Narasimha on Happiness

The ‘I’ seeks pleasure.

The senses are instruments. They can’t bring joy.

Three qualities are needed to make a person happy in any situation:

Satyam – Shivam – Sundaram = Reality/Truthfulness, Auspiciousness/Elevation, Beauty

This is the quest in Yoga.


Narasimha on Purusartha

Four facets of human life which according to the Indian system

–  make us interact with the external world

–  form the aim of human existence

–  lead to happiness :

Dharma, Kama, Moksha, Artha

Kama – desire that is going out. When desire has to interact, it has to compromise. Therefore there has to be a predictable methodology of interaction for the Kama to lead to the satisfaction. It needs internal paraphernalia that there could be the total satisfaction. (e.g. not any food will satisfy everybody, it can only fill the stomach.)

Moksha – liberation from desire by action. For example, when we’re hungry, we eat and become happy. When we are tired, we sleep and become happy. (Also a wider meaning: when you have the total liberation, you don’t need to worry of any desire.)

Artha – a need for the paraphernalia, i.e. tools for satisfying the desire.  For each type of desire, Artha is different. This specificity of procuring the paraphernalia that satisfies us is called Artha.

Dharma – For all this (Kama, Moksha, Artha) we are dependent on the external world. How are we to procure these things to satisfy our needs without antagonizing the society around us? Dharma is the proper way of living by which we can procure the things that are desirable for us without antagonizing the society.

Dharma becomes the dominant drive on the basis of mutual understanding of the interaction. We provide satisfaction to the society, the society provides satisfaction to us.  Dharma depends on our age, family situation, personality, responsibility.

The ‘I’ is a combination of suffering and action. (KleshaKarmaVipaka of Patanjali)

Why do people easily welcome sleep? Because then there’s no need to decide, to choose, to worry.  Most of the addictions are the substitute for sleep, because people can’t cope with the world. By shutting off of the world (because you don’t want to suffer neither take action), you avoid taking responsibility (schizophrenia is one of the mind’s ways to get out of the reality). This way the Klesha-Karma overwhelms us. In a predictable world the decision making is easy. In this chaotic world the decision making is always hazardous.

Desire and satisfaction happen inside, not outside. The satisfaction is dependent on the coherence of the different functions in Koshas. The Koshas should be healthy. If Koshas are in contradiction, the chaos will appear and we are not able to understand the situation. Our reactions will be accordingly – wrong. We should be able to use our consciousness to operate in and to interact with nature and get the feedback. How to get rid of the interaction on the Kosha level?

Even when Koshas are healthy, one more complexity on the energy level appears, the Gunas:

The consciousness is made of three components.

Sattva, Rajas, Tamas

Matter stays in a place. Energy is always moving. Consciousness is an energy. When it decides, the matter moves. If no direction or no purpose, it just wastes its energy without no useful benefit for us. If harnessed, it should be harnessed to a creative, evolutionary direction -> vertical growth = Sattva.

If you think you can’t grow, you will destroy yourself. The decay is possible when our Rajas is stagnating within the system.

All energy is Rajas. Stagnation of Rajas = Tamas (Inertia).

All matter is Tamas.

Tamas is also essential -it should be used by Rajas to recover itself.  Tamas should not conduct your energy, it’s just for control.

Sattva is a directional and benificial way of thinking and acting.

Yoga is to transform Tamas and Rajas in Sattva. Yoga catalyses our activity towards the evolution and condenses the complex evolution within one birth. That’s why it’s painful. We should control our consciousness so that Sattva always dominates, because only then we can go on the path of evolution.


* Narasimha *

Narasimha on Jivatma


Annamaya Kosha, i.e. the physical system has 2 aspects: motor nerves and sensory nerves.

Manifest is something we can conceive, understand. Unmanifest is something that exists, but we don’t know it. Electricity by itself is unmanifest. It manifests in a light bulb or a fan. In the same way all energy is unmanifest until it comes in contact with an object. Manifestation of the energy is only possible when there’s an association with material things.

Who’s the one who knows the function of Vijnanamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha and Annamaya Kosha? It’s another energy level which operates throughout these even in the external world. This is what we call  ‘I’ or ‘Soul’ or ‘Atman’.

We see the body as solid, but there’s movement inside. It’s like the atoms in the whole universe.

Stability exists in different ways. The sun rises every day, there’s a movement and stability.Most of the time our whole system is metastable, not stable. The metastability increases in terms of changes in the system in evolution or devolution.

This energy system or soul is called Jivatma (intelligence that is alive) in India. The liveness means movement, activity. Because of the activity of Jivamukta we can understand  the activity of the koshas and we can use these appendages of the mind to understand the external world.

Why do we want to understand the external world? Because we want to enjoy it. We like something, we want to have it. What do we do? We use our functional / motor organs to get it. We do an activity to acquire it so we can be happy. As long as there is a perfect coordination between the sensory organs and the motor functions, we are always happy.

Because of the incapability in any level or if the koshas are not in cohesion or in tune with each other, our efficiency gets stalled. Our sense organs are not perfect. Our motor nerves can’t sometimes reach what we want. Any discordination in the system causes unhappiness.

Our happiness is more often mental (we imagine things) than real. Our inner perceptions vary and change. Mostly the perceptions are manifestations of our imagination.

The basic manifestation starts with the Manomaya Kosha (feelings) with the help of Vijnanamaya Kosha (logical mind). In Vijnanamaya Kosha  the soul is basically an intelligent principle. It uses the analytical capability of Vijnanamaya Kosha to function efficiently in the world. It can manipulate the combinations, but it will not create anything new out of the box. The Vijnanamaya Kosha is used as a means by the Manomaya Kosha in all the functions of the prana.

As long as we interact with objects, we want to avoid pain and sustain pleasure. The problem is that even when our intention is to sustain the pleasure continuously, our sense organs are not capable of giving the information continuously. The alteration of break and connection are necessary for the pleasure to go on, but we don’t want the breaks. When we don’t want the breaks, it will end up in pain, because the sensation is not there. The sensory information is not coming in, because the senses have to stop sometimes.

If flexibility doesn’t exist, if understanding of our personality doesn’t exist, we are always landing into the misery and uncertainty.

These things are all controlled by Anandamaya Kosha which is the stablest kosha.

Jivatma, soul has a feedback system, constant flux going from the soul to the object. But in all these things there’s a level of stability that has to be maintained. It doesn’t change fast. Ishvara, creative intelligence looks after all other levels. Jivatma is the de-stabilizing force. In the fluctuations there’s life.

How to reach the state of least effort while alive? As long as our search is going to the external world, this state is not possible. It can only happen when we understand how to stop the activity of the koshas. On the zero level of activity, we realize ourselves and heal the other koshas.

Narasimha on Gayatri mantra

It’s 24 syllables .

In western Abrahamic religions there is opposition to forms, formless is preferred.

It’s universal. Usually mantras speak in terms of specific deities or gods. Gayatri Mantra doesn’t specify anything, but it is specifically meant to invoke our mental faculties on the path of evolution. It’s supposed to make us more intelligent. We are not to exploit others by our cleverness. If we start to exploit others by our cleverness, one day or the other we’ll be victim of our own cleverness. We should  grow and make others grow.

Evolutionary intelligence = creative intelligence manifestation – means that we don’t repeat the same mistakes again or take routine solutions. When we know permanent solution, we don’t look for a temporal solution. Creative intelligence manifestation is possible by Gayatri Mantra, because it produces clarity of mind.

History  of Gayatri Mantra: Vishvamitra was a king. He was born into a warrior family. He rebelled against all establishment. He wanted to become a supreme academician, a brahmin. Genes are usually more dominant than nature. Genetically Vishvamitra was proposed to be in a warrior group, but he did a lot of Tapas, so he could transform his genetic code to that of a brahmin. He achieves it with perseverence.

A warrior is a ruler. A ruler has a duty to judge and to punish. The punishing attitude means you act with a superior ego. If you have a superior ego, you can’t become a brahmin. People said to Vishvamitra: you can’t do it in this birth because you can’t do Ishvara pranidhana. Vishvamitra said: I will do it in this body, transform this body, in this birth. (Jayashree comments: “like you people” and makes us laugh.)

During the Kali yuga (which began 5000 years ago) people are selfish, cruel, material, ready to enjoy their senses at the cost of others.

The scholars were asking how to bring people to higher levels of conscience. They have lost their sensitivity of their conscience to be simple, not to hurt others and to be kind and compassionate – what we call human qualities. How can we restore this in this age of Kali Yuga? They selected Vishvamitra, because they thought that a person who had such arrogant and aggressive qualities and who had been able to overcome them and to  become such a kind person, could do it.

Mantra of Gayatri manifested to him in Samadhi. It had to be tested.  Vishvamitra took the lowest type of human beings and taught them this mantra and the procedure how to practice it. When they meditated with this mantra they were all transformed to human beings from beast like savages. They became humans and could go further.

First you become human. Then you can become divine.

Let this be spread all over the world, let’s mitigate the demonic  tendencies that develop in human beings.

It’s not a religious mantra. It has nothing to do with religion. You will be able to understand your own religion better if you practice this.

If you don’t have any inner experience of that kind, you can’t understand sacred literature. Until someone has the inner experience, you can’t convince them.

When the teacher who has practiced it and never wavers from it, tells you about it, you believe it.

In India they say: Educate a man, you educate  an individual.  Educate a woman, you educate a generation.

Women were not allowed to chant this mantra, because the Indians were afraid Muslims would misuse this knowledge. So the mantra was not even taught to women (colonisation always targets the women).

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* The entrance to the Chanting paradise *

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