When to Question
1. Today I intend to take up the questions which have come to us. I welcome all these questions. It’s wonderful thing that you are responding with some questions. This is what is very much required in educational process.
2. There was one question with regards to no questions. That means while you are listening to me, maybe you will not have any questions. But…, as students of philosophy, we… need to understand why someone has questions, why someone doesn’t have questions, and why someone has questions but doesn’t ask. Some don’t have a question, yet question. So questioning is a very interesting aspect.
One complete Upanishad is dedicated to this — the Prashnopanishad (ca. 4th c. BCE). An Upanishad on prashna…, questions. Adi Shankaracharya, in his preface, makes a wonderful observation as to why people ask questions. We must delve into… why someone asks a question.
3. Usually you think a question is a doubt, and you have a doubt and therefore… question [when]… you face an opacity.
4. With respect to students, particularly in the educational process… if you comprehend everything, perhaps you will say, “I have no questions.” But, even then a question has to be asked.
You cannot ask me questions, but you have to question it yourself. That’s how one has to commence. You must question it yourself and find out if you can answer those questions.
5. Now, as I said, it is not that there must be a… doubt to ask a question, or there [need] be lack of clarity [in order to] ask a question. As students, shishyas…, as disciples, as vidhyartis (pupils), this is not the case.
Of course you must ask questions in such a case. Even if you think you have understood, have comprehended, and even grasped, a question should be asked for confirmation, “Is what I have construed, what I have conceived, right? Is it proper?” Therefore, even when you have understood, there must be a questioning when it comes to education, discipleship, fellowship, and studentship.
So, note this important point — if you feel that you have understood something, comprehended what was taught, you will still have to ask… your teachers to confirm that what you have understood is right.
6. Many times we think that we understand. In the case of mathematics you may solve a problem. [However, if] the answer is right but the steps are [wrong], then… [you won’t] get a good [grade]. The answer may have been right, but… there are mistakes, and… the answer is right [only] by chance. So, in mathematics you just can’t go by right answers [and conclude that] somebody has solved the problem. Examiners will have to look into the process to see if anything has gone wrong.
Similarly, you might have understood something, yet [now need to] ask because you question [it from] a different [perspective]…. You will [require] different kinds of input. In any case, one must be inquisitive to ask a question.
7. Now, as I referred to Shankaracharya’s preface to Prashnopanishad, he makes a very interesting observation. He says why would someone ask a question? There are many reasons why someone would be asking a question.
A little amusement here for you. If you are traveling by train… a co-passenger may sit next to you. [If] you just want to kill time… you [might] ask where that person is from…. [Shankaracharya] observes that this is just to pass the time, [because] sometimes questions are asked for no real purpose….
Then he makes another interesting observation: [I may ask] a question to check whether you know what I know. I know certain things… and I ask just to… test your knowledge…. Apart from genuine… doubt [or a] lack of clarity… you want to check whether this person has [any] knowledge about [something]….
8. In the pursuit of knowledge the questions will come…. It is possible to question… if you have understood… properly or not…. You might [not] have understood something sufficiently, or… your understanding might be illusory…. Unless you ask you will not sort these things out. Therefore, asking a question is very important.
And while you are listening to me, you may not get a question. But, as I said the other day, when I am talking to you, you are not merely listening. You are thinking, you are triggering your thought center…, you are triggering your thought mechanism. So a question may not come in the here and now, but it [may] surface after a little deliberation…. Whenever you get a question, you should not hesitate to ask… about what is… taught.
9. As I said, you must inquire and examine why someone wouldn’t ask a question…. When you have implicit faith in someone — belief, faith, dedication, reverence — questions will not be triggered. So having implicit faith is one of the reasons why questions do not surface. [But] after a while, when you are away from direct interaction with the person…, a question may surface [after thinking about it]…. Even when there is a question, why is that question not asked? When there is no question, why is a question asked…?
Dharma and Karma +11.45
1. When I was talking about dharma and karma, somebody had a very good question about destiny…: [If] we are governed by destiny, then why do aspects of dharma and karma come up?
Now this philosophy of karma siddhanta (the law of karma) doesn’t really have one iota of fatalism in it…. [However], some philosophers even criticize the karma siddhanta (law of karma) saying that it encourages fatalism. But that is not the case.
2. Some have the opinion that you [must] carry out your karmas, and never look for fruit, [citing that] this is the message of the Bhagavad Gita — just do your karmas and do not expect fruits…. That is not the message of Bhagavad Gita. It doesn’t say just carry out your karmas. That’s a kind of slavery…. That is not at all the precept of Bhagavad Gita. In the second chapter [Lord Krishna stated]:
karmany-eva-adhikaraste ma phalesu kadachana
You have adhikara (prerogative) over your respective action (karma) alone (eva), but never (ma) over the fruits (phala) at any time (kadachana). [Bhagavad Gita II.47]
Karmany-eva-adhikaraste means we have a right to action. It does not just advise to carry out our actions.
3. Like if a house servant… who subserves you had no right to activity because he is subserving you. He is subservient. He is your house servant. [It would be as if] he has no right for karma and has to do whatever he has to do.
That is not the case of… mortals. This is not a puppet show. We are not puppets… whose strings are pulled to make us do everything. That is not true…. Although there is destiny, our life is not a puppet show.
The Bhagavad Gita says you have the right to act. Karma is your right. It is our right and it’s not merely duty. So this has to be understood that it is a right. Karma siddhanta (law of karma) is giving us a right
Nowhere [does it] say to just go on doing karmas and don’t have expectations for fruits. [Although] this is a negativistic tone, which is not in that philosophy, pseudo-philosophies have churned out this kind of conclusion.
4. We have a right to karma, but we have no right to fruit. Fruition is not in our hands. Fruition is in the hands of so many agencies — luck, fortune, time, space, situation. When fructification will take place is not in our hands. You can plant a tree but you can’t expect when it will flower and fruit. That is not in your hands…. However, planting the tree is in your hands. When to plant the tree is in your hands.
5. Usually dharma is of the nature of vidhi-nishedha (commandment-prohibition). Vidhi-nishedha means do’s and don’ts. That is how dharma usually comes up. It tells you about do’s and don’ts. Now if we were regulated by destiny, there would be no point in telling us what to do and what not to do. When to do and when not to do. If we were all puppets, and if destiny were to pull our strings, then there would be no need for such advice for mankind.
However dharma gives advice. Dharma tells us what to do, what not to do, how to do, how not to do, when to do, and when not to do. So this is called vidhi-nishedha. We have the right to do, the right to act, the right to karma.
6. There is an [untraced] sutra about this in the Brahma Sutras: Why are we are given advice? Why do the Vedas not apply to birds, animals, insects, worms, and trees? Why… are they meant only for mankind? Because we are in karma yoni (source of action), we have the right to act, and, therefore, we have some powers….
If you are given some rights, you are given powers. You cannot be given rights without powers. So you are also given powers according to karma siddhanta (law of karma). So when [Krishna] says
You have adhikara (prerogative) over your respective action (karma) alone (eva)
that means we are also given power. It’s not just right, but power.
So, therefore, in the Brahma Sutras there is a sutra
karta shastra tattvad
doer scripture reality [untraced]
Why are there shastras (scriptures)? Why is there interpretation of shastras? Because we are kartas (doers). So we can be told to do. [Only] human beings could be told what to do and what not to do. Other creatures will go by their tendencies. They go by their propensities. That’s called bhoga yoni (source of enjoyment) and ours is karma yoni (source of action) as per karma siddhanta (law of karma). So we have the right to be doing.
7. Now, as far as destiny is concerned, we are all bound by destiny. No doubt about it. Destiny is created by us, by our purva karmas (prior actions). Somebody does not form destiny for us and then [expect us] to just adhere to it. We ourselves have created our own destiny. Retrospectively we have created it, and now we have to face it. In past karmas, and in past lives, we have created our destiny. So we are creators of our destiny. It is not that somebody pulls the strings. It is not right to think that God pulls our strings to make us do everything. Our karmas are decided by us.
8. Now, there is no doubt that there is a destiny…. But what is destiny? Destiny is a frame. We will be working only in that frame [during this] life span.
So there is a kind of play in destiny. There is a minimum level and maximum level. The destiny is a given…. The scheme of destiny is there. But then you could be at the bottom rung of it, or you could be at the top rung of it. We are given a destiny frame or destiny range within which to function. It’s not that the destiny is totally governing us. So whatever you are destined to be doing in your life, you could be doing in [either] a worst possible manner [or in] the best possible manner. We are given the range.
So our skills, our intelligence, our judgments and perceptions, cognitions, and samskaras (subliminal imprints) will give us that play between the minimum and the maximum line, the bottom line and the top line.
If you are well organized and have a properly developed conscience, you will tend to be in the higher range of destiny. Otherwise you will be in the lower range of destiny if you say, “It is going to happen by destiny anyway. I will not do anything.” It will happen but you will be at the lowest level. Then understand the outcome. Destiny doesn’t enslave us. It gives us a range within which to work. If you don’t make an attempt to go to the better, or best, side of it, then you will be at the worst side of it. Destiny also gives us a right. So, again, I repeat, it is not a puppet show. We are not puppets…. God, or someone, or something, does not pull the strings to make us move.
9. There is no fatalism in karma siddhanta (law of karma). There is lot of positivism in karma siddhanta. You can go for the highest level of destiny for you. Like in the case of economic strata: Somebody [may be] poor…, middle class…, [or] rich….
If somebody is middle class, it’s within a range…, [between] upper middle class and lower middle class. There is a range [within all classes]. For the poor class there is a range, middle class there is a range, and then the richer class there is a range. We are free to be on the upper side of our range. The poor person can definitely go for the top of the poor strata. The middle class can be go for the top of the middle class strata. The rich can go to the upper line of the rich man’s strata. So, like in economic status, we are given a range. All middle class people are not middle; they are lower middle, middle, upper middle. Rich people are not of one and the same class. There are lower rich, middle rich, and upper rich. So, also, in case of poor: lower poor, middle poor and upper poor.
There is freedom for us to improve our economic activity by use of our acumen, prudence, etc. Luck, skill, and education can definitely help one [reach] a higher range.
10. So karma sidhhanta does not really have any slavery aspect of it. We are given freedom. Anyway, we will not be discussing this karma siddhanta. This is only to [counter] that there is no fatalism…. There is no need to be negative as in, “If I get, I will get it. If I don’t get…, why try?” This is not at all encouraged by karma siddhanta:
You have adhikara (prerogative) over your respective action (karma) alone (eva) [Bhagavad Gita II.47]
With right (adhikara) you are given powers…. You can use the powers skillfully, intelligently, with proper space-time, and situational aspects and it will suddenly give you the best of the fruits.
So that’s about the question which had come when we were discussing dharma and karma about the destiny.
Prerana Kickstarts Meditation +26.05
1. Somebody had question about prerana (motivation). When [in relation to meditation] does prerana come? Prerana means motivation. Prerana is a kick starter for you to [pursue] any activity, or knowledge….
Prerana [is like] a… starter of a car. I told you during my talks that… once the car is started, you don’t touch the starter again… [else] it that will harm the engine. It is only to start. So prerana [is like] a starter, or first gear of the car. We don’t drive the car in first gear. It is just to get the momentum…. We want to shift to second, third, and fourth, or fifth, gear as soon as possible. We [use] first gear only to get started.
[Once] started we try to change gears immediately. Prerana is… like… first gear. You must [shift out of] that gear as early as possible. However without first gear your car won’t start properly…. [If you] start the car, and straight away go to second gear, it will tax the engine. You can’t bypass first gear… [except] if there is some problem with the clutch…. It jerks the vehicle, and the vehicle doesn’t really pick up well if you… bypass first gear.
2. Similarly, prerana is the motivation. I explained the dynamics — drive, motive, motion, execution, and purpose. Motive is a facet of prerana. That is required to get started.
Then, in the meditativity process, we come to thinker, thinking, and thought aspects. Prerana, which is the kickstarter, is left far behind by the time you are in this higher activity. Therefore, prerana has been mentioned when I spoke about the dynamics comprised of drive, motive, motion, execution, and purpose. That motive is a form of prerana, a form of motivation. If you don’t get motivated you don’t get started. It is so important, so fundamental. However, it has to be discarded as early as possible. Like [shifting from] first gear… as early as possible. You don’t stay in first gear too long. If you stay too long in first gear, when not needed, it is [a sign of] immature driving…. It is not good for the vehicle. So…, prerana [is used]. just to get the momentum, to get started.
Thought, Thinking, Thinker —Not Cerebral Circus +30.30
1. Somebody had that impression that when I was speaking about thought, thinking, and thinker… that it was intellectual gymnastics. It seems to be a circus of the brain, a cerebral circus trying to identify thought, thinking, and thinker, and then analyzing them to manage them, etc…. So it seems to be a cerebral circus.
But, if you recall, the very question was about Guruji’s mention of his asana practice as dynamic meditation. At his hierarchy, his thought process was so refined, so evolved, that he could get the reflections. And they could reflect the thought… as a reflector.
2. Now don’t venture to do these [mental] gymnastics while you are sitting on a garden bench. You have some thought in mind, and you try to understand the thinker, thinking, and thought, trying to decipher them, analyze [them] and understand their profiles, roles, and functions. No! That is not the way. It is only in yoga. Don’t sit on a sofa in your drawing room… trying to understand this. No. It doesn’t come there. It only comes in yoga. Then there will be no cerebral circus.
If, in this empirical state of mind and cerebral state of mind…, you try to work on this… subject matter — the tripartite constitution of thinker, thought, and thinking — then it will be a circus. Whereas, in asana, if you recall…, I mentioned the preparatories in the very very first session — for associated conditions, kneaded conditions, and unified conditions. These are not cerebral processes because we are well kneaded, mutually related in body, mind, breath, senses, organs, psyche, consciousness, etc. We are well associated. It’s a more kneaded condition, associated condition, unified condition. So this is not cerebral.
3. If you have this process in a profound Sirsasana…. If you are very proficient and mature in Sirsasana, and the posture becomes insignificant, you can go for a refined thought process. But, if you struggle not to fall…, [or] you struggle to maintain your alignment in Sirsasana, then this doesn’t come. When you are proficient in that particular asana and when you have these kneaded… and unified conditions, it is a whole embodiment process, and not a cerebral process.
If you recall I [used] the back paradigm. [Although the] back is not the cerebral part of the body, perhaps you experienced the back as a locus for the thought, thinking, and thinker. That is the caliber of the back, spine, shoulder blade, or shoulder while in an asana. But… when you are sitting in a chair they will not get that status because they are not really mutually related to each other. There is no amalgamation. There is no kneaded condition. There is no unified condition as in asana. [In asana] it won’t be a cerebral circus.
1. Since yoga has become fashionable, they say yoga is all about Savasana or meditation. [and] we do meditation just to relax. No, relaxation is not the summum bonum (highest good) of human spiritual endeavor. We want relaxation because we are stressed by the turmoil of the world. Therefore, we want some kind of stress management from our meditation. We are going for meditation these days to get de-stressed. It has become highly fashionable. You get your online guided meditations that just say relax, relax, relax, relax.
2. Yogis were not looking for relaxation. Do you mean to say they were stressed like you and me, who are mundane, temporal, cerebral people?
So yoga meditativity, or meditation, did not come to just relax. It came for wisdom. If yogis were meditating, it is not that they were stressed like you and me, or like a CEO of some corporate body or multinational corporation. [Yogis] were not going for dhyana to get de-stressed.
We want relaxation because that is our need today. Now I am not being critical about it…. But in the case of yoga, and yogis, it was for the wisdom process. And for the wisdom process you need to have dynamic meditation.
3. You must have this clarity about thought, thinker, thinking, and their interactions, their interplays, and their rotating roles…. Each one can play the role of the other one. That is a wisdom process, not a knowledge process. So you need the wisdom process. It is not a cerebral circus. It doesn’t take place in the brain.
Moreover, today when you [tune in to the] satsanga (spiritual) channels on your television, or on YouTube, [there are] guided meditations that are very cerebral. They will be triggering thoughts in you. They will be saying, “Think this way. Think on this. This is the thought. This is the thinking. Think this way. This is the way you should be thinking, etc., etc.”
All those activities are in the cerebral region above the throat. They don’t have anything to do with the rest of the body. Only the cerebral parts will be working. That’s why they are a cerebral kind of meditative process — “Relax your brain. Relax your mind.” The locus of mind is above the shoulders, above the throat, and everything will be going on there. So they will be talking, giving sermons like I am talking to you….
4. This [explanation] is a cerebral process. Yes, I am cerebral in my talking because I am using my memory. I am using my intelligence. I am using whatever data base information about it I have. But, when I get to doing it, the whole body is involved in that process — an integration of body, mind, and breath. When I have to explain, I have to explain with a cerebral process.
5. But when you do it, understand why the spine is important. [When] you listen to these satsangas on your television, and YouTube, they do nothing with their spine. Spine is not contributing. Only their brain is contributing; you get all the material from their brain.
[When] you try to follow those instructions, only the part of the body above the head will be working. Somebody is giving a talk, a discourse, a philosophical talk. The part of the body below the neck has no function, no direct function, in what the person is speaking about.
But, in yoga your shoulder blades will be involved your shoulders will be involved . Your spine will be involved. Pelvis, perineum, abdominal region will be involved. Your limbs will be involved. It is an integral process, not a cerebral process. So [when] I spoke about meditativity and meditation, etc., it was not really a cerebral circus.
6. It was not actually a cerebral circus, but to explain I had to use the faculty of the brain, my memory, my perception, my information base, my knowledge structure — whatever I have in my brain. So now I am talking to you from my brain.
But when you actually get to doing it, you are in that position —
sthira sukham asanam
Asana is perfect firmness (sthira) of body, steadiness (sthira) of intelligence, and benevolence (sukham) of spirit. [PYS II.46]
—from your anal mouth [upward] everything is involved. When the satsanga is going on, your buttock is dormant. It has no role to play. It is totally inert. But if you are going to go for yogic meditation, understand how important you have to give for buttock bone participation, involvement, and its usage. You have to use your spine…, and the breath….
It is not proper to construe that it was a cerebral circus, or that meditation, or the meditativity…, or the dynamic meditation, which I explained, was a cerebral circus. Because… only in asana are you connected with each part of your body and mind — gross to subtle — so there are profound connections, kneaded conditions, and unified conditions. Therefore it is not cerebral.
7. In the concept of cellular intelligence you understand that if you are going to sit in Swastikasana for your pranayama or meditation, the bottom of the trunk, buttock bones, anal mouth, vagina, scrotum, rectum, perineum are important. Now, are they cerebral parts? They are not cerebral, but they have a very important participation. It won’t be a cerebral process, cerebral circus, when it is done in asana.
But, if you sit on a garden bench and keep on thinking about the meditation concept that I told you about, then it will be a cerebral circus. But when you actually get to doing it, there will not be any cerebral circus…. There is nothing like a cerebral circus… in asana or pranayama.
8. Then the person also had a doubt about Savasana. [When] Guruji says, “Relax the brain, relax the brain, relax the brain,” the connotation of the word relaxation also changes…. If you are stressed and tensed, and if we say, “Relax,” what does it mean? But when you are not stressed and tensed, we [also] can tell you… that you should relax.
Now, when you are in Savasana, you are not stressed, tensed, and worried. And then you are told to relax. The connotation of relaxation changes while you are in Savasana. It is to become sublime. It is to become sedate. It is to become serene. So quietude, tranquility, neutrality, virginity, sublimity, purity, piety, sanctity, sanity, equity, equanimity, and equilibrium is the connotation of relaxation in Savasana.
9. But suppose you are in Vrschikasana, or in Kapotasana, and the teacher says, “Please relax.” What are you going to relax? You are going to relax your facial muscles, or some tension in your eyes, or some tension here and there, because relaxation in Kapotasana is one thing, and relaxation of Savasana is another thing. So experience this. So when it comes to Savasana, and he says, “Relax the brain,” he doesn’t [mean] just relax the brain.
10. Sanity is one of the attributes I gave in a long list of tranquility, neutrality, virginity, sublimity, purity, piety, sanctity, sanity, equity, equanimity, equilibrium. This is meaning of word relaxation. In different hierarchies that will again change. If you are at a lower hierarchy you won’t circumscribe so many things. If you are at a higher hierarchy you will circumscribe all that.
11. So it doesn’t mean that there should be no thought, thinking, etc., while in Savasana. Savasana has its own thinking. It is a thought process. We are not restraining the vrtti in Savasana, otherwise Savasana would be samadhi. Savasana is not a samadhi.
12. There is a sublime thought process, ethereal thought process, and reflective thought process. There is a sheen to the surface which is reflecting. There is a sheen which is being reflected. There is a sheen to reflection. So reflection, reflected, and reflecting all have sheen. Therefore, they will cast reflection on each other…. It is not right to think that in Savasana you don’t go for that meditativity, which I explained. It is very much there. Clarity about thought, thinker, thinking, analysis, and, then, unification, etc.
Mind Differs from Chitta +46.40
1. Then there was a question about the difference and non-difference between the mind which we [often] refer to. We are all used to mind. We say this is mind, that is mind. We know our mind. We know somebody’s mind. So the question was, “what is the distinction, difference, and non-difference [between] the mind that we refer to in our temporal, empirical plane…? [What] is mental…, psycho-mental, etc., and chitta?”
2. So what is the difference and non-difference between the mind and chitta?
I will again take recourse to an example…. If you are at the seashore, fill up a container with sea water. Now, the water in the ocean and the water in your container are one and the same. Chemical analysis will tell you [both] are ocean water. OK. So in physical chemistry the water in your container and the water of the ocean are essentially one and the same…. Whatever the amount of salt… and other minerals you find in sea water… will be found even in the container water because you have picked up the water from the sea. So substance wise, to an extent, there will be no difference
3. But manifestation-wise there is a huge difference. You won’t get the bubbles, foam, and waves in the container of ocean water that you see [when] you look out on the ocean…. Waves are there. Foam is there. Turbulence is there. The water is unsteady. You will never see the sea water freeze unless it is sub-zero temperature at the polar regions. [Although] in tropical and sub-tropical regions you will see the ocean water move all the time while… it won’t take long time for the container water to steady. Is the water of ocean ever steady like that? Never, although it is the same water. The same water in the container gets steadied easily.
4. Similarly, our minds can get steadied easily. Take a sedative to go to sleep, and it will get steadied. There is no big problem in steadying that mind.
Although we say the mind is difficult to steady, it is difficult to steady [only] when you are in a wakeful state — which is the statement in Bhagavad Gita. But [you can]…, take a tranquilizer to steady the mind. Take a sleeping pill; it will be steadied. Or…, natural sleep will steady it.
The sea water … in a container will get steadied without much problem, or without taking much time. But what about the water out in the ocean?
5. Then, if you sit at the seashore, you will say, “I am seeing the sea,” and you will say, “I know the sea.” What do you know? Incoming waves, outgoing waves? Ferocity of the waves? Low tide, high tide? Some bubbles coming up? Some foam coming up?
What do you see? You see only the surface of the ocean water, up to the horizon. It extends… up to the horizon, but what will you see there? It’s just the surface of the water. There is no comparison between the surface of ocean and what lies at different depths of the ocean — 100 meters, 500 meters, 1000 meters, 5000 meters, 8000 meters. You can’t imagine… what that ocean is at such a depth, or at a distance beyond the horizon. The sea extends beyond the horizon. You can only see up to the horizon.
You can a spend lifetime sitting at the seashore, but how much will you know [about] the ocean? Tell me. You can be at the seashore for a whole life time, watching the ocean, day in and day out. How much are you going to know [about] the ocean? Hardly anything. Not even point zero zero zero zero zero percent (.00000%) because ocean is a ratnakar (jewel). What is inside the ocean cannot be even imagined.
So to understand the ocean, we must know the ocean up to… its maximum depth. As G.K (general knowledge), I can tell you that Pacific ocean near Philippines has it reaches the greatest depth around 28000 feet plus. So it is more than about… 9000 meters. Everest is 8000 odd meters, and this depth is much more than that. Now that is the depth. Can you imagine what is at that depth?
6. Now the water that you picked up in the container will give you no clue. You give it to any scientist and ask him to explore the ocean by the container of sea water…. Ask him to understand the whole ocean from that. It will be not possible. Although in physical chemistry it is one and the same — the water properties are the same — but even a scientist will not be able to understand the ocean by studying that water picked up in that container. He has to be an oceanographer. He has to dive into the ocean and he has to explore the ocean.
7. So this chitta is like that. Mind is like the surface. You go to seashore and watch the sea. Coming waves. Going waves. Sometimes high ferocity, sometimes no ferocity. Low tide, etc. That’s all you will see by sitting at the sea shore.
The chitta is like the ocean. This empirical mind, or cerebrally conceived mind, is just the surface of it. The chitta has been described as manas, buddhi, ahamkara together.
Mind itself is an ocean…. Even psychologists do not know the depth of the mind. Our intelligence is an ocean —buddhi in the sense. So is ahamkara an ocean. So, manas, buddhi, and ahamkara put together is chitta. Each one is an ocean by itself. These are different oceans, not just different names of oceans. Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific are one and the same ocean. We have only given them different names that’s all.
But these are different oceans they are not just nomenclature differences…. Mind is an ocean; it has its depth. It has its own characteristics. Buddhi is an ocean. It has its own characteristics. And ahamkara as an ocean has its own characteristics. We contain oceans within us. That’s why it is called microcosm. Anyway the chitta is like that.
8. Therefore yoga deals with chitta. It is not mano vritti nirodha. It is chitta vritti nirodha. Mano vritti nirodha — swallow a pill and you will have mano vritti nirodha. It is not chitta vritti nirodha. So chitta has that much depth. That is the difference and non-difference. There is non-difference like there is non-difference between ocean water and water tapped in a container. It is non-difference in some respect. So this is also non-difference. Substance-wise it is one and the same, but manifestation wise it is totally different.
In metaphysics this manifestation is [also] counted, rather than merely substance. As the metaphysical entity within us, the metaphysical ‘I’ (purusha) and the metaphysical entity of divinity (purusha-vishesha) are one and the same essence-wise one.
But [they differ] manifestation-wise, like how the ocean is an omnipotent water force and the water in a container has no force. You can turn out electricity from ocean waves. You can’t turn out electricity by stirring the water in a glass because of [the lack of] volume. So that volume totally changes the manifestation. The ocean is totally different. Even if you vigorously stir the water in the glass, it will never become like an ocean. You can put in a vibrator, or stir the water, but it will never become like an ocean. It’s a different manifestation. So in metaphysics they consider manifestations.
9. We hopefully will consider the chittam (consciousness) in greater depth when we try to understand the whole mind stuff, the chitta, with reference to shat (six) chakras, pancha tattvas (five realities, aspects of Krshna), and the pancha koshas (five sheaths). Then we will know its enormous depth. It is really an ocean.
10. Mind is just a glass of water filled up with water, while our chitta is like an ocean within us. Three oceans within us, and they are not the three oceans like Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific. We have only given them names for our convenience to demarcate them. It’s just one ocean on the planet. It’s just one ocean, not three or five. So that will sometimes tell us about what this ocean [of chitta] is.
 Adi Shankaracharya: Shankara (ca. 700-750 CE) was the preceptor of the Advaita Vedanta school of thought.
 When I was talking about dharma and karma: See”How Do Karma and Dharma Differ? +32.00,” Lesson 4: Yama and Niyama — Ethico-Religious Practice 4-19-20
 You have adhikara (prerogative) over your respective action (karma) alone (eva), but never (ma) over the fruits (phala) at any time (kadachana): Adi Shankaracharya commented that when hankering for the results (phala) of the action, one becomes the agent of acquiring that action. When impelled by thirst for the result of the action, one becomes the cause that produces those results.
In yoga that would place agency in the hands of the self, as opposed to Self (purusha). At a purely pragmatic level, attachment to the results of one’s actions obstructs understanding and can become corrosive. For example, if your lower back pain is relieved by twisting, what is the mindset when your presumption about twisting fails to relieve your pain? If that desire for relief remains unfulfilled, resentment arises. That can quickly transform into the delusion, “What if I never get out of pain?” From that fear arises the loss of discrimination, and, hence, the ability to figure out a new way to relieve pain. (This is what BG II.62-3 describes as “the ladder of fall.”) Only when discrimination is restored can judicious yoga practice uncover a new solution.
 The Bhagavad Gita says you have the right to act. Karma is your right. It is our right and it’s not merely duty: Prashant has translated adhikara as right. It honors that one is qualified to choose; right is commonly accepted as an apt translation in this verse. It can also mean claim, privilege, authority, qualification, the power to carry out, and duty. I used the translation prerogative to emphasize choice more than the sense of entitlement expressed by right. I believe prerogative conveys a more specific opposition to duty, which is in keeping with Prashant’s criticism. Here, duty conveys a limitation which has been used to justify caste discrimination. Prashant has attacked that by citing the lack of choice of a subservient house servant. Yoga, existing outside of the caste system, does not accept that limitation.
See also discussion of adhikara as qualification in the footnote under “Subtle Body Needs Japa +15.00,” Lesson 13: Japa Benefits Subtle Body 5-16-20
 Vidhi-nishedha means do’s and don’ts. That is how dharma usually comes up: See “What is Dharma? +12.00” in Lesson 4 Yama and Niyama — Ethico-Religious Practice 4-19-20.
 There is an [untraced] sutra about this in the Brahma Sutras: Why are we are given advice?: Brahma Sutra II.1.34 addresses destiny by positing one’s station in life is not caused by God: Inequality (vaishamya) and cruelty (nairghrnye) cannot be attributed to Brahman on account of His taking consideration (of other reasons such as merit and demerit). In other words, as the Lord made both man and gods, inequality is due to the accrued merit and demerit of the individual, not Brahman. Prashant will go on to state the difference is that animals are only equipped to pursue bhoga, pleasure.
 I told you during my talks that… once the car is started, you don’t touch the starter again… [else] it that will harm the engine: See “Learn Posture Then Yoga,” Lesson 3: Paradigms of Practice in Yoga 4-18-20
 Guruji’s mention of his asana practice as dynamic meditation: See “Guruji would have thought about the instruments… and the subjective entity because you get reflections in meditation…” in “Iyengar’s Yoga — Dynamic Meditation +30.25,” Lesson 5 Dynamic Meditation 4-25-20; Lesson 9, “Thought, Thinking, Thinker +22.05“Adhyatmika Sadhana 5-3-20
 These cerebral processes are knit [together] because we are well kneaded, mutually related in body, mind, breath, senses, organs, psyche, consciousness, etc: See “Asana Teaches How Body, Mind, & Breath Interact +19.40” Lesson 2 What is Education in Yoga? 4-10-20
 It is not mano vritti nirodha. It is chitta vritti nirodha: Manas is but a gross component of a subtler chitta. Thus cessation of the mano vritti s (movements of the mind) do not prevent chitta vritti s (movments of consciousness.)
 the metaphysical ‘I’ (purusha) and the metaphysical entity of divinity (purusha-vishesha) are one and the same essence-wise one. But [they differ] manifestation-wise: Avidya is the mistaking of prakrti for purusha. See PYS I.24 Ishvara (Lord) is a special (vishesha) purusha, the the Supreme Being, eternally free of affliction (klesha), unaffected by (aparamrishta) actions (karma) and reactions (vipaka).