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YOGA: THE ANCIENT THOUGHT MECHANISM



Yoga is not based on vague doctrines or pious assumptions but on positive and practical method of controlling the physical and mental rhythms to reach the state of highest evaluation. In the yoga terminology, the ingathering of mind from its wanderings and getting it merged in to a state of dazzling delight is known as ‘pratyahar’. Yama ,Niyam, Asanas and Pranayam are different preliminary footholds which allow the mind gradually to descend deeper and take a dip in the calm lake of divine radiance. The well verified physical postures along with the rhythmic breathing, act as a catalyst to bring about psychosomatic balance and mental poise. On the physical level, yoga suggests certain tested methods to keep our spinal cord flexible, our breath- rhythm even- spaced and our thought-pattern subtle and superfine.


The thought mechanism is employed to wipe out the dirty impressions stamped on the mind in course of its interactions with the transient objects of the world. Our joys, hopes and merriments; our sorrows, sufferings and depressions; our illusions, charms and enticements; our dejections defeats and antipathies, all keep our mind bouncing, back and forth, all the time with a terrible frequency. Yoga provides an in- built technique to bid adieu to all these phoney façade of sense -impressions which not only exert jarring influences on our nervous system but also throw our mind into a state of perpetual turmoil. To top it, yoga offers us a long- tried experiential procedure to bring our mind back to its source and then to transcend to ego- barrier, for, prior to it, the glimpse of the glorious supreme is hardly ever possible. The anatomical harmony caused by these practices goes a long way in attaining the purity of nervous system. In that event, the invisible knots of neuronic network untwist themselves which results in the release of stress and strain. Purity, chastity and honesty in all our words, deeds and thoughts are of primal importance for stepping ahead on the regal path of divine destination.


The letter steps of yoga i.e. ‘dharna dhyan ‘ and ‘Samadhi ‘ are meant for the mental control of thought impulses which are chiefly responsible for the excitation of brain- waves. It is the pulse behaviour of thoughts that determines the fundamental characteristics of human personality. Just as there are a finer and finer levels of elementary particles, so there are a good many number of energy- states of thought which overlap one another in an unforeseeable fashion. The thought- quanta keep on jumping and jostling together so swiftly and erratically that they defy any sobering effect to attune them to the cosmic rhythm. Either through quiet poignancy of concentration or through imaginative interiority of contemplation one can master his mental predicament and soar higher in to the ethereal space of soothing ambience or, effortlessly and innocently, by means of the technique of “let go “, one can drown the polyphonic nuances of mind- waves into the monotonic transparency of beatific trance.


Meditation links our mind to the highest state of existence where it bathes in the ambient moonlight of sublime bliss- consciousness. A single touch of that rubiscent dawn is sufficient to evaporate all our sorrows and miseries in a trice. Ancient sages have admonished to take advantage of that superb moment to enter into the field of the infinite, in order to mentalise a clairvoyant vision of the undifferentiated sublimity, rising above the steam of ‘space- time ‘, like “the rainbow resting on the raging torrents”. Samadhi is the apex of elemental reality conceivable by our mind as a halo of existential grandeur which descends from the unknown to the known sphere of our consciousness. Words fail and the images appear quite ineffectual to convey to conventional terms the glory of the timeless reality. Shree Patanjali has rightly called it a state of ‘rtambhara prajna ‘ and worded it in an aphorism as- vishoka va jyotismati, i.e.,a state of thoughtless serenity or gleaming effulgence.


The appearance of a thought is an indication of the fact that a stress which is elementally a foreign material for the organic system is thrown out in a natural and spontaneous way. It is the nature of the mind to plunge into the ineffable abyss of consciousness all by itself in its involuntary inward stroke. Luxuriating in the lap of ‘mantra ‘ is fuses its differential identity with the radiant glimpse of the absolute bliss. In case, some knots in the organic complex are untangled, the mind comes up again on the functional field of consciousness in its outward stroke, followed by the emission of a thought .This recurring state of inward and outward stroke continues till the mind coalesces with the unmanifest phase of existence. Then, a condition beyond word is bred in the bone, where in every nerve rings with a sibilance- ‘ somam pib ,somam pib (drink deep the nectrareous essence) ‘ and the whole body seems to be suspended as it were, with the mysterious threads of glowing awareness.


This state of mind has been aptly mentioned by the Vedic seers at various moments of transcendental revelation: ‘येन पिपरदाश्विना ज्योतिष्मती तमस्त्रि:, संते गवस्तम् अवरतयन्ति ज्योतिरयाच्छयंति, यत्रा: सोमः सुयन्तें, यत्रा:यज्ञों घृतस्य धरा अभि तत् पवन्ते।‘, i. e. Where a state of soulful dynamism, all along with the light of truth, ferries the mind forward beyond darkness, where the rays of consciousness do away with the darkness and open the floodgate of celestial light to spread all over the mental space, where the divine ambrosia seeps and the sparkling wind of transcendental consciousness gently blows all around.


Yoga suggests us to select a suitable value of the inter- state coupling- constant of thoughts in accordance with one’s life- style and self- image. This temperamental insignia of mind has been referred to by the sages as mantra which comprises of two facts: the one of meaning and the other of sound. The mind comfortably climbing on the band- wagon of the mantra loses the potency of playing truant with the thoughts. In turn, the thoughts go on getting finer and finer, metabolic rate falls down, oxygen consumption turns low, heartbeat becomes slower and ultimately our mind sinks into a sort of ‘bioelectric silence’.

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