The Drashta

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

The understanding of drashta begins by developing or cultivating awareness. You can say that drashta is the ultimate form of having become aware of yourself. Generally, your awareness of the senses is unidirectional but drashta can not be unidirectional, it has to be multi-dimensional, multi-directional. It has to be able to observe and see not one thing where your senses are keeping you focused, but go back and see the bigger picture. Although you start with developing awareness, the ultimate form of awareness, the awakened form of awareness, the total awareness, is the drashta. It is a progression from developing moment-to-moment awareness and then maintaining the twelve-hour awareness as a drashta, from the time you wake up in the morning until the time you go to sleep. It is the extension of awareness which makes you into a drashta.

There are two levels of drashta. The firstlevel is becoming self-aware so you are going through a process of your awareness, of expanding the span of awareness, all the effort you are making – that is one level. But when you come into that stage, then all the efforts drop and there is a continuous uniformity of awareness. That stage is there but few people have gone into that level. Like the depth of the ocean is there but few people can scuba dive. Those who are able, they can go further and further and further, but those who can't scuba dive, they can only snorkel away. Right now everybody is snorkelling, floating on top and looking down. The second chapter of yoga is scuba diving.

—30 September 2018, Ganga Darshan, Munger