Ritual to Romance



Balagopal

Its a long road. Many do not trek very far. In fact those who reach far seldom come back to tell the story.

What we will attempt here is to find ways and means to understand the rituals in their structure and variey so we may go from stage to stage perceptibly and try to learn each of the moral code set down by the ancient rishis of India.

Ashtaanga Yoga

Yoga means the science or art of unification (joining) and ashtaanga means eight parts. We understand the phrase to mean the union or combined knowledge consisting of the yoga of eight organs or parts. They are listed below. Sanskrit original terms with their loose translations in brackets.

  • Yama [moral codes]
  • Niyama [clarified analysis]
  • Asana [posture]
  • Pranayama [controlling life forces]
  • Pratyahara [withdrawing the senses]
  • Dharana [concentration]
  • Dhyana [meditation]
  • Samadhi [higher states of meditation]

The lamentable part of the title is when people miss the ocean for the waves! It's as if 'wisdom cries in the streets and no one listens!' people often get stuck with the rituals and fail to go beyond them. Is the lethargy due to lack of goal consciousness or is it due to a passion to cling to the parts?

Eons of experience and equally grand advice from those who have gone far into the theme have given us corroborative evidence of the possiblity for every one to attain or achieve peaks of self actualising states (romance) having gone past the rituals.

The various stages we just listed are certainly not musts in order to reach the pinnacles, the rishis also say. But here comes the issues of karma! Laws of karma state that actions of people in their various lives decide their onward course. Is it possible for every one to tide over the knowingly or unknowingly conditioned pathways (if any) and start as it were on clean slates?

If such pathways do exist the list of eight we checked earlier may not be of relevance. But then how do we test the validity of an experience? Is it that we call romance? Is this that state which people crave and return not, as one crosses the hump? How does one recognize the hump if at all? Essentially how do we sort the wave from the ocean? The tree from the woods? And all else, are we to accord attention to these very transitory states as we move on and on graduating from ritual to refined rituals on our way to exalted states? How do we recognize we are where we are and there are more beyond?

I guess either the stream of consciousness as we know let guide us in the quest or a set of conditioned pathways educate us in structured stages all the while giving us punctuations of clear understanding or in the least reveal the wisdom to read the signals.

While the former opens up huge unchartered realms of precipitous falls as well as positively serendipitous situations the latter gives the student a syllabus to follow. While this could be regimental the former would certainly be chaotic. One appears to be 'all rules off' while the other tends to be dependent and electively suppressive.

I would leave the topic at the tip for the time being for you to gauge some initial responses from within. I will return with more thoughts on what I feel the eight parts in helping us take the journey! The objective is for the layman to be able to understand the higher realms of consciousness and undertake a study if possible, in more than one channel, to reach those higher lands while retaining worldly consciousness. Read Yama - the First Step by clicking here.

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