that which it is aware of, it can flow freely through all five states of mind and all areas of consciousness, such as plants and the Earth itself, elements and various other aspects of matter. Here we find awareness separate from consciousness and consciousness separate from the five states of mind attributed to the human being. In Sanskrit we have the word chaitanya for consciousness, and for awareness it is sakshin, meaning witness, and for mind the word is chitta. Consciousness, mind and matter and awareness experience a oneness in being for those who think that they are their physical body, who are convinced that when the body ends, they end and are no more..."

There's a parallel in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, right at the beginning. And it's not necessarily captured by all the translators but it's presenting the same idea. So I'll start at Verse 1.

"Now, the exposition of yoga."

So after each first is a short commentary that I wrote to explain it.

Commentary: In Hindu scripture, the earliest usage of the term 'yoga' as applied to spiritual endeavor has the meaning of 'the control of the mind and senses.' That is the sense in which the term 'yoga' is used in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.

Verse 2: "Yoga is the restraint of mental activities."

That's the verse that's most commonly quoted.

[Commentary] Our minds are generally busy in one type of mental activity or another. We are remembering events from the past, thinking about current tasks or theorizing about possible future events. The practices of yoga are designed to enable us to eliminate these mental activities all together.

Verse 3: "Then awareness abides in its essential form."

So that's the idea, awareness is aware of itself; it's abiding in it's essential form.

Commentary: When mental activity is restrained, the soul's faculty that witnesses thoughts, naturally turns in on itself. And it remains temporarily aware only of itself until thoughts again arise.

Verse 4: "At other times awareness takes on the form of the mental activities."

Commentary: It is the nature of the witness consciousness of the soul that it not only observes mental activities but also identifies with those activities. A simple example is the idea of experiencing happiness. We say 'I am happy.' Awareness has taken on the form of happiness.

Back to Gurudeva's Trilogy quotes. This is the idea of awareness traveling and consciousness being stationary. Very important aspect of awareness.

"I look at the mind as a traveler looks at the world. Himalayan Academy students have traveled with me all over the world, in hundreds of cities, in dozens of countries, as we've set up ashrams here and there on our Innersearch Travel/Study programs. Together we have gone in and in and in and in amid different types of environments, but the inside is always the same wherever we are. So, look at the mind as the traveler looks at the world.

"Just as you travel around the world, when you're in meditation you travel in the mind. We have the big city called thought. We have another big city called emotion. There's yet another big city called fear, and another one nearby called worry. But we are not those cities. We are just the traveler. When we're in San Francisco, we are not San Francisco. When we are aware of worry, we are not worry. We are just the inner traveler one who has become aware of the different areas of the mind.

"Of course, when we are aware in the thought area, we are not meditating. We're in the intellectual area of the mind. We have to breathe more deeply, control the breath more and move awareness out of the thought area of the mind, into that next inner area, where we begin to know. Such an experience supersedes thinking, and that is when meditation starts. I'm sure that you have experienced that many, many times...."

Then we get to Shum word. Shum word for awareness traveling, consciousness being stationary.

Shumif: One of four perspectives, the meditative viewpoint of being awareness flowing from one area of the inner mind to another, the mind itself being stationary. In Saiva Siddhanta it includes the deeper meditative practices; it is an advaitic or monistic viewpoint.

The next quote is on the idea of sustaining 'kaif'. Gurudeva talks about attaining kaif, awareness as separate from consciousness which is easy to do as he points out but the challenge is to sustain that state of awareness only aware of itself for any length of time.

So he explains that:

"To attain and sustain kaif is a simple practice. You pull awareness out of the thought processes. You pull awareness out of the emotion processes. You pull awareness out of the bodily processes, and you're just completely on that pinnacle of being aware of being aware. That's so necessary to practice every day, even if you do it for a split second.

"The experience of kaif can be attained by anyone on the face of the Earth at least for a split second..."

So it doesn't explain that kaif is the Shum word for awareness aware of itself: kaif.

"The experience of kaif can be attained by anyone on the face of the Earth at least for a split second because it's so easy to be aware of being aware. To hold that experience and to stabilize the physical and emotional elements long enough to hold that intensity for even a minute takes more practice--not too much, but consistent practice. To maintain kaif for two minutes requires more effort, more will, more dedication to the life of sadhana. Five minutes requires more. That's the test."

Gurudeva gives a succinct summary of the ideas regarding awareness in what's called the makaif which is the philosophy.

"Makaif is the philosophy of the inner path of enlightenment found within the vocabulary and structure of the Shum language."

So as we know in developing Shum back in the late 60's early 70's, Gurudeva created what are called 54 Mambashum. Mambashum is a meditation back. There's 54 if them and the first 52 are designed to be studied one a week, as it sounds like 52 weeks in the year. And 53 and 54, when we started using these meditations are on each side of the Guru Peedam on the scroll. So they're permanently there then the mambashum of the week was in the middle. So 54 us called the Makaif Mambashum and it's divided into three parts which gives a summary of Gurudeva's ideas regarding awareness. So therefore it's parts means there's a line. So there's a line, then there's two Shum words, that's another line, there's few Shum words, there's another line. So it's divided by lines.

The first part is Shumif Sidisi. So we define Shumif. Sidisi means the flow of energies from within. So we're experiencing the flow of energies from within and we're holding the Shumif perspective. It's how we start.

Second part: Vumtyeudi karehana simshumbisi. So of course, in Sanskrit that's the ida and pingala currents. So that vumtyeudi karehana and then simshumbisi is Gurudeva's explanation of the full spinal energies. So, we're balancing the ida and pingala to experience simshumbisi. So holding shumif, we're experiencing simshumbisi and then from that platform shall we say. We go deeper into the third part which is kaif, iikaif and imkaif. So kaif we already defined as pure awareness aware of itself. "Ii" means to sustain, so to sustain pure awareness aware of itself is iikaif . And "im" means without, the absence of. So imkaif, Gurudeva describes that as awareness dissolving. Awareness goes away temporarily. And if awareness dissolves or goes away then you're experiencing Parasiva. So it's a way of explaining that.

So, that's a summary of the whole approach, the way it's developed in the Shum-Tyaef Language.

Next we have our four subpadas. Charya and yoga, kriya and yoga, yoga and yoga and jnana and yoga. Gives a sense of the different parts of the yoga pada.

The cleaning of the meditation room or portion of a room and the collection of all the necessary substances for worshipping one's guru and Deities relating to meditation constitute charya in yoga.

Offering a prayer, a chant or a short puja to one's guru and the guru's lineage after beseeching the grace of any Deities your guru has asked you to worship prior to meditation is kriya in yoga.

Asana, proper meditation posture, pranayama, regulated breathing, pratyahara, sense withdrawal, dharana, concentration, dhyana, meditation in which one can experience the sustained state of awareness aware only of itself is yoga in yoga. Dhyana finally leads to enstasy--first to savikalpa samadhi, the contemplative experience of Satchidananda, and ultimately to nirvikalpa samadhi, Parasiva.

The experiential knowledge gained by these practices is jnana in yoga. And that's the term that the Tamil Lexicon uses: anubhava unarchchi. It's a translation of that phrase.

So this is a description of the four subpadas of yoga that relates to Gurudeva's approach. Everyone agrees on the subpadas of charya and kriya. But when you get up to the subpadas of yoga and jnana there's different approaches. It's like: What is meditation? Well, there's many different approaches to meditation. So it doesn't work just to say there's one. The Tamil Lexicon solves this problem by not defining it at all. It gives the subpadas of charya and subpadas of kriya; they don't give anything for the subpadas of yoga and jnana.

So, my approach is to define it as Gurudeva taught it and as Gurudeva emphasized the focus being on awareness aware of itself.

Then we get to the Saiva Neri Sri Lankan School Course. It assigns one Nayanar, Swami Acharya to be more precise to each of the padas.

So Sundaramoorthi Nayanar gets assigned to the yoga pada and the song that they use to illustrate this is:

"I search for the Lotus feet of the Lord "Daily I seek the naval point a finger's length above naval. "If he tries to escape I seize him with hand rejoicing within me "I dance as a devotee of Lord of Aamanthoor."

Aum Namah Sivaya.

Have a wonderful day.