23 October 2018

Morning satsang

Swamiji spoke on the three stages of kriya yoga and then explained that jnana yoga is not the enquiry of 'Who Am I'.


Kriya Yoga and Jnana Yoga – Towards Sattwa

Kriya means dynamic, not action, but dynamism. What is the dynamics of yoga? Kriya yoga is the only system where a little bit from every yoga is taken and a body is created: asanas and pranayamas are from hatha yoga; awareness, concentration, observation is from raja yoga; visualization and awareness of the chakras and kundalini is of kundalini yoga. Nowhere in the scriptures will you find the mention of kriya yoga as you do for hatha yoga, raja yoga or other yogas. There is no literature on the subject. Kriya yoga which developed from the oral tradition indicates that although it is a combination of many other practices, the main focus is the attainment of dhyana . . .

The practices that are in kriya yoga cover the aspects of pratyahara and dharana, and lead into dhyana. Three things have to be cultivated in kriya yoga. First is awareness, and that is the role of pratyahara. Awareness has to be cultivated. Then concentration, that is the role of dharana . . .

Awareness is a natural faculty of the mind which sees everything and can focus on anything. Therefore, awareness and concentration go hand in hand. You cannot separate the two . . .

Then comes jnana yoga. Jnana yoga does not begin with the question, 'Who am I?'. Rather, jnana yoga is also a process of attaining a state of awareness and knowledge, attaining a state because of abhyasa, practice. You have to attain a state with practice. And what are the practices of jnana yoga? Is it only questioning? No. There are seven sequential practices of jnana yoga. The first is shubhechha, the right intention. This right intention has to be very practical. You cannot say: My intention is to discover God therefore I am going to question, 'Who am I? Am I God's part or God's extension, or God?' . . .

Jnana yoga begins with positive intention. This positive intention is in relation to me and also in relation to others. If I see you in pain and I am able to help you, that is fulfilment of jnana yoga. It is not just seva or karma yoga, but the right intention, the correct intention: I identify with that, I connect with that. It becomes my motivating factor, my inspiration to help you. What a wonderful thing! Shubhechha is the first condition and people have to try. People have to soften their own mind and heart to come to the purity of shubhechha, the right intention...

Afternoon session - Satyananda Yoga: The Fundamentals

Sannyasi Agnideva gave the account of how Sri Swami Satyananda came to Colombia and spread the message of yoga. His personal memories were of the practical teaching he received in everyday situations.

Swami Nirmalananda spoke on the most commonly taught components of Satyananda Yoga, such as pawanmuktasana parts 1, 2 and 3; nadi shodhana, yoga nidra, ajapa japa and antar mouna.

Swami Vedantananda mentioned various points teachers should keep in mind in their class.

Sannyasi Agnijyoti from Colombia told of the early 1970s when she, a young high school girl, toured Colombia to promote the 1973 Convention in Munger.

Evening session – country presentations

Sannyasi Agnideva spoke of the activities in Colombia, and Swami Dharmakeerti gave her account of how Sri Swamiji and Swamiji helped develop Atma Darshan Yogashram in Bengaluru and in the state of Karnataka.