Click on the link at the end of this sentence, and you’ll find two readings on the meaning and reason for chanting the Invocation to Patanjali…
The readings include Peggy Cady’s anecdotal experience in her search to understand the chant, Geeta Iyengar’s comments on the chant, and Geeta’s explanation of the symbolism in the chant, including its religious foundation. At the end, you’ll find Krisna Zawaduk’s simple explanation of the meaning of “Aum (Om)” and the reason for chanting it.
It’s not important, as I told class today, to believe in Patanjali; what is important is that we believe in something higher, greater, wider, and deeper than ourselves. It is important we believe that, if we can silence the noise we make in our bodies and minds, we can find our deeper, unadorned true nature. We can find that which dissolves the separation between ourselves and other living beings. We can believe that it exists, and, as we search for it, we are learning our selves.
In order to learn, we must “come down”, as Geeta says here:
“And you can’t learn anything unless you come down; if you think you are on the top and you know everything, then you are not a learner at all.”
When we silence the noise, we silence the ego, that which causes affectation and creates what we think of us “me”. This “me” is always changing, however. It is a part of the eternal changing nature of self. This isn’t the “unadorned true nature”.
When we practice Aparigraha, the fifth and last of the Yama (guidelines for ethical conduct), we are preparing ourselves to release the ego, the “me”, by not grasping. When we allow things to move from and towards us, when we release our hold on the identity-making, then we have found a technique for approaching the unadorned true nature.
So, this week, we talk about such things: “coming down”, or humbling ourselves; non-grasping, and quieting the noise of our ego-selves. How does it go for you?