Now let us proceed with the study of the first anga, i. e. class in the studies of yoga. It is going to be a path containing verses or aphorisms from the fifth to the eleventh, inclusive of the last one. We will get to know the basic concepts of literature relating to yoga and we will try to probe into them and experience what messages they convey…
VṚTTI are phenomena, activities or materials which belong to our consciousness, i. e. to the mind or the psyche in the broad meaning of these terms. Fundamentally, the riches of what we call the psyche, character or personality – these are the very materials or phenomena called VṚTTI – the waves of personality.
The phenomena or materials pertaining to consciousness are of a quintuple nature. These five types of phenomena may appear in their burdensome form (KLISHTA), or the unburdensome form (AKLISHTA). The burdensome phenomena are a source of pain, suffering, all things that are unpleasant, antipathy, misery, dissatisfaction, or aversion. The unburdensome phenomena are a source of pleasure, satisfaction, happiness, liking, bliss, beauty, etc.
Consciousness (CHITTAM) categorises everything in a dual way by recording various sensations, by perceiving and experiencing them. This introduces us into a dualistic world. This function which exists in a relatively changeable world, may be known to You from experience as the sensation of cold and hot, good and evil, as well as all other dualisms, the ambivalence of thoughts, feelings and attitudes. Yoga divides all consciousness-related phenomena into five types or categories, and each of these categories may become a source of either the burdensome or the unburdensome state.
Sometimes Sanskrit indicates some hardly noticeable nuances, which from the mystical and psychological point of view may clarify a lot. These two states of phenomena or consciousness-related materials, i.e. klishta and aklishta suggest that materials (VṚTTI) tend to generate the burdensome state. The word klishta is elemental, while the word aklishta is derived from that word. Both perfecting and contradicting the burdensome state mean non-existence of the burdensome state. It illustrates the whole path of mankind from suffering to happiness, from evil to goodness. It is an ordinary and at the same time profound worldly wisdom, attained in the melting pot of changeability.
This is our PANCHAVRITTA list, i. e. the list of five kinds of phenomena (materials, activities) of consciousness:
- PRAMANA – true cognition, the cognitive measure, the means to achieve true knowledge, as well as the Eternal Wisdom and real knowledge.
- VIPARYAYA – cognitive mistake, distortion, improper knowledge, false way of thinking.
- VIKALPA – day-dreaming, utopian thinking, false images.
- NIDRA – deep sleep without any dreams, or dreams which have no connection with reality.
- SMṚTI- recollections, memory, past experiences, reminiscences and patterns from the past. Let us quote the fifth and the sixth verse from „Yogasutras” in the original version in order to achieve a clear and comprehensive picture of what has been discussed so far. Of course the text appears in transcription:„VṚTTAYAH PANĆHATAYYAH KLISHTAKLISHTAH |
PRAMANA VIPARYAYA VIKALPA NIDRA SMṚTAYAH” ||Deep analysis of these verses also indicates that consciousness-related phenomena may be burdensome or unburdensome, but for the sublime purposes of yoga these qualities must cease to be perceived as dualisms and become something intrinsically united. Therefore, Rishi Patanjali applies the expression: KLISHTAKLISHTAH (I usually use the English spelling, which allows one to read the text phonetically). This term suggests that there is no way in which only one of these states could exist, instead, they come in pairs. In the process of yoga the phenomena (materials, activities) of consciousness, which generate these changeable states of joy and sorrow, suffering and pleasure, pain and alleviation, become restrained.Not only do readings in mysticism and knowledge radiating from the following aphorism inform us that there exist five kinds of phenomena and that they ensue from one another. As a result of the creation of the first one the second one originates, so experience is the original cause of all consciousness-related phenomena. It also teaches us how to free ourselves from these traps set by our mind (psyche).By reversing the direction we discard the burden of memory and reminiscences, of everything which appears as an obsession or merely as an innocent association. Our memory must become as hollow as a dream, without any illusive projections. Then the fantasies of utopian thinking and cognitive mistakes disappear, together with the hitherto existing cognitive measure, as we shall be judged according to the same measure that we use for judging others.Christian teachings contained in the Bible mention that the whole suffering of mankind began the moment Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What can the fruit from the tree of good and evil be? Exactly, the very EXPERIENCE – Enjoy your meal! On the other hand, thanks to having eaten that fruit man allows the divine element in his nature to evolve. He is just like God. We will discuss these teachings on the Paradise on a different occasion.From the point of view of yoga teachings, if yoga is essentially the effort to restrain consciousness-related phenomena and quieten the chaotic mind, then even the process of real cognition which leads to attaining the meaningful goal must become restrained. As a rule, when we truly experience something, we categorise phenomena, from the worst ones to the best ones. We state it in nice terms by saying that we estimate the level of difficulty, or that we evaluate something fairly. However, at such moments Jesus also says that we should cease categorising which generates certain states in our life, drawing on the activity of our minds. This is the principle of non-judgement.It points to the fact that even pure perception and gaining insight into the Utmost and the Truest Wisdom requires sensible and sparing use of the function of our reason which is called the ability to judge, i.e. categorisation. On the one hand, in our human world there always appears an opportunity, and even a necessity to do so. Yet, on the other hand, those who practise yoga need deeper involvement into quietening the mind, which squanders this function away. Be this as it may, VIPARYAYA, i.e. the cognitive mistake that leads to utopian thinking named VIKALPA, and even to „sophisticated” delusions, originates from the very „real” knowledge and cognitive measure.Now let us have a closer look at each of the Five Kinds of Consciousness-related Phenomena- Pańćhavrytti.PRAMANA – i. e. the true, eternal knowledge or the proper cognitive measure, has three principal sources, which at the same time are three means of achieving that which is worshipped as Eternal Wisdom. Christians call it the Spirit of Wisdom or the Gift of Wisdom. Yoga teachers regularly refer to these subsequent sources of true knowledge, as three progressively more perfect stages leading to truth and true cognition. Pranama may be called the correct perception.
- PRATYAKSHA is conspicuousness, direct cognition by means of senses and sensory organs, perception.
- ANUMANA is indirect, intellectual cognition, it is experiencing by means of internal senses. An internal sense which enables cognition to work through contemplation and feelings is called Anthakarana. Sufis call this the knowledge of the heart or spontaneously born knowledge.
- AGAMA is the acquisition of true cognition from another person, the words of awakened beings listened to directly. Holy Scriptures which contain the manifested knowledge.
Hum!Acharya Lalit’ Mohan G.K.