Four sutras about yoga. The third sutra.
The possibility of social concentration. Fate and practice, the laws of Fate, the development of “vision”, the choice of “meaning of Life”, yoga and “Maslow’s pyramid”, conscious choice and Freedom.
The terms: Karma, expansion of Consciousness, Laws of Fate, freedom of Choice, conscious choice, life Mission, meaning of Life, Maslow pyramid, school of yoga, Yoga of the reverse spiral, social Destiny, Karmic healing, Samsara wheel.
3.1. Did anyone ever suggested to you, “Hey, do you want ideal conditions for practicing yoga? I will create them for you. I will solve all your social and physiological needs, pay all your debts. Just do it”. No, nobody offered me that. And, if offered, “free cheese comes only in a mousetrap”.
3.2. Therefore, the practice of Raja yoga is always parallel to work, family, children, career, grandchildren, changing presidents and senators, wars, stock exchange crashes and irregular currencies. That is, our Inner world is ALWAYS intertwined with the Outer world. And I just have to explain it to you. I am sure that you already know this, but still… This is the most difficult part of the path – from exercises to the first small (petty, not interesting, modest) Siddhi. It is this piece of the Path that passes through the Darkness. Then, your Path reveals your Vision.
So, I explain the points:
- Destiny or the Life Path from birth to death must be analyzed in meditation. It teaches to see what is hidden.
- The skill of “social concentration” on the turns (events) of one’s Fate leads to an understanding of Life. Social Destiny consists of situations and this mosaic (of situations) one must be able to see. And the skill of the mystical (occult) vision is simply the result of practice.
- The skill of “social concentration” on the situations of one’s Fate gives a vision of the overall picture. Situations are governed by the laws of Fate (Karma). The vision of the “big picture” means “expansion of consciousness”.
- The skill of “social concentration” on the laws of your Destiny gives you an awareness of situations and their root causes. The need for the “practice of recognition” of situations and their laws leads to the “vision” of your Destiny.
- The development of the “vision” of the laws of Fate gives an understanding of Karma in its essence. The skill of anticipating new situations opens by itself, as a result of practice.
- Not everyone has freedom of choice. Conscious choice is acceptance of responsibility. Responsibility for your choice leads to Freedom to choose.
3.3. The Path is never even. The Path is not a straight line. The Path is a labyrinth. And you will not pass it without mistakes.
3.4. So, Destiny or Life Path from birth to death.
3.5. Any Birth always ends in Death. Sooner or later. If you think that we all live only once, then there is no point in such a Birth. And in Nature everything is saturated with meaning.
3.6. If you like the theory of Reincarnation, then the meaning comes to Birth. This is the development of the Soul in a long chain of endless rebirths. And, believe me, I do not argue with your religion, I just seek the meaning in the birth of a person on Earth.
3.7. Therefore, any meditation on the subject of the Path, one’s own Destiny, the Life’s mission, leads to reflections on the Meaning of Life. Why are we born? Just to die soon? Probably not. But everyone can choose for themselves the answer to this question. And your Destiny will depend on your choice.
3.8. Choice: “Get everything out of life. Maximum pleasure.”
3.9. Choice: “Serving money.”
3.10. Choice: “Career. Power.”
3.11. Choice: “Family. Children. Home. Grandchildren.”
3.12. Selection: “Sex in all manifestations.”
3.13. Choice: “Love. Kindness. Happiness.”
3.14. Selection: “Spiritual Development. The Path.”
3.15. Choice: “Will. Subdue your body. Victory. Success.”
3.16. Choice: “Serving God. Absolute. Higher Power.”
There may be other options for your choices. There could be a choice at every stage of your Destiny. There may be several choices simultaneously or sequentially.
3.17. Your choice is manifested in what you do in your free time. Your choice is to follow your needs (within your social possibilities), according to the well-known “Maslow’s pyramid”. Realization of your needs determines who you are at the moment.
3.18. No shameful or stupid life goals. After all, each need (according to Maslow’s pyramid) has its “roots”.
School years – the need for authority among peers.
Coming of age is sexual realization.
Then there is a need for money, and, therefore, for a career.
Then comes the need for family and children, the house.
Then, family happiness loses its charm. There is a need for rest (for some), or a need for attention (for others).
And so on. But most of our needs are a continuation of our physiology and subconscious programs.
3.19. Only those whose needs are little related to social realization come to Raja yoga. Or, the implementation of which has already been completed. Because the practice of Raja Yoga REQUIRES time. And this time (in practice) is always LITTLE. Therefore, each adept has his own time limit in the daily practice of yoga.
3.20. But, in order to fully concentrate on the Practice, you should have a SOCIAL OPPORTUNITY. The possibility of social concentration. To do this, you must have means of livelihood (or profession “in hands”) and realized vital needs in sex, home, security. According to the same “Maslow’s pyramid”. The author believes that according to “Maslow’s pyramid”, the solution of ordinary social problems is a prerequisite for successful practice. Otherwise, the adept CONSTANTLY faces the phenomenon of “distraction of attention” in his concentration.
3.21. Which way did I go?
I started practicing yoga in 1978, while still in school, in the 9th grade. One hour a day, every day.
In 1984 I went to a yoga school and studied two hours a day, every day.
In 1986, I started teaching yoga once a week, in a group of 40 students. At this stage I realized that the skill of concentration is the most difficult one in the practice of yoga.
In 1988, I realized that to succeed in yoga, you need to do more. I quit my engineering job (it sounds silly, I understand) and began to teach yoga professionally. In 1988 I had 10 groups in which more than 300 people studied. At each session, in each group, I paid attention to meditation for up to 20 minutes. A written survey of 300 students showed that “unsolved social problems”, daily “struggle for survival”, and internal “negative emotions” interfere with “the practice of concentration of attention”. To work with these “obstacles” courses were created, seminars were held, healing and relaxation sessions were appointed.
But yoga was in no hurry to reveal its secrets.
In 1994, I realized that “social realization in yoga” was enough for me.
I also realized that the school, in which I teach, carries its main goal – self expansion, instead of the “internal development” of its adepts. Expanding the school (my directorial activities, managing 18 branches and 120 yoga instructors) took a lot of my time. In 1994, in our “Institute of Yoga Pedagogy”, about 3,000 students were engaged in 18 cities of the former USSR.
In 1996, we developed a “Training Program” for the “School of Yoga” (course 1, 2, 3 – three years of study) and “Institute of Yoga” (courses 1-4 – four years of study). I passed the “School of Yoga” to my students and worked ONLY with the instructors of the “School”. The “Institute” classes were held in four cities, with 16 training hours in each group, with the practice of meditations for 1 hour. Such an approach significantly changed the results of the “practice of concentration” towards improvement.
In 1998, I realized that personal practice and the training of others are two different directions. I had a lot of social achievements (1986 – 1998) from a children’s yoga school for 400 children to a published book (about yoga philosophy, about the Path) of 500 pages, plus much, much more… But I didn’t go to yoga for that… And I decided to give freedom to all my students.
In 2005 I had a need to change my profession.
From 2009 to 2014, I practiced Raja Yoga exercises from 30 minutes to an hour a day.
In 2015, I realized a new need – to share experiences. Thus, three books of 400-560 pages each were written – of the “Yoga of the reverse spiral” Project. In the process of writing each of the three books (2015 – 2018), I spent about 300 hours in meditations.
3.22. You may have your own path. But for regular practice of Raja Yoga, you need a Social opportunity and spiritual demand.
3.23. The skill of “social concentration” on the turns (events) of your Destiny. Social Destiny consists of situations.
3.24. Everybody has his own way of life. Destiny always depends on your choice. If you “let Fate take its course”, you lose control of it.
3.25. When we solve the situations of our Destiny incorrectly – these unsolved situations repeat infinitely. Unresolved situations can be External and Internal. Diagnosing your dependence on External or Internal situations is the basis of Karmic healing. Patanjali calls such a relationship – Attachments.
3.26. Each of us, literally, is tied to certain situations of our Destiny, which are repeated again and again. For some people, situations that began in their youth are methodically repeated to an old age. The endless repetition of the same situations in life (when all days in life are the same) is called “Groundhog Day” (see the film with the same name).
3.27. Leaving the “Groundhog Day” leads to a “turn of Fate”, to a change in the “wheel of Samsara”, to new life situations. Changing several “turns” gives an understanding of social Destiny as a “kaleidoscope of situations”.
3.28. The concentration of attention (long meditation) on the flow of situations from one into another – makes it possible to see the “wheels of Samsara”, which are the “attachments” described by Patanjali.
3.29. The skill of “social concentration” on the situations of one’s Destiny gives a vision of the overall picture. Situations are governed by the laws of Destiny (Karma). The skill to see the laws of one’s Destiny is the criterion of the Expanded Consciousness.
Here are some examples of the practice of such concentration. Or the Laws of Destiny.
3.30. Example one: “Destiny makes its claims to you through situations. Destiny’s Situations cause a storm of your negative emotions.”
3.31. Example two: “Your Mission will not come to you by itself – it must be sought. You must come to it.”
3.32. Example three: “Helping the lazy, you yourself sit them on your neck.”
3.33. Example four: “All chances carry their consequences.”
3.34. Example five: “Difficulties in Life are not a punishment. All difficulties are preparing you for your future.”
3.35. Example six: “If it didn’t work out – don’t worry. Go through this test. Like a child learning to walk. It will work out after many attempts.”
3.36. Example seven: “Life does not include the routine of the gray days. Negative memories are unfinished situations. Life is the light that remains in you.”
3.37. Example eight: “Do not be afraid of your problems. Each solved problem is an open door to a new Freedom.”
3.38. Example nine: “Love always carries with it a multitude of colors and shades. For example, sadness. Or suffering. Love can be brief, and it can delight or torture for years.”
3.39. Example ten: “Over the years people forget situations, problems, mistakes. But they always remember their feelings. Negative or positive. The feelings that we experienced are very difficult to forget.” This is the “attachment”.
3.40. Example eleven: as Steve Jobs once said: “Take a step, and the road will appear by itself.”
3.41. Thousands of such “laws” can be written. The formulations of these “laws” are the result of the spiritual work of many Seekers of Truth and the meaning of Life. These “laws” were formulated because the Seekers concentrated on their life situations and found common solutions to their problems.
3.42. The skill of “social concentration” on the laws of one’s Destiny gives an awareness of situations and their root causes. The need for the “practice of recognition” of situations and their laws leads to the “vision” of your Destiny.
3.45. So, you finally SAW the typical (repetitive) situations in your Life. “Typical” means having something in common. You may have found “laws” on the Internet that describe your typical situation. Now you can reach a new level of understanding – understanding of the root causes of your personal life problems.
3.46. All our problems have one root – the lack of knowledge and experience.
3.47. For example, the law: “The word is silver, and silence is gold”. “Silence will help you avoid many problems”. “Big Artist – Big Pause”. “Be quiet, you will look smart”. “The word can be a source of quarrel, hatred, revenge. Silence saves in many difficult situations”. Many do not even suspect the existence of such a “law”. Others know about it, but cannot follow.
3.48. At some point in his life, a person realizes that unnecessary words lead to big and small problems. From the moment of such awareness begins “work on yourself”. More precisely, “inner work on yourself”. As a result of such a “job”, a person acquires the skill “Silence is gold”. Knowledge of this “law” and the experience (skill) of its application are two different stages of “personal development”.
3.49. When a person “has passed” many such “laws”, he begins to see which way his Destiny follows.
3.50. The development of the “vision” of the Laws of Destiny gives an understanding of Karma in its essence. The skill of anticipating new situations opens by itself, as a result of practice.
3.51. The collection of “the laws of your Destiny” can be called Karma. The concept of “Karma” can be defined in different ways. But the essence of Karma is a gradual transformation of the Personality in the process of implementation of the “laws” of Destiny.
3.52. The “Laws of Destiny” come into your Life and leave it. Some “laws” are being replaced by others. What your children understood, your grandchildren do not want to understand. That’s life. And you need to be able to follow its hidden “laws”.
3.53. When many meditations have been done on the “Laws of Destiny”, a “foresight skill” appears as a result of meditative practice.
3.54. It is not necessary to meditate on the “laws of Destiny” in the traditional version. (With closed eyes and in the Lotus pose.) A group discussion of situations, brainstorming, consultations with an experienced psychologist lead to the same results.
3.55. These results can be called “vision of laws”, “understanding of situations”, “skill of solving life problems”. A personal collection of such results leads to “Freedom of Choice”. This is a new step in the practice of “development of the Person”.
3.56. Not everyone has freedom of choice. Conscious choice is acceptance of responsibility. Responsibility for your choice leads to Freedom to choose.
3.57. This whole (Third) sutra, “The Possibility of Social Concentration”, shows the reader stages of development. Sutra does not give a complete picture of ALL possible steps and paths. This is just an example of one of possible options.
3.58. When skills, on the passed steps, are received – “Freedom of Choice” appears by itself. As long as the Personality does not possess the necessary skills, “Freedom of Choice” is another Illusion.
3.59. When Destiny gives us the opportunity to choose, we see only “part of the iceberg”. In other words, we do not see FULLY what we choose. After all, each bride, hides something from her groom. Each iceberg has a visible and, a hidden under the water, part. “The visible part of the iceberg is always much smaller than the hidden”. The last phrase can be considered one of the “laws of Destiny”.
3.60. When your children want to have a dog, someone must clean up after the dog, feed the dog, walk, bathe, teach. The pleasure of playing with a dog and the responsibility for a pet are inseparable. But some people do not want to see the hidden part of the iceberg. And such people do not have the right to choose their Destiny. That is, the very “right” there is, only they cannot realize this “right” in their ordinary, social life.
3.61. The practice of states management in Raja Yoga leads to the possibility of managing your Destiny. The possibilities of controlling Destiny are preceded by “taking responsibility for your choice”. “Accepting responsibility” is preceded by “seeing choices”.
3.62. The practice of states management in Raja Yoga creates the skill of “long concentration of attention”. This skill leads us to the knowledge of the surrounding world not through the five senses. For such a practitioner, the formulation of matter as an objective reality takes on a different meaning for itself. (“Matter is the objective reality given us in sensation”)
3.63. The practice of states management in Raja Yoga can go different Paths. And each such Path consists of steps. All these Paths lead to the same summit.
3.64. Sutra Three, lectures on “Four Sutras on Yoga”, is finished.
Translation from Russian into English: AD Consulting LLC