Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yoginis and viyoginis

I am still writing my posts on Na Hanyate, which are backdated to when I first started working on it at June 19. At any rate, quite coincidentally, I came across the following terse statement in Bhojaraja's commentary to YS, given in the context of defining yoga in 1.1: pum-prakrityor viyogo’pi yogaH. The intention here is, "Separation between the conscious self and its attachment to matter is also yoga." (Swami Veda's translation, See YS I, p.75).

But the wording as given could be rendered: "The separation of purusha (man) from prakriti (woman) is also yoga." On one level, of course, this is the very basis of the yoga idea, in which the goal is kaivalya: "A human being is a compound of the power of pure consciousness and the corruptible, alterable, mutable material, including mental, components. When a person rediscovers the separation of the spiritual component from the material one, that is called isolation of the self from matter (kaivalya)" (ibid. 79).

Well, you know what Prabodhananda says about kaivalya. And what is the attraction of asamprajnata samadhi, anyway?

But Rupa Goswami relishes the play on words, as well as the similarity of external symptoms (anubhavas) shown by the viyogini and the yogi:

āhāre viratiḥ samasta-vishaya-grāme nivrittiḥ parā
nāsāgre nayanaṁ yad etad aparaṁ yasyaika-tānaṁ manaḥ
maunaṁ cedam idaṁ ca shunyam akhilam yad vishvam ābhāti te
tad brūyāḥ sakhi yoginī kim asi bhoḥ kiṁ vā viyoginy api
One, you leave your food untouched,
next, you’re averse to every object of the senses,
and then, your eyes are fixed on your nose;
your mind is concentrated, single-pointed;
and then there is this silence, and the fact
that the entire world to you seems void.
So, my friend, what are you—
yogini or viyogini?—tell me which. (Padyavali 238)
Or this one, said by Rupa to be spoken by Uddhava when he brought them Krishna's message:

viyoginīnām api paddhatiṁ vo
na yogino gantum api kṣamante |
yad dhyeya-rūpasya parasya puṁso
yūyaṁ gatā dhyeya-padaṁ durāpam ||
This path you have shown as viyoginis
is beyond the grasp of the yogis.
For the Supreme Person, on whom they meditate,
has made you the object of his meditation. (Padyavali 347)
And this,

sāndrānandam anantam avyayam ajaṁ yad yogino’pi kṣaṇaṁ
sākṣāt kartum upāsate pratidinaṁ dhyānaikatānāḥ param |
dhanyās tā vraja-vāsināṁ yuvatayas tad brahma yāḥ kautukād
ālinganti samālapanti śatadhākarṣanti cumbanti ca ||
That Supreme Brahman—
concentrated bliss, infinite, inexhaustible and unborn--
for whose momentary direct encounter
the yogis worship daily, meditating
with intense single-mindedness,

these fortunate girls who live in Vraja,
joyfully embrace, talk with,
pull towards themselves in a hundred different ways,
and kiss that same Brahman.

(Sahitya-darpana 6.314a, Pad. 317, attributed to Vahinipati)
And of course, the following, which I just quoted a little while back, from Vidagdha-madhava:

pratyāhṛtya muniḥ kṣaṇaṁ viṣayato yasmin mano dhitsate
bālāsau viṣayeṣu dhitsati tataḥ pratyāharantī manaḥ
yasya sphūrti-lavāya hanta hṛdaye yogī sumutkaṇṭhate
mugdheyaṁ kila tasya paśya hṛdayān niṣkrāntim ākānkṣati
Munis are trying so hard to pull their minds away from sense objects and place them on Krishna's lotus feet. They would feel so satisfied if they could do so for even a moment, and yet this girl is trying to drag her mind away from thinking of him, trying rather to think of sense objects. And yogis are engaged in tapasya hoping for a momentary vision of the Lord in the heart, and this foolish girls is trying to empty her heart of him. (Vidagdha-madhava, 2.37)
I am giving them here, because I shan't be able to use them all in the context, but I thought they are fun as a theme.


Anonymous said...

Dear Prabhuji

Is it correct to omit respectful titles which vaisnavas used to address revered acaryas ( Sri, Srimat, Sripad and so om) rather than to approach them with attitude we used to have towards our Highs School friends (Prabhodananda said..., Rupa to be spoken...)? Of coarse I am possibly oversensitive
Please kindly explain if I am wrong.

Mahamantra said...

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Gerard said...

Thanks for that delightful little verse of Rupa Goswami.

My opinion about asamprajnata samadhi is that it is not only 'not interesting' as you said, but there also seems something distinctly pathological about the wish to completely wipe out the mind or reach a cessation of all conscious thought. It is like trying to commit the ultimate suicide. Perhaps it is not even suicide and the jiva will later fall back into samsara. What is your opinion about this?

Please accept my puffed-up obeisances said...

To anonymous.

Yes, I think you might be oversensitive.

A) This is an informative blog and not a prayer in front of the Deities nor an official book.
B) In India the amount of superlatives is more or less endless and the whole thing might alienate the curious.
C) In a philosophical discourse it can be kind of a hassle to write His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Abhay Charan Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada each time we refer to His Grace. Even then it is not entirely enough according to etiquette since devotees no longer among us must be adressed with additives like "nitya lila" and so on. Maybe I am going overboard since you only talk about just Sri, Srimat, Sripad and so on. But still although we have to be respectfull it is never enough anyway. There is always something that could be better and there is always someone to find fault.
D) In India the first or second question usually is "Who is your guru ?". Then we are supposed to be superrespectful and say.... AstottaraSadSriSrimadOnehundredandeightNityaLilaHisDivineGrace.....
Sorry, but I never do that.
E) I agree basic vaisnava etiquette must be preserved and honoured.

Your (servant ???)