Enlightenment is NOW
Introduction by Shree
The Yoga Sootras of Patanjali have been written about, discussed, practiced, and meditated on for millennia. However, very few aspirants have actually achieved the state of Kaivalya, or the Vision of Oneness, which is the ultimate goal of the practices, even though many techniques are available. Numerous excellent renditions of Patanjali’s sootras, written by scholars, spiritual masters, and gurus, are available. Such works include translations and commentaries describing this comprehensive and detailed system of Self Realization. However, words alone will not allow you to unfold the highest awareness. You must have the direct experience.
When you directly immerse yourself in Patanjali’s system of yog, you can unfold the deepest meaning of each sootra (thread) as it relates to liberation or enlightenment without having to go through a systematic approach that may delay the results.
The basic philosophy of these terse sootras originated in the Sankhya system which is based on the concepts of Purushand prakriti (chetan and jar), which mean formlessness and form respectively. Therefore, following the Sankhya system can often lead to a lifelong, linear, systematic approach that may delay the end result of Kaivalya. Instead, Swami-ji often said that the sootras can be seen as sparks that ignite us to know the Self rather than separate threads to then be linked together as one.
The highest knowledge was conveyed by Swami-ji through his unparalleled and unique vision. He was a living master who exemplified the Self-realized state. The Advaita Vedant system of nonduality is close to Swami-ji’s approach because it is also free from all the pairs of opposites, such as form and formlessness, and duality and Oneness. As he would often say in describing Oneness or nonduality, “It is what remains—rahaa, rahaa—when you do not accept duality, only Pure Space.” When you are living Oneness, you don’t say it is nonduality or Oneness, or even that it is Space—it just is! Swami-ji’s unwavering awareness along with his divine, clear, detailed, and focused expression of it always leads us to the anubhav, or the direct perception of the Space of Pure Oneness that alone is.
This practical viewpoint makes it unnecessary to have blind faith in God or another higher power since God is not seen as a separate being. Faith in this context is based only on one’s direct experience. When you reside in the Self—forever pure and free—then you naturally have faith because you know that the Self is not different from you.
The methods given in Patanjali’s book bring your attention first to your thoughts and then to the one who is witnessing these thoughts. In other words, your attention moves from the knower of the mind and senses to the Pure Knower, which is Pure Knowingness. Patanjali mentions devotion in a few verses, but mostly his work is a psychological and spiritual investigation into the understanding of your own mental capacity and functioning with the goal of providing direct experience of the Pure Knower.