Narasimha on Creation

Photo by Minna Nuotio999653_10151681812064061_1613826095_n

Yoga technique is not specific to India. It can help people from any culture, any religion to realize their goal  over time.  It’s universally adaptable. It has been presented and spoken in Indian terms, because it comes from India.

Creation in India is Ishvara-based. Ishvara is the master intelligent principle.

The complexity of creation which is going on now, had earlier the seed form. There has to be a universal seed = nature = energy interaction = force interaction = intelligent principle = the personification of the intelligent principle. There’s been a primordial seed which had the possibility of the things that exist now.

When we come to our limit of understanding, we name things as miracles. Or we think about it as a divine intervention.

People in India are not seen as sinners, but as saints.

Representation / Creation of human being:

The inner center is Ishvara (the Creator).

The outer, dense layer is called Annamaya Kosha,  the material body. It’s alive when it can replicate an injury.

These two “elements” are in all creatures, also inanimate. Inanimate can’t modify itself by itself.

The next layer of creation is called Pranamaya Kosha. Prana is the force which helps in creation.

The next layer of creation is Manomaya Kosha where the feelings appear. Then the creature knows about suffering and enjoyment – also the vegetation respond to the external stimuli.

The next creation layer is Vijnanamaya Kosha, the logical mind that only human beings have. We know how to correlate things which are not related at all. We do planning.

Anandamaya Kosha is different from the four other Koshas. It’s the state of bliss.

Humans are the only creatures who can go out and manipulate things and can go in and manipulate themselves.

Narasimha on Avidya

Photo by Bill BrundellJayashri 064

This Thursday’s class. A lot of chanting (Mahaganeshastotra, Adityahrdayam, Sadhana Pada,  Vibhuti Pada ) and less talking.

Sadhana Pada, II.4 Avidyaksetramuttaresam prasuptatanuvicchinnodaranam

Talking about Avidya, ignorance..what is knowledge then?

Gurustotra says:

Ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya / caksur unmilitam yena / tasmai sri-gurave namah

Knowledge exists in us already, but we don’t find it by ourselves. We learn some things by trial and error. Guru’s work is to give the antidote, to open our eyes.

Kayal is sometimes used in Northern India not only for beautification, but to have sharp eyes. The eyes water as soon as you put the kayal and this purifies the eyes.

More ignorant you are -> more routine, not interested in knowing more.

More knowledge you have – you know how to manipulate the circumstances to suit your needs or you can change the situation so that you would be comfortable in it.

Knowledge produces freedom and strength.

There are 4 types of ignorance preventing us to get enlightenment or getting into a higher state of knowledge.

These different manifestations of Avidya which prevent us from growing further are:

prasupta – that which is dormant

tanu – reduction of interest

vichinna – mind is distracted, in contradiction

udaranam –  we know Avidya is there and we consciously overcome it

Functioning of Avidya brings misery, prevents growth. The growth means you need to make decisions. The more the person is afraid, the less he makes decisions even when opportunities are given.

Narasimha on Kriya Yoga


Sadhana Pada 

Kriya Yoga = Tapah, Svadhyaha, Ishvara Pranidhana

2. sutra: Samadhibhavanarthah klesatanukaranarthasca

The practice means culturing the body, the nervous system, the mind, the emotions to become an evolution orientated system.  You control the growth. The growth has to be positive.

Make yourself grow as you should grow = we are genetically coded and we can either distort or enhance the code. If we don’t understand the system (Svadhyaya is self-understanding), we may harm it. We should be able to allow the genetic code to open, to flower. How do you catalyze so that the genetic information is not distorted? This is your study.

Analytical, emotional, physical, sensorial systems are independent. They have to operate smoothly even when they interact. If in interaction there’s a contradiction, there will be a conflict and the individual suffers. Each system should be flexible. People differ in that some are drawn to distroy themselves, some drawn to grow.

Why Kriya Yoga?

1) To reach Samadhi, internal total stability which is usually dormant. You can also say that Samadhi is alert restfulness. To reach it, you go through many levels. First by Tapah you stop the external input. When external disturbances stop, you become aware of your internal disturbances.

SamadhiBHAVANartha, bhavana means to be stable in a particular state. Here it means the capability of being naturally in Samadhi, no forcing.

2) To reduce the Kleshas which are imbedded in us all. Example: We are never really happy. When we feel sadness, we think it’s never-ending. When we feel happiness, we think it ends quickly.

3. sutra: Avidyasmitaragadvesabhiniveshah kleshah

This is the classification of the reasons of why we’re never happy. These kleshas make us restless, there’s always ups and downs.

Avidya – We suffer when we don’t know how to handle. We suffer also when we don’t know what all our body and intelligence can do. We don’t want to know. We are afraid to know ourselves. By yoga we gain more CANs than CANTs. Man usually creates routines, timetibles, mental patterns that are safe. This inhibits his full potential.

Asmita – You associate yourself with other things and it makes you restricted in your mind. We are ready to be miserable to fit the society, we try not to show our faults.

Raga – We are attached to material and sensorial things. Out of that the fear that we can’t live without something. Example: you are tired and your friend gives you coffee as a remedy. Next time you feel a little tired, you take coffee again. Or you take coffee even when not tired. Then it becomes more sophisticated. You want a certain kind of coffee with certain milk, sugar…it becomes more complicated and you more attached.

Dvesa – We dislike things that are there. Example: I want to have the body of Mr India. I don’t have that kind of body. I hate my body.

Abhinivesa – Any change creates fear. Coming to India is a big change to a Westerner. A flexible system adapts itself to many new things. In a crucial situation, you will know your attachments (fears).

When the Kleshas disappear, Samadhi comes. Two things happen at the same time. Samadhi is quietude, Kleshas inquietude.

The ideal is to have a flexible system and interaction between the Kleshas. Example: If you are used to get a 8 hour sleep, you might be attached to that. If you can’t get it, you become scared. A flexible system means that you can control it in a situation, e.g. if you need to prepare yourself for an exam, you would work more and sleep less. You can decide, you can adapt. A rigid system can’t.

Narasimha on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

In India, many texts and knowledge systems, called Shastra (=complete).

Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is one Shastra. You have source, course and goal exposed.

First Pada: How to achieve Samadhi

Second Pada: How to practice that in life

Third Pada: What are the marks of the practice

Fourth Pada: What is the ultimate result?

Every time there’s a new term, Patanjali explains it and then goes further

Patanjali’s approach is from mind, psychological

200 years ago, the world was fait-orientated (religions). Then, science, the analytical took over and very little possibility of emotions or faith

The world has become mechanical, human being a machine

Patanjali’s system: balancing the rational and the emotional mind

The scientist way is reductionist: in the end, there’s nothing > < Patanjali’s system goes towards the Infinite

Nowadays science is measuring yoga and the philosophical systems too

In Sadhana Pada, first sutra Tapahsvadhyayeshvarapranidhanani kriyayogah,

TAPAH means penance, to go through a lot of troubles to modify yourself. You burn yourself in many ways to purify.

SVADHYAYA is self analysis and self-understanding where ‘I’ is not pure and how should I correct it. See how your practice which is a progress by tapah influences. Know your defects and study yourself. What is the measure? Only those who have gone the path before, know. Their information – the scriptures tell.


Different kind of yogas. Different yogis depending on how they feel and what they do. Unity of emotion and action:

Karma Yoga (Action)  – Tapas

Jnana Yoga (Knowledge) – Svadhyaya

Bhakti Yoga (Devotion) – Ishvara

Any action always creates some dirt.

Jayashri 033Photo Bill Brundell

Narasimha lectures in Mysore November 2013

I’m in Mysore, India. I study Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra by chanting it with my teacher Jayashree and by listening to my other teacher’s, Narasimha’s clarifications of the text.

I’d like to share with you those precious lectures of Narasimha. I’m doing it by writing my notes up as a post. I interprete the minimum of his words not to offer you my misinterpretation.

I hope you can still get something out of it and that it can help you in your studies!

Jayashri 063                                            * Jayashree and Narasimha *                         photo Bill Brundell

Narasimha on Ishvara

GOD – different connotations

Hindu and Christian – God is source of creation

Hinduism + Patanjali:  God remained in the world, in the heart of people to be found

Ishvara is the master, the controller

The world is the play between the centrifugal and centripetal forces. Ishvara is the third, stabilizing force.

If I become a part of the stabilizing force -> I’m in Samadhi (Ishvara is inside and outside of me)

Science finds the order, but not the ‘WHY’.

World is the combination of electrons, protons and neutrons. All this must be first in a seed-form before it shows. Samadhi Pada I.25 talks about this: in any soul in its finest form, there is the seed of Ishvara

How to recognize Ishvara? It spreads its light and benevolence uniformly. Like the river..

We need to develop humility = Ishvara Pranidhana

When we really let go of our ego, which means, everything we know by now, we loose all our appendixes and Ishvara becomes our life jacket. When we are afraid enough, we might find Ishvara, God.

Ishvara is ultimate source of energy and has actually nothing to do with God. It has everything to do with YOU.

Soul has no gender, God has no gender.

Give Weight

We all know that throughout the centuries in the classical ballet, the danser ideally has been light as a feather and has thus given an illusion of weightlessness to the audience.

Some people feel that ballerinas represent a bad role model side by side with the top models, both spreading the ideal of a starving thin woman by their professions and by doing so contribute to increase the extent of eating disorders.  I do understand this anxiety of those who have lived anorexia or close to someone suffering from it. But still, not everybody who’s slim or skinny has anorexia and the reason for a light weight is not necessarily a consequence of something negative at all.

In the classical ballet repertoire, you find sylphs, fairies, ethereal creatures with a graceful beauty. To represent these characters, to danse them, you have to be like that not to create a grotesque impression. And still to jump high in the air the danser has to know how to be heavy. She has to understand the gravity and how  it can support her.

These same elements are present when we practice asanas in yoga. The body should be rooted by the feet to the ground, the energy concentrated in the pelvis. These two factors allow the upper body to be light. This kind of physical balance is very rare in nowadays world even among those who have a daily physical practice.

In my work as a yoga teacher I meet people of all sizes and of great variety of weights. All the heavy bodies have a natural propensity downwards. But what is amazing is that not all the light bodies are attracted upwards! Sometimes big people have a body which is light to ajust and which has incredibly vigorous movements and light energy. Or vice versa, some slim people can be heavy and have dull movements.

A light person can have a heavy energy. What is this heaviness then, if the body is light? When someone with a quite impressive body weight can perform vivacious movements, where does this bubbliness come from? Isn’t it interesting? In my mind, it’s all about emotions that reside in our vital energy (prana). When the prana is heavy or stationary,  we become heavy no matter the weight of the body. When we really can allow ourselves to feel our weight, we can also feel the lightness. These two polarities are indispensable for our balance.

Emotionally it’s about  inhabiting our body and being in it  consciously with all our weight. If we usually are capable of living a large scale of emotions, our body feels it and remains functional. If we live narrowly, the body shows the symptoms of this suffering sooner or later. If we loose this emotional richness and the sensation of weight which is equal to feeling secure, we might start to manipulate these feelings by eating too much or too little. Anorexia among other eating disorders is a very natural result of a body where the energy movement is restricted. The body shrinks and wants to disppear, because it’s of no use.

We have to live both the heaviness and the lightness emotionally. We need to give power and weight to the expression of our emotions in our body. This is the way the body remains happy and expressive.


Tout le monde connait ça: dans la danse classique, la danseuse idéale est légère comme une plume, elle est capable de donner une illusion d’apesanteur à l’audience.

Il y a des gens qui trouvent que les ballerines et les mannequins représentent un idéal malsain à cause des desordres alimentaires répandus tout particulièrement dans le monde de la danse et de la mode, qui sont dus souvent à une idée et un idéal, mais liés bien sûr à d’autres problèmes. Je comprends parfaitement que pour les gens qui ont vécu l’anorexie eux-mêmes ou pour les proches d’une personne anorexique, ça soit un sujet douloureux et une source d’inquiétude. Mais tout le monde qui est mince ou même maigre, n’est pas anorexique et il n’y a pas toujours un trouble derrière le poids infime, bien entendu. Est-ce que, par exemple, les ballerines devraient manger plus pour prendre du poids juste pour ne pas répandre cette image de femme svelte?

Dans la répertoire de la danse classique, on trouve des personnages presque uniquement éthérés, comme des sylphes et des fées d’une beauté éclatante et d’une grâce céleste. Pour représenter ces personnages, un corps léger est indispensable afin d’éviter l’effet grotesque. Et pourtant pour pouvoir utiliser son poids pour les sauts aériens, la danseuse légère doit savoir être lourde, c’est-à-dire, elle doit connaître et comprendre la gravité.

En ce qui concerne le corps, ces mêmes principes sont présents dans le yoga: le bas solide, le corps enraciné par les pieds, l’énergie centrée, ce qui va donner un haut du corps léger. Cet équilibre est rare chez les gens d’aujourd’hui, même chez ceux qui vivent leurs corps quotidiennement par une pratique et même chez les professionnels d’un métier d’expression corporelle.

Dans mon métier de professeur de yoga, je rencontre des gens de toutes les tailles et de toutes les pesanteurs.  Tous les corps lourds ont une propension naturelle vers la terre. Mais tous les corps légers n’ont pas une propension naturelle vers le ciel! Ce qui est frappant parfois, c’est que quelqu’un puisse être gros, mais avoir quand même un corps léger à ajuster, les mouvements toniques, une énergie légère. Et vice versa, quelqu’un peut être bien mince et avoir un corps lourd et résistant et les mouvements pesants.

Une personne légère peut avoir une énergie pesante. Quand on est lourd tout en ayant un poids infime, qu’est-ce que cette pesanteur alors? Ou bien, quand on a un poids plutôt impressionnant et qu’on arrive à faire des mouvements avec vivacité, qu’est-ce que cette légèreté? Intéressant, n’est-ce pas? De mon point de vue, il s’agit d’un fardeau émotionnel qui se manifeste dans l’énergie (prâna) supposée vitaliser le corps. Quand cette énergie est lourde, elle est presque immobile et même si on est mince, on reste pesant. Le poids est surtout émotionnel. Quand on arrive à sentir la gravité, la pesanteur, on arrive à sentir également la légèreté. Les deux polarités sont importantes pour notre bien-être et indispensable pour notre équilibre.

Émotionnellement, cela veut dire, qu’on doit pouvoir habiter son corps, on doit pouvoir s’y installer avec tout notre poids. Quand on vit les extrémités de notre esprit, le corps imite. Si on vit étroitement, le corps commence à souffrir et devient malade. Lorsque nous perdons cet équilibre émotionnel et la sensation du poids qui est équivalent au sentiment de sécurité, nous commençons probablement à manipuler le poids par l’alimentation, en nous en privant ou bien en nous en bourrant. L’anorexie entre autre est un résultat naturel, une réponse du corps au non-vécu: il disparaît.

Il faut vivre le poids et la légèreté émotionnellement. Il faut donner du poids à l’expression des émotions. Comme ça, le corps garde son énergie et son expressivité.


On tunnettua, että klassisessa baletissa ihannetanssija on kautta aikain ollut höyhenenkevyt ja antanut liikkeillään yleisölleen painottomuuden illuusion.

Joidenkin mielestä balleriinat ja mannekiinit edustavat tällaista vääristynyttä laihuusihannetta ja ruokkivat syömishäiriöitä varsinkin tanssi- ja mallimaailmassa. Näiden joskus nälkiintyneiden ihanteiden lisäksi ihmisellä itsellään on usein joku idea laihuuden suhteen ja tietenkin syömishäiriöihin liittyy  muitakin ongelmia kuin ammatin asettamat paineet. Ymmärrän, että anoreksian sairastaneet tai anorektikon läheiset voivat kokea tällaiset ihanteet huolestuttavina ja tuskallisinakin. Tietenkään kuitenkaan kaikki hoikat tai laihat ihmiset eivät kärsi anoreksiasta eikä alhaisen elopainon takana ole aina ongelmaa. Pitäisikö siis esimerkiksi ballerinojen alkaa syödä enemmän lihoakseen pois tästä ihannekuvasta?

Klassisen baletin repertuaarissa on eteerisiä naishahmoja, kuten sylfejä ja keijuja, jotka ovat tarinoiden mukaan lumoavan kauniita ja ylimaallisen sulokkaita. Jos tanssii tällaisen hahmon roolia, on kevyt ja siro keho välttämätön, jotta vältytään groteskilta vaikutukselta. Ja sitten kuitenkin, jotta tanssija voisi hypyillään saavuttaa korkeuksia, hänen täytyy ymmärtää painovoimaa ja saada se toimimaan tuekseen. Kevyen tanssijan täytyy osata olla myös painava.

Nämä samat painovoimalait koskevat kehoa tietenkin myös joogassa: jalkojen kautta maadoitettu keho,  lantioon keskittynyt energia ja näistä elementeistä syntyvä kevyt ylävartalo. Tällainen tasapaino on erittäin harvinaista nykyihmisellä, jopa niiden keskuudessa, jotka harjoittavat kehoaan tietoisesti päivittäin tai toteuttavat sillä taidetta.

Omassa joogaopettajan ammatissani tapaan kaikenkokoisia ja -painoisia ihmisiä. Kaikki painavat kehot ovat periaatteessa luonnostaan suuntautuneet maata kohti. Mutta mielenkiintoista on se, että kaikki kevyet kehot eivät suuntaudu ylöspäin! Joku voi olla ylipainoinen ja liikkua ketterästi ja energisesti sekä olla kehollisesti helppo avustettava. Ja toisinpäin, jonkun hoikan ihmisen kehossa voi olla jarru pohjassa, se voi olla raskas ja veltto.

Jos ihminen vaatimattomalla elopainolla on raskas, mistä se paino kehoon tulee? Tai miten on mahdollista, että jonkun vaikuttava elopaino sallii kehon eloisat ja kevyet liikkeet? Minä uskon, että kyse on tunnetaakasta, joka tuntuu lähinnä siinä energiassa (prana = elinvoima), jonka tehtävä on elävöittää keho. Kun prana on raskas, se on liikkumaton ja miten kevyt ihminen periaatteessa onkin, hänen painonsa kasvaa sisältäpäin.

Kun pystyy tuntemaan painonsa, tuntee myös keveytensä. Nämä kaksi polariteettia ovat välttämättömät henkiselle tasapainolle. Kun elämme henkisesti laajasti, keho mukautuu siihen. Tunnetasolla se tarkoittaa sitä, että suostumme ja haluamme elää kehoamme ja että olemme siinä koko painollamme. Jos elämme kapeasti tunnetasolla, kehokin kärsii ja usein oirehtii tai jopa sairastuu. Kun menetämme tunnetasapainon ja tunteen kehomme painosta, joka on samalla turvallisuuden tunnetta, alamme luultavasti manipuloimaan painoamme ravinnon avulla, joko rajoittamalla itseämme tai ahmimalla. Anoreksia näyttää olevan hyvin luonnollinen kehon vastaus elämättömille ja ilmaisemattomille tunteille. Keho haihtuu pois, koska sitä ei tarvita.

Tunteiden ilmaisulle pitää antaa voimaa ja pontta. On tärkeää elää tunteiden paino ja keveys. Näin keho ei näivety, vaan pysyy ilmaisuvoimaisena ja tyytyväisenä.


Photo by Minna Nuotio