Friday, December 14, 2012

Ecstasies of the Yogi



Swami Veda quoted this Bhagavata verse last night in Yoga Sutra class while discussing sutra 4.25.

vāg gadgadā dravate yasya cittaṁ
rudaty abhīkṣṇaṁ hasati kvacic ca |
vilajja udgāyati nṛtyate ca
mad-bhakti-yukto bhuvanaṁ punāti ||

One who is united with me in bhakti yoga, whose words are choked with emotion, whose mind has melted, who cries constanty and sometimes laughs, who shamelessly sings alound and dances... such a devotee purifies the entire world. (11.14.24)

Swamiji does not usually quote full verses in his classes, though he makes a point of teaching his disciples the Sanskrit terminology used in the Yoga Sutra. Needless to say, it was a pleasure to hear him recite this sweet verse so nicely. And he pointedly said that he was doing so for me. Because "Jagat knows the Bhagavata."

The context here was the following sentence from Vyasa's bhashya,

yathā pravṛṣi tṛṇāṅkurasyodbhedena tad-bīja-sattānumīyate,
tathā mokṣa-mārga-śravaṇena yasya romaharṣāśru-pātau dṛśyete,
tatrāpi asti viśeṣa-darśana-bījam apavarga-bhāgīyaṁ
karmābhinirvartitam ity anumīyate |

"As the existence of seeds is infered from blades of grass shooting forth in the rainy season, so it is infered that he whose tears flow and whose hair stands on end when he hears of the path of liberation, has a store of karma tending to liberation (apavarga) as the seed of recognition of the distinction [between the puruṣa and sattva]." (B.D. Basu edition, 1912).

Swamiji said that here was evidence of the presence of emotional bhakti in the Yoga Sutra. He also said that there was a time when he was young whenever he heard the word "God" or īśvara, even in a bus or train, he would be overcome with tears and trembling. This, he said, went on until he met his spiritual master, Swami Rama. Indeed, the sutra itself, in the context of the concluding portion of the Yoga Sutra, describes a first rung of sadhana (viśeṣa-darśana) that then proceeds through
  • viveka-khyāti (2.26-28)
  • prasaṅkhyāna (3.55)
  • dharma-megha samādhi (4.29)
  • kaivalya (4.34)

You will have to look those terms up yourselves, dear readers. I put the relevant sutra numbers in there. But I thought the Bhagavata verse preceding the one he cited is perhaps even more appropriate for the context:

kathaṁ vinā roma-harṣaṁ
dravatā cetasā vinā |
vinānandāśru-kalayā
śudhyed bhaktyā vināśayaḥ ||

"How can one's storehouse of karma (karmāśaya) be purifed without the hairs standing on end? Without a heart that has melted, or without streams of tears flowing with joy from the eyes? Without bhakti, devotion?" (11.14.23)

Of course, there may be a small technical difference here... between the Bhagavata and Yoga-Sutra. Nevertheless, the language of Vyasa, simply by virtue of touching the language of ecstasy, does indeed ring the bells of bhakti.

2 comments:

Jagadananda Das said...

But of course, no.

Jagadananda Das said...

There is a difference between the desire for liberation and bhakti.