|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 24-30
Anuṣṭhāna Yōga Vedānta of Yogacharya Raparthi Rama Rao: A comprehensive system of Yōga and Vedānta for the modern age
Department of Science and Humanities, MVGR College of Engineering, Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Date of Web Publication||16-Jun-2017|
MVGR College of Engineering, Chintalavalasa, Vizianagaram - 535 005, Andhra Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Anuṣṭhāna Yōga Vedānta (AYV) is a comprehensive system developed by Yogacharya Raparthi Rama Rao, who attained the state of jīvaṇmukti (liberated while living). He was the spiritual head of Yoga Consciousness Trust, Vizinigiri, Andhra Pradesh, India. AYV comprises two integrated parts of yōga and vedānta emphasizing on the applied aspects of both.
Aim: The aim of the current study was to focus on exploration and analysis of the AYV methodology and techniques.
Method: Extensive review of five books written by Yogacharya in English represent the AYV method. One of the books was on biographical details of Yogacharya including his selected works and letters. The researcher attended lectures, listened to compact disc recordings, and interacted personally with Yogacharya for clarification and correction of concept and methodology of AYV.
Results: Anuṣṭhāna Yōga is the amalgamation of Karma, Bhakti, Maṇtra, Kuṇḍalini, Jñāna, and Rāja Yōgas. All these yōgas are practiced in a systematic manner, initially with a focus on attaining the biṇdu or chaitaṇya darśan, and then practicing to be in the awareness of the chaitaṇya. Anuṣṭhāna vedānta deals with imparting knowledge that helps in analyzing and realizing the nature of one's true self.
Conclusion: Yogacharya developed a systematic methodology of achieving the objectives of yōga and vedānta, which is tailored to the needs and levels of the modern person and is a surest, swiftest, and safest method. The stage-by-stage learning process of AYV guides all types of sādhakas in a phased manner and helps them progress to reach the goal.
Keywords: Anuṣṭhāna Yōga Vedānta, vedānta, yōga, Yoga Consciousness Trust, Yogacharya Raparthi Rama Rao
|How to cite this article:|
Kandi S. Anuṣṭhāna Yōga Vedānta of Yogacharya Raparthi Rama Rao: A comprehensive system of Yōga and Vedānta for the modern age. Yoga Mimamsa 2017;49:24-30
|How to cite this URL:|
Kandi S. Anuṣṭhāna Yōga Vedānta of Yogacharya Raparthi Rama Rao: A comprehensive system of Yōga and Vedānta for the modern age. Yoga Mimamsa [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Jul 2];49:24-30. Available from: https://www.ym-kdham.in/text.asp?2017/49/1/24/208283
| Introduction|| |
In the Indian yōga and vedānta systems, there are numerous traditions that propound different yōga paths with several methodologies. All of these paths claim supremacy of their own method over others and all of them stipulate certain prerequisite qualifications to pursue them. Most of them are developed hundreds of years ago and are obviously meant for the people of those times. However, several of these systems are time tested and certain aspects of all these different yōga and vedānta paths are still adoptable by the modern person. However, to identify which paths and what methods are most suited, one needs a person of expertise and experiential understanding of yōga consciousness . Anus.t.hāna Yōga Vedānta (AYV) is one such method which is extensively explored in this study.
Yogacharya Raparthi Rama Rao developed the methodology of AYV that is the “practical yōga and vedānta ' system.” It is a comprehensive system of sādhana (spiritual practice) suitable for the people of this modern technological society. The unique methodology of AYV can help one to transcend the mundane and gain access to the sublime, by maintaining a balance between the two, resulting in the development of an integrated personality. Yogacharya who attained “self-realization “ under the lineage of illustrious masters firmly believed that even ordinary people can attain the state of Brahman in this very life through concerted effort, constant dedication, and sādhana (Antevasi, 2011). Therefore, the current study focused on exploration and analysis of the AYV methodology and techniques.
In his words:
The ugly caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly when it comes out of its nest. Where from has this energy come? Does it lie outside or inside? When we think of these questions, the answer that we get is, it lies inside only. The caterpillar transforms by utilizing this energy. In the same way, we have to use the inbuilt energy tactfully and transform into divine personality (Yogacharya, 2008, p. 33).
| Method|| |
This study included a rigorous investigation of this system including (a) extensive review of a total of five books written by Yogacharya in English representing the AYV method, (b) one book on the biographical details of Yogacharya including his selected works and letters, (c) personally attending numerous lectures of Yogacharya and listening to compact disc recordings of his lectures, (d) personal interactions with him regarding clarification and correction of the concepts and methodology of AYV, and (e) insights gained through following the stipulated methodology of AYV.
| Results|| |
Yogacharya's zealous faith that every human being has the inherent capacity to liberate themselves in this life itself led him to develop a well-integrated and balanced methodology which, according to him, is not only a surest path but also the swiftest and safest one. Anuṣṭhāna yōga comprises of the amalgamation of Karma , Bhakti , Maṇtra , Kuṇḍalini , and Rāja Yōgas (Tāraka, Saṇkhya and Amanaska ). All these yōga s are practiced in a systematic manner, initially with a focus on attaining the biṇdu or chaitaṇya darśan, and then practicing to be in the awareness of the chaitaṇya . Anuṣṭhāna vedānta deals with imparting knowledge that helps in analyzing and realizing the nature of one's true self.
| Discussion|| |
The methodology which Yogacharya developed to achieve liberation is comprehensive that has incorporated in it the best of yōga and vedānta - the two most active schools of the Shad Darśana (six systems of Indian philosophy). Yogacharya made further advancement and developments in the fields of yōga and vedānta with the sole aim of churning out the practical and applied aspects of both, rendering them most suitable for the present day society. In this article, an attempt is made to systematically present the salient features of AYV developed by Yogacharya.
Yogacharya Raparthi Rama Rao developed this system by doing experiments with the traditional path in a scientific manner. With insightful thinking and zeal to help others, he made it easier for anybody to follow irrespective of their race, caste, creed, sex, age, and also their health condition or the level of spiritual progress (Antevasi, 2011). “It is the duty of every human being to acquire the knowledge of eternal truth and live happily as a yogi by observing the universe merely as a witness” (Yogacharya, 2009, p. 2).
According to Yogacharya, a human being is endowed with two instruments, namely, body and mind. The practitioner's body must be of good health, elegant, and strong while the mind must be positive, focused, and controlled. A person with the harmony of such a body and mind can experience the spiritual powers, comprehend divine knowledge, and attain eternal bliss.
AYV is a systematic method that trains both the body and mind, through the applied aspects of yōga and vedānta [Figure 1]. It includes the practice of not just one method of yōga , but in order to accelerate the rate of development and transformation of an ordinary human being into a realized being, the best of Rāja Yōga, Kuṇḍalini Yōga, Karma Yōga, Bhakti Yōga, Jñāna Yōga, and Maṇtra Yōga are mainly adopted. In AYV, all these yōgas are simultaneously practiced in a systematic manner with dhāraṇā or awareness of the super conscious energy, that is, chaitaṇya . Perfection in these yōga s with intense yearning for liberation (mumukhṣutvam ) and detachment (vairāgyam ) results in the state of vijñānam where the aspirant gains experiential knowledge of the truth and attains self-realization. From then on, he/she remains in a state of jīvaṇmukti (liberated while living) for the purpose of serving the society and guiding others to realize.
The process of Anuṣṭhāna Yōga Vedānta
As enunciated in Yōgasikhōpaniṣhad (Sastri, 1968), anybody has to practice yōga and vedānta together for eliminating sorrow and attaining eternal bliss. Yogacharya's AYV method includes both the knowledge related to the practical truths of spiritual life and the inner awakening needed for gaining the spiritual experiences (Antevasi, 2011). According to Yogacharya, although some philosophers say that knowledge gives liberation, knowledge alone does not lead to liberation. He argues that just as yōga without knowledge is not capable of giving liberation, knowledge without yōga also cannot be a tool for liberation. He recommends that the seekers of liberation must firmly practice both knowledge and yōga (Yogacharya, 2009).
Yogacharya explains that to be in one's true self is the goal of everyone. The main hurdle to do so is the mind that is full of impressions formed in this life and inherited from previous lives. These impressions arouse in the individual, several feelings and emotions preventing from achieving the goal. “Just as a thorn is removed using another thorn, the mind, which is creating the universe, is removed with the help of the mind itself. This can be unveiled only through yoga “ (Yogacharya, 2008, p. 135). Yogacharya often says that yōga and vedānta are like two sides of the same coin and developed a system that has applicable techniques of both, rendering it adoptable by anyone as a means for complete transformation.
Chaitaṇya: The inherent guiding ṣhakti
In AYV system, the emphasis is on achieving and perfecting the state of dhāraṇā in which the practitioner gains the experience of chaitaṇya , the self-conscious energy. In the Bhāgavatam , while narrating the route to salvation, Sage Suka told King Parikshit that in order to free the intellect from the dirt, namely, triguñās , it is necessary to practice dhāraṇā , i.e., retention of self-conscious energy. Pātañjali in the Yōga Sutrās (II.52) states that when pranāyāma is successfully mastered and the process of pratyāhāra is accomplished, then the mental darkness which veils or obstructs the inner light from being perceived by the practitioner gets dissipated. Because of the removal of this obstruction, the practitioner is able to perceive the inner light which is the self-conscious energy. Yogacharya writes that:
The typical sensation generated at the eyebrow center by virtue of increased concentration of mind and gaze is called biṇdu or chaitaṇya . Chaitaṇya (self-conscious energy) means a spiritual power not perceivable by the sense organs. If mind focuses on it at all times, the mind becomes still gradually (Yogacharya, 2008, p. 86).
In AYV, the practitioner concentrates on this chaitaṇya and binds his/her attention onto it. Being the self-conscious energy, it has the ability to absorb the mind and helps in control of the senses to such an extent that gradually it results in complete absorption. Yogacharya explains that this chaitaṇya is itself the Almighty. Through grace of the Guru and persistent efforts of the disciple, this energy is made to be perceived or become evident (Suneetha, 2012). From then on, the sādhaka has to revere it with devotion and remain attuned to it. He exhorts that it is easier to realize Him who is within, compared with trying to reach in the outside. Chaitaṇya darśan is an internal experience wherein the sādhaka is able to perceive and experience the God within, which makes this path easier.
Anuṣṭhāna Yōga process: A perfect amalgamation of yōgas
For the modern person, Yogacharya opines that yōga is the only path, since it has been proved that by following the path of yōga one can reach the ultimate goal of life that is “self-realization” in this life itself (Yogacharya, 2008). He suggests that for quicker and stable results, it is also advisable to follow the path of Bhakti and Jñāna along with yōga . Yogacharya explains logically how practicing all the three is more helpful. He argues that there appears to be a knotty problem when it comes to gaining mastery of the mind. It is believed that without the destruction of impressions, the mind cannot be destroyed or fully controlled. Moreover, without destruction of the mind, knowledge of the eternal truth cannot be acquired. However, without acquiring the knowledge of the eternal truth, the impressions cannot be destroyed. “They are interwoven in such a way that it is not possible to acquire them one after the other. Hence, it is better to practice all the three (Bhakti , Jñāna , and Yōga ) at the same time” (Yogacharya, 2009, p. 33). He further explains that “Bhakti sans Yōga is incomplete; Jñāna without Bhakti is useless tinsel and Jñāna in the absence of Yōga is not whole” (Yogacharya, 2008, p. 41).
Yogacharya suggests that one must grasp the knowledge of the Supreme power from the scriptures to begin with, and simultaneously one should cultivate the virtue of moving in the company of the enlightened. This practice enables the sādhaka to slowly get rid of bad tendencies such as rāga (attachment) and dvēṣha (hatred). At about the same time, by practicing concentration and pranāyāma , one can easily control the transformations of the mind. Then, the restful mind that is fully under control, which is made possible by working on it from several directions simultaneously, can understand the ultimate reality which hitherto it is not in a position to grasp. This gain in eternal knowledge leads to self-realization and one realizes that he/she is none other than Brahman or Supreme.
Hence, in AYV, the practitioner is guided to adopt different yōga s and to practice them in unison (Suneetha, 2014). This leads to greater success in overcoming the limitations of the body and mind. The practice of each yōga starts at the level from where the practitioner is currently at. For example, while adopting Bhakti Yōga , for a beginner reading of the lives of saints, the epics and initiation of the sacred name (Maṇtra Yōga ) for doing japa might be suggested. An advanced bhakta, who is already reciting the sacred name for a sufficient period of time, might be initiated into the higher process of visualization of the divine form. Simultaneously, the paths of Rāja Yōga , Kuṇḍalini Yōga , Karma Yōga , and Jñāna Yōga are introduced with emphasis on practical application in one's daily life and adopting of those features that help in expediting the process of transformation. All throughout, the emphasis is about focusing on chaitaṇya.
According to Karma Yōga , any activity performed by us leaves impressions in our inner psyche. These impressions have an impact on our life. Some impressions can be so strong that they have the potential to impact our lives to come. Hence, at a given moment of our lives, we are not only influenced by actions performed in this life but are also under the influence of our actions committed in past lives. Yogacharya asserts that we must understand we create our own destiny through our actions in this and previous lives. Hence our actions should be so performed that they do not result in formation of impressions or vāsanās . AYV teaches the method of doing Karma in such a manner that Karma does not bind the individual but results in liberation. In AYV, practitioners have to train to be in chaitaṇya awareness while performing actions with one pointed concentration. Eventually, they will be able to perceive that it is the chaitaṇya that is doing all the actions and the Karma thus performed becomes unbinding.
In AYV, till chaitaṇya experience is gained, devotion is directed towards a God with form. The sādhaka is encouraged to continue with whatever form one has chosen. By the practice of yōga , the sādhaka gradually gains more and more ability of concentration. Once concentration develops and pratyāhāra is attained, the sādhaka experiences that the form he/she has been concentrating upon changing into the formless, chaitaṇya . From then on, the sādhaka has to consider chaitaṇya as God. Yogacharya explains that devotion becomes formless in higher levels. Once the devotee goes beyond the name and form of a particular deity, he/she comes to experience the state of Pure Being. From the strength of feeling of that pure being in all life, comes the highest devotion, which is to see “Self” in all beings and all beings in the self. This transcendence beyond the body is possible only by constant association with the formless chaitaṇya .
In AYV, the practitioner is initiated with a suitable Maṇtra and has to repeat it with devotion and faith. According to Yogacharya, the “Maṇtra initiated by the Guru cannot be different from Guru himself. The practitioner should repeat the Maṇtra with immense faith in the Guru and become qualified to be blessed by him/her to achieve the eternal bliss” (Yogacharya, 2008, p. 39). Sometimes the form of the Maṇtra deity is also visualized. The sādhaka is asked to repeat the sacred Maṇtra dwelling on its meaning. With the help of the Maṇtra , doing it with the combination of other yōga practices, the power of concentration deepens. Eventually, pratyāhara is developed and the sādhaka can experience the chaitaṇya . Once experience of chaitaṇya is gained then the sādhaka has to concentrate on doing dhāraṇā and there is no further necessity of the repetition of the Maṇtra . If the chaitaṇya is not perceptible at any given point of time, then the sādhaka is advised to revert back to repeating the Maṇtra till once again the chaitaṇya experience is gained.
In attempts to attain liberation (jīvaṇmukti ) whatever the path might be, Kuṇḍalini is involved either directly or indirectly (Srikrishna, 2006). Almost all the Haṭha Yōga texts and Yōgōpaniṣhads clearly enumerated the role of Kuṇḍalini in attaining liberation. Yogacharya explains that the life force and the mind force in the body work independently. From birth to death the life energy pulsates incessantly like electrical energy. Similarly, mind is also ever wandering. If one can unite these two forces, the inexplicable bliss of Kuṇḍalini can be experienced. The process of awakening Kuṇḍalini varies from person to person.
In AYV, Kuṇḍalini is not awakened at the mūlādhāra chakra as in several yōga and taṇtra traditions. Here, Kuṇḍalini is awakened at the ājna chakra . According to this tradition, the Guru awakens it in the deserving disciple. Thus, the Kuṇḍalini awakening happens under the guidance of the self-realized Guru so that no adverse effects of rousing the sleeping serpent are reported. Moreover, initially this Shakti will be low in intensity and as the nādis get purified by more intense practice with surrender and devotion, then fuller force is awakened. Yogacharya clarifies that, in AYV methodology, Kuṇḍalini is awakened directly at ajna chakra and the movement of Kuṇḍalini is from ajna chakra to sahasrara which is called ōrdhwa kuṇḍalini (higher Kuṇḍalini ). He reiterates that the purpose of arousing the Kuṇḍalini is for spiritual upliftment only (Yogacharya, 2006c).
Yogacharya extensively worked with the Telugu yōga treatise Sri Sitarāmānjanēya Samvādam (Gurumurthy, 1927) and has incorporated the best and most practical aspects of it in his method of AYV. The Sri Sitarāmānjanēya Samvādam described Rājayōga as a combination of three components, namely, Tāraka Yōga , Saṇkhya Yōga , and Amanaska Yōga . The kriyas of Haṭha Yōga are also practiced with an intention to purify the body and the nādis, especially in today's highly polluted world. Tāraka Yōga includes all the eight limbs of Asṭāṅga Yōga . Initially, all the AYV practitioners begin to learn yōga practices after doing the required kriyās .
Yogacharya states that complete victory over the sense organs can be achieved by practicing yama and niyamās . By doing āsanās , pranāyāma , and different kriyas , body and mind get purified. That means the mind gets detached from the sense organs. Then, interiorization results in dhāraṇā through which dhyāna and Samādhi can be attained. Once the experience of chaitaṇya is gained, from then on, all the yōga practices in AYV have to be performed by being in awareness of that chaitaṇya or while being in the dhāraṇā state.
Yogacharya (2012) often repeats the adage of his Guru Sri Kundala Gangaiah stating that, “yōga is itself the Guru for yōga (p. 27) which means that if yōga is done as prescribed, when one step is perfected the next higher step is indicated from within or the initial step transcends and transforms, into the higher step. Explaining how this happens in the advanced stages of yōga , he writes that regular progressive practice of dhāraṇā transcends into dhyāna and Samādhi. People who normally think that they are performing dhyāna must note that it is not something to be performed; it is the transformation of dhāraṇā . He says that after achieving the capability to stay with dhāraṇā continuously which means, at all times and in all states, the dhyāna siddhi will be attained” (Yogacharya, 2009). Dhyāna is becoming one with the object of perception leading to the experience of Oneness. Then one's past impressions will decay and the intellect will merge with the soul. On complete annihilation of the impressions, the state of Samādhi is attained where the yogi will experience that his/her true nature is the Parabrahman . Then, the second part of Rāja Yōga , the Saṇkhya Yōga is practiced with clearer understanding. This yōga encompasses what is also called as Jñāna Yōga or vedānta . After coming out of the state of Samādhi, the Yōgi is in a position to better comprehend the vedāntic concepts, especially correlating them with the experience gained during Samādhi.
Anuṣṭhāna Vedānta : The essence of practicable knowledge
Vedānta according to the interpretation of Yogacharya is “beyond knowledge” and not “the later part of the Vēdās “ as is commonly interpreted. He explains that, “vedānta is knowledge that can be grasped only when one goes beyond the ordinary knowledge that is gained through the senses and the mind. Vēdam is knowledge that can be grasped either by the sense organs or the mind. Vedānta is that knowledge which is gained when one transcends the body and mind consciousness. It is only through vedānta that the Brahman can be realized” (Yogacharya, 2010).
In Anus.t.hāna vedānta , knowledge that helps one to transcend the mundane is imparted. Such knowledge which can be applied and understood, and which helps one sharpen the intellect (budhi ), is taught. Just like how Lord Krishna has given the essence of the Upaniṣhads in Bhagavad Gita , Yogacharya gave the gist of vedantic knowledge in Anus.t.hāna vedānta . Learning this method saves a lot of time for the sādhaka since there is no need to read all the Vēdās, Upaniṣhads , and other philosophical literature, but yet gain that knowledge which helps one transcend ordinary consciousness. The modern person neither has the time nor the expertise to read all that literature.
Yogacharya recommends doing sravana, manana, and nidhidyāsana by retaining chaitaṇya or by being in the state of dhāraṇā . For example, while doing sravana , the sādhaka has to bring chaitaṇya onto the ears and hear what is being said by the Guru with one pointed concentration. Then, the true import of the words will be understood. Then, manana of the 'real' meaning will enable him/her to transcend to the next stage of nidhidyāsana quickly and efficiently. Yogacharya (2006a) says that the truth explained by the Guru and understood by the sādhaka will have to be repeatedly applied in ones' daily life gradually, by trying to gain experience and trying to realize them. Then, by such constant practice, one gets absorbed and becomes one with the self. In Anus.t.hāna vedānta , although Yogacharya discourses on diverse aspects of yōga and vedānta ; when it comes to vedānta concepts, emphasis is laid on the following concepts:
Actor versus spectator
Yogacharya asserts that if we realize that this entire perceptible world is just a drama and that we are the actors of this drama, then we will be in a happy state always. He points out that we are neither fulfilling our role of an actor properly nor are we able to remain as a spectator/seer (sakṣhi ). To perform them in a better manner, Yogacharya suggests the following methodology:
What I recommend is, anyhow you forgot that you are a mere actor. It's okay! So then, practice being in the witness consciousness. Because, inside all of you there is a witness - sarvadhi sākṣhi bootam (the almighty who is a witness of all). As you increase the witness consciousness, you will get nearer to the actual sāṣkhi or that Supreme Consciousness. Then your actions will become perfect, and you will not get affected by the consequences of your actions (Yogacharya, 2006b).
In order to be in the witness consciousness, an analysis of the seen and the seer is helpful. The main goal is to realize that this body and the mind are separate from the true self.
Seen versus Seer
Yogacharya explains that the seer (subject) and the seen (object) are always different from each other and not the same. For example, when we say that “I am seeing this book,” “I” is the seer (subject) and the “book” which is seen by me (object) are two different entities. Similarly, when we say, “I am seeing the body,” “I” cannot become the “body” and so is different from it. When we can see that the mind is not in a good mood, then “I” becomes the seer and the “mind” is the object which is being seen. Hence, “I” am not the mind too. In this way, if we analyze, we will realize that we are neither the sense organs, nor the body, nor the mind. We are in fact the observers (sāṣkhi ) and therefore are different from all these (Yogacharya, 2007). If we analyze in this manner, gradually, our false identification will go away, and we can stay in the blissful state which leads to salvation eventually.
Analysis of the three states of consciousness: Avasthā Trayi Vichārana
Yogacharya states that Māndukya Upaniṣhad which deals with the states of consciousness is the quintessence of all spiritual knowledge as he summarizes in his motto, “analyze, understand the three states of consciousness and realize that you are the embodiment of Sat-Chit-Ānanda “ (Yoga Consciousness Trust, n.d.)! The fact that every human being everyday experiences the three states of consciousness, namely, wakeful state, dream state, and deep sleep state is well known to all of us. Yogacharya states that these three states are like three different worlds and in fact, all of us travel in these three worlds every day. Although we experience all these three states every day and are affected by them in various degrees, the true self is not affected. Yogacharya gives the example of how the screen remains unaffected by the various scenes shown on it. Although each of the three states come and go regularly, the true self remains unaffected by any of them.
Yogacharya explains that analyzing the three states of consciousness is one of the best methods to understand the nature of one's true self. According to him, this is best because, first, each and every one of us experiences these three states every day, and so, it is something within our own experience. Second, this experience is the same each and every day for all of us. Finally, the third state of consciousness is closest to our nature of true self. Hence, analyzing it will enable us to understand and experientially know about our true self.
Yogacharya summates that when we analyze the deep sleep state, we can perceive that the three traits of the Parabrahman , namely, embodiment of sat, chit , and ānanda , are in fact the qualities of our own self (Yogacharya, 2007). Then, transcendence to the fourth state, Turiya becomes feasible. The major emphasis of Anus.t.hāna vedānta is constant manana of this fact and then applying this principle in daily life by acting in a manner that befits our true self.
Amanaska Yōga: Jīvaṇmukti
Yogacharya often says that, “Samādhi is an entrance to Eternity!'. In the AYV system, Samādhi is not the end, but a state that leads one to Eternity. The jīvaṇmukta state or the state of Amanaska is experienced after gaining Samādhi and upon the assimilation of the Truth experienced during the Samādhi state with the help of vedantic knowledge. This state is explained in Bhagavad Gita (XIV.22–25) where Lord Krishna states that such a person remains equanimous.
All activities performed thereafter are not directed by the ego consciousness, but by the Universal Consciousness. As a result, such a person will be freed from the misery of the body, complexities of the mind, and enjoys blissful state forever, which is the ultimate goal of yōga vedānta . Since the mind is annihilated and its shadow is no longer cast on the self, the true self shines unhindered (Yogacharya, 2006a). A disciple who attained such a state in this tradition is required to remain in the world and be a guiding spirit to other people. Thus, the lineage of the Great Masters continues, with each and every one serving mankind at their best!
| Conclusion|| |
Yogacharya summarizes the efficacy and supremacy of the AYV method saying that it is the surest, swiftest, and safest (Yogacharya, 2012). In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna declared that out of the thousands who seek Him only one succeeds while the rest end in failure (VII.3). Hence, this method has to be a sure one that will eventually help the seeker in achieving the goal of human life, self-realization. It is a sure method because people have travelled on this path before and reached their goal. The Guru lineage of this tradition is the best example. It is also a sure method because the Guru ensures that the sādhaka s following the AYV method are constantly monitored and quickly put on track if they get sidetracked and give up. Furthermore, the stage-by-stage courses (http://yogaconsciousness.org/courses.php) of the AYV guide the sādhaka s in a phased manner and help the modern day person to progress and reach the goal. Another important component of AYV system is the proper balance of sādhana and abhyāsa . Pure vedānta without yōga is not helpful and the practice of only yōga without understanding and practicing vedantic concepts is futile.
In order to achieve the goal in this life itself, it is also a swift method. However, many scriptures exhort that liberation takes several lives (Paingala Upaniṣhad, II.17). The AYV overcame this challenge by developing a comprehensive methodology that requires the sādhaka to practice several yōga s at about the same time. It is said that any one method is enough to lead to liberation. The progress becomes swifter if a couple of them are practiced together. All the different yōgā s and vedānta are incorporated in the daily practice schedule. After attaining dhāraṇā , the sādhaka slowly and diligently has to keep on increasing the duration and intensity of chaitaṇya eventually making the complete day filled with spiritual fragrance. At that level, all the yōgas get amalgamated into one holistic experience and guide the sādhaka 's modus operandi in day–to-day living. This results in a gradual but complete transformation, of the sādhaka at the physical, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual levels leading to self-realization and jīvaṇmukta state.
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