The aim of Yoga and Sāṃkhya is to be yoked to the more discerning aspects of the psyche, rather than just to the more grasping aspects of the psyche.
In the former the tendency of the Buddhi to discern discriminately dominates the tendency of Ahaṃkāra to grasp indiscriminately. In the latter the tendency of the Ahaṃkāra to grasp dominates the tendency of the Buddhi to discern.
The former is a state known as Buddhi Sattva where the clarity of discernment dominates the indiscriminate grasping nature of the Ahaṃkāra. The latter is a state of Buddhi Tamas, where the discerning qualities of the Buddhi are obscured by the grasping nature of the Ahaṃkāra.
Thus our Yoga Sādhana has but one aim, that of the reduction of the obscuration of Tamas (apart from deep sleep) in the Buddhi. This reduction of Tamas facilitates the ascent of the clarity of Sattva, as in the metaphor of the reduction of the cloud facilitates the ascent of the sun discussed within yesterdays post.
Is there an equivalent of “redemption” in the Yogic system? Getting out of the trouble caused by Avidyā?
A complex question as all the major Religious traditions have different views as to what it is and how it works.
“Sāṃkhya will not make sense to those people who have not tried anything.
i.e. Prayer, Mantra, Medicine.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras November 24th 1979 on Sāṃkhya and Yoga
“Sāṃkhya proposes a permanent solution to suffering.
If we look and see.
And see what produces what we see.”
– TKV Desikachar India 1979 on Sāṃkhya and Yoga
“In Yoga one who has mastered themselves is one who can produce whatever Guṇa is required.”
– TKV Desikachar December 1st 1979
Sāṃkhya – Redefining the Marriage of Wisdom and Action
Until the Dancer (Citta) deeply realises that
the Observer (Cit) of the Spectacle (Viṣaya)
is not interested in the drives (Avidyā) which animate the dance,
the Dancer continues to Dance.
Sāṃkhya Kārikā Āryā 59
Rāmānuja, was a disciple of Śrī Yāmunācarya. Śrī Yāmunācarya, composer of texts such as the Gītārtha Saṃgraha, Siddhi Traya and Stotra Ratna, was the grandson of the 9th century sage Śrī Nāthamuni and a forebear of T Krishnamacharya.
Krishnamacharya’s personal devotional philosophy and practices were grounded in the teachings that arose from these great sages and evolved into what became known as Viśiṣṭādvaita or qualified non-dualism (One of the three primary schools of Vedānta).
“Rāmānuja agrees with the Advaitin that the scripture teaches the non-twoness (Advaita) of reality.
But, he denies the Advaitan’s conclusion that this oneness is attributeless, pure being or consciousness and that plurality with regard to soul and material world is falsely imposed on this one Being due to ignorance.”
Rāmānuja on the Yoga – Dr. Robert C Lester 1976.
ĀYURVEDA & YOGA
“Now is Āyurveda explained:
the expression of the five elements,
and the three principles most fundamental to life.”
So far in this series we have presented some ideas on the place of Yoga within Indian thought, with comments on the problems in distinguishing the different threads in the tapestry that holds together the cultural, religious and philosophical ideals of India.
ĀYURVEDA & YOGA
A Series of articles exploring Yoga and Āyurveda. This one looks at the philosophical structure within Sāṃkhya upon which the principles supporting the ancient Indian system of medicine are based.
The previous article on Āyurveda and Yoga began with a brief introduction to Indian thought and its links with Yoga. It is sometimes difficult, living within our western culture, to recognise what is Yoga and what is not Yoga.