King Alarka said:
1. Dear Lord! Tell me how the Yogi conducts himself and overcomes his fatigue. How does he tune himself to Oneness with the ultimate Self?.
Yogi Dattatreya said.
2. Generally, people have a sense of honor and a sense of dishonor; both cause anxieties. The Yogi attains siddhi, success, when he has turned these senses upside down.
[In other words, when the Yogi inactivates both of these senses by tran- scending, or dissolving, them, he attains Tranquility.]
3. Ordinary people consider honor and dishonor to be like nectar and poison. The Yogi attains the ability to achieve siddhi, success, when he understands that honor is deadly poison and dishonor is nectar.
[In other words, when the Yogi treats the people's honor for him as poison and their dishonor, ignoring him, as nectar, he acquires the capacity to succeed.]
4. [This verse indicates what the conduct of a Yogi is and cautions him.]
The Yogi should look carefully as he steps; he should drink water after straining it through a cloth; he should speak truthful words; and he should think righteously in all matters that concern him.
5. The Yogi should not accept social invitations, should not attend funeral ceremonies, social functions and immersion processions of deities. He should not take shelter from others for success.
[In other words, he must not depend on others; rather, he should be sincere in his own practice as he is advised and earn his freedom through honest, righteous, personal actions.]
6. The Yogi should go to collect his alms from householders after the smoke has vanished, the cooking fires have been extinguished, and the family members are resting, having had their meals. He must not beg more than three days at the same place.
7. The Yogi should conduct himself in such a manner that the people will dishonor and ignore him. At the same time, he must not pollute his conduct as a righteous spiritual man.
[Thus he must balance his actions. In other words, he must learn how to keep himself secret and behave as though he were ignorant. This requirement makes him a good actor; he knows the Knower yet he pretends to be ignorant. While doing so, he must not lie. For this reason, many Yogis avoid people and live a very private life.]
8. He should beg from householders and renunciates; of the two, the former is treated as the better.
[According to Vedic tradition, householders are in obligation to provide food for Yogis and renunciates; in return, the Yogi is supposed to pray for the whole world including the householders from whom he collects his alms. Also, the scripture has prescribed that renunciates, Yogis, and Swamis beg from householders; thus, in that case, the Yogi is within his scriptural jurisdiction. But if, for some reason, he collects his alms from other renunciates (for example, because of unavailability of other sources), then he must meditate even more than he usually does when he collects from the householders. This is the reason why alms collected from the householders are best for the Yogi.]
9 &10. The Yogi must beg from householders who are timid and polite, respectful, restrained in character and spiritual, who are Mahatma (great souls), and who are free from any kind of blame or fallen category. [One who is outcast from the society because of one's gross violation of Vedic rules of lifestyle is called patit, or fallen.] It is deemed a very bad karma (action), a sort of prostitution, if the Yogi begs from mean-minded householders.
[Food is a very important factor in Yoga practice. The practice of Pranayam deals with breath, which is generated from food. It becomes polluted when the Yogi eats polluted food.
[Obviously, he must pay attention to food if he is sincere about his practice and serious about his search for Truth. Regardless of his daily routine of life, there is no excuse to ignore this vital factor. He must consider the quality, quantity, manner of preparation, the preparer's physical and mental condition, and the donor's character, attitude, and motivation in connection with his food.
[It may be mentioned here that food accepted from charitable institutions is not good food for the reason that the donor may have a selfish motive to gain something out of his donation, which pollutes the food purchased with such donation. This also applies to the spiritual organizations that depend on donations from various kinds of people.]
11 & 12. Good foods to receive from the householders are as follows: rice (yabagu), butter-milk (tak-ra), milk (dugdha), food made from barley (yabak-a), fruits (fala), roots (mula), long pepper (priyangu), grain (kana), oil cake (pinyaka), and mushroom (chhatu); these are helpful to achieve siddhi. The Yogi should eat food, having collected his alms, being sincere and respectful.
13. Before eating, silent and poised, the Yogi should utter Pranaya swaha, "offering to Prana, life" and drink a little water. Know it as the first offering of a Yogi. [In Vedic culture, there is a procedure to perform this rite called gandus.]
14. Thereafter, he should offer a second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively, to the different states of breath, as follows: apana, satwna, udana, and byana.
15. Thereafter, he should eat the rest at will, separating it through Pranayam. Then, he should touch his heart after drinking once again.
[This verse speaks about tranquil Breath which is referred to here as food. Through the practice of Kriya, tranquilizing the breath, the seeker should hold onto the tranquil Breath. Then drinking the nectar, the state of Tranquility, or Sthirattva, generated from the practice of Talabya Kriya, coupled with Yonimudra, the Kriyanwita seeker should settle himself, merging in Oneness at the Source of After-effect-poise of Kriya. It is done through the practice of Purna Kriya.]
16 & 17. The renunciates, the beggars, have five vows to observe:
1. non-stealing (achorya),
2. celibacy, or inwardness (brahmacharya),
3. renunciation (tyaga),
4. non-greediness (alova), and
5. non-violence (ahingsa).
They have five rules to observe:
1. not to be angry (ak-rodha),
2. to serve the Guru (guru-susrusa),
3. to remain pure in body and mind (socha),
4. to reduce food quantity (aharlaghaba), and
5. to read the Veda everyday (Vedapatha).
[This verse is close to Yogi Patanjali's five points of Yama and five points of Niyama.]
18. The Yogi should engage only in discussing the cream of Knowledge, that is, Self-Knowledge, which is beneficial to all. Engaging in the various branches of Knowledge simply disturbs the practice of Yoga.
19. If one is very curious in knowing many things which all appear to him interesting, then one has to wander. In that case, one cannot achieve what one should achieve even in thousands of kalpas. [A kalpa is a period of the cycle of creation which contains four Yugas: satya, treta, dwapara, and kali.]
20. The Yogi should engage his mind in meditation poised in buddhi (the intellect), or wisdom [which comes with the state of tranquil Breath]; and having given up association with others, overcomes his anger, restrains his senses, and reduces his food.
2 1. The advanced Yogi should always put his heart perfectly in the state of meditation while staying in a solitary place such as a forest or a cave.
[Kutastha, the inner Self in between the eyebrows, is the only solitary place in the entire manifestation. In fact, it is Vramari Guha, the cave referred to here.]
22. The Yogi who brings the stick of speech, the stick of karma, and stick of mind under control is tridandi (the holder of tristick); he is a great Yogi.
23. 0 dear King Alarka! For the Yogi who sees this world of qualities, movable and immovable, as the embodiment of Atma, the Self, who is dear and who is not? Nobody is either dear or not-dear.
24. The Yogi who is pure in heart, who gives equal value to stone or gold, who is poised in all beings, who is the substratum of all beings, who is eternal, and who is poised in the indestructible ultimate Self will not be reincarnated again.
25. Veda and all kinds of jagyas are great. Japa is greater, and the path of Knowledge is greater still. But that meditation which is free of all associations (dualism) and attachments is even greater.
When the seeker stabilizes in the state of meditation, he realizes the eternal state of the ultimate Self, Brahma.
26. When the Yogi is poised in the meditation of the ultimate Self and when he is inward, pure, exclusively sincere, self restrained and one-pointed, then he achieves the state of Yoga to merge his self in Oneness with the ultimate Self, thus, he attains finally the state of Liberation.
The end of Yoga Rahasyam of ancient Yogi Dattatreya's Treatise.
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