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Yoga Sutra 2.26 Continual Clear Seeing

Interpretive Translation by Joseph Le Page – 2.26 Continual Clear Seeing

viveka khyātir aviplavā hāno 'pāyaḥ

viveka – discernment; khyāti – illumination, clarity; aviplavā – unceasing, unbroken, flowing; hāna – removal, cessation; upāyaḥ – means, methodology

The means for ending [avidyā] is viveka khyāti, (uninterrupted discernment; a continual stream of clear seeing).

The release from all forms of suffering and limitation along the spiritual journey is generally a gradual process of trial and error. There are also moments of insight when we make quantum leaps in terms of understanding who we are (our inner being) and who we are not (the conditioned personality). This process of transformation involves seeing limiting beliefs and changing the patterns of thought that sustain them. Ultimately, suffering is reduced; but while we are in the process of transformation, discomfort may actually increase because we are learning to see ourselves, others and the world in new ways, often a painstaking process!

There comes a time, however, when we make a quantum leap in which discernment and clear seeing become our natural way of being. At this moment, a sufficient amount of conditioning has been released and our clarity has increased to the point where our true being comes to the forefront. The conditioned personality no longer holds sway over our thoughts, actions and beliefs. This continual, spontaneous discernment is viveka khyāti, which is characterized by the reduction of both rajas and tamas. Rajas is the power of movement and doing in order to succeed and achieve. As we enter the stream of viveka khyāti, we recognize that we are inherently complete, so any tendency to compete is released. Tamas is the energy of inertia. In relation to the spiritual journey, it is reflected in doubt and questioning as well as in sense indulgence, which is used to numb the pain of confusion. Once we enter the stream of viveka khyāti, there is absolute and continual knowing of our true being, releasing all need for doubt and questioning. This knowing also frees us from negative habits and addictions. As rajas and tamas are released, what remains is sattva: a light, clear and clean energy that naturally supports us as we journey within the stream of viveka khyāti.

How do we know if we are aligned with the stream of viveka khyāti? Continual discernment has a dramatic effect on all of our interactions and activities. Most significantly, life’s ups and downs are released and we experience ongoing equanimity in which each moment flows smoothly and easily, guided by the light of source energy. As we enter the stream of viveka khyāti, meditation (including deeper states of samadhi) is an experience we enter into easily and effortlessly. Eventually, the line between meditation and non-meditation disappears completely. Within the stream of viveka khyāti, asana and pranayama practices are a natural extension of meditation, supporting the body and mind optimally as vehicles for enlightened living.

Autonomy and mastery are also important characteristics of viveka khyāti. At the level of the personality, we often sense ourselves controlled by our surroundings. In viveka khyāti, we develop an unshakeable sense of our true Self as the center of all our experiences. Complete within our own being, we rest in our essential equanimity, no longer affected by the ups and downs in our surroundings. This autonomy releases us from the tendency toward co-dependency so that all relationships become vehicles for appreciation and learning. Autonomy also allows us to transform binding likes, dislikes and perceived needs into preferences with no attachment to the results. Non-attachment is supported by the recognition that everything is ultimately a reflection of the greater universal laws of creation, guided by source energy.

As we rest deeply and completely in the stream of viveka khyāti, we perceive our life’s purpose and meaning, allowing us to unfold all of our talents and possibilities optimally. Through viveka khyāti, we recognize our talents and abilities as unique expressions of our inner being that naturally support our community. Knowing our life’s purpose is intimately connected to our ever-deepening relationship with source energy, which we experience as the essence of all things reflected as absolute clarity and complete knowing.

And how do we align with viveka khyāti? This sutra is the first verse in the section that describes the eight limbs of Yoga which, when practiced with diligence and sincerity, lead to the awakening of viveka khyāti.

Verse Commentary:

Viveka khyāti is continual conscious awareness, a stream of clear seeing that allows us to discern between the thoughts and beliefs that bind us to the limited personality and the insight that leads to awakening.

Resting within this stream, we remain naturally centered and serene, fully present to all that is occurring within our own being and in our surroundings, welcoming all that life brings as a path of appreciation and awakening.

It is this stream of continual clear seeing that allows us to discern between the personality with its ever changing moods and needs, and our timeless pure being, inherently whole and complete.

Before the dawning of viveka khyāti, life appears to be a series of disconnected events, random challenges and opportunities; but through clear seeing, we perceive that everything is part of a larger plan of awakening.

Within the stream of viveka khyāti, challenges are seen as opportunities, reminding us that there are always ways to respond positively with empathy and objectivity, allowing us to live with inner and outer harmony.

For, life’s “mistakes” and suffering are simply a mirror for gaining greater clarity, and each time we recognize that we have created disharmony, it is an opportunity transform our beliefs and enhance our clarity.

And as we change our ways of seeing, purification occurs spontaneously, even in our sleep and dreams, releasing the storehouse of memories that keeps us bound to limiting ways of being which cause suffering.

Resting in the clear stream of viveka khyāti, we find harmony in our surroundings by releasing all judgment and negativity, swimming in our own lane, fully focused on our own process of awakening.

With the release of negativity, our heart and mind unite naturally, allowing us to live with both compassion and clarity, maintaining healthy boundaries, nurtured continually in the harmonious stream of viveka khyāti.

And it is our connection to the stream of viveka khyāti that allows us to discern clearly which teachers and teachings are appropriate at each step of our journey, guiding us naturally toward complete awakening,

As we enter the stream of viveka khyāti completely, all questions about ourselves, the world and the purpose of living are resolved spontaneously, leaving only an ongoing experience of deep and total knowing.

And within this stream, our bodies and minds are balanced naturally, for health and healing are not primarily the result of techniques, but a reflection of the recognition of the inherent wholeness of our true being.

As we align completely with the stream of viveka khyāti, it guides all of our interactions and activities, allowing us to become sensitive to our surroundings and thereby align with the greater laws that govern all things.

Viveka khyāti even supports us in meeting our material needs, by releasing stress and a lack of centering that keep us from unfolding our talents and possibilities, thereby opening us to receive life’s ever-present bounty.

And resting in the stream of viveka khyāti, our appreciation of life’s beauty is enhanced dramatically, allowing us to appreciate all the small details of living, no longer colored by the lens of our limiting conditioning.

Completely aligned in viveka khyāti, we recognize this stream as our life’s true purpose and destiny, a path of clear seeing that naturally leads to a moment-to-moment experience of enlightened living.

Finally, viveka khyāti frees us from fear of death by revealing the essence of creation’s mystery as a single flowing stream that is also our own true being, the one source energy that is the heart of creation’s majesty.

Copyright © 2017 by Joseph Le Page

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