Freedom, Death And Immortality : The Vedic Yoga Perspective — III

In the previous part, we extended our discussion of the gross to subtle domains of individual being to include the Intellect and Bliss, which is the subtle-most in the series. The effects of the Bliss domain are transcendental, and are not to be mistaken for transient pranic effects like happiness or joy. Its impact on the individual being is transformative or traumatic, depending on how prepared the person was for total erasure of body-identified idea and drives and was consciously expectant of being completely unbound and being absolutely boundless.

The Bliss-I is the supreme Truth Value common to all individual beings. There is no separate, object oriented self out there, in that Bliss Infinite domain. But, for that fact, and the fact that access to it is beyond, way beyond the underpinned reach of the existential self, the domain itself is not an imagined ideal or a mere epiphanous idea. It leaves an eternally indelible memory with the Intellect-I upon return, of our universal nature at source, which recall overwhelms the mind with peace and calm, floods the prana with love without an object, and the body with gratitude and compassion for all things and beings in creation.

 

However, before that would  happen, it takes a long if-ever while for a person to identify with the curious, search-and-know nature of the Intellect domain and to bring the Knowledge-I self centre stage through every doing and over every preoccupation of the existential self : doubts and thoughts of the mind, emotions and will that arise in prana, and actions or behaviour of the body.

With that deepened knowledge orientation a yogi is born, devoted entirely to perceiving the object truths and realising the subjective Truth of all truths.

In time, the lifelong practitioner of yoga progresses in the esoteric art of witnessing and reflecting even while engaging  and indulging. One then notes the power of objects, people and things we live with or encounter, to affect the existential self profoundly, urgently and arrestingly. One finds oneself addictively attached to a few particular things and habitually given over to a periodical routine however refreshed or disrupted one might occasionally feel or believe. That, the drive by vital desires pre-infesting us is inexorable and is tamely followed by the insatiated mind. Even when unattained, the alluring objects continue to hold their appeal for us, drawing the mind towards them, leaving us less than happy and frequently twisted or deformed to an extent that spirals into unintended complications. It takes a long time to heal from their affliction and a lifetime to free ourself of their roots embedded deep within us.

We keep ourself safe from danger through exercising caution, raising protective barriers, and use a range of means to neutralise threats. But there’s nothing to save us from our own wants, the need for particular experience and the desire to have experience it once more. That’s how powerful emotional, pranic flares are; they move the Mind-I and do not stop pushing it towards or away from the object until it gives in.

The Witness Self, peering over the Knowledge-I of the intellect domain, is an equal Truth Value of our being along with the Bliss Self. The mind, prana and body domains, with their passing objects and transient effects, essentially cover the individual self with ignorance, in the unawareness of its own Truth Value. This domain cluster restricts the Mind-I to desiring, doing and experiencing, giving the existential self a false but rivetted sense of reigning supreme and keeping the witness, truth-identified self unconsulted and way off beyond the margins of its awareness.

The aspiring seeker advances in his quest for truth when he identifies with the witness self, the one rooted in truth. With great, constant self-effort and usually after countless failures, he relinquishes his comforting but severely limiting definition of himself formed by these shifting, domain appropriate qualifications, as this desiring and experiencing existential wet-with-ignorance self. That transitioning of one’s identity from being the experiencing self to being the witness self is a definitively transformative stage in the spiritual, evolutionary journey of man.

Yoga practice charts the details of the path that leads a committed aspirant to attain the Bliss-Witness-Self identity. And Vedas are designed for entire mankind to reach its tripartite Truth Value goals. We shall mention the third, Existence, as we proceed with our discussion.

*

… to be continued …

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