Senses Influenced by Subjective Substrate
1. We considered the acts of the senses in the last session… and the role of the senses in asana and pranayama. I said that we must develop observations about our sensory acts.
2. Our senses are not… mechanical devices…. Our eyes are not cameras. A camera will not [judge] whether an [image] is either beautiful or unsightly…. A camera doesn’t react to objects. It merely records an image… without… preferring a beautiful object….
Compare your ears to a tape recorder…. The recorder will not have any reservations, any hesitation, or discrimination. It will record any sound —whether sonorous, very, very troublesome, noise, or a very bad-sounding voice. You should not compare your ears to a tape recorder…. The tape recorder doesn’t have any grudges, reservations, or prejudices about whether the voice is sweet…, or lacks sonority. It will record sound. Mechanical devices work like that.
It is not right… to have a mechanical view of your senses… as a camera, or sound recorder, etc. There is a subjective entity influencing them. Note this point.
3. How do the eyes function? How do the ears function? They depend not only upon objects, but also on the subjective substrate of the senses. That’s why I said you must observe that we have a [specific] visual act when the object is beautiful…, bewitching, or unsightly. The eyes will function differently, unlike a camera. So I said you must observe to understand… the sensory acts. We need these observations. How do we [see] something we don’t want to [see] but falls on our eyes? When something is unsightly that we don’t want to see, but are seeing, how do we see…?
4. The ears as well. [When] you don’t want to hear [a sound] that is falling on your ears, how do you hear it? [When] you want to hear, but you can’t hear clearly, or sufficiently, what do you do? How are the ears?
5. The nose takes in the aroma of a flower, or the aroma of a kitchen…. How do you smell a rose? [Compare] how you smell one rose in your hand to walking through a rose orchard. It is a different kind of smelling act. The smell which reaches your nostrils… and olfactory organs while walking through a rose garden is different. Our acts differ. Carry out these observations to formally understand the sensely act.
6. Don’t think that sensely acts are very technical, like technical processes in your asanas and… pranayama —breathing like this and… that to mobilize the body like this and that, etc…. There are no such technical processes for the senses to… address. Therefore we will have to have this observation.
Pratyahara Means ‘Opposite (Prati-) Food (ahara) +00.00
1. Patanjali has devoted one complete limb, out of eight, to the senses, called pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses). Now pratyahara is loosely translated in English as abstraction.This is OK if you are not a formal student. You can say pratyahara is abstraction and then we have the vague idea that pratyahara means drawing the organs in, etc.
But the word pratyahara is so fascinating, and so apt, that we need to investigate the very term here used by Patanjali for sensory processes….
2. Pratyahara means prati-ahara. Prati means opposite, ahara (food) means food. What are the foods of the senses? Vision is the food of the eyes. Audition is the food of the ears.
Shabda (sound), sparsha (touch), rupa (form), rasa (taste), and gandha (smell) are the food of the senses. The shabda (sound) of the ears… is the food of the ears. Sparsha, touch, is the food of the tactile organ —the skin. Rupa are the forms… and visual manifestations that are food for the eyes. Rasa is the food for the tongue. And gandha is the food for the olfactory organ.
3. So these [sounds, etc.] are food for the organs. Therefore it is their ahara (food)….
Now, in the philosophical description all these five senses —chakshu (eye), jihva (tongue), kan (ear), tvak (skin), etc., —are called vishayendriyas (senses; literally external objects of the organs). But epistemology, which has come from the West, calls them cognitive organs, the jnanendriyas (literally organs of knowledge).
Inquire… how much the senses [seek] knowledge. How much do the senses go for the objects? The senses gravitate towards their objects more than knowledge.
The senses, or vishayendriyas, gravitate towards objects. Shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa, and gandha are the vishayas, the objects. The senses, therefore, are vishayendriyas. But in epistemology philosophy, again, they are called jnanendriyas….
4. What do you do in the yogic, or adhyatmika (pursuit of Self), process —what you call the spiritual process? Do you send your mind…, and the senses, here and there, and then say [that they] have gone for spiritual pursuit? Do you send your senses somewhere, ears somewhere, mind somewhere, for spiritual pursuit? The spiritual pursuit is within. That spiritual wisdom is located within you….
When the senses go inward, the eyes are not going for any form…. [When] you close your eyes for a yogic purpose, a spiritual purpose, the eyes are not going for any visual objects inside. The ears are not going for any auditory object inside. The nostrils, and nose, are not going for any olfactory object inside. The skin is not going inside for any tactile object. The tongue is not going for any gustatory object. So when the senses are taken in, [as part of] the so-called spiritual process, [which is] better called the adhyatmika, or yogic, process….
You don’t take the tongue in for tasting something inside, a spiritual substance. You don’t send your eyes inside to have the vision of something spiritual. You don’t send your ears inside to go for some spiritual sound. They go for wisdom when they all go inward. They go for wisdom. Therefore, they are jnanendriyas when they work in the internal realm.
5. When the senses work in business plane of life, when they work in external realms, they are vishayendriyas, they are senses [seeking] objects. There are five kinds of objects [that] become object organs. They gravitate towards objects. They don’t try to go for wisdom.
Suppose we are all relishing mangoes and ice cream. We don’t bother to have any knowledge or wisdom about mangoes and ice cream. We just relish the taste. We don’t analyze what ice cream really is, how is it made, or what its ingredients and nutrients are. Should it really be eaten? How much should be eaten? Is it really very good for us? So, also, in the case of mangoes, apples, oranges…. The senses treat them as objects, and then we interact… with those objects to [obtain] pleasure gratification.
Eyes do not go after a visual object necessarily for knowledge…, [but] for… visual gratification. Ears for auditory gratification. Nose for olfactory gratification. Tongue for gustatory gratification. Skin for tactile gratification. So they are organs of gratification…. Then, incidentally, they become cognitive organs. But they gravitate more towards gratification than knowledge.
We might direct them for knowledge, “I want to know more about this, and that’s why I am looking at it.” “I want to hear this because I want to have more knowledge about it.”
6. It is our subjective entity which engages the senses for knowledge pursuits. Therefore they become cognitive organs. But they gravitate more towards objects for gratification… as organs of gratification.
Therefore, philosophy calls them vishayendriyas (organs of external objects) in the business plane of activity. In a wakeful state they are vishayendriyas. [When] they are going after the objects, it is not right to call them jnanendriyas…. They are grazing in the fields outside of their objects…, in the fields of visual objects, auditory objects, tactile objects, gustatory objects, and olfactory objects. They go for grazing and get gratified.
7. The [organs] are called vishayendriyas, and [the objects] are their food. If you [take away] any such food from them, then what is it? It’s no [longer] ahara (food). [If] the food is not there, what does it become? Anahara —fasting. So understand this word.
Pratyahara — The Senses Pursue Jnana, Not Vishayas (External Objects) +14.40
1. To understand pratyahara, we have to understand certain words with reference tothe senses. First of all, ahara (food). [If] there is ahara, there is food for senses, like food for intelligence, food for mind, food for heart, food for emotions. That is food for the senses, ahara.
2. Now this ahara can come in different grades and different qualities. If you overeat the word is atyahara…. If you eat food in a discrete, or moderate, way, then it is called alpahara. So, ahara, alpahara, anahara, upahara (light snack food)… These terms refer to food.
3. Then there is another inflection with the prefix prati-(opposite) in pratyahara. To understand pratyahara as an educational process, we must identify what ahara…, anahara…, atyahara…, upahara…, and alpahara are. Then we will be qualified to understand what pratyahara is. Atyahara means overeating. Alpahara means under eating. Upahara… means munching something.
4. Anahara means fasting. What is fasting? Non-eating is not just fasting because between two meals we don’t eat anything. There may be half an hour, one hour, two hours, three hours, or four hours when we don’t eat anything, but it doesn’t become fasting. What is fasting? When we… skip our food. When we are usually eating…, [if] we take a bypass and don’t eat, that is fasting…. Not eating doesn’t mean you are fasting.
There is a faulty word in English called breakfast. It is breaking the fast. If you were sleeping during the night, that is not really fasting. Just because you are not eating during your dormancy, it doesn’t mean that you are really fasting.
What is fasting? [Fasting is] bypassing, not eating food when you are scheduled to eat food…. [Else,] if you were to skip your lunch… or dinner, then, you could say, “I have fasted.” Just because you have not eaten, doesn’t mean that you are fasting. Breakfast has come into English and is in vogue…, [but] you don’t really fast at night.
You don’t eat at nightbecause you are[either] fast asleep…, or you want to be sleeping. So anahara (fasting) means to fast if you don’t give food to the senses when… they want it…, need it…, should be given it…, or when scheduled to be given it. If you don’t give it to them, then that is called anahara .
There is fasting for the senses also. So these are very interesting concepts and terms which we have to understand to be understanding pratyahara. Ahara is food; atyahara is overeating, over gratifying; alpahara is discreet undereating, eating less; anahara is not eating.
5. Anyahara means eating what you should not be eating. Many times we eat what we should not be eating…, or are not supposed to be eating and usually don’t eat it…. When you consume poison that… poison is anyahara. That is not food… to [nourish] your system…. It is going to work the other way. What we should not be eating is anyahara. If you eat that, it is anyahara.
6. Pratyahara is a kind of [consumption]. It is not that the senses fast during pratyahara. In the spiritual act, the senses are not working as vishayendriyas. The eyes are not going after visual objects, the ears not after auditory objects, the nose not after olfactory objects, the tongue not after gustatory objects, and the skin not after tactile objects.
Where do they go? What do they do? It is called pratyahara. It is not opposite food in the sense food [is not] poison. Food and poison are in opposition of each other. Poison is something that is not food. It cannot be food.
But, then, what is pratyahara? When the senses are taken inwards in yogic process they are engaged somewhere. They are not fasting.
[Although] they are not going for upahara, anyahara, etc., there is a kind of ahara. They are going for a kind of food which is opposite of the food they take when they are part of the embodiment made up of flesh. That’s why the word pratyahara [breaks down into] prati-ahara (against food). Therefore, ponder over the various aharas which I just now have spoken about.
When the senses are drawn inward, there is an experience. You don’t go to an anesthetized condition. You don’t go to an unconscious condition when the senses have gone in drawn in the yogic process. That means the senses are disengaged from the [external] objects.
7. But the senses are not just disengaged. They are engaged within… for jnana. I won’t call it knowledge. It’s jnana because in the last session I told you what jnana is….
Jnana in the Bhagavad Gita +22.25
1. The Bhagavad Gita, in the 13th chapter, has described jnana:
adhyatma-jnana-nityatvam tattva-jnana-artha-darshanam |
etaj jnanam iti proktam ajnanam yad ato anyatha ||
Steadfastness (nityatvam) in the jnana (knowledge) of the Self (adhyatma), contemplation (darshanam) on the goal (artha) of the jnana (knowledge) of reality (tattva), this is spoken of (proktam) as jnana (knowledge). Ajnanam (ignorance) is that which is other (anyatha) than this (ato). [Bhagavad Gita 13.11]
2. So-called spiritual knowledge is only… worldly knowledge, mundane knowledge, the business of activity knowledge. The knowledge you need for your vocation, or profession, is not really knowledge. It’s all really ajnana (ignorance).
[Although] we collect academic degrees, we are essentially collecting certificates of ignorance. That’s only knowledge for business activity, your profession, your vocation, your job, your activity and economic activity…. [Although] they are [forms of] knowledge…, they are ajnana (ignorance) —essentially not knowledge [of reality]…. That’s why the Bhagavad Gita says
adhyatma-jnana-nityatvam tattva-jnana-artha-darshanam etaj jnanam….
Steadfastness (nityatvam) in the jnana (knowledge) of the Self (adhyatma), contemplation (darshanam) on the goal (artha) of the jnana (knowledge) of reality (tattva), this is spoken of (proktam) as jnana (knowledge).
ajnanam yad ato anyatha ||
Ajnanam (ignorance) is that which is other (anyatha) than this (ato).
3. Only[knowledge of the Self (adhyatma)] is jnana (knowledge). All the rest is ajnana.
So [when] the senses pursue, and… are engaged with, jnana, they are engaged with wisdom.
[Then] the eyes no longer remain visual organs. They become wisdom organs. When they go inward they are going after wisdom.
When the ears go inward, they are going after wisdom. When the olfactory organ goes inwards, it goes after wisdom. When the gustatory organ goes inwards, it goes for wisdom. When the tactile organ goes inwards, it goes for wisdom.
The wisdom is not in five forms —shabda wisdom, sparsha wisdom [shaking his head]. The shabda (sound), sparsha (touch), rupa (form), and rasa (taste) are the vishayas (external objects). That is why Patanjali, in his sutra describing the whole material manifestation, says there are two purposes (artham), bhoga (enjoyment) and apavarga (emancipation).
Senses Act as Bhogendriyas (Organs of Mundane Experience) +24.50.
1. In the business planes of activity. our senses go for bhoga. Bhoga is the experience of life —the positive and negative conditions of life….
Now, when the senses are working in a wakeful state, they are bhogendriyas (organs of experience). Bhoga does not mean… suffering, as in the vernacular, or gratification. The experience of pleasure, and pain… are all moha (delusion). Sukha (pleasure), duhkha (pain), and moha are bhoga (experience in opposition to yoga). Bhoga means sukha, duhkha, and moha. And the senses are bhogendriyas. They get pleasure, and sometimes sorrow.
2. As I said during the last session, I can make your mind immediately sad by presenting a very unsightly object to your senses through the eyes. Sorrow will [also] easily enter through your ears. I can break very bad news to you, so your ears will become a gateway for sorrow. I can show you something which is very bad, very hurting, and your mind will be hurt. Your eyes…, nose…, tongue…, ears…, and skin become gateways of duhkha. They become gateways of sukha, duhkha, moha.
As I said during the last session, I can give you pain or pleasure in no time by sensory input, by sensory stimulation. If you are sad, I can make you happier by sensory stimulation. I can also present a sensory object to mitigate, or, perhaps, overcome sorrow. It depends on the degree of the sorrow, or the exaltation of the pleasure of an object.
3. To give you an example. Suppose you are in utter sorrow and you think you can never come out of that sorrow. But, then, you can come out of the sorrow because of [your] vasanas (tendencies). If I say you have won a raffle of ten billion rupees, you will overcome the sorrow. You [may] not show that you have overcome it, but you really will be overcoming the sorrow. You will be delighted that your account has been credited 10 billion rupees because of the raffle. So the senses can do that.
4. Now, when the senses are drawn inwards, they no longer remain sukhendriyas (organs of pleasure), dukhendriyas (organs of pain), or bhogendriyas (organs of worldly experience), etc. They become wisdom indriyas (organs). The eyes do the same thing as the ears. All five become wisdom organs, i.e., apavarga-artha (liberation-means) aspects of senses.
Our body, mind, and senses operate on two channels. One is for bhoga (worldly experience), to experience life by way of pain, pleasure, delusion, delight, sorrow, and infatuation. Alternately, in the spiritual process, they will become wisdom indriyas (organs), apavargendriyas (liberation organs), where they all go for one object. The five senses don’t go for one object. The five senses go after five objects. But, in the internal realm, they go for one object. Their one object is apavarga (liberation). Their one object is spiritual wisdom.
5. We open out that channel in yoga. The senses are weaned away from their usual interactions with their vishayas, sensory objects, and then… function internally. Their internal function is the apavarga-artha (means of liberation)….
6. Pratyahara is not just the popular notion of drawing the senses inwards… like a turtle, tortoise, draws the senses inwards…. You can draw the senses inwards, but, yet, the senses can go after objects, which happens in dreams. Suppose you get an elephant in a dream. The elephant in the dream is a virtual reality, not an actual reality. But you experience the elephant in the dream as if it were a real elephant. Now, the eyes don’t see in dreams…, ears do not hear in dreams, the nose doesn’t smell in dreams, the tongue doesn’t taste anything in dreams. It is [because of] the mind.
The mind is a collocation [working side-by-side] of all five organs that work internally for bhoga. Even if you don’t have a pleasurable object inside, you can close your eyes… and imagine a pleasurable object. The mind will project that pleasurable object to you.
7. In dreams you have five perceptions, the five cognitions… but they don’t need the five senses. In the phenomenon of sleep, dormancy, the senses are absorbed in prana, so they are not really functional. The eyes don’t function in a dream even if you are seeing some visual object. If you have any auditory object, you don’t need these ears to hear something in a dream. Charma (corporeal) chakshu (eyes), charma karmendriya (corporeal organs of action)… are mortal organs, organs of flesh.
The mind is an internal organ which plays the role of all five organs and gives you sukha (pleasure), duhkha (pain), and moha (delusion). Dreams can give you pleasure, dreams can give you sorrow, dreams can give you delusion. The senses don’t do that. The mind, as an internal sense organ, does it. So [when] just drawing the senses inward, the mind will play the role of the five senses, as in a dream. Understand [that drawing the senses inward] is layman’s understanding.
8. Pratyahara draws in the senses, and the analogy of turtle is given…. How does the tortoise draw its senses inward? It withdraws its senses, not for pratyahara…, [but] for protection. It takes them under the shell. It is very much in an a wakeful state. The tortoise doesn’t immediately go to yoga because it is a defensive mechanism.
When it sees danger coming, it will withdraw… to protect the senses, which is a kind of instinct even for us. If you are attacked, you try to protect your senses. The tortoise draws the senses inward only to protect the senses. So, pratyahara is not like a tortoise drawing the senses inwards. The tortoise will only withdraw when there is a danger, or when it wants to rest. We have to have this kind of formal, round about way of understanding the… pratyahara concept of sensory acts. It is not right to call them abstraction, as pratyahara is rendered into English….
9. It is a flaw to render the technical words of yoga into English. Asanas should not be called postures. Asanas are asanas. Pranayama should not be called breath-ayama. It should be called pranayama. These are technical terms. Yamas and niyamas are technical terms. Asana, pranayama, and pratyahara are technical terms. Dharana, dhyana, and samadhi are technical terms. Don’t call dharana concentration, dhyana meditation, samadhi trance —which we discussed in our earlier sessions.
10. Pratyahara is pratyahara. It is a flaw to translate that into English as abstraction. So what is that pratyahara —prati-ahara? [The senses] have a food in the internal realm, in the spiritual realm. The senses won’t starve. If the senses have gone inward for a spiritual purpose, they won’t starve. They are not even fasting. They will not be hungry because they are engaged. They have an internal activity, which is the apavarga-artha (means of liberation) kriya (action) of the senses. So they become wisdom organs. Wisdom means spiritual wisdom. I am not referring to wisdom in the business activity of life. Some of us are very wise in the business activity of life, but that wisdom is not being referred to here. This is the jnana.
11. Try to understand how the senses work differently in asana. In all asanas we want to relax our senses…. Whatever the asana, we want to relax our senses. That is the first step to take with regard to the senses. If you are going to address your senses, the first condition you would look for is that your senses are relaxed. Or, an even earlier step that the senses are not tensed or stressed. You will take precaution to not stress the senses. Ifyour eyes are stressed in Vrschikasana, or Kapotasana, overcome the stress and tension in the eyes. After you overcome tension, you will to try to relax your eyes.
Now relaxation has got only one spelling, R-E-L-A-X. But we will be introduced to a… spectrum of relaxation. How do you relax your eyes in Sirsasana? If you relax your eyes in Sirsasana, what are the characteristics of relaxation…? How do you experience eyes relaxed in Sirsasana? Eyes relaxed in Sarvangasana, eyes relaxed in Trikonasana, eyes relaxed in Paschimottanasana, Janu Sirsasana. In various asanas it will be a different experience of relaxation, starting from Tadasana to Viparita Shalabhasana.
Everywhere you will try to relax your senses. Before that you will first see that the senses are not stressed, or tensed, particularly when it’s a difficult posture. Your senses, eyes, will easily get stressed and tensed by a difficult posture, a difficult contortion where you are uncomfortable, or where you are having pain in asana.
The word [relaxation] is one. Relaxing the eyes —in Sirsasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana, Viparita Dandasana, Kapotasana, Vrschikasana, Janu Sirsasana, Marichyasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Paripurna Matsyendrasana, Ekapada Sirsasana, Dwipada Koundinyasana, Ekapada Koundinyasana, Dwipada Sirsasana, Navasana, Urdhva Dhanurasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Viparita Shalabhasana —will be a different process everywhere, a different state, a different effect, a different consideration. Then, relaxing the eyes in Savasana, will be radically different than relaxing your eyes in pranayama….
The teachers will say relax your eyes in Sirsasana, then, again, in Savasana, and, again, in pranayama, but it does not mean one and the same. Sometimes relax… means overcome stress. You are tensed and [should] overcome tension. Overcoming tension is not really relaxation. If you analytically look into the word critically…, not being stressed or tensed doesn’t mean you are relaxed. Relaxation is another state, another pole. It is a journey to an opposite pole, so just undoing any tension doesn’t mean you are relaxed. To relax you will do something else.
But the lexicographic word doesn’t have any shades of meaning, and it is not multifaceted. In any word that is not [part of] a multifaceted language, the meaning will be one. But it will have countless meanings.
Another thing to observe in your yogic practices, is how to relax the eyes. What happens if I relax my eyes in Sirsasana…, Trikonasana…, Virabhadrasana III…, Janu Sirsasana…, Matsyendrasana, and in various asanas. Understand the implications of the proposal. The proposal will be sounded in one way, “relax your eyes.” But the process will be different, the effect will be different, the consequence will be different. So this is the study that we have to carry out to understand sensely acts.
12. The last lesson I told you about awareness. The senses are conditioners of your mind. You have heard me for the last half an hour, forty minutes.
Now, for the rest of… my talk, try to hear from the hind ears, from the back of the ears. It will be a different… culture of audition, therefore, effect of audition. Hearing from fore ears, hind ears, bottom ears, top ears, center ears, will all be a different culture.
13. Carry out that observation while, as I said, hearing gossip you don’t want to hear, and gossip which you want to hear in a wakeful state. These are different acts. How do you hear [when] listening to gospel that you want to hear, and are keen to hear? [When] you are listening to gospel which you don’t want to hear, how do you hear it? They are different acts. Try to develop these observations in a wakeful state —how the senses function because of the different condition on the subjective entity behind likes, dislikes, love, loathe, taste, distaste, detest, and love.
14. This subjective entity make the senses work differently. Now, in your yogic practices, understand how the senses participate. In asanas, in sensely acts or the acts of the senses, the senses must be used. How do you use them? How should you use them? The senses must be addressed. How should you address the senses? The senses must be applied. There must be application on the senses.
From Sirsasana to Savasana, try to understand how you can use your eyes…. What should the eyes do? How should you use the eyes? How should you apply on the eyes? Eyes applying. Eyes applied. Eyes addressed. Eyes addressing. It is important to get some essential knowledge of pratyahara, practical knowledge of pratyahara in this survey.
How should the ears be working? You may not be hearing in Sirsasana or Sarvangasana, but yet ears have some act. That’s why there is a figurative expression, “should be sound between the two ears.” If you get sound in the two ears, it is not a comfortable state. It’s a disease that will harass and torment you…. So sound in the ears is not a good condition…. But there should be sound within the ears. Why? What is that…?
You can address the earsa little more proficiently in Sirsasana. What do you do for ears? Have you heard of any technique of the ears lobes…? “Your ears are going up, bring them down. Your ears are bent, stretch the ears…. You don’t get anything like that.
You don’t hear “Your nose is tilted. Make it straight. Your nose is contracted. Expand the nose…. There are no references to the senses.
However, we will find a lot of scope to address…, use…, and apply the senses. Senses can be applied. Senses can be applying. Ears can be applications, ears can be applying. Eyes can be having applications. Eyes can be applying. Carry out this survey of aindriya kriya (sensely acts) in your asana practice. I think this is enough… input for the first time… [about] sensely acts.
Destiny Reward (Karma Siddhanta) +44.00
1. Before we conclude the session, I want to answer a very fascinating question… in regard to destiny. Destiny is something which haunts all spiritual seekers, all wisdom seekers. It is a big, enigmatic concept. Let me give a small input with regards to [whether?] we are destined to get happiness, or sorrow.
2. If you have done good thing…, a good act…, you should be rewarded. But, then, when you will be rewarded is not in your hands…. Although a good deed, a good act, entails a reward, you can’t say, when the reward should be given.
Even when a reward is given, it is your choice whether to accept, or not to accept, it. Many rewards are returned…. So whether to accept a reward, or not accept a reward, is, again, your prerogative. [But,] whether you should be rewarded, or not, is not your prerogative.
Just because you have done a good deed, it doesn’t mean that you… should be rewarded. You may not be rewarded, or you might be rewarded remotely sometimes. So, if you have done a good deed, you should be rewarded. But, you may be rewarded at any time, or… when the agency thinks you should be rewarded. You might accept or you might not accept….
You can even send a proxy to receive… your reward. You can get the reward and just maintain it, keep it under lock and key and not use it at all. Not [seek] any publicity of it, not take any pride in it…. If you are given reward, you could also transmit it to someone else.
3. But suppose you have done a bad deed. If you have done a bad deed, then you are certain to get penalized. Reward is not a certainty. That you should be rewarded is not a certainty, but that you should be punished is a certainty. If you are punished you can’t say, “Not now, punish me later.” You can abort a reward, “Can you please postpone it?” or, “I will send a proxy.” You can’t say, “I will send a proxy for my penalty.” You will have to take it. You can’t refuse it. You can refuse a reward, but you can’t refuse a penalty….
The time for a penalty can be appointed. The time for areward may not be appointed. Reward may come or may not come in your lifetime. But a penalty… more often it will come to you in this lifetime in some form or another. The judiciary might not penalize you, but you will be penalized by higher authorities, a higher judiciary, which doesn’t bother about the laws of the land.
4. In the spiritual process you can get rewards, but put them in reserve and not use them. If you use a reward, it will exhaust its fruit. But you can accumulate it by not enjoying it…. You can go on accumulating rewards, but, when it comes to sin, the penalty has to be faced when you are sentenced. You do not have any right to refuse the penalty. You can refuse an award, but you cannot refuse a… penalty…, because you don’t have the power, the authority, to refuse it.
But there are saints who have this power to refuse the rewards and… even the sins…. Suppose you are given a death penalty sentence. You can’t say, “I will send a proxy.” No! But saints can do it. Sages can do it, and have done it. They have powers. We don’t have powers…. Many times they take on the suffering of their disciples…, of their devotees. That’s why they suffer. They don’t suffer in their [own] suffering. Therefore, they take on the suffering of their disciples. They take on the suffering of their devotees. They will be redeemed and the saint will be suffering.
Many times we ask why a saint should suffer so much. [Does it] mean there must be lot of sin committed by the saint? No! They have a power and an authority which we don’t have. I can’t transfer my sin to your account. You can’t transfer your sin to my account. But a saint can do that. He can transfer the sins of others into his account. He doesn’t transfer his into somebody else’s account because he doesn’t bother about suffering. He is not agonized by suffering, and that’s why he can take… [on] the transaction of suffering from his devotee to his account….
5. I will just give you one incidence which really happened not in the remote past. You all know Satya Sai Baba of Shirdi. He was asadhu, he was a saint, he was an avatar. So he [always] kept fire around him. There [always] was some vessel containing fire…. Whenever he was sitting, there were four containers containing fire. Once it so happened that he dipped his hand into a vessel, which was burning. It really burnt his arm, but he did not remove it…. After a while he removed the arm.
The disciples asked him what this strange act was. Why did you burn your arm? Why did you insert your arm into it? He said, “I wanted to pick up a child, a baby of my devotee, who had contacted fire. To pick up the child from the fire, I dipped my hand in. Unless you put your hand into the fire you can’t remove something from it. I wanted that baby to be saved, so I dipped, and then I removed, my hand and the baby was saved.
So he suffered. But, being a saint, he knew that he doesn’t really suffer…. Many saints have done [the same]. They have taken on the suffering of others. They have that power, we don’t have that power They were not destined to suffer, but still they suffered…. We are destined to suffer… with no escape.
6. How does destiny works in yoga? Suppose I am destined to travel between Pune and Mumbai…. I can travel by bullock cart and suffer a lot, right…? Two hundred years ago the means would have been by bullock cart. Even today I can take a bullock cart and transport myself to Mumbai. I will suffer the jerks and jolts, and what not, with the sun and inclement weather. If I am destined to travel between point A and B, then it can be by bullock cart or by limousine. In the car I will have lots of pleasure with the super suspension…, the music…, and the air conditioning…. So in the spiritual process destiny is there, but you’re given a limousine rather than a bullock cart.
So destiny is there, but it doesn’t mean that you are… supposed to be suffering. That’s how we are insulated by the spiritual processes. We don’t suffer where usually anyone suffers. We will suffer if we do not have that protective gear of spirituality, spiritualism, spirituality in us. In adhyatma you don’t escape destiny. However, you don’t suffer even if destined to suffer.
There are so many things in karma siddhanta! This had just occurred to me with somebody’s inquiry, so I offered this input. With that we end this session.
 I said you must observe that we havea [specific] visual act when the object is beautiful: See “Sensely Acts (Aindriya Kriya) Differ from Sensory Acts +12.15,” Lesson 20: Acts of the Senses (Aindriya Kriya) 5-31-20.
 pratyahara is loosely translated in English as abstraction: Although abstraction does convey extraction, as in the removal of something, I have never heard it used that way, nor seen yogic pratyahara described that way.
 Shabda (sound), sparsha (touch), rupa (form), rasa (taste), and gandha (smell) are the food of the senses. The shabda (sound) of the ears: These are the tanmatras (subtle senses), the evolutes that arise from asmita (I-ness). Thus, Prashant’s earlier statement that the ears “are not a tape recorder” is the result of the influence of this aforementioned “subjective entity” — the asmita (or ahamkara in Samkhya) from which shabda springs. Prashant will go on to explain that the outward-facing jnanendriyas (sense organs) unwittingly seek these external objects of sound in the pursuit of the “business activities of life” — which is a description of bhoga — in lieu of the jnana (knowledge) derived when turned inward towards apavarga (liberation). At the conclusion of “Jnana in the Bhagavad Gita” he will cite this originating in PYS II.18.
 these five senses — chakshu (eye), jihva (tongue), kan (ear), tvak (skin), etc., — are called vishayendriyas: Although I can’t find a dictionary definition of vishendriya (as in the online transcript), I believe it is a compound term joining vishaya, an external object, derived from vish, meaning property, people, or subjects of the royalty, with indriya (organ).
Prashant has cited the term vishayavati pravrtti used in PYS I.35-6: vishayavati (experience relating to an object of the senses) pravrtti (concentration) expels the obsession of sensuality, or vishaya vrtti. Dr. Arya explained that the external vishayas (sense objects) prevent the full realization of concentration in the buddhi in samapatti (VB I.41). A higher form of internal object that is constituted of the light of sattva experienced in dharana is also called a vishaya (VB I.36). [Prashant Iyengar, Yogasana: The 18 Mahakriyas of Yogasana, Pune: RIMYI 2013. P. 53-64P. 59; Pandit Usharbudh Arya, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Vol. 1, Himalayan Inst., Honesdale, Pa., 1986 P. 356]
 In a wakeful state they are vishayendriyas: The Mandukya Upanishad categorizes the four states of consciousness: waking (jagarita-sthana); dreaming (svapna-sthana); dreamless deep sleep (sushupta-sthana) without any desire, consisting of bliss (anandamaya) represented by the letter M in AUM; and a fourth liberated state (turiya), beyond the prior three, that is tranquil, benign, one with the Self and without a second. The first three states correspond to the gross body, subtle body, and causal body.
 They are grazing in the fields outside of their objects: vishaya is also a farmer’s field.
 Atyahara means overeating. Alpahara means under eating: ati means extremely; alpa means small.
 Pratyahara is a kind of [consumption]: Prashant said “kind of food,” for which I substituted consumption – the act of consuming the food. Thus pratyahara (against food) is the consumption of jnana (knowledge) by the jnanendriyas, as opposed to consumption of vishayas (external objects) by vishayendriyas (externally directed organs).
 It is not that the senses fast during pratyahara: Hence the breakfast analogy that you cannot fast while asleep.
 the senses are engaged within… for jnana. I won’t call it knowledge. It’s jnana because in the last session I told you what jnana is: See “Internal Jnanendriya vs. External Bhogendriya +20.10,” and “Jnana — Five Knowledge Types +26.20,” Lesson 20: Acts of the Senses (Aindriya Kriya) 5-31-20.
 So-called spiritual knowledge is only… worldly knowledge…: Prashant’s use of the modifier so-called challenges the widely-accepted adjective spiritual. It highlights the difference between the direct experience of Self and an abstract secondary description of it that relies on words.
 Patanjali, in his sutra describing the whole material manifestation, says there are two purposes (artham), bhoga (enjoyment) and apavarga (emancipation): PYS II.18: Nature (the seen; ie. prakrti) (and its three) qualities (shilam) of brilliance (prakasha), action (kriya), and stability (sthiti), (and its evolutes), the elements (bhutas), the mind, senses of perception and organs of action (indriyas), exist eternally to serve the Seer, for bhoga (enjoyment) or apavarga (emancipation).
 As I said during the last session, I can make your mind immediately sad by presenting a very unsightly object to your senses through the eyes: See “Sensely Acts (Aindriya Kriya) Differ from Sensory Acts +12.15: “I can present an object to your senses, which is irritating…, and the mind will be immediately… sorrowed.” Lesson 20: Acts of the Senses (Aindriya Kriya) 5-31-20.
 The last lesson I told you about awareness. The senses are conditioners of your mind: See “Internal Jnanendriya vs. External Bhogendriya +20.10,” Lesson 20: Acts of the Senses (Aindriya Kriya) 5-31-20.
 Carry out that observation while, as I said, hearing gossip you don’t want to hear, and gossip which you want to hear in a wakeful state: See “Likes and Dislikes of the External Senses +41.10,” Lesson 20: Acts of the Senses (Aindriya Kriya) 5-31-20.