The Only Yogic Power We Are Allowed To Want = 3.36

Some super powers are more flashy than others, my favorite is becoming invisible.

However, any yogi that has read a bit about the science knows that if pursuing this path as outlined in the scriptures (and by that I mean Patanjali) sooner or later temptations arise.  A focused, serious practitioner would come accross some powers, even super powers.

Krishnamacharya even outlines in his Yoga Makaranda (which you can read here for free) that after long serious practice a student could begin to 'make things happen'.  Not that we would want to. In general we are told to stay away from these powers.  However, there is one, as I learned in a workshop with Ramaswami which leads to the final goal of eternal peace with fierce discrimination.  The goal of the path of Raja Yoga.  And that is...

Sutra III.36, which, funny enough, is actually a sidhi, or a yogic super-power, one of those we are supposed to stay away from as they can distract us, but not this one, this is the only super Patanjali actually encourage us to actively seek.

I even checked with Ramaswami, he nodded yes, that is true the only one I am allowed to want. That is a good number to remember: Three, Thirty-six.

This is how it happens, as explained by Ramaswami, and as he learned it from Krishnamacharya:

a)  You practice all 8 limbs of yoga as outlined in the practice up to where you can focus your whole mind on an object in an un-interrupted way, without memories or imagination getting on the way - (a.k.a: meditation)

b) you forget yourself and "merge" with the object (a.k.a.: samadhi)

c) This is samyama, you are now in a fertile state of yoga.

Jesus, walking on water
Now, suddenly all those yogic powers become possible. Tempting even.   And the way they become possible is by you doing samyama on different objects, for example, if you do samyama (or (a) and (b) above) in the pit of the throat you control thirst and hunger, etc.

d) But as a yogi you are interested only in one, sutra 3.36, you focus all your attention and lose yourself while intently focused on the difference between what you think you are and the purusha or eternal consciousness that cannot be affected by pain or pleasure or desire, that is infinite indifferent and nothing you can "think of", that which cannot die.

You just put all your mighty attention on noticing the difference, for a long uninterrupted time.

e) You experience enlightenment

That's it.  Practical terms.  OK, yes, it might take years to focus the mind that intently, especially in our world where things constantly compete for our attention. True. Nevertheless, possible.

Looking back at 1999, I can clearly say I have found the path in the 8 limbs of yoga, which was outlined and compiled by Patanjali, and graciously, blessedly, passed down by generations stemming -that we know of- from Bramachari in a cave in the Hymalayas, through Krishnamacharya, and all his students, although I owe this understanding to Ramaswami and his 20 hour Yoga Sutra class.

Now the secret is out!  And if you read this far you are in my friend, down the rabbit hole you go!  Wheeeeee

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