ARIVU (Consciousness):[ಅರಿವು]

The term “arivu” (consciousness) has been used in the Vachanas in at least two senses. When used in the sense of individual self, consciousness is that substance by virtue of which I become subject and become aware of the external objects and internal states. Only by virtue of their relationship with consciousness, senses, mind, intellect, and ego function. In the absence of consciousness the body becomes dead. Consciousness also means Parashiva, the infinite consciousness. Though the individual self (anga)[ಅಂಗ] and the universal self, Parashiva, are both substantially identical, the difference between the two would be similar to that between space in a pot and the space at large. Just as if the pot is broken, the space in it simultaneously merges in the infinite space, so also once the individual self shreds off its limitations like karma, ignorance, etc. by means of spiritual discipline, it becomes united with Parashiva indistinguishably. However, the infinite consciousness, Parashiva, unlike that conceived by Shankara, is characterised by Shakti, which is the material cause of the world.

ASHTĀNGA-YŌGA (eight-limbed Yōga): [ಅಷ್ಟಾಂಗ ಯೋಗ]

The Yōga system proposed by Patanjali [ಪತಂಜಲಿ], called Rāja-yōga [ರಾಜ-ಯೋಗ], has eight limbs – yama, niyama, āsana, prānāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhārana, dhyāna, samādhi [ಯಮ, ನಿಯಮ, ಆಸನ, ಪ್ರಾಣಾಯಾಮ, ಪ್ರತ್ಯಾಹಾರ, ಧಾರಣ, ಧ್ಯಾನ, ಸಮಾಧಿ].

Yama and niyama are, respectively, the moral and spiritual rules. The first one consists of moral injunctions like truthfulness, continence, non-violence, non-stealing and nonacceptance of free gifts. The second consists of spiritual rules, such as cleanliness, austerity, self-study, self-contentment and meditation on Ishvara. While āsana is a lesson in the postures and related exercises, prānāyama is training in the regulated breathing. Pratyāhāra [ಪ್ರತ್ಯಾಹಾರ] means withdrawal of the senses from their respective ‘foods’ (objects, such as smell, colour, taste, etc.) and of mind, intellect, etc. from thinking, desiring, etc. In fact, pratyāhāra is the first lesson in meditation. Once the mind empties itself of all its contents temporarily, it is able to have attention (dhārana), leading to meditation (dhyāna). The ultimate state of meditation is called samādhi in which the subject is unaware both of himself and of the external world, and feels one with reality.

One who is able to attain samādhi is free from the evil influences of prakrüti [ಪ್ರಕೃತಿ], manifested by its forms, namely, mind, intellect, body, etc. The freedom of the soul from prakrüti is the ultimate goal of the eight-limbed Yoga.

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