You’re about to go on an amazing journey of self-discovery, and tranquilly awaits!
Welcome to a fascinating exploration of “Unravelling Tranquillity.” In this discourse, we explore the fascinating nexus between non-dual Advaita philosophy, Patanjali yoga sutra theory, and cognitive science of the human mind. We shall explore the connections between traditional knowledge and contemporary science as we go along, giving light on the nature of tranquillity, the depths of awareness, and the fusion of these disparate yet related domains.
Unlocking Tranquillity reveals the subtleties of the human mind and leads you to inner peace and harmony. Whether readers are seasoned seekers or have only recently started their journey for serenity, this content offers digestible insights.
Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience as we explore the fundamentals of the human mind to elucidate its patterns and open the path to inner serenity. Together, let’s investigate self-awareness and seize the countless chances that await us on this journey.
The Path to Tranquilly, from the Patanjali Yoga Sutra:
The Patanjali Yoga Sutra, an ancient Indian Yoga philosophy that outlines the foundations and practises of yoga, is a classic.
The first two limbs:
It provides an orderly strategy for achieving peace utilising the eight yoga limbs. The first two limbs, Yama (ethical disciplines) and Niyama (observances), which instruct practitioners to develop self-control and moral behaviour, lay the groundwork for inner tranquilly.
The third, fourth and fifth limb:
By bringing the body and mind into balance, the third limb, Asana (physical postures), and the fourth limb, Pranayama (breath control), help to balance and foster tranquilly. The fifth limb, Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), produces a calmer mind that frees us from outer influences and distractions as the practise goes on. [Prana: The Vital Force]
The sixth and seventh limb:
The sixth limb, Dharana (concentration), encourages focusing the mind on a single object in order to increase present-moment awareness and serenity. This mental state prepares one for the seventh limb, Dhyana (meditation), when tranquillity is perceived as a natural outcome of sustained focus and mindfulness.
The eighth limb: [All-Absorbent Meditation]
The eighth limb, Samadhi (connection with the divine: Universal connectivity), symbolises the highest level of serenity in which the individual self transcends the ego by uniting with the collective awareness.
The understanding that the mind has a significant impact on how we perceive the world, feel about it, and act in it is its essential tenet. The Yoga sutras use the term “vrittis” to describe the variations or alterations of the Mind. Patanjali outlines the five that are most important to comprehend in order to master the “vrittis,” or mental fluctuations.
In the first chapter of the Yoga Sutra, known as “Samadhi pada,” Maharshi Patanjali presents the basic sutras that lay the groundwork for obtaining steady and still “MIND”. The third of these sutras functions as a broad principle:
Sutra 1.2 states, "Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind," which is rendered as "Yogas citta-vritti-nirodhah" ().
This sutra places a strong emphasis on the value of tranquilly as the ultimate goal of yoga. The mind naturally tends to fluctuate, which leads to diversions, agitation, and restlessness, according to Patanjali. Yoga can teach people how to manage these ups and downs and create a state of calmness.
The term “citta” refers to the aggregate properties of mind and awareness, including thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. A common analogy used to describe “vrittis” is the ripples that disturb a pond’s placid surface. The sutra exhorts practitioners to master their minds by minimising these oscillations and establishing a state of “nirodhah,” which is cessation or restraint.
Patanjali identifies five mental adjustments that are essential for tranquilly in order to manage the “vrittis,”.
By eliminating mental distractions and soothing their vrittis, people can achieve tranquillity and concentrated attention.
There are five Vrittis:
1. Pramana (Valid Cognition):
“Pramana” (correct knowledge), also known as valid cognition, is formed from perception, inference, and reliable witness. Knowing the source of information may aid in the mind’s ability to distinguish between conflicting ideas and myths.
2. Viparyaya (Misapprehension):
The mind can be deceived by misinterpreting reality or clinging to false beliefs. It is imperative to dispel these myths in order to achieve inner clarity.
3. Vikalpa (Imagination):
The mind regularly creates fantasies based on memories or wants, which leads to distractions. Eliminating these structures can aid in your peacefulness development.
4. Nidra, or Sleep.
The ability to enter deep sleep freely and knowledge of the mental state of sleep can renew the mind.
5. Smriti, or memory.
Perceptions and actions are influenced by memories, according to Smriti (Memory). By choosing which memories to concentrate on, we can rewire our brains in a good way.
Another path to tranquillity:
Non-Dual Advaita Philosophy:
Non-Dual Advaita Philosophy, which has its roots in ancient Vedic wisdom, emphasises the indivisible unity of the singular soul (Atman) and the absolute reality (Brahman). This point of view claims that realising the non-dual nature of existence leads to liberation and that the dualities created by the mind’s delusion are what cause suffering.
According to Advaita, the mind keeps a false sense of self alive, which results in desires, phobias, and attachments. Through practises like self-inquiry (Vichara) and meditation, people can get past the limitations of the mind and discover the boundless, eternal nature of the self.
Let’s see what the Human Cognitive Science says:
The multidisciplinary field of cognitive science studies human cognition, perception, and consciousness. Cognitive science is distinct from the aforementioned spiritual traditions, but it does not contradict their conclusions; rather, it provides additional perspectives on the human mind.
Few connections between cognitive science and meditation:
Attention and Focus: Cognitive science investigates how attention functions, how it may be maintained, and how it affects cognitive processes. Cognitive scientists have been interested in meditation practises since they frequently involve developing one’s ability to pay attention and concentrate. Understanding how meditation improves attention regulation can help us understand how the brain processes attention.
Neuroplasticity: Studies have demonstrated that meditation can alter both the structure and the function of the brain. The study of cognitive science focuses on how the brain alters and adapts to experiences. We can learn more about neuroplasticity and how the brain processes information by conducting research on the benefits of meditation.
Emotional Control: Cognitive science and meditation both look into how people control their emotions. Emotional awareness and control are frequently practised during meditation. To get insights into emotion management techniques, cognitive scientists are interested in how these practises affect emotional reactions.
Mindfulness: A crucial component of many meditation techniques is mindfulness, which is being in the present moment and observing one’s thoughts and sensations without passing judgement. Cognitive science research the idea of mindfulness and how it affects cognitive functions like memory, attention, and perception.
Well-being and Stress Reduction: Meditation is frequently used as a practise to lower stress and improve general well-being. Research in cognitive science can offer factual support for meditation’s ability to improve psychological and physical wellbeing.
Consciousness and Self-awareness: Questions of consciousness and self-awareness are occasionally explored during meditation practises. Cognitive science, which investigates the nature of consciousness and self-referential processes, is likewise interested in these subjects.
Collaborations in research: To study the effects of meditation, some cognitive scientists work with meditators and contemplative traditions. This multidisciplinary approach enables a more thorough investigation of how meditation affects cognitive functions.
Overall, there is a mutual connection between cognitive science and meditation. While meditation gives perceptions and practises that can assist cognitive science research and further our knowledge of the mind’s potential and limitations, cognitive science provides a framework for studying the effects of meditation on the mind.
Research in cognitive science shows how our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are influenced by neural networks, brain architecture, and cognitive biases. The mind continuously processes information as a result of a complex interaction of brain functions, which produces our subjective sensations.
Integration of Viewpoints:
When we combine our grasp of cognitive science, non-Dual Advaita philosophy, and the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, we develop a thorough understanding of the nature of the human mind. By practising mindfulness, meditation, and self-inquiry, we can recognise and transcend the vrittis, develop mental clarity, and break the illusory bounds of the mind.
Investigating the human psyche in-depth is the road to serenity. By accepting the teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the understanding of Non-Dual Advaita Philosophy, and discoveries from cognitive research, we may navigate the maze of the mind, balancing its oscillations, and revealing the true core of our being—eternal and serene.