Yoga, the Method of Re-integration
On the eyes of a corpse an image forms like a reflection in water, but there is no faculty of Consciousness to seize it, no memory to take its imprint. That which really perceives is our faculty of Consciousness. It seizes upon the experience of the senses, which, were they separated from it, would be mere mirrors. If, therefore, the essential of our perceptions is not in the organ itself but in the faculties to which the sensory organ transmits its observations, it seems logical to question whether it is possible for our faculty of Consciousness directly to apprehend things without making use of the senses. But, since it is the union of the Conscious with the sense-organs which constitutes life, is there a process by which the conscious can act independently without causing instant death?
We can conceive of an Angel or subtle being which, free from a gross envelope, and not bound by its limitations, can perceive all things. Might there not be likewise for our Conscious some way by which it could cross the boundary of its bodily prison, know the freedom of limitlessness and see, in their fullness, all things of which, through the intermediary of the senses, it can know only limited fragments.
Hindu science asserts that this is possible, and even that it is the only true form of experience, the only absolute method of knowing. The realization of supra-sensory perception is one of the stages of that particular training which the Hindus call yoga. This training aims at the direct experience of all things through identification with them. Its method is a sort of physico-mental gymnastic, through which the Conscious, carried by the subtle body, is withdrawn from its physical envelope, without however destroying it, and, after having cognized all things, comes back into the physical envelope with its prodigious harvest.
The whole of Hindu civilization has from its very beginning been pervaded by this mode of knowledge, and one should realize this before trying to assess the value of Hindu Traditional knowledge and of the ancient Hindu sciences. All the Vedic scriptures are considered to have originated through this process and it is therefore only in yoga that their key is to be found.
"Yoga is the guardian of Eternal Law, Yoga is the guardian of knowledge."
Without knowing the method of re-integration, no realization is possible:
"O goddess! How could knowledge without the method of re-integration (yoga) lead to Liberation." (Yogabija Up. 18.)
"O beloved! However intent on learning, detached, knower of the law, self-restrained he may be, a God even cannot without yoga attain liberation."
Yoga is thus the technique of realization. It embraces all forms of religious experience all of which are based on yoga, knowingly or unknowingly. Every form of knowledge, too, is ultimately a form of yoga. Yoga is the means and the object of knowledge.
"It is through yoga that yoga can be known, through yoga that inclination towards yoga develops. He who through yoga becomes freed from passion delights endlessly in yoga."
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