In the previous blog some clarity was attained on yoga (to be pronounced as yog), it’s true meaning and how it has been misinterpreted not only in the west but in the east as well. The primary reasoning for a parampara (tradition) of guru-shishya (master-disciple) to be the only actual means for the great knowledge of self realisation, was to protect the disciple from misinterpretation and to directly implement the rules of the tradition through constant observation.
The misinterpretation of scriptural knowledge or experiential knowledge takes place due to the imperfections of the conditioned mind. It is very simple to understand how this happens. We’ll elaborate through a simple example. If the same book is read by many readers, they all gain a different perspective of it depending on the conditioning of their minds (i.e. their attachments and aversions). If the readers of the book were told to teach others what is written in the book, the same original information in the book will get further diluted.
Most of the systems of yoga were not meant to be factory units of mass production of spiritual masters, as that was quite rightly understood, to not be a practical possibility. The only validity of the traditional system of master-disciple is the current existence of true masters no matter how few there might be. Today, due to the dilution of the truth of even the methods of yog, almost all spiritual seekers remain seekers their entire material lives and are not able to be truly self realised.
In the strongest of traditions of yoga, it was always understood that true knowledge can only be passed on by a self realised master. Being a pupil of such a master meant, to truly surrender (your material identity and possessions) to the master. This is true even today. Only if one is very strongly on the path of yoga would one be willing to let go of ones material identity entirely(as one would be realised enough to know the paramount importance of the spiritual journey). The greatest yogi’s of this age (there are very very few of these remaining and none are in the public eye) are following the same rules and traditions that have been followed since the beginning of their respective methods of yoga. Only the pure mind (completely void of desire) can transmit the truth to a seeker. An impure mind will always add it’s own impressions to the truth hence the knowledge will not remain in it’s original state.
Even though we cannot always seek a master, we must understand the imperfections of the mind and give authority to the great masters of the past. This would mean to give absolute authority to scriptural knowledge(not leaving it open to self interpretation). Our only challenge would be to have the intelligence to find the reliable translations of the scriptures we would deem to authorize, depending on the system of yoga we resonate with. We should only study and practice these to that point of self realisation where we understand it to be an absolute necessity to find a master. Initially we may find masters who are not completely self realised, but if they are strongly and earnestly on their own paths they can also be of great aid to the seeker. A true yoga master and system will only come to the seeker of the purest intention.
The ancient scriptures form an extremely large array of endless knowledge that needs deciphering from a pure mind so that it is valid for the character of the seeker. This gives rise to the different systems of yoga. All the paths of self realisation stem from the major systems of yoga. In the next blog entry we will discuss the major systems of yoga and how every yoga practice would require a part of each of the systems to be integrated within it. How the integration would take place, depends on the mental and spiritual characteristics of the individual. It is the primary reason why there are such a large number of methods that stem from a different blend of the yoga systems. These methods will be discussed in detail later in this blog.