Wk 117 – Yoga for the Adhikara
According to the Yoga Sutras there are two types of students, Adhikara – focused diligent students of Yoga. One are born to be enlightened like Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad. Then there are the rest of us who continue to practice working on karma and refining our skills. Both however hold five attributes, virtues or essential ingredients.
It is said that the Adhikara or student that follows a systematic practice rooted in faith, courageous confidence, mindfulness to ignite the Pranic energy and willpower required to maintain a steady focus of mind, knowledge and wisdom. As the last session laid out the path toward the goal of practice (Abhyasa) is to attain physical (Kaya Nirodha), energetic (Prana Nirodha) and mental stillness (Citta Vritti Nirodha) describing the student skill at refining mental focus (Viveka), detaching from sensory observation (Vairagya)
Yoga sutra 1.20 – 5 essential ingredients to be the Adhikara – the competent Yogi
Shraddha – Faith. Trusted belief that the Universe has your back no matter what. Shrad literally means, that which gives you space and holds you in place. Dha provides nourishment for you to grow. It opens you to a larger perspective, if you think about it, the more space and self-nurturance you have to fill that space, the more support you have to grow and expand in life. It also fills the space so you see there is nothing missing in your life, it is as it needs to be for you to evolve. Connecting to a trusting conviction in this presence, wholehearted respect in your relationship to the faith you align to.
Virya – Courage, Strength, Energy, Effort, Willpower, Stamina to persevere through life’s obstacles. That whatever you put your mind to, you will be able to achieve through your endurance, inner strength and conviction to bravely face whatever you face.
Smirti – That which is remembered, To strengthen your memory to remember how to practice, the said techniques, retentive power of vital information in order to move more effectively forward in life, the power to collect and recall vital information, especially when you are upset or facing hard times that you can ultimately remember what you are, what matters to you most and your life’s greater purpose.
Samadhi – Absorption, Becoming completely aware of what you are paying attention to, spending time in conscious repose, resting in the grounded-ness of being, all-consuming focus, ability to be absorbed in one’s goal. It is the ability to have physical, energetic, mental and spiritual absorption in any given moment.
Prajna – Illumination of Consciousness, Light of intelligence, Buddhi is the intuitive guide or teacher, Prajna is the light of intelligence that shines through that guide. Guided by the inner light of the heart-mind, that innate wisdom, letting the light of the soul reflect in it without distortion. There is clear understanding, crystal-clear intellect, which reveals the knowledge within you as you.
Practice requires us to cultivate the five virtues: conviction, inner strength, retentive power, an all-consuming focus, and clear understanding as these five virtues help us persist in our quest when obstacles (Yoga Sutra 1.30) such as disease, fatigue, doubt, carelessness, discontentment, laziness, lust, misunderstanding, instability and frustrations tempt us to quit.