Yamas Differ from Moral-Ethical Principles
1. To [further] clarify [about] morality and ethicality in yama-niyama, let me add one more point…:
If you are morally and ethically practicing [as opposed to an ethico-religious practice,] [any one of the] principles of ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya, aparigraha, you could claim that… you are [also in one of the others]. However, in morality and ethicality these five principles [of yama] are completely different. They are not related to each other.
You can be in ahimsa, but [neither] in brahmacharya… nor satya. You can be in satya, but not in ahimsa. You can practice satya, but not necessarily asteya. To be in ahimsa morally and ethically differs from being in satya, asteya, or brahmacharya.
2. [When] we resolve to be in one, or two, of these principles, then we will have different practices. It is one kind of practice to be practicing ahimsa, morally and ethically. To be practicing satya, asteya, brahmacharya, and aparigraha morally and ethically are different practices….
Each one requires a different kind of resolve, determination, and… means. What are the means to take recourse in ahimsa, morally and ethically? What are the means to take recourse in satya, morally and ethically? So these means and processes differ. To practice each of the five yamas morally and ethically, we have to [change] in five different ways….
Yamas Are Integrated Ethico-Religious Principles +3.40
1. [Although] that is the case for moral-ethical practices, it is not the case for ethico-religious principles. If you are ethico-religiously in ahimsa, you won’t be violating satya, you won’t be violating asteya, you won’t be violating brahmacharya, or aparigraha. If you are in any one of those principles, you will not be violating, the other four. That doesn’t happen in the case of moral-ethical principles, where you might be in one principle but violating another principle.
2. Ethico-religious principles are an integral process. The infrastructure, and… practice for ahimsa will equip one to go for the other four as well. We don’t have to have separate practices…. It is one and the same ethico-religious practice for ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya and aparigraha.
3. It is one and the same material of the consciousness and psyche, [with] five dimensions. So as far as ethico-religious principles are concerned you cannot say “I am in ahimsa, but not in satya.” I am in ahimsa but not in asteya, I am in ahimsa, but not in brahmacharya, I am in ahimsa but not in aparigraha. [But] that can happen in moral-ethical schemes. You can be in one, but violating others. But, if you violate one, [the inverse is not necessarily true:] it doesn’t mean that you are violating all the other four. However, that is not the case in regard to ethico-religious principles.
Satsanga is Sattva-Sanga +5.05
1. The [ashtanga yoga] sadhana for all the five yamas, niyamas…, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi is nothing but built-up sattva guna…, built-up essence. So that is why it is called satsanga. Satsanga is sattva–sanga…, santa-sanga…, satya-sanga.
2. The concept of satsanga has to be understood first. It comes in adhyatma (pertaining to the atman), as well as sadhana (practice) sanga. So the sadhana for one yama, is good enough for other four yamas. You don’t have to have separate practices.
The practices of satsanga (association with virtue), sadhana sanga, shastra sanga, and sattvic ahara vihara achara vichara (diet, recreation, discipline, thought) are one and the same. It is the same practice even for quintessential asanas. If that material is there, you will be able to practice asanas quintessentially, [and] pranayama…, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi similarly. So that is why there is a broader scheme of satsanga, sadhana sanga, shastra sanga, and sattvic ahar, vihara, achar, vichara. So we must develop our understanding with regards to these.
3. What are these… nuances, what are the implications? In morality-ethicality you can practice one [while] violating any, or all, of the other four, [but] you can’t do that in ethico-religious principles. If one is violated, all are violated. If one is practiced ethico-religiously, the others, too, are practiced because yoga is an integral process. So that is another difference between the two. So I wanted to clarify this.
Head & Brain Paradigm +8.00
1. Yesterday [in Lesson 8] we [performed] the preparatories, and did it from the spinal and back paradigm. Today we will also stick with the spinal and back paradigm. However, yesterday you did it from the spinal and back ‘porthole’. If you do it from the brain ‘porthole,’ the processes will differ. Yesterday we… tried to experiment, understand, and comprehend from the spinal paradigm….
2. Now try the same from head, brain, face, skull.
Connectivity, relativity, associated conditions, kneaded conditions, body-set, breath-set, mind-set addressals. These were the skeleton of yesterday’s session. It was done from spine and back.
Today, do it from the brain. It will be a different negotiation, different scheme, different process. However, today, we are, again, going back to the spine and back, but we are trying to explore the thought matter.
Unless we have thought matter, suitable thought matter, compatible thought matter, meditative-worthy thought matter, we will not be able to get to meditativity. So, let us see how it can be done, how we can collect sumptuously the thought material, which can escalate, into the processes of pensivity, reflectivity, meditativity.
Yoga Requires Sensing & Feeling, Not Just Doing +10.15
1. So, get into… one of the three postures. Change sides… and the postures on your own, [between] the three [postures].
Usually… we have not been indoctrinated like that [by our teachers], but we have become indoctrinated like that. Listen to this statement carefully: It is not that we were indoctrinated [taught] like that, but most of us have become [faultily] indoctrinated like that because of the subjective element of our psyche, consciousness, comprehension, dispositions, mind stuff.
2. When we get into the pose, we [mistakenly] usually consider, “How have I done? What have I done? What is yet to be done? What needs to be done?” So, we just think asanas are about doing. Therefore, our habits, and also instructions, pertain to our activity. “What should we do? What are we supposed to do? What is it that we have done? What is it that has to be done? What is not yet done? What needs to be done?”
3. We think yoga is all doing, and doing and doing. We have a strange idea and notion that yoga is activity, an action, and that yoga has to be done. This is the word that we attach to our endeavor in yoga. That is why we [ask]: “Do you do yoga? I am doing yoga, do you do yoga? Everyone should do yoga; it is good for everyone to do yoga.”
It is a major flaw to believe that yoga is a doing endeavor. Sooner or later we have to understand that it is not just checking off a [box] on a list “What I have done, What I should be doing? What may be done? What can be done? What is yet to be done?”
4. Rather than [aiming] for doing, and checking off what we are doing, [focus on] sensitivity, awareness, and activity. Ask when doing… posture: “What am I sensing? What am I feeling? What am I knowing?” So rather than asking every time, “Have I done? Have I done? Have I done?” and “What have I done?” ask, “What am I knowing?”
Because we are working with sensitivity…, and awareness, this question should now gain prominence: “What am I sensing, feeling, experiencing? What am I knowing?”
5. Now from the spinal paradigm, as you are doing, what do you understand about the interaction of mind, and spine with the rest of the trunk? Interaction of back with the rest of the body? Try to know, rather than just trying to do it as a technical… accomplishment.
Ask, “What am I knowing about the interaction of my spine, and back, with the rest of the body? Interaction of my breath and the spine? My mind awareness, and the spine? The breath and mind interactions? The body, mind breath mutual interactions? Let’s try to understand what we are knowing here.
Known, Knowing, & Knower—Objects of Knowledge +15.25
1. The knowledge process is so important. Develop the habit of questioning, “What do I know, based on sensitivity, awareness, and perception?” Get a hold of knowledge in the process. What am I knowing?
2. There are three things in what am I knowing: something is known, something is knowing, and there is a knower. Therefore, we will collect some data regarding the knowledge of the done entity, the doing-instrumental entity, and the doer-subjective entity.
3. What do I know about my own mental state? My psychological-mental state? My emotional state? What do I know about… my own state?
Although your teacher can see your posture and tell you [both] where and how you are wrong, and where and how you are right…, when it comes to your own subjective state, only you can [know] it.
How is your subjective state: Am I clear? Do I have clarity? Am I quiet? Am I relaxed? Am I in the knowledge process? So, we must develop this habit of [asking]: What am I knowing?
4. As [in Lesson 8] yesterday, this is an associated body, mind, breath condition. Address the associated body…. When I address my body matter, body organs, and body parts, what do I know?
5. Then address the breath…. What we know in regard to breath, breath matter, and ‘breath-set’ will be changing.
6. Similarly, address the mind-set…. What do I know about my mind? There is a knower in a knowing entity. Collect some… information, data, for the knower entity, which is knowing.
Then [put] the knowing entity on the anvil. How is [it] knowing? Perception, sensation, cognition, memory? This will give room for the thought process. It will be a unique thought process.
7. Then about the known. Again, there’ll be a tripartite constitution of knower, knowing, and known, [with] their interplay and interactions. So, what is the thought substance, the thought matter, when you are objectively looking at the known entity? Knowledge about the known, the thought about the known, the thinking about the known? How is the thinker when the known is being known? Or when the thinking is being known?
8. How is the knower? What is the role of the knower? What is the profile of the knower? Put the known on the anvil to see the thought process in regard to the knowledge experience.
We certainly experience something while we are doing an asana, but we do not give importance to that. We don’t look at it as a thought locus, thought resource. Try to understand the thought when objectifying the known. What is it that is known? What is the object of knowledge?
9. Then, alternately, we will have to get knowledge of the instrumentalities onto the anvil. So that will be a different knowledge base, the knowledge in regard to knowing.
Then, the subjective entity, the knower itself. In the mysticism of yoga and adhyatma (pertaining to the atman), there is a condition, or proposition, “Know the knower….” [Aim] for a process where the knower itself is known. The knower will become an object of knowledge. Knowing will become an object of knowledge. The known will become an object of knowledge. These three will churn out different thought material. And the thought process will evolve.
Thought, Thinking, Thinker +22.05
1. As I said about thinker, thinking, thought, during that delineation on meditation [in Lesson 5], identify a thinker when… you think.
2. Again, let me tell you now, as I am talking to you, you are not just a listener. You can’t just be listening to this. You will be having a thought process [about] what I am saying. So you are also a thinker now. This goes unidentified: You think you are a listener, but… you invariably will be… thinking. You are also a thinker, as I am a thinker, [thinking] what should I be saying now….
3. So I am thinking, for every statement that is coming out of me, “What should I say? How should I say it?” I am thinking while I am speaking. I cannot be not thinking while I am speaking. Similarly, you are… invariably thinking while you are listening, hearing, following, comprehending, and understanding. Your thinker is active. The thinking is active. There is a thought, there is a thinker, there is thinking even in you now.
4. Now watch in your position — Bharadvajasana, Sirsasana or Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana that you are doing from the spinal perspective — how the thought process changes between body-set addressal, breath-set addressal, and mind-set addressal. How the thought matter, thought content, thinking process…, and thinker’s profile will change. Start developing this literacy. This knowledge process is an important component of yogasana.
Doing, Staying, Maintaining Asana +24.50
1. As I said yesterday [in Lesson 8], there is also the proposition of you doing your activity of the body, the mind, the breath.
Then, also try to stay. That is an implication of asana — you must stay in asana, [not as] usually taught only to do an asana. You are never taught to stay. [Although you mistakenly] think the technique to do is [the same as] the technique to stay….
2. The technique to stay differs from the technique to do. So you will be in the phase of doing,, …staying, [then] …maintaining.
Doing, Learning, Getting Settled in Asana +25.45
1. You will be in the phase of penetrating. Also consider the intensity of your activity because you want to be doing your asana intensively. Penetration, intensity, then you will be going for… a settled condition. So you’ll be going through all these various phases which come in the one channel of asanic rendition, which is: doing, staying maintaining, efficacy, intensity, access, freedom, getting settled.
Everywhere the thought content will change with every phase. Highlight every phase. Your thought content, thought process, and thinker profile will change.
2. Then, on another channel, what do we do? While you’re doing, you are learning. Are you merely doing your Bharadvajasana, Sirsasana, or Utthita Hasta? You are learning because of the knowledge process. You are studying something. So you will be going through the phases of doing, learning, studying, understanding, and comprehending. Various processes are required, such as perception, cognition, analysis.
Then you will be aiming for a settled condition by knowledge process. So the knowledge matter will change in both the processes.
3. Try to explore this while you practice on your own. Or, in some sessions, try to understand how the knowledge matter will change in all the phases of doing, staying, maintaining, intensity, efficacy, freedom, and getting settled.
On the other hand, doing, learning, studying, understanding, implies experimentation. Experimentation implies observation, analysis, perceptions, and thought process. Then aim for a settled condition. The thought matter will change everywhere. Mark that! Explore this particular lesson in [future] sessions that we will be practicing.
4. You will certainly find that, again, there is an enormous material for the triad in meditation — Thinker, thinking and thought.
It will be more pronounced when you have this proposition. The knowledge process — What do I know? How do I know? Who is the knower? Who is the knowing entity, the instrumental entity? Your awareness, intellectual…, emotional…, mental…, memory…, cognitive…, and perceptive processes are all instrumental entities which constitute the knowing, the thinking, and the thought itself. The thought matter also will be changing for every phase that you negotiate in a classical asana.
5. Asana is not just doing. This is our faulty indoctrination. We have [become] faultily indoctrinated by our own subjective influences, not by our teachers who have given that indoctrination. It is our dabbling, our interference, whereby we get indoctrinated by ourselves. That’s why we think it is just all doing and doing and doing. We don’t understand the various phases of asanas, which I have been telling you repeatedly.
6. So you will see that there is a lot of material for meditation, and meditativity, particularly when you are in the knowledge process rather than in a doing process.
Yesterday [in Lesson 8], when we were in [asana], I suggested that the… knowledge process will churn out a lot of material for meditativity. Where there is thought about thinker, thought about thinking, thought about the thought.
There is thought of the thought, …about the thinking, and …about the thinker. There is meditative potential in asana because of this process. So with that I want to end the precept here today.
What Do Asanas Do Spiritually? +31.20
1. I will answer one question…. Somebody asked what the asanas do, beyond something physical and spiritual. Because we know that asanas do something physical, some of us have the idea that asanas do something spiritual as well.
2. This question is, apart from the two, “What do the asanas do? That means the person deems that asanas provide physical benefits; the physical is a beneficiary. The person also… assumes, that it does something spiritual, that spirituality is also a beneficiary. But the person wants to identify if there is any other benefit apart from a physical benefit, and a spiritual benefit.
3. First, what does the person mean by spirituality? Why, [does] the person assume that there are benefits to a person’s spirituality through asana?
The person should ask herself, or himself, “What do I consider spiritual?” It has become fashionable to [say] that yoga is physical, mental, and spiritual, so that it can be put into a holistic bracket, but there is a flaw in the very word spiritual.
I suggest the person go back to the dictionary to try to understand what spiritual is. There are two meanings. One has to do something with the spirit…, and then one has something to do with what they call soul. Soul and spirit are both Biblical concepts.
4. Yoga is not going for anything spiritual. There is nothing like spiritual evolution, spiritual evolvement, spiritual benefits, or spiritual conditioning because yoga considers [only] the Self. The Self doesn’t look for any metaphysical benefit. The Self doesn’t have [receive] benefit, and doesn’t seek any benefit. No benefit can be given to it. No benefit will it give. Metaphysically the entity called Self is neither the taker nor the giver, nor the beneficiary nor the benefactor.
5. So a more precise and proper word would be, adhyatma (pertaining to the atman). [Does] the person think that yoga gives a spiritual benefit, a spiritual summum bonum (highest good)? If spiritual benefit means spiritual summum bonum, ultimate good, ultimate target, ultimate attainable, that is called human spiritual summum bonum.
If that is the notion in the mind of the questioner, then there are so many things between physical, material, and so-called spiritual. Yoga gives benefit at every stage. Yoga has lot to offer to you and me even if [we] are very mundane, worldly, materialistic people, perhaps even profane. Then the last rung in the evolution would be spiritual summum bonum, the pinnacle.
So one is a base camp…. Yoga gives to us…, [even] for those of us who are at the base camp — the materialistic, worldly people [influenced] by worldliness, entangled in worldliness. So these are all our conditions. We are caught in the mundane world, the business of life, the practicality of life, the materiality of life.
So the [questioner] believes that yoga benefits those on this lowest of rung [of the ladder]. But yoga [benefits] every rung, from the base camp to the pinnacle point, which is the spiritual summum bonum. We have to go through several stages and steps. Yoga has lot of endowments for every stage in our evolvement.
6. Patanjali himself has three classifications — neophyte, mediocre, and proficient. He mentions the yoga for three — raw beginners, neophytes, middle hierarchy practitioners, and supreme hierarchy practitioners.
Yoga has a lot to offer… at our level. Yoga [also] has lot to offer to sagely, sagacious people, noble people, who also adore yoga. They look at yoga with reverence because there is much for them to get out of it…. Those who are more noble, more evolved in consciousness, also get… endowments from yoga.
Then there are some exalted people [that] we call yogis…. Yogis also get a lot of endowments, a lot of bounties from yoga. There will be certain people [who are considered] yogis to the yogis. Some people are yogis to us, but yogis will look at some other people as yogis to them. They know that they are way ahead of them. They will also [receive] bounties.
So there will be various levels of consciousness as we evolve. At every level, yoga has something to offer. That is why yoga has been compared to Kalpavrksha (divine wish-fulfilling tree), which grants all boons. Those who are treading in the path of nobility, those on the path of dharma, those on the path of yoga.
Ultimately there will be something for the culminative phase of yogis who are about to get emancipated. Patanjali’s text has matter for every hierarchy of yogi. Every step, stage of evolvement, of consciousness will have something from Patanjali’s scheme of things. We revere Patanjali. Those like Jnaneshvara, Yajnavalkya, and Vyasa also revered Patanjali. It is because Patanjali offers [something] for each one. So that’s how Patanjali’s system is rich in endowments, from the base camp where all of us are, to someone about to reach the pinnacle. Yoga has something to offer for everyone.
7. The spirituality concept needs to be reconsidered. The concept of spirituality is single dimension. In our tradition we don’t have anything like spirituality. We have something called adhyatma (pertaining to the atman). Adhyatma is three-dimensional.
You just can’t be going after an adhyatmika (pertaining to atman) pursuit; you have to also set right your adhidaivika (pertaining to the mundane world) pursuit, and your adhibhautika (pertaining to the elements in the body) pursuit as well…. The tradition has given us the wisdom, and… the road map, to [tread] the path of evolution of our consciousness… towards apavarga (liberation), which is the Supreme Good. Highest Good.
So using a term, such as spirituality, should be done away with. It doesn’t go with the tradition, and it also doesn’t stand to reason.
 in morality and ethicality these five principles [of yama] are completely different. They are not related to each other: This lack of interrelatedness described herein by Prashant differs from the yogic vow. Vyasa commented in VB II.30 Yama and niyama are rooted in non-violence and expounded only for the purpose of promoting and perfecting it. They are undertaken only to spotlessly refine and brighten its form.
 not that we were indoctrinated [taught] like that, but most of us have become [faultily] indoctrinated like that because of the subjective element of our psyche: Edits were picked up from +29.10. The emphasis on merely doing is due to the misperception lodged in our limited consciousness.
 As I said yesterday [in Lesson 8], there is also the proposition of you doing your activity of the body, the mind, the breath: “In asana [body, mind, and breath] work mutually for each other.” +12:50 See Virtue of Ahimsa in Asana 5-2-20
 one channel of asanic rendition, which is: doing, staying maintaining, efficacy, intensity, access, freedom, getting settled: See “Two Channels in Spinal Academy of Yoga +17:30,” in Virtue of Ahimsa in Asana 5-2-20.
 Then you will be aiming for a settled condition by knowledge process: Settling refers to stabilizing consciousness, the aim of practice and definition of asana. PYS I.13 Abhyasa (practice) is the steadfast effort (yatna) to still and stabilize (sthiti) the chitta vrittis. PYS II.46 Perfection in asana means firmness (sthira) in body, steadiness (sthira) in intelligence and benevolence (sukham: pleasantness) in consciousness.
 yoga considers [only] the Self. The Self doesn’t look for any metaphysical benefit: Purusha remains eternally untouched by prakrti.. PYS II.20 Though the drashta (Seer) is pure, he appears to see things (drshi-matra) through his agent, the buddhi, and is carried away by its influence, losing his identity. VB II.20 …purusha exists for his own purpose…. Knowing purusha is ever aware illustrates his non-mutative nature.
 the more precise and proper word would be, adhyatma (pertaining to the atman): atman (Self) is a synonym for purusha, thus the implied question whether asana can liberate purusha.
 Patanjali himself has three classifications — neophyte, mediocre, and proficient: PYS I.22 There is also (api) a further differentiation — mild (mrdu), moderate (madhya), and intense (adhimatratvat).
 Jnaneshvara, Yajnavalkya, and Vyasa also revered Patanjali: Jnaneshvara was a thirteenth century CE saint from the state of Maharashtra who composed a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, known as the Jnanesvari, the fountain-head of Maharashtrian devotionalism. Changdeo, a 1400 year-old yogin who confronted him riding a tiger and using a serpent as a whip, became his disciple when Jnanesvara moved an inanimate wall forward to meet his challenge. The Yoga Yajnavalkya is a 4th c. C.E. (or later) text was a source for the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and later texts according to Krishnamacharya. With a brief chapter on asana, it emphasizes pranayama, pratyahara, and dharana, as well as nadis, vayus, and mahabhutas. An apparently different Sage Yajnavalkya (ca. 850 B.C.E.) also authored the oldest Upanisad, the Brihad-Aranyaka Upanisad (13th-6th c. B.C.E.), a discourse about Brahman.