July, 2014 – Editorial by Dr. H R Nagendra ji

Consciousness, the basis of Yoga and its Applications

This was the Key Note Presentation in the First International Conference
in Palac Sulislaw, Poland on June 28th, 2014

As per the Oxford Dictionary, Consciousness is a state of being conscious, awake, aware or of knowing things by bodily senses and mental powers. We have no consciousness in deep sleep. Consciousness is all the ideas, thoughts, feelings, wishes, intentions, recollection of persons; also as in the moral consciousness of a party.

The neuro-biological model of modern science postulates that consciousness is a feature of cells, tissues, organs and systems of our body and best known in the brain. Implying that consciousness doesn’t exist without a body.

According to Yoga & Spiritual lore consciousness is Chaitanya, the intelligent principle at the base of the whole creation. Chit is another name of the same. Sat, the existence and Ananda, bliss are the associated dimensions of consciousness. These three aspects coexist in all beings – animate and inanimate.

In its purest form consciousness is beyond space, time and causation. It is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. It is the Absolute called Brahman or Paramatman, the Self of all of us. This can best be described by negation as Neti netyeva vachyam – not this, not this is beyond words. Yato vacho nivartante, aprapya manasa sah (Taittiriya Upanishad 2.4.1). Here the words recede and the mind fails to reach it.

Consciousness is the intelligence principle and yoga is a conscious process to accelerate our growth from grosser to subtler layers of mind. The goal of yoga is to manifest divinity inherent in consciousness and to unfold the total personality in all of us.

Amidst large number of layers of consciousness, five main layers – Pancha Koshas have been distinctly presented in Taittiriya Upanishad. Pure consciousness is beyond the Pancha Koshas and no words can qualify that ultimate Reality. From Pure consciousness emerge the whole creation. This consciousness-based ontology, the essence of the Vedas and Upanishads, presents the laws of creation-sustenance-destruction triplet with quantitative space-time dimensions. Yoga is the tool to manifest this Divinity in all of us. Among large number of Yoga techniques, four main streams – Jnana, Raja, Bhakti and Karma Yoga postulated by Swami Vivekananda provide the most comprehensive scientific multi-dimensional approach to Yoga. We have called it as Vivekananda Yoga. Judicial applications of all these streams of Yoga bring immense benefits to the individuals and the society. Some of the applications of yoga for health and education solving the problems of the modem society were presented.

For more see latest issue of Yoga Sudha – July, 2014