Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sitting meditation postures and Bhakti Yoga

Thoughts after morning meditation. I am trying to attain asana siddhi, which means sitting for 216 minutes without moving - no stretching, twitching, itching, scratching.

What is interesting about asana siddhi is that you can't achieve it without pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. But pranayama, etc., really only start after one has attained asana siddhi.

Question: Doesn't Vipassana do it?

Jagadananda Das: All meditation systems require sitting still. But Vaishnava meditation is meditation on Krishna mantra, Krishna rupa, Krishna lila, and on the world of prema.

Prabhupada disciple: In this age Lord Caitanya gave the process of chanting Hare Krishna as the only and proper way quick spiritual advancement. Much better use of 216 minutes than trying to attain asana siddhi.

Jagadananda Das: Thank you for your input. Now my question to those who talk like this is, what is the goal of chanting?
Is one meant to concentrate on the Holy Name?

Does chanting lead to the desire to remember Krishna's name, form and pastimes?

If so, can this practice of remembering, which goes through five stages, namely smarana, dharana, dhyana, dhruvanusmriti and samadhi, have any accessory practices that might enhance that progression?

Is the best chanting exercised while pacing back and forth, while sitting in an awkward position with the back bent forward and the knees raised, in a sofa chair, or while sitting in a proper asana? In other words, by enhancing rajas and tamas?

Is remembering best enhanced by sloppy breathing through the mouth and into the chest -- which are also detrimental to physical health -- or by proper posture and proper breathing?

Furthermore, does not enhancing your sattva guna through quietening the bodily processes, the organs, the limbs, through the breath, result in the mind becoming clarified and more capable of hearing, chanting and relishing he Holy Name?

The desire to hear and chant itself should be motivation enough to learn to sit down properly and chant with complete attention in samadhi.

Jai Radhe.

Jayadharma Das: I too have a question: I have found myself in a wheelchair for the last decade, and can no longer practice proper posture or breathing as you have described here. Am I - and others who may find themselves in a similar position - then screwed? Can the Divine Name of God only be intoned by the able-bodied?

Vinode Vani Dasi: Good one, Jayadharma. Tere are no 216 minutes of siddhasana for many of us now; the body has morphed into something uncooperative.

Jagadananda Das: Of course not. I think this argument is a red herring. It has been leveled at me many times. You chant with emotion. Your physical disability probably enhance your emotional connection to the name.

Even if you have to sleep 23 hours and have one hour of half wake half sleep, that moment of chanting may be greater than all the chanting of all the yogi bhaktas everywhere.

BUT!!!! If you are able-bodied, then why drive your body into the ground by unhealthy habits? If you are able-bodied why not use this God-given human body,, which is healthy, to enhance your spiritual practice?

Are we to deny the body, when the human body is so glorified, not just for the enhanced intelligence, but for the various capabilities for experience that it gives us? Are we to reject the science of samadhi because some people are invalid?

And let me say further that any practice one undertakes will show its benefits even when you become invalid or uncooperative. Because it leaves a sattvika and transcendental samskara.

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