- Philosophy

The subject of yoga-philosophy entails the comprehension of fife basic truths.

First of all, the science of self-realisation has to be studyed. Without knowing one's real Self, there is no question of Yoga or union with the Lord.
Sri Yantra

In order to unite with the Lord one has to understand the science of God. Self-realization and God-realization, therefore, go hand in hand. By self-realization one automatically becomes god-realized or vice versa.

By knowing the science of God one also can understand his real Self in relationship to the Lord. This is real yoga-philosophy. Philosophy without religion is sentimentalism and religion without philosophy is fanatism.

The next subject of yoga-philosophy is the constitutional position of the living entities, or jivas. There is isvara, which means controller, and there are jivas, the living entities which are controlled. If a living entity says that he is not controlled but that he is free, then he is insane. The living being is controlled in every respect, at least in his conditioned life.

All living entities are engaged in activities, which is known as karma. Therefore the whole cosmic manifestation is full of actions and reactions due to the different activities of living beings.

There is also prakriti [the material nature] and kala [the time factor] which regulates the duration of existence of the whole universe.

In order to properly understand the philosophy of yoga, one must learn from such vedic scriptures as Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, what God is, what the living entities are, what the activities of the living entities are, what prakriti is, what the cosmic manifestation is and how it is controlled by time.

The fife basic truth are therefore:

Isvara - the Supreme Lord
Jiva - the living entities
Prakriti - the material nature
Kala - the eternal time
Karma - material activities

Out of these five, the Lord, the living entities, material nature and time are eternal. However, the other factor, karma, is not eternal. The effects of karma may be very old indeed. We are suffering or enjoying the results of our activities from time immemorial, but we can change the results of our Karma, or our activity, and this change depends on the acquisition of spiritual knowledge.

Activities of the living being are different varieties of aptitudes which can entrap or liberate the living being within and without material nature. By transformation into spiritual quality, materialistic activities can be rectified and thus cease to produce material qualitative reactions.

The living entity, material nature and time are under the direction of the Supreme Lord, who is absolute and completely independent of any other control. The Supreme Lord is the Supreme Controller.

Material Nature is composed of inert matter and can not act without the help of the Supreme Lord, who is completely spiritual.

Everything that exists in this material world, is a product of spirit and matter. Spirit is the basic field of creation, and matter is created by spirit. Spirit is not created at a certain stage of material development. Rather, this material world is manifested only on the basis of spiritual energy.

The time factor, which is beyond the existence of material nature, is eternal and thus material creation is not a one time affair but a perpetual process of repeated creations and destructions.

The living entities, being part and parcels of the Supreme Lord, are originally spiritual also, but under the conditions of material nature, the living being misidentifies himself with matter and considers himself being different from the Lord.

Both the Lord and the living entity are cognizant, and both have the sense of identification, of being conscious as a living force. However, the position of isvara is that of Supreme consciousness. The living being can not be supremely conscious at any stage of his perfection and the theory, that he can be so, is a misleading theory. Conscious he may be, but he is not absolutely or supremely conscious.

The distinction between jiva and isvara is that the Lords consciousness is all-pervading. He is conscious of the psychic movement of all living entities, whereas the living beings consciousness is limited to his own particular identity only.

The original spiritual consciousness of living entities can become contaminated and perverted reflected as material consciousness, whereas the Lords consciousness remains always spiritual or transcendental to the three modes of material nature. When we are materially contaminated, we are called conditioned souls. False consciousness is exhibited under the impression that I am a product of material nature. Liberation [moksa] from this materially contaminated consciousness and establishment in pure spiritual consciousness is the aim of all yoga processes.

- The Author -


Understanding the Supreme 2003 All rights reserved