The Yoga Sutras As-It-Is
This great Purusa, brilliant as the sun, who
From the Purusa Sukta of the Rg Veda
"Purusa alone is this entire world, both past and future: he is also the lord of immortality when he mounts above (to heaven) for food."
from the Rg Veda, Book 10- Chapter 90
Pada 1 (Samadhi Pada) begins from the primordial space of eternal "Now Awareness", but assumes that the reader's mental condition has become temporally corrupted, fragmented, obstructed, and programmed/conditioned into believing in a dualistic/disparate "world", where the profound and sacred inter-dimensional wholographic continuity between primordial original primordial mind and being in "presence" (in the present) has become disrupted/broken or split through negative conditioning. Instead of "being" engaged within a non-dual interconnected "Reality", where all beings and things are mirror-like transparent reflections of this primordial wisdom (the Original Mind or true all pervasive Self), in ordinary consciousness there appears the illusion of a separate "self", a disparate/dualistic "reality", a state of consciousness, which is obstructed and programmed to identify itself and "the world" as separate or discontinuous from the everpresent whole. That illusion is smashed to pieces through authentic yoga.
Hence "yoga" is then explained as a method of reunification, reintegration, or remediation leading to the ultimate samadhi (nirbija samadhi), where the limited and fragmented state of consciousness (avidya) becomes naturally reunited with its primordial Source without discontinuity nor disruption. As a result, that fully re-integrated state free from past programming looks very different from the pre-yoga fragmented dualistic limited mindset (of the citta-vrtta), where the yoga practitioner began. Kaivalyam, thus is-as-it-is, undisturbed, and unbroken by citta-vrtti. Hence, it is yoga as defined by Patanjali in I.2. As Kaivalya, as defined in II.25, and as Samadhi as defined in III.3. In reality then, avidya does not exist, but rather it is a place holder/indicator for vidya (true vision) should it be ignored. Recognized or not recognized, this is our real state. Being totally dissolved and absorbed in primordial timeless knowledge is our natural home in All Our Relations. That is the dynamic context of Kaivalya Pada where objects of consciousness are "ever-changing" in "ever-presence".
So in Pada 4, the all-creating Mind or "True Self", as "Purusa", as being in primordial knowledge, is now defined *not* in a fragmented context of subject/object dualistic terms (egoic consciousness trapped within a samsaric mindset), but now in a transconceptual and transpersonal world of an ever present wholistic Self. "Things" look very different NOW, dare we label it magical risking the misinterpretation that it is not Reality itself. This is the contextual frame of Kaivalya Pada if the words, context or frame, are at all suitable for that, which can not be boxed-in or even pointed out -- for "the illimitable", if words can be utilized effectively to use as temporary place holders where being resides in the open space of so-called Absolute and Unconditional Freedom.
In this chapter ordinary conscious awareness (citta-vrtti) is not dominant. This pada does not assume the limitations of the karmic framework and propensities (programming) of time, space, and causation as over-riding; yet it recognizes such as a limited context, which must be abandoned. Rather in Pada 4, the immediacy of primordial/original and unconditioned consciousness is omni-present and unbroken. Here the mental error of projecting a separate or isolated "Self" (Purusa) has become revealed as false. Rather universal living and intelligent consciousness is manifesting in all beings and things (all pervasive, unlimited, and omnipresent) in the self-radiant heart of hearts (as the true universal heart-essence) -- the essential intelligent energy of all-being, recognized as such. In Pada 4, waking up is not presented as a process, where each sentient being must identify their obstructions, vasana, samskaras, citta-vrtti, karma, or kleshas, and then remove or release them individually or willfully. Rather HERE, primordial consciousness is presented as our natural true state, which has always existed, which is uncreated by anything prior, which is not fabricated, never dies, and is our natural unconditioned situation -- the all encompassing limitless holographic realm where all occurs. All these beings and things have that same omnipresent purusa within, outside, and for ever and are manifest/living reflections of that (if our inner eyes have become opened and can see or not). When we recognize that, we are liberated. When the egoic obstructions have become completely dissolved and reabsorbed into that, that is kaivalya.
For the ordinary materialistic person (bogged down in gross/coarse awareness), this interconnected and interdependent wholistic relationship is rarely acknowledged in daytime reality. To them "other"beings and things (phenomena) appear solid, disconnected, separate, substantial, ad compounded. They do not place "events" as occurring in a natural continuous integral context. For the sincere practitioner, it is recognized at first as magical ecstatic states, glimpses, satoris, highs, spiritual emergence. It is experienced as clarity, feelings of harmony, beauty, bliss, love, and high level wellness, completeness, and fulfillment, in comparison. Later, it is the unification (yoga) of "Absolute Reality" of the inseparable unification (yoga) of consciousness with infinite diversity (differentiated consciousness), which is nothing other than pure being (sat) -- unification of (Sat-Cit-Ananda).
Through practices (sadhana) give i the previous chapters, these integral experiences become more accessible and continuous. Especially in sitting emptiness meditation (dhyana), it can be most easily and reliably accessed by experienced and skilled meditators. Dhyana (silent sitting meditation), as we have seen, is the main sadhana (practice) in yoga which leads us to samadhi, but very few know how to practice it skillfully or effectively. But then this realization gleaned through practice, is to be engaged upon in intelligent evolutionary activity which reflects the heart of the Mater in all one's relations.
The Path: Silent Sitting Emptiness Meditation: the Gateless Gate or Open Doorway to Samadhi
When at first we practice meditation (dhyana), we see how deeply entrenched the monkey mind’s attachments and propensities have become; how conditioned the mind has become; our accumulated imprints (samskaras), habitual tendencies (vasanas); kleshas (emotional afflictions); recurring patterning of the mind (citta-vrtti) and the like; and how all these are connected to karma, to ignorance (avidya) and to desire/aversion (raga/dvesa) - a dissociation from our own true nature of mind (swarupa). The good news is that yoga practice such as dhyana (meditation) affords us the means to free us from these maladies and allow us to connect with our authentic self nature (swarupa). This freedom is not just a negation of the former, but an active affirmation of the seamless unity clarity, active peace, compassion, wisdom, and joy. Freed, we are liberated -- experience Kaivalya. Tat Tvam Asi! In short, after the kleshas disappear, then the recognition of being in primordial awareness self arises naturally.
Thus, at first dhyana (as silent sitting meditation) might be a bit rocky, interspersed with periods of calm lucidity, unexcelled joy, high level wellness, and light, which gradually deepens and lengthens in-between periods of wandering/restless mentations (citta-vrtti). With consistent application of open presence as unattached awareness (abhyasa-vairagyabhyam) and the practice of authentic self-study (swadhyaya) as awareness of pure awareness (mind knowing mind), eventually these practices lead the practitioner increasingly toward a profound re-integrative experience, where clarity, strength, calmness, awareness, and creative insight abound. This is the path of dhyana as sublime absorption/reintegration. What is dissolved is the egoic barriers (the self) of the citta-vrtti, the kleshas, karma, samskaras, and vasana. As these old layers and patterns dissolve and disintegrate, they become re-absorbed by melting into the omnipresent and omniscient ocean of love self luminous transpersonal compassion (kaivalya). This awareness (cit) and experiential state (sat) expands into everyday life and every moment continuously. As everyday life is more balanced (sattvic), then we go into our daily practices increasingly more primed/prepared. There are less coarse obstructions and resistance to dislodge, so the process goes deeper. More light and wisdom (vidya) shines through the unobstructed mind as the old habituated veils and obscurations weaken. Eventually a synergistic synchronicity between everyday life and practice is effortlessly activated. We see that all effort has been counter-productive in the end, having taken us away from the immediacy of natural ever-presence. In dhyana, the mind itself is the teacher once we learn how to listen to it. Once its distractive tendencies are eliminated, clear-light seeing is experienced as a symbol for being in the immediacy of primordial awareness.
In yoga the inner work (which is produced from practice and experience, rather than from books, external teachers, analytical processes, memorization, or conformity to rules) begin to bear fruit in ALL OUR RELATIONS. We gradually realize the underlying truth which has been in front of our faces all our life – during both sleep and waking – before birth and after death – residing in the Great Continuum, which is yoga. This unbiased unconditioned universal Reality in turn reveals the workings of the relative world of cause and effect -- all things come together into an organic synchronicity in ALL OUR RELATIONS, because the cobwebs and obscurations of that have previously veiled our vision and mental processes have now been cleansed. The many is revealed by its interconnected integrity as the one, and the one is revealed in its infinite all inclusive richness by the many. The one is in the many, and the fullness of the many is experienced by experiencing the one.
Meditation (dhyana) as do all the other yoga practices work as mutual aids to bring forth direct non-dual insight. They activate the inner unconditioned wisdom and our dormant creative/evolutionary potential. The lens becomes cleansed, clear, and open. Thus through yogic practice (sadhana) we gradually awake and emerge out of the pattern of the sleep of ordinary conditioned dualistic ignorance. This awakened power, sharpened instinct, intuition, insight, heightened awareness, inner wisdom, and authentic knowledge of the true Nature of our own mind has many names, but it is not the same as "knowledge" memorized from books or from external so called authoritative sources. Rather self realization has to come from inside -- from our own direct experience, which in the end is found as the universal intrinsic transpersonal non-dual essence with all beings and things. In yoga only this experiential approach is authentic, self empowering, and brings authentic self confidence, security, fulfillment, and peace. Pada 4 assumes that one has experience in transconceptual meditative absorption, where egoic self-limitations have been dissolved experientially through practice, if only momentarily.
From Duality to Self as Our Natural Condition: Freedom from from the Egoic Mindset and Karma (Causation)
Generally speaking, a beginning practitioner of yoga starts off at first finding themselves in a comparatively insensitive, coarse, gross, materialistic, and consequently lowered vibrational state of awareness (savitarka, savicara, saguna). But a wisely applied and joyfully inspired yoga practice over time (abhyasa-vairagyabhyam) gradually purifies and removes the denseness, coarseness, rigidity, old patterns, and occlusions from the field of consciousness (citta-vrtti), so that the obscuring tendencies (the kleshas such as avidya, etc) gradually lose power and validity, and fall away (the reality of nirvitarka, nirvicara, and nirguna is gleaned). The HeartMind becomes clear, vibrant, alive, self luminous, open, fluid, and awakened as the old impurities, afflictions, blockages, trances, and compulsions (klesha, samskara, vasana, negative karma) are liberated --citta-vrtti-nirodah happens -- yoga is accomplished. All boundaries of the mind are released/liberated. The mind is opened to Primordial Consciousness (Param-Purusa) and no longer limited . That intrinsic but heretofore dormant inner wisdom which is now revealed and activated becomes spontaneously and naturally self liberating maturing into manifestation/emanation. As the hindrances and obstructions (kleshas) have become eliminated, the HeartMind naturally goes to and resides within its core essence effortlessly. Unconditioned liberation as final dissolution (kaivalyam) is realized.
The process is not complex, but rather it is a profound simplification -- a gradual waking up from a dross sleep contaminated by confused habituations and inhibitions have become purified-- purified through the means of a functional, focused, and authentic yogic practice where the dormant evolutionary circuitry has become potenized and activated, and eventually attuned to the cosmic symphony of nature and primordial consciousness from which human life has sprung. The tree of Life thus becomes enlivened --standing firm and confident at its roots and long and fully nourished at its tops. Our intrinsic creative potential, buddhanature (true nature), spontaneously is revealed and arrives home (swarupa).
When spiritual sadhana has reached its culmination in kaivalyam (total reintegration/reabsorption), spiritual change happens by itself. Self actualization happens spontaneously and effortlessly in the process of authentic yoga, not just occasionally but in ALL OUR RELATIONS, albeit one has previously met with resistances, those obstructions and boundaries are now completely gone. In what has been termed, the raj yoga system, as presented by Patanjali, the general focus and primary means to melt down this resistance was meditation (dhyana). Although meditation is the primary instrumental technique, the goal is the absolute liberation independent of conditions or conditioning -- kaivalyam (the essential purport of this final chapter of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras). Patanjali does not say that dhyana (meditation) is an exclusive or only sole method to realize liberation, but it is the one that he suggests. Eventually at the end, then the meditation hut, cushion, meditation retreat, yoga blanket, and all "means" to the end has also to be abandoned (released). This happens as we learn about consciousness and the non-dual Self (swarupa-sunyam where atman is not separate from Brahman) - the culmination of yogic sadhana or is it the beginning of the Sacred Life?
Thus through authentic yogic sadhana we learned about the intelligent heart-source of our own mind whose awareness has become obscured as we acclimatized and adapted to a "conditioned and artificial mind" (citta-vrtti) as we learned how to uncondition/deprogram that mindset. We do not have to memorize nor elaborate upon the specific pathologies or modalities of the conditioned mind (citta-vrtti), like studying for an academic test at school in order to attain authentic spiritual knowledge. True spiritual knowledge is not a knowledge "about" anything, not memorization, nor facts (worldly knowledge), but it is based on direct transverbal, transconceptual, transcognitive, and transpersonal direct experience. Neither does one have to study books of grammar, philosophy, semantics, and the like. Especially dangerous is to to fall into the trap of agenda, preconception, assumption, or belief "about" what kaivalyam looks like when we are still in the samsaric state. That is a very seductive and subtle trap which have ensnared many. All artifice and imputation must be completely abandoned before the open doorway appears and is penetrated. That entry is reserved to dedicated true seekers -- the pure of heart..
The dedicated practitioner of yoga is focused on one thing by first becoming acquainted inside by knowing the instrument of knowing. When that is accomplished one is naturally able recognize the true nature of one's own mind. Then with clear vision the workings of nature and evolution will reveal and disclose itself effortlessly. what is wholistic and functional about the nature of awareness itself, recognizing the underlying Source of Intelligence and Consciousness which when recognized opens the inner eye and heart. When the cobwebs occluding the inner eye have become cleansed to “see”, then that intrinsic universal seed potential is revealed and recognized in all beings and things as their own intrinsic universal self nature (swarupa-sunyam). It is like the world world becomes alive and animated with spirit. This opening of the wisdom eye is vidya (pure vision) or sarva-jnana (all knowledge) which is the antitheses of and antidote to avidya (ignorance). No ego owns it (asmita) or can claim it for themselves, rather this knowledge is truly universal all pervading and unlimited. The Self realized yogi in this very body merely accesses this spiritual knowledge base when appropriate or needed. Indeed there is nowhere where this all pervasive intrinsic seed source self luminosity does not exist, except in the mind's of human beings afflicted by avidya. Hence when this awareness is activated, awakened, and matured inside, we simultaneously also experience this same intrinsic seed consciousness in other beings and things -- in ALL OUR RELATIONS. HERE. All we need do is allow this to spontaneously occur -- to be open to change -- to let go of and release our imputations and beliefs.
An analogy HERE might be that Pure Universal Consciousness (Cit) is like the Sun while the individual mind (manas) and intellect (buddhi) is like its rays. Sometimes the rays become obscured, cloudy, refracted, distorted, dissipated, or even blocked out so that the light is very dim. Yoga teaches us how to keep the pathways, open, light, bright, luminous, and in delight. This way we commune with, embrace, strengthen, and communicate in an ever more intimate, meaningful, and fulfilling relationship and alignment with Source and become trans-substantiated -- in tune with the transconceptional, transpersonal, non-dual, unconditioned, infinite universal mind, – the true Self, naturally as an authentic and organic teaching occurring holographically (from the inside out and from outside in) which has become activated through authentic yogic practice. That process is contrasted to ordinary external knowledge, which is imposed from the outside through external authority, tradition, book knowledge, peer belief systems, and acquired beliefs, which too often reinforces the very boundaries and prisons that yoga is designed to remove.
This distinction is emphasized because most students mistakenly think that the purpose of studying the Yoga Sutras is to understand the text, but rather we study the Yoga Sutras to glean tips on how to practice so that we can access and experience the Self directly (the Yoga Sutras acting as guidebook or field manual useful once we have begun exploring the territory, but not a substitute for experiential wisdom, spiritual practice, and direct access). The intellectual may seek entertainment, stimulation, and book knowledge, while the yogi is seeking something in stark contrast to that.
For many centuries prior to Patanjali's birth authentic Yoga teachings were made available through a living oral tradition. There was no studying texts on yoga, because no texts existed, rather the study was on the true nature of mind and being -- spirit and nature, and the removal of suffering and the experience of love and bliss (Satchitananda) -- the union of Pure Being, Pure Consciousness and Pure Joy) through the medium of experiential practices.. Thus the Raj Yoga yoga tradition was transmitted as an oral tradition while the key art was meditation which is essentially the art of self study -- of knowing the true nature of mind and being whose true nature rests beyond even its most subtle and minute manifestation. Patanjali intended the Yoga Sutras to be a means toward that selfless experience of universal truth so that one could access Source in ALL OUR RELATIONS -- to realize total integration, samadhi which manifests as Kaivalyam.
We call this original oral yoga tradition (which is the same tradition that Shakyamuni Buddha practiced), the mountain yogi tradition, because it was practiced in the mountain caves, river beds, and forest hermitages far from mass population centers, monastic and academic institutions. Because these teaching were independent of church, priesthoods, caste, ceremony, ritual, organizations, or sacred texts, it did not favor entrenched religious institutions or empires. After Patanjali wrote down the Yoga Sutras as a compendium of yogic practices, it was immediately misappropriated by the existing academic and religious orthodoxy of its time, interpreting it as an arcane philosophical text belonging to samkhya dualist tradition, thus practice and direct experience has taken the back seat. Patanjali was aware of the possibility of this perversion and that is why he categorized pramana, smrti, and vikalpa as as vrtti, and gave many warnings against intellectualization, but he had no control over the academic institutions bent on its expropriation.
We are born from Wonder.
We are born into Wonder
We die into Wonder
HERE is everlasting beginningless Wonder
The mental aberrations and obstructions ignore and obscure
This Great Wonder
Our attachment to the physical body (abhinivesah), aversion (dvesa), attachment (raga), and egoic false identification (asmita) are the result of ignoring (avidya) this Great Continuity and Integrity, hence a negative compensatory mechanism that is rife with patterns that attempt to substitute a false identification and insular belief systems becomes established, which further hinders our vision, while making the ego feel more secure and protected within its isolating/insulated shell. This samsaric mechanism held together by the kleshas has been shown to be, at its root, a dissociation from our true primordial self nature (swarupa-sunyam ). That split has become institutionalized. The propagation of transgenerational ignorance is exactly the negative programming which authentic yoga defeats. When all that conditioning and programming no longer operates or negatively affects our consciousness, that is kaivalyam. Authentic Yoga practices break that bondage caused by avidya moving us back into unconditioned causeless/beginningless NOW awareness experienced as Great Bliss. In the beginning we get temporary breakthroughs where the karmic conditioning ceases -- we then abide beyond the clouds. However when the clouds no longer obscure, and the sun shines supreme united with the moon as one, then that is Kaivalyam HERE and Now.
Kaivalyam is in the beginning experienced as ever-newness with a heightened sense of aliveness. The heightened sense of aliveness comes from a higher vibratory frequency, open nadis/channels, the activation of the evolutionary biopsychic circuitry of embodiment (chakras), and the reintegration of cit-shakti or cit-prana as a re-entry into the beginningless ever presence in the relative ever-newness. Individual karmic traces have become erased for such a human being, individual suffering is also no longer possible, the spell of delusion has become broken, but on a transpersonal and non-dual level the great work has just begun because the human being is meant to interact from this sacred space in harmony with evolution and primordial consciousness as its evolutionary vehicle in the magical realm of ALL OUR RELATIONS
Maha Mrityunjay Mantra
Om Tryamlakam Yajamahe
"Oh compassionate one, Siva, whose third eye has awakened
Your all pervading fragrant presence
Suffuses and nourishes and penetrates all three realms (physical, mental and spiritual) completely.
Oh Lord Siva,
May I too be free from the bondage to cyclic existence,
Just as the ripe fruit is liberated from the vine,
May I drink the ambrosial bliss of eternity Here and Now and Forever."
The Yoga Sutras point toward authentically incorporating and integrating pure spiritual teachings to be integrated inside one's daily life -- a living message more meaningful today than ever before; while at the same time as Patanjali says, external authority, words, tradition, the reductionist mind, inference, ordinary methods of dualistic perception, distractive modalities of thought, stupor, torpor, and past impressions (in short pramana, vikalpa, nidra, and all the rest of the vrttis) join together with samskaras, vasana, klesha, karma, desire, aversion, and avidya (ignorance) to create duhkha (suffering). Precisely, nothing adequately replaces direct realization and this is what Patanjali advocates, i.e., experience samadhi. From the increasingly deepening glimpses that authentic practice affords, one naturally gains confidence of the true nature of mind, while the Yoga Sutras may act as a helpful tour guide should one decide to consult it.
Having explained the general assumptions in Pada One (defining Yoga and samadhi as a transconceptional alignment, communion, harmonization, transubstantiation, and wholistic transpersonal non-dual integration); explaining the practices (sadhana) in Pada Two; the proficiencies (Vibhuti) in pada Three; so here, in Pada Four (Kaivalyam), Patanjali describes the ultimate liberation which is a self liberation without qualification as realized in nirbija-samadhi (seedless samadhi).
Space, Time, and Causation: Primordial Consciousness and the Evolutionary Power
Magical work takes place after we step out of "the box", thus being able to access boxes as the mind becomes boundless. Here consciousness is no longer boxed in or out, but rather unconditional freedom rules. The trade off for Infinite Mind is an empty ego. As ego approaches zero Mind is accelerated into infinity, the egoic mind being an artificial and temporal construct.
In physics it is generally agreed that somewhere around 13 billion years ago the material universe (in terms of space, time, and energy) which includes the Milky way and planet earth was created. It has only been recent that physicists have also discovered black holes, worm holes, and other linkages to other dimensions and universes. In fact physicists are saying that all dimensions of time and space are linked. That "reality" which physics describes can not ever be contained or grasped fully by the intellect, yet many of us are aware that we live in a rather immense and powerful ongoing intelligent evolutionary process. We are living parts of that intelligent evolutionary force.
How does this fact effect the common man, or the yogi, one may ask? The common man can ignore this although occasionally feeling "one" by experiencing temporary transpersonal satoris through nature excursions/communions, sexual orgasm transcendental music, art, etc. Although the average physicist may have intellectual knowledge of these realms of existence, it is usually not an integrated experiential reality subjectively
Again using the example then of the big bang we are told that we are linked NOW to the beginning of this universe sequentially via space and time (all the way back 13 billion years ago). That linkage includes the creation of everything and hence the creative/evolutionary power which exists today as the result of that animating spirit is the famous "missing link" that connects us to our Primordial Source. In short Primordial Source (as pure primordial timeless consciousness) is accessed through its emanation (the innate intelligent evolutionary force) generally called creation or nature.
Creation is known by various ways depending on the eyes who view her. To those severely bound by rigid, tight, fragmented, and narrow operations of the citta-vrtti, nature is seen as dead, inanimate, solid, fixed, real, and material. One may say that this is the ordinary materialistic view of nature and the world where a built in fragmented dualism is created between the viewer and the object viewed which is none other than I/it or subject/object duality. Another word that Patanjali has for that is ignorance (avidya) or asmita (the egoic mindset). It is the realm of samsaric existence
As we wake up a little we recognize the observer to exist outside of time and space, free of causality, bias, or distortion where we can observe the workings of the small "self" and the sense world. This is the stage of witness consciousness recognition, but not yet integration. or self realization. This necessary stage of evolutionary consciousness gives us perspective, self awareness, and the ability to let go of attachment, ignorance, egoic mindsets, and negative states. The possible trap at this stage is to negate "the world", "the body", "life", and nature or to label it an illusion. That is the error of nihilism – a wasted life, which is the result of fear, ignorance, dissociation, isolation, negativity, and an aversion toward the evolutionary force. Such is not true freedom, but rather escapism and delusion. This is also the samkhya philosopher's error,, who took the "self" was real and imperishable, hence they took kaivalya to refer to the dissolution of "the world", rather than to the dissolution of subject/object dualistic thinking. Patanjali chose to dissolve the ego-sense (asmita) and with it the objectified "world" both. But this dissolution was not nihilistic; rather the key point in dissolution and absorption is that a solution results, which contains the inseparable union of the two or more previously separate entities/egos. hence, Patanjali's absorptive union as in samadhi is non-dual and transpersonal. This is a key difference between the Yoga Darshana and other dualistic systems of thought.
Through yoga process we have had the opportunity to get to know the intelligent observer better as the universal viewer (in true darshan or true unencumbered vision), as the union of pure primordial unstained consciousness (cit) free from time, place, and causality—spontaneously free from the beginning and that of the evolutionary force (shakti). An unexpected awareness dawns by itself. As we wake up a little more the wisdom eye reveals and acknowledges the true nature of nature – the innate evolutionary power which is the emanation from that same primordial original Source. Hence shakti becomes the path that leads back to Shiva or isvara/Maheshvara as the param purusa.
In fact, the history of all created things can be traced back to this evolutionary process – as being part of this evolutionary process. That evolutionary power is innate in all beings and things. Hence, the evolutionary power connects us to primordial beginningless space when all "things" were empty of form – uncreated. That beginningless uncreated state can not then be talked about in terms of form or described other that except in terms of what it is not. In yoga we call that pure primordial consciousness devoid of any thing – outside of time and space yet linked to it via the innate evolutionary power. awe call that innate evolutionary power intelligent because once its true nature is understood it links us to the original primordial consciousness – the awareness principle itself, which we as human beings can consciously cultivate, work with, and consult with viveka.
Ultimately everything is already the result of that primordial consciousness. It already reflects back to us that inherent wisdom but we have heretofore been blinded by negative conditioning so we most often habitually do not recognize it. That primordial consciousness is thus known not to be simply within us, but also in all beings and things (hidden, dormant, or activated). Here spirit is known to be the animator and activator behind all things not as a separate isolate or quantifiable thing but rather the inherent emptiness of all things is recognized, thus recognizing the basis of their unifying wholeness. Here Siva/shakti as the inseparableness of relative and absolute reality is realized. We abide in the overflowing wealth of infinite Primordial Consciousness.
NOW- HERE we find ourselves as we have always been -- in pure consciousness (CIT), but in terms of an ever changing evolutionary marvel (SAT) -- the emanation of pure primordial consciousness (Siva). We are then reborn outside of the wheel of time/space – he wheel of life and death, outside of samsara, karma, or causation because we now have regained access code to continuous primordial consciousness. Reborn HERE is the abode where the siddha does her/his evolutionary work – the evolutionary work that is assumed after samadhi/kaivalyam are established – after all past programming, karma, karmic residues, and causation have become utterly purified. Once the citta has become cleansed and clarified by the power or prakasha, and has entered sattva so Cit alone shines brightly while one resides in pure Sat and pure bliss (Sat-Cit-Ananda). Then the work begins.
Having stepped out of time/space causality – no longer bound by karma, then trans-temporal knowledge becomes our constant guide. Magical work begins HERE. It is magical because it is not bound by the limits of space/time causality.
Synopsis of Pada IV: Kaivalyam
The shortest chapter (Pada Four) is best understood as a summary of the purpose, very general methodology, and mostly result of yoga practice as already explained previously. It introduces many new words and terminology of explaining previously mentioned practices and their purposes. Hence Pada four is often considered a paraphrase of the previous three padas, introducing nothing really new, but adding the perspective of kaivalyam which is now assumed.
Kaivalyam pada discloses the true nature of the obstructions and fragmentation of conscious awakening (kleshas, samskara, vasana, and karma), while prescribing silent sitting natural meditation (dhyana) as the optimum method to open up the mind to its innate Unbroken Continuous Boundless Potential. (Sutras IV. I-14)
Sutras IV-15-27 describe the impeding vectors in meditation, interfering with the process of awakening, as they are removed.
Sutras IV-28-34 describe what happens when all the impediments have become removed via meditation (dhyana) so that total absorption (kaivalya) is re-integrated.
Because of the use of new Sanskrit terms, some readers have proposed that Kaivalyam Pada was added at a later date. but such a study is outside the scope of this purpose. What is certain is that it is not an intellectual treatise nor does it preach analytical philosophy as a path. Rather Pada Four is best understood as a restatement or rephrasing of Padas I-3, II.25, III.3, with Nirbija samadhi (or better, sahaj samadhi) being characterized as Kaivalyam -- our primordially pure unconditioned original self nature --swarupa-sunyam. Tat Tvam Asi! HERE WE have come home to the original mind without negation.
Purusa cannot be Owned or Bought
In the Rg Veda (the oldest of the Vedas), purusa is presented in a a holographic context– a multidimensional world is presented. Purusa is the Macrocosm while the Human Being is the microcosm. His body is the entire universe (all of creation), a macrocosm. All things are a part of him. This "giant soul-man who is the universe, is also its Source and Creator. Purusa cut himself into pieces/divisions in order to create the universe, hence seemingly a self sacrifice. Yet all the evolving pieces are integral parts of this great integrity which man is intrinsically bound and to which he owes his very life and existence -- his very being.
This is best not thought of as a corrupt process of dissolution or sin, but an evolution – a shining forth or emanation -- not as a fragmentation (pralaya), but as a moving into wholeness and waking up in the whologram (acknowledging and honoring our original integrity and Continuity).
In the embodiment of purusa, humans thus are presented as an analogue of this Cosmic Template within a vibrant integrity of a living sacred Creatrix – as both a microcosm within man’s essential self identity and external to all of creation simultaneously as a group identity. Yet human beings who do not recognize this holographic interplay (being part of this whole) prevent themselves from aligning up in harmony with it -- prohibiting their natural potential ability to connect, touch, embody, fructify, nor experience this with joy and light. Here the yogin aligns body, breath, energy, and mind with mature (the divine creatrix which is both the revealer and container of original spiritual seed.
Such is the living story of`creation as our true self nature (swarupa) as the transpersonal universal and intrinsic Divine Soul (param purusa) as our completion. Such is our shared historical co-evolution, collective purpose, destiny and true primordial source all bound together in ALL OUR RELATIONS.
HERE the liberated yogi becomes an active transformer/open doorway to that hologram – a path unto himself only when he realizes his intrinsic universal transpersonal true nature (swarupa-sunyam) and hence is able to access the hologram freely from universal space and clarity.
Rig Veda Book 10, chapter 90, verses 1-5: The Purusa Suktam
1 Countless heads hath purusa and uncountable endless eyes --innumerable feet, When purusa moves, so does all of creation move as one. Truthfully, Purusa is unlimited, boundless and all pervading, his wisdom fills the entire world and is beyond the grasp of human hands to clench.
2 This Purusa is all that yet hath been and all that is to be; The Lord of immortality which waxes greater still by food divine. That very food is he as well.
3 All that we see is but his glory and if we had the eyes for it, he is more than all of this. All of creation is but one fourth of him – all beings and things are an intimate part of him. Three fourths of him rest in eternal life divine
4 Although three fourths Purusa reside above creation still, all of this which is known are but his parts --all that eats and all that eats not appeared from this single one part of purusa.
5 From this primordial purusa came forth the bright and shining Universe – the verdant earth and creation became his body and encompassed (pascat) him.. Again, make no mistake, from out of this bright universe was purusa himself created, [otherwise he would have no existence and no way of knowing himself]. Again from him a bright all encompassing self luminous space was born; again purusa from viraj-adhi (bright self luminous infinite space) was born (jata).
Kaivalyam: Ultimate or Absolute Liberation
Certainly the novice practitioner starts off immersed in variations of seemingly disconnected experiences, form, duality, and samsaric afflictions, but after consistent practice one's awareness and sensibilities become sharpened, heightened, and expanded, eventually aligning with a integrative whologram -- the unconditioned state of liberation-- kaivalyam. I used to say that kaivalyam is not experienced fully in the beginning although some glimpses may have filtered through the veil. I used to say, that eventually it dawns that no independent "thing", no separate object, no cause, nor condition as fragmented, independent, or has a separate "self" apart from the whole -- where the practitioner is an intimate part of a vast and wondrous whole/whologram. But now I think it is better stated that everything exists in the natural condition, whether we recognize it or not. Not recognizing it, thus becomes a open-doorway -- the portal to the whologram. I truth we reside in primordial ever-presence. That is our natural ad inescapable condition. All because one may tend to hide in a cave, does not mean that the cave is not actually inside the mountain, the mountain is not part of a mountain range, the planet, the universe, or part of a process emanating from a primordial source. That source itself is uncreated and unborn. Another example, is that human beings may build a small town on a prairie surrounded by forests. The town may grow large buildings, so that inside the buildings one may not notice the trees or forest, but it is still there. The prairie still exists within the forest, even if man has forgotten. Only in the integral or wholistic sense do these objects exist (interdependently). So too human beings are manifestations of a timeless unlimited universe, which can be traced back to primordial source. That is our true conditionless condition, if we are aware of it or not. That is how we can see all things or objects as reminders or reflections of that ever-present great continuity/integrity. That is the interdependent principle that creates integrity and destroys ego. The egoic process is the construction of a manmade city and its walls, devoid of this wholistic context. Egoic "reality" is a contrived isolation, an artificial attempt to close down, protect, insulate, and as an escape of the ego from what-is-as-it-is.
Only that which is nameless, formless, unborn, and all pervading (the param purusa imbued with unlimited spaciousness and omnipresence) can be said to be inherently real and independent. That is the stateless realization of Kaivalya. We shall see that this authentic and lasting happiness is not dependent upon "things" or temporal conditions -- it is not due to absence in any sense -- but is only due to a realization of a totally integrated all inclusive Universal Self -- a life that both acknowledges and is filled with sacred presence. This realization can not be obtained with the manipulation of words or the intellect, because by its nature it can not be defined in human terms/words. Universal and timeless Reality is the same for all species and not limited by linear time. That which is all inclusive contains us. We can only contain it when we become "it" -- when we identify with the Great Integrity as-it-is. This Great Integrity defines the human world, all other worlds, times, and dimensions, as well. That Reality is accessed HERE and NOW. Humans can do well with philosophical systems, but it is valuable to know the limitation of such systems, i.e., where philosophy, ideology, and religionism ends and where authentic yoga begins.
This Translation has Endeavored to be Free from Samkhya Bias (where Kaivalyam itself is Effortlessly Free from both Freedom and Bondage)
It's valuable to acknowledge to the reader that the bulk of the translations of the Yoga Sutras contain the standard interpretation of the word, kaivalyam, based on samkhya philosophical prejudice/colorings as a state of isolation, separation, withdrawal, negation, avoidance, or escape, which to a degree may be either considered to be transcendence on one hand, or an aversion, a schizophrenic break, or catatonia, on the other hand. Samkhya is correct, only in a limited sense, that separation or distinction is valuable (asamprayoge) to disambiguate the mind's tendency (citta-vrtti) to falsely identify with the delusion of a separate self (asmita), which is called egoism (a klesha). Asmita, itself, is an isolation from unity consciousness of course, thus asamprayoge is only a preliminary phase, not the mature fruit, as kaivalyam. To use the discriminatory powers to isolate, preserve, and insulate "self" is a perversion (asmita-klesha) according to Sri Patanjali. Rather what is really dissolved in yoga is dualistic mental afflictions, the self/ego and the apparent independent mental projection of an external fragmented "world".
A yogi must wholeheartedly embrace the true self-nature of existence and non-existence (swarupa-sunyam) in samadhi, which is no separate self at all. If a self is to be ascribed it is the Universal Self (purusa), which when experienced within all beings and things (including one's own body), leads to ultimate unconditional liberation through complete dissolution (kaivalyam). Dissolution of what? The self/ego sense. This error occurs because samkhya also misunderstands swarupa-sunyam (samadhi), interpreting sunya as a negation, rather than the non-dual open doorway to holographic unity. Samadhi is the process of embracing the transpersonal non-dual all encompassing Integrity. So then an isolation or negation from isolation (separation) itself or a negation of negation is effected. Hence negation is an incomplete and temporary state, It does not occur without an affirmation. When that negation is dropped then integration happens by itself. Indeed the instrumental means of how this non-dual liberation (which is not a separation) is accomplished forms a central theme throughout Pada Four -- Kaivalyam.
Thus, within the scope of authentic yoga, kaivalyam, or ultimate liberation, is not an escape or avoidance "from" any "thing"; it is not an aversion, hatred, fear, a dislike, denial, ignorance, or even a desire in the common usage of the word (as all kleshas and karma are eventually burned up through yogic practice). It is not a relative isolation, avoidance, control over, repression, transcendence from, an overcoming of, nor denial of anything in any form. Kaivalya is not achieved through strife, from control over anything, aloofness, nor transcendence. Indeed transcendence has to be given up as well. Simply all impediments (kleshas, including asmita klesha), dissolves and the yogi abides in the Uncolored Universal naked NOW awareness, which discloses and reveals all-that-is as-it-is in naked self liberation without any tinge of striving. Kaivalya is freedom from no separate "thing" at all. Kaivalya is liberation without any conditions. The context is sunya (open emptiness) and within that limitless all inclusive non-dual context all content is alive, interconnected, and interdependent.
Samkhya makes this error repeatedly, translating kaivalyam as isolation or aloneness for other reasons as well. One is that they misinterpret abhyasa-vairagyabhyam (not understanding the practice of non-attachment) defining it as aversion. In fact the *continuous* application of vairagya is effected by the virtue of the yogi's ability to abide continually in one's total *integration* (state of yoga) of eternal spiritual presence in the HERE and NOW and forever. In short samkhya does not understand non-dual engagement as non-attachment to results. Thirdly Samkhya does not understand that Yoga as an integrative practice predates Samkhya philosophy by over a thousand years. Yoga's use of the word, purusa, corresponds more closely to the ancient Vedic definition as well as to other ancient indigenous Indian practices predating samkhya philosophy.
If a careful student diligently desires, they can undergo a comparative study with other translations identifying the presence of many instances of samkhya bias as many philosophical colorings. They will find that it is here in Pada Four that the academic dualism of the numerous philosophic interpreters of Patanjali is often taken to its most absurd heights. One will find (should one engage in a comparative study) that an institutionalized and self serving academia have misinterpreted sutra after sutra (which was originally intended to be a non-dual affirmation especially celebrating yogic practices in order to realize samadhi) having reduced it to trivial, useless, and irrelevant philosophical and metaphysical speculation and abstractions.
In this translation kaivalya cannot be seen in terms of freedom from anything, in terms of escape, fear, transcendence, aversion, or even striving for an attainment (terms which all stem from duality as their basis). In kaivalyam (as an absolute and unconditional liberation versus a relative liberation) there exist no conditions of a relative (normal) freedom from anything -- there is no where to go, no where to hide, nothing to be separated from, rather yoga occurs, at its end, in abiding in one's true natural self (swarupa). This translation however will approach Kaivalyam as an affirmation -- as a non-dual state of unconditional happiness and freedom. As such it will be the opposite statement from the samkhya dualists who abhorred existence, nature, and experience.
Thus in pada four, Patanjali affirms the end of striving, where our mindset no longer is occupied by the distinctions of a separate object of concentration nor a separate estranged observer, but rather is unitive by elucidating how all the parts are integrated into the unitive whole, ne they seemingly physical or mental where all apparent differentiated phenomena cease to be fragmented pieces as such, but rather empty of an independent self nature (swarupa-sunyam). This is not done by negating, demeaning, or excluding nature or diversity, but rather by including it within an all embracing unitary, complete, and perfect integration of awareness and experience. As such this heralds the end of the malaise of relative and comparative objectification processes (in nirguna). As such it is not reached by objectification or differentiation, but rather by its release. It is not realized by the intellect (buddhi), by manas (the ordinary mind), by will, by separateness (asmita), aversion (dvesa), or by any other klesha, but rather through true vision. True vision (vidya) is instantaneously realized when we have finally given up the former - released them. This surrender occurs simultaneously with genuine spiritual experience, from the expansion of consciousness wrought from authentic practices which evoke this sentient SHIFT in beingness.
All analogies or words are by definition are ultimately inadequate, when one attempts to describe the boundless and immeasurable -- the Infinite Mind. One such image is the mahamudra, the open sky or clear heart space -- the Great Intrinsic All Pervading Perfection -- a simultaneously occurring synchronicity of holographic multi-dimensionality. Another "image" is the multidimensional unification of the microcosm and macrocosm as in the symbolic representation of the hologram often drawn as the Sri Yantra (mystic diagram). Distinctions between the terms yoga, swarupa, nirbija samadhi, kaivalyam, purusha, and isvara. are not necessary once we enter the sacred mandala. But to Patanjali's credit, he does not get lost in symbolic representation, analogy, nor images. Tat Tvam Asi!
So if we read the Yoga Sutras in light of what Patanjali says, assuming that he was a Mountain Yogi (versus through the dualistic and academic glasses of samkhya), it will serve to shine light on vital yogic topics for practicing yogis and yoginis. If we take yoga as integration, connecting, and unification of body, breath, mind, and nature HERE and NOW (basically as a non-dual, tantric, and wholistic perspective) then kaivalya becomes an unlimited all inclusive experience. Again we will assume the non-dual Mountain Yogi transconceptual (nirvikalpa) and transcognitive (asamprajnata) assumption as that which Patanjali implied, as the embodiment of a liberated being (jivamukti) in an awakened body/mind who has aligned their entire being and opened up the light pathways for the rays of the sun to shine through as a living testament to living eternal spirit HERE and NOW.
By first differentiating between the striving for freedom as an escape from "something" as distinct to natural propensity (like a flower moving toward the sun) toward a state of ultimate liberation (which brings with it not only the end of sorrow but the original state of unconditional happiness), we can approach the profundity of the freedom of freedom. Ultimate liberation is not from the body and existence. Patanjali never says or indicates that it is other worldly or transcendent (even though as has been pointed out scholars, religionists, dualists, and intellectuals, want to impose that type of institutionalized and sterile conclusion), rather liberation is in the acceptance and integration of the eternal Present HERE one must be able to drop all fear, aversion, clinging, preconception, conditioning, samskaras, and ignorance (avidya) in order to reside HERE. Indeed this natural propensity toward ultimate liberation and unconditional happiness is innate. When it becomes thwarted by negative conditioning, traumatic events (samskaras), abuse, the withdrawal of light and love, and negative conditions brought about by negative past karma, then the samsaric wheel starts to spin in terms of a neurotic and vicarious life, in terms of suffering and afflictive emotions, and even more bad karma, until sentient beings awake into NOW awareness HERE.
Again if we look at the Yoga Sutras as a meditation "field-manual" to be consulted in between sessions, then we can see that Patanjali is referring to ultimate realization through practice (meditation) which leads to full seedless samadhi in this very lifetime -- in our actual experience. Once samadhi is realized in yogic practice, as jivamukti, then it is to be embodied in ALL OUR RELATIONS – at all times. Any action coming from that very sacred and profound non-dual Clear Heart Space which manifests in the world (as behavior) is profoundly transforming -- it has a touch of divine love to it. Patanjali thus is not attempting to give us a moral code, rules, techniques, formulas, or even methods of attacking the world, but rather ways of first getting clear and free ourselves (reestablishing connection with Source) in successfully realizing the "fruit" of meditation. From that unitive place of intrinsic knowing combined with (extrinsic knowing), subject/object non-duality in co-emergent trans-rational action naturally and spontaneously co-emerges.
This reflects the enlightened view that we can not help others out of ignorance, but only out of wisdom which follows that we strive for enlightenment IN ORDER to help "Self" – in order to heal self as others -- in the non-dual and non-separate sense as all other beings. This type of wise action is manifested in natural love, empathy, compassion, and equanimity which are skillful means. Meditation is simply another practice which Patanjali is trying to help us utilize and master. Meditation (dhyana) more than amy other yogic practice allows us to come to direct face to face contact with the true nature of our own mind hence bringing the larger realization of swarupa-sunyam home in samadhi.
Liberation while still alive in this body (Jivamukti) is the goal to bring home HERE and NOW. An essential point then is that an inspired meditation practice not be seen as an escape, withdrawal from, or transcendence from "the world" prakrti or the gunas) like many dualists often assume, but rather as an instrumental means for liberation and happiness for both self and others. Because of the conventional dualistic split between nature and spirit, body and mind, prakrti and purusa, form and formless existence, shakti and shiva we will start off healing that rend as a fundamental error of perception (avidya). Hence we will assume that in truth primordial consciousness and prakrti (nature) are our natural uncontrived situation, only that most of us have fallen into modifications of the mind field (citta-vrtti), hence we do not recognize our original true nature (swarupa).
As we study Kaivalya Pada (chapter Four) we will see that Patanjali is describing yoga as a pathway of connection between the absolute and the relative, Spirit and Nature, Mind and Body -- Consciousness and Being – the unification of the objective world with the subjective world -- the integration of ultimate truth, happiness and freedom in order that it will become embodied and expressed. As such Patanjali presents yoga as unification and integration -- as the process of disclosing the underlying all inclusive non-dual self existent integrity between consciousness and being, sky and earth, crown and root -- as Swarupa -- as the completion/flowering of our natural unconditioned authentic true “self” nature which is the completion of yoga. In fact for the accomplished yogi (the siddhi) they reflect in their arms, legs, voices, and mindstream the embodied union of primordial consciousness with nature, like the full moon night reflects the sun.
Hence what appears as a gulf between the eternal present and linear time -- eternal and temporal -- absolute and relative are conditioned artificial delineations (separations) based upon limited experiences and conclusions. Is it not simply a programmed, conditioned, and acquired process, rather than a reflection of Reality-As-It-Is. Reality and Truth appears to be challenging or "heavy" to deal with, only because of our fixations to our present belief systems, samskaras, and mental conditioning (citta-vrtti); while it is that very conditioning which meditation attacks, disrupts, and frees us from. And it is that meditation which transcend the words completely, which go well beyond the process of human mentation and contrivation which Patanjali eloquently attempts to describe (in words).
From the Iso-Upanishad
Tat Tvam Asi!
Kaivalya is not conditioned nor contrived, hence it is ALWAYS present and accessible, requiring nothing. It is recognized as-it-is when the thick obscuring smog has been lifted, thus revealing a boundless and timeless vista. It is our natural uncontrived unconditional home. It is not separate from embodiment. Programmed ignorance once leased (as non-recognition (avidya), makes it only seem absent. It is available at each moment and at each step if we should recognize it or not. By recognizing that we do not recognize it, the it can be recognized.
Swami Krishnananda, General Secretary of the Divine Life Mission, describing the process said:
"This is a graduated movement, systematic action, taking place automatically because of your absorption in the concept of God - true God, not the false God that you have created by the segmentation of your individuality from That. Whole being is concentrating itself on whole being of the universe. The whole of your being is immersed in the thought of that whole being of the whole cosmos. The whole is meditating on the whole, not a part meditating on something outside it, because anything that is outside the part will also be a part only. A finite thinking something else is like the finite thinking another finite, but here is something different. The whole thing is concentrating on the whole in which two wholes merge - Purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudachyate, purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavasishyate. The whole has manifested itself as the whole universe, and the whole universe is before you as the whole which you yourself are. The individual is a whole, the universe is a whole, God is a whole - so several wholes are rolling themselves one over the other - Purnamidam purnat purnamudachyate, purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavasishyate. The whole has come from God and the whole is going back to God. Fractions are not coming from God, and fractions are not going to God, and fractions don't exist also even now. Even now, as this moment, fractions do not exist - there are only wholes rolling one over the other. If this meditation is possible, you will be sure that you will never be reborn into this world of sorrow. This is krama mukti, gradual salvation, stage by stage, arising from the lower material condition, biological, psychological, etc. until you reach utter perfection of spiritual existence.
But the scriptures, Brahma Sutras, tells us that there is also known what is sadyo mukti - immediate salvation. It means salvation is immediate; it is not by stages, slowly moving like an ant. That can take place if your being is bursting with God just now - I can only use that word. Your whole being is bursting because of the entry of God. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Deva used to give an illustration - God entering man is something like a mad elephant entering a thatched hut. It will simply break the hut into pieces, pound it and destroy it into pieces and go. If God enters an unprepared individual, you will have a shock from the core of your heart; you may fall sick and you may perish at that moment. But you need not perish if you have been a built-up, strong personality with disciplined practice right from the beginning. The whole of God enters you at one stroke - what will happen to you? That is called sadyo mukti. You are not entering God - God is entering you; that is the difference between krama mukti and sadyo mukti. When you want to reach God stage by stage, it is called graduated, gradual salvation. When God wants to enter you, it is like the ocean wanting to enter the rivers and not the rivers entering the ocean. Can you imagine God wanting you? Is it possible? If you want God you are a blessed person, but if God wants you, what is that condition? If you can imagine what it is, you are freed just now. Hari Om Tat Sat. God bless you."
When we experience ourselves as "interconnected" and interdependent (not as a separate self or ego), then grace dawns as our conscious awareness of “THAT fructifies– revealing the holographic essence imbedded in all things and beings -- a naked uncontrived awareness which intrinsically exists by itself without any need of elaboration is naturally increased infinitely. Knowledge and insight (jnanam and prajna) comes by itself naturally and effortlessly. That is the samadhi of swarupa-sunyam (of no separate self as stated in III.3 and is identical with Kaivalyam). With it siddhis are gifted without ever striving for them. When we are able (ability is another word for siddhi) to commune deeply with nature and our natural unconditioned true Self, or in other reflections of the Self such as in inanimate objects such as rocks onepointedly in samyama, then naturally and holographically insight of their true nature is communicated. This can happen with herbs (as an herbalist/shaman) or with patients (as a doctor/shaman), or with our mind or "self" as sources of "self" knowledge in a transpersonal sense, but to this end that Self is experienced as boundless, transpersonal, all pervasive, and Endless. In a sacred and powerful place, Grace cautions us to be careful about what to ask for; and thus as we increasingly focus in on the profound process of yoga, kaivalyam becomes progressively approximated, then aligned, and then realized down into our very bones.
Thus ultimately, in Pada Four, Patanjali answers the question of what is ultimate liberation through the processes of yoga (in the context of yoga), which means to join together -- or to merge as one, to connect with and access Universal Source in ALL OUR RELATIONS. In the context of yoga practice (as a process of consciously accessing this connection) one experiences yoga. Thus, Kaivalya includes the freedom from "limited" identification- from separateness itself -- from ego – the freedom from isolation, spiritual self estrangement and corruptive influences. HERE it becomes ultimate freedom because only in ultimate unity – within the Great Integrity of all ALL OUR RELATIONS is there no longer a possibility of being separate – no longer a possibility of being “free from” any thing else. HERE all fear and desire have become remediated. This is the freedom of freedom a natural state. Thus Kaivalyam is isolation (freedom from) only in the sense that it dissociates itself from the process of aversion, isolation, duality, and separateness or ego itself. However, more importantly, it is a process of the dissolution of the ego and thus the dissolution of isolation itself. Yoga is thus culminated with the realization of nirbij-samadhi, where any separate self is seen as part of the illusory process and is no longer drawn into it, hence all vrtti, all bias, all perturbations and agitations of the psychic field rests in the empty field of separateness -- Kaivalyam being our natural non-dual unconditioned state. Such can only be known HERE and NOW.
There exists no other way to fully affirm and experience that Reality HERE and NOW on this planet by negating the omnipresent manifestation of original in terms of the breath and body. In fact it is the yogi's responsibility to embody such. Hence the importance of astanga yoga and what grew out if it as hatha yoga as taught by Siva, the Mahasiddhas, Matsyendranath, Goraksa,, Gherand, Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Paramahansa Yogananda, and is found in the Yoga Upanishads. The authentic teachings of yoga are non-dual and holographic wherein the microcosm and macrocosm are united as one great continuous body of integrity -- where origin and manifestation meet as an ever present healing love.
"In your body is Mount Meru
Siva-Samhita, 2.1-5, trsl. by J. Varenne, Yoga in the Hindu Tradition, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976.
Practice: Since the breath occurring in the human body is the vehicle for unitive embodiment and experience and consciousness HERE and NOW-- the essential playground between spirit and nature; there will be added throughout the commentaries on Pada IV practical hatha yoga analogies in terms of body (asana), breath (pranayama), pratyhara, and dharana given as tangible examples.
Kaivalyam Pada thus brings it all together as a functional experiential yogic practice in Satchitananda! Enjoy!
"The moon and sun unite
Yoga Darshana Upanishad,4.40-58 trsl., J. Varenne, Yoga in the Hindu Tradition, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976.