The Psychology of Yoga

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All ways are similar: they lead to nowhere… Does the way have a heart? If it does, it is a good way; if it does not, there is no sense in it. One way makes traveling joyful: no matter how long you may travel, you and your way are inseparable. The other way will make you curse your life. One way gives you power, the other one destroys you. (Carlos Castaneda. “The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge”)

The notable peculiarity of Don Juan’s Teachings is the presence of thoughts which are simple for understanding and strong in point. “The way of the heart”: these two ordinary words being united give the sense of life. For thousands of years, people have been looking for the sense of their existence: they invent predestinations or state that life as it is has no sense, but there is a sense in the quality of its living. But everything genius is notable for its simplicity. The main features of the heart’s way are easiness and burst of energy. On the right way of life, there is no place for hesitation, breakdown, fear, ambitions. Difficulties inspire but do not drain one’s spirit. You feel what ‘living your own life’ means.

The main philosophic regulations of sanhya system

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Lotus positionYoga Philisophy. Part 1

Introduction. Patanjali’s “Yoga-Sutra”

The theoretical basis of Yoga classical philosophy is the small aphoristic work “Yoga-sutra” of Patanjali, an ancient Indian man of wisdom (before IV AD). With the advent of this paper, it wouldn’t be exaggerating to notice that every Yogi won the respect of all his mates after his translation and commentary of “Yoga-sutras”, or at least of the 2nd sutra “About the methods of Yoga implementation”. Vyasa, a middle-aged Indian Yogi (IV cent.), was the first to write the commentary for “Yoga-sutras” known as “Yoga-bhashya”. Below, we will consider the works of these philosophers together.

Objective reality (being), Nature and Space

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Yoga Philisophy. Part 2yoga_04

Sanhya and Yoga belongs to the number of orthodox directions of ancient Indian philosophy (darshanas). The other four darshanas are: Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimansa, Vedanta. They all share the main visional concepts if Vedas, but are different in methods of liberation from sufferings and acquiring True knowledge. Beginning from the epoch of Upanishadas, all the main features of Indian vision can be expressed in three words: sansara, atman, moksha, or ( since some theories used other terms to express the same ideas) the circulation of living beings in the wheel of births- deaths, ‘Ego’ (selfness) and liberation.

Structure of the Universe

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yoga_03Yoga Philisophy. Part 3

In Yoga philosophy, there is a concept of the multidimentional Universe. Like the other philosophic doctrines of orthodox direction, Yoga-darshana grounds the existence of scores of being spherea among which there are both material and purely spiritual ones. In this case, the earth world is only one of the worlds of the multidimentional Universe.

The world hierarchy in Yoga looks like the following. There are seven main worlds: the World of Earth, The world of intermediate space and the Sky world comprising (uprising) the world of Mahendra, the world of Pradjapati, the triple world of Brahma (World Dzhnana, World Tapas, World Satya) All the sky worlds together are called Worlds-Svar.

Yoga’s and Shaman’s Universes: their similarity and difference

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yoga_01Yoga Philisophy. Part 4

Since Columbus’s time and even earlier, we have known that the earth is a sphere supposedly flowing somewhere without sense, in the insensible emptiness of cold Space. In reality, no one uses this knowledge in everyday life. During burying, the soul is sent to the sky, and the body is dug in the ground. God lives in the sky and devil in the ground, and newer on the contrary.

The structure of Yoga’s world outlook, where the Meru mountain like the linking bar structures the hierarchic spheres of being, surprisingly resembles the Space of shamans, where the World Tree has the function of the Meru mountain. In the world space model of different nations, Centre is the universal symbol uniting all the spheres of the world outlook.

Eternity and time in Yoga conceptions

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yoga_02Yoga Philisophy. Part 5

While considering the categories of eternity and time in Yoga, we will first touch upon the ancient Indian understanding the historic time what is best expressed in the following: ”There was earlier, there is now – what difference does it make?”. It is connected with two mutually conditional circumstances. Firstly, there existed a cyclic model of time and the theory of kalpas – the space cycles of beginnings, destructions and following reconstructions of space. Secondly, the Indian culture thought in terms of astronomic numbers in space scale which devalued the historic time transforming the time intervals between historic events into almost unobserved ones. Actually, whereas the length of one space cycle is estimated in milliards of years, the intervals meaningful for humankind become insignificant and lose there value.

God and Spiritual Beings

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yoga_07Yoga Philisophy. Part 6

In Sankhya philosophy, among 25 main metaphysical elements of the Universe God is absent. The philosophic world picture of sanhya didn’t need any supernatural creature in order to explain the origin and development of the world. World is not the creation but the result of the natural evolution of spiritual and material elements, as the followers of Kapila, a man of wisdom. That is why sanhya-darshana is called the realistic philosophy or atheistic sanhya.

Though the classical Yoga borrowed the philosophic fundamentals of sanhya system, nevertheless, it took the other stand concerning God’s existence. That is why sanhya-Yoga is called theistic sanhya. God (Ishvara) and gods (various spiritual Beings) are present in classical Yoga. But it cannot be referred to the traditional theistic theories, much less to the polytheistic one (declaring a lot of gods).

Introduction: The Notion and Sense of Yoga

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lotos-1Yoga: History, Philosophy, Psychology. Part 1

The prominent place among the cultural values of Eastern countries is occupied by the philosophical idea and spiritual practice associated with it. One of the most significant schools is Yoga.

Yoga is not the eastern exotic gymnastics for body and mind as it can be accepted in mass awareness. The real Yoga is the system of a person’s spiritual self-perfection based on profound philosophy which has kept keen actuality and practical significance in modern everyday life.

            The western way of life, which aggressively imposes craving for profit in order to match the stereotypes of social successfulness, has led the planet to ecological crisis and the mankind to the really happening process of complete abolishment during ecological and technological crises.

The history of Yoga: review of the main stages and tendencies of its development

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lotos-2Yoga: History, Philosophy, Psychology. Part 2

Yoga’s origin and forming Yoga philosophy

 Yoga goes back to the limits of the furthest historical retrospective view which is acceptable to the modern researcher. Since the most ancient times, there appeared some literature sources in the Indo-Arian civilization, both of epic and religious character, in which Yoga and the description of Yoga self-development methods are mentioned.

 Generally speaking, within the visually graspable history it is possible to distinguish 3 main stages in developing Yoga philosophy and practice.

Modifications of Classical Yoga in the Middle-East Religious-Philosophic Schools

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lotos-3Yoga: History, Philosophy, Psychology. Part 3

As a method of human’s spiritual development, Yoga was used by the followers of many philosophic schools of ancient and middle-aged India; the representatives of them applied Yoga practice for discipline of body and spirit. In spite of this, Yoga philosophy, as such,

(Sanhya-Yoga school) wasn’t the dominating school.

In the cultural environment of Post-Classical India, philosophy was developing in fighting between only two philosophic and spiritual traditions – Vedic or Hindu (uniting the philosophic trends based on Vedas and strongly attracted to Hinduism) and Buddha philosophy.