Introduction to this blog

Consciousness can be generated by the process of computation! This is the claim of neuroscientists and computer scientists. However, the Vedic literature provides a clear idea that conscious by its nature is not a matter and hence it cannot be generated by any kind of complex computation that is due to matter. This blog is to explore the science of consciousness from Vedic perspective.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lecture Notes on Bhagavad Gita: Astanga Yoga and Regulating the Mind

Lecture notes: Thursday Bhagavad Gita class
Lecturer: H G Paramakaruna Das
Date: 24th November 2016
Venue: Bhaktivedanta Institute, Bangalore

The lecture started with the process of practicing Astanga yoga. The meaning of Astanga yoga has already
been discussed in the previous class. The Astanga yoga is one of the processes of self-realization. The
final result of pursuing the Astanga yoga is to get a darshan of the lord Sri Krishna in his super-soul form. This lecture covered the Bhagavat Gita texts from 6.1 to 6.47 which completes the entire chapter of Dhyana Yoga.

Eight limbs of the Astanga yoga are discussed. These are,

 1) Yama (Don'ts)
 2) Niyama (Dos)
 3) Pratyahara (Sense control)
 4) Asana (Bodily exercise)
 5) Pranayama (Control of breathing)
 6)  Dharan (Concentration)
 6) Dhyana (Meditation)
 8) Samadhi (Deep meditation - state of happiness)

The first five limbs are considered to be the beginning stage, which is technically called as Yogarurukhsa
and the last two are the advanced stage of this yoga process, which are called as Yogarurudha.

The important point discussed with respect to the beginning stages of yoga is the performance of
prescribed duty while practicing the yoga. This prescribed duty is considered as the means. For the advanced stages of yoga the cessation of work is considered to be the means.

Then the importance of controlling the mind is emphatically discussed. Some of the important points discussed are: difficulty of controlling the mind, the results of controlling the mind: one who controls his mind the mind become his friends, and for one who could not control for him the mind is an enemy.
How the mind can be controlled by practice of the Bhakti yoga process is then
discussed. In the process of Bhakti yoga the four basic principles are paramount important (to control the
mind). These are:

     1) No meat eating ( because the meat eating destroys the quality of compassion)
     2) No illicit sex ( because the illicit relation destroys the quality purity)
     3) No gambling    ( because it destroys the quality of truthfulness)
     4) No intoxication ( because it destroys the quality of austerity).

Next, the practicality of the Astanga yoga process is discussed. According to the question of Arjuna to Sri
Krishna the Astanga yoga process is almost impossible to practice. The impracticality of the process is
being discussed with examples. Some of the anecdotes from the Vedic scriptures are narrated to understand
the difficulty of this yoga process.

Also, the state of an unsuccessful yogi is discussed. What happens to them who fail to complete the process of Astanga yoga? Where they take birth in their next life? And What is their activity in the next life? All
these questions of Arjuna are discussed as it is answered by lord Krishna.  

After discussing all these aspects of Astanga yoga Arjuna then inquires about the yogi who is considered to
be the best. In other word Arjuna is inquiring about the feasible and practical yoga process. The answer to
this question will be discussed in the next meeting on coming Thursday.

Jaynarayan, Bangalore, India

No comments: