Desire, which is an affirmation of lack, ends with fulfillment. This happy state is had when and to the degree one ignores desires and turns everything over to Absolute God/Truth. This works because in That, fulfillment is already complete, and what we surrender to is what we get.
Continued from “The Wonders of Failure” (verses 40-43):
Thus, without will, he is carried onward by prior practice. Just by wanting to know Yoga, he transcends Word-Brahman.
“Without will, he is carried onward by prior practice”
With his arrival in a new body, the yogi is automatically carried forward by prior practice—he doesn’t have to try to make it so, it is going to happen even if he thinks he is aiming at something else.
The Sanskrit word for ‘without will’ tells us how it happens that he finds the path to which he is drawn: the non-willful path. The word for ‘without will’ also means ‘without desire’. It is through surrender to the Divine Beloved that one becomes desireless. Desirelessness is a natural effect of fulfillment. Through surrender to God/Truth one is fulfilled and desire no longer has a place.
Desireless = Fulfilled
The Sanskrit for ‘prior’ also means ‘eastern’. The Eastern path is the path of the will, which is where our ‘fallen yogi’ has arrived from.
The Eastern path is every adult’s prior path. We learn how to use our will throughout childhood. In adulthood we can continue in this manner indefinitely, or we can at some point, choose the path that is “without will”, the Western path.
It is this non-willful path that our yogi has been drawn to. He has had enough of willful practices and their repercussions, and has tasted the honey of surrender and recognizes it as his own.
“Just by wanting to know Yoga, he transcends Word-Brahman”
Word-Brahman refers to the Vedas, but the word veda also covers any authentic scripture or written text on God/Truth and the means of reaching It. Like many written spiritual or religious texts, the Vedas read as willful, and our yogi has now transcended this.
- The Sanskrit for ‘transcend’ means ‘to pass beyond, surpass, get over, overcome’. Broken into its parts it means ‘beyond’ + ‘turning, revolving’—to get beyond the willful path, beyond the path of going around in circles.
- The Sanskrit for ‘word’ also means ‘sound, voice, speech, the sacred syllable Om, and oral tradition’.
- Brahman is Absolute God/Absolute Truth.
Getting Beyond Word-Brahman
Getting beyond the need for explanations of God in words, because now you know God directly.
The Vedas are also called Brahman, God, just as the Bible is God, or the Word, or the Word of God. So we can see there may be more than one interpretation of Word-Brahman.
- Scriptures, written or spoken
- The Vedas
- The sound of God (OM, Amen)
- Oral tradition
To go beyond the scriptures means that one has had enough experience of yoga (union) to get beyond the literal words they contain to deeper understanding.
To go beyond the Vedas means the same thing, but is also a reference to getting beyond the many rituals and laws of the Vedas to the ‘ritual actions’ (kriyas) of spontaneous, non-willful sadhana.
Sadhana – Spiritual practice. Sanskrit: The means of going straight to the goal. Mastering, cure, completion, perfection.
To go beyond the sound of God, is to get beyond the nada, sound heard directly in meditation, to later stages of sadhana and union with The Absolute (asamprajnata samadhi).
To go beyond oral tradition means that one has received the mysteries, which are only imparted orally by the teacher (guru).
So our yogi has transcended resorting to Vedic rituals for the purpose of obtaining their fruits (fulfilling desires). He has gone beyond the recitation of sacred texts considered to be Brahman. (The primary means of accessing these texts in earlier times was memorization and recitation). Having gone beyond them, he is a knower of them, and because of his advanced state, he also understands them and their hidden meanings through his own experience obtained through yoga practice.
His love for Yoga, which has been reawakened in him, carries him onward towards successfully completing Yoga and attaining liberation and perfection.
Spontaneous, experiential meditation.
This chapter is called The Yoga of Meditation, so this yogi’s practice of Yoga is the practice of meditation. But why meditation rather than other Yoga practices?
Because the yogi is sincerely pursuing union with God/Truth and the freedom of moksha, liberation, he is subject to the forces of accelerated evolution (kundalini). Evolution involves change, change that is deeper and more profound than the changes we make in ourselves and in our lives as normal human beings.
This powerful force often produces effects not sanctioned by society in general. The yogi, being sensitive to the First Principle of Yoga (harmlessness) does not allow these effects to take place among the uninitiated. Instead, he establishes a meditation practice for this purpose. This is his sadhana.
Within the context of his sadhana, other practices of Yoga may also arise spontaneously (‘without will’). Because he is changed by the process, and because he is completely free during this time he has set aside, he slowly finds his way to union (yoga) with God and the true freedom of moksha.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),