Meditation is the immediate precursor of Knowledge

Knowledge In his Gita, commentary and elsewhere, Shankara declares repeatedly that meditation is the immediate precursor of Knowledge. Verse 8 in the Chapter of the Self runs: The yogi who practises realization of that in everything, and always holds to firmness in that, Will see that which is hard to see and subtle, and rejoice in heaven. In the commentary, Shankara defines Ignorance as taking the Self to be limited by such things as mind and body, and Knowledge as knowing the Self as universal, ‘a binding of the Knower to Brahman’. He sees it through ‘great skill’ in samadhi, and the word for skill means the same as the word which occurs in the Patanjali Yoga sutra on samadhi, ‘when there is skill in the higher (samadhi), there comes undisturbed inner calm’. In the commentary on the next verse, Shankara says that the man of Knowledge sees this first …

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Worship for Sceptics

The steps in yoga, says Patajali’s Yoga Sütra, are: Faith, Energy, Memory, Samādhi meditation, Prajñā-knowledge. That rules me out’, replies the sceptic; ‘one cannot believe to order. I don’t accept these things in the first place. You are not asked to believe’, replies yoga, ‘it is suggested only that you experiment.’ Yoga makes its own experiments. It investigates consciousness directly, and does not depend on inferences from experiments on material events. It gives methods which can, and must, be tried. Without actual trial, yoga would be no more than a rather unlikely theory. A few things are assumed for a time, as working ideas, but they have to be experienced directly before they are finally taken as true. One such assumption is that there is an all-powerful, unlimited, creator and controller, who projects himself in limited forms to help seekers to realize him. The forms may be human, such as …

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