Ebb n' Flow Yoga Community Inspiration features submissions by our beloved community. This new year's reflection was written by Bijoy Misra, a teacher, friend, and integral part of the Frog Pond Yoga Centre's 500 hour program.
Something extremely dramatic happened in India around 900BC. We do not know
how it took place and how long did it take to formulate. This had to do with the shift
of focus of daily living from praying to "gods" to formulate that the "universe is one"
and that each object in the universe is divine. This led to a philosophy that the universe is not object-based but is a field. Each object manifests in this field and recycles there. We operate in the field. To "know" the field we need to go "beyond" our manifested "bodies." People tried to explore if this was possible, so developed the techniques of yoga as a science.
The concept is not easy to comprehend and it is amazing to think that people accepted this principle. The process immediately kills the body urge to annihilate another object for pleasure or own rationale, a different kind of calmness and tranquility pervades in society. We call it "respect" for objects. Each object has its existence and all objects are mutually connected to let the universe operate. This operational principle was called "Brahman," a word that was already in use. It simply meant something extremely large which was incomprehensible. Brahman is a field, it has no gender. It helps others to manifest, it has no manifestation. It can only be "realized."
Going through a life of yoga needed restraint and sacrifices. You take care of the
surroundings before you take care of yourself. Your individual life is connected to myriads of other lives and you need all of them to maintain your life. Be alert every moment on what you do and why you do. You do possess the discrimination capacity. Develop them and apply them. Nothing in the world is wrong or without purpose. Things happen for a cause. In your sense of alertness you can see the cause and settle yourself from any mental agitation. Everything is transient, the field is permanent. And you are a part of the field!
This beautiful principle of peace and coexistence helped create the majestic contributions in art, music, mathematics, language, grammar, literature and poetics that India has been famous for. The principle did erode when external elements "invaded" India and tried to canvas theories of personal god and personal comfort back to people. The sense of fear broke the society and the creative India became a political India. More occupations followed culminated by some British tradesmen who thought it was a hobby to administer a nation of farmers and artists. The last attitude of human ignorance is still observed today in some quarters.
To change the world for humanistic thinking is not easy and it probably happens after catastrophic destruction. Man can use the faculties to manipulate than to be creative. The latter needs respect to existence and understanding of the universe. The first step in manipulation is to shut down the window to the universe and confine thoughts to one's own comfort. Man can degrade to be an animal easily and many do, proving their flesh origin. It is not too difficult to notice than man has a conscience and the conscience is independent of personal existence. Fear and anxiety create mental insecurity and shut down the conscience. A dog bites us and we pursue the dog to bite him!
I told a friend of mine yesterday a tip of living. Let me reproduce: The person or the object we are with is more important than us. Life becomes more analytic once we move the center away and be an observer and a provider. What we earn is affection. An ounce of affection is much larger than anything we may ever possess ourselves.
It is with much joy I share your reflections with our community. Your teaching continually asks us to be open, question, relate, and live yoga. For that, I thank you. Om shanti, Kim