Saturday, August 18, 2007

kaivalya or unity or what

In response to

Mahesh seems a lot like this in that, as Val said, we suckered ourselves. Mahesh is a genuine artist at generating this in his followers: bring out our desires and believe I will fulfil them; pay your money (often enough) and maybe I will, you never know (twinkle of the eyes, seductive chuckle). And, presto, the cult of Mahesh is born.

On the other hand, kaivaliu occurs 5 times in the Yoga Sutras: once in “book” 2, towards the end of “book” 3 and the rest in the last “book” by the same name. Because there is a difference in the style of the Sanskrit in the last or 4th book, I tend to think it is of a later date. The exact meanings it expresses are considerably difficult to sort out and may have been composed in an effort to use the Sutras to prove something that was not the original intent of Patanjali.

Generally speaking, kaivaliu means cut off from, total isolation. See, for example, verse 26 in but compare this with – then check or

What does Mahesh say about unity consciousness? In my mind, Mahesh’s definition is much closer to a Buddhist concept in the Brahmaviharas, upekkha or equanimity ( I would not be at all surprised to some day learn that this is where he got his idea. Unity was the highest of the highs until, one day, he started talking about Brahma consciousness as if we all already knew all about it and he was just adding information. It's a sneaky way to introduce new material and/or reinforce the belief of believers.

In Yoga Sutras II 25, using P. Y. Deshpande’s very good translation, he says the negation of avidya [ignorance, not knowing the truth of existence /s] brings about the negation of contact. Abandonment of both [not knowing and contact /s] is called the freedom of the ‘seer’ [kaivalya]. But “contact” seems to be what the TMO is spreading: get this, get that, take this, take that, go on this course, go on that course. – Where’s the freedom of the ‘seer’? By teaching ‘contact’ I don’t see how freedom of any kind is going to happen. The mind goes in the direction of more and more is just spreading the notion of contact. It’s fundamental to TM, therefore the “freedom of the ‘seer’” isn’t going to happen following the path of TM/Mahesh. Mahesh himself seems very, very much in contact with all his stuff and deeply connected to his own teaching. The ‘seer’, at least as I understand the word, would not be anything like Mahesh. Guru Dev was most likely a genuine ‘Seer’ in the traditional, Brahmanic use of the term. Nothing like Mahesh.

In III 59-50 of the same translation he says [49] One established in the pure vision of the total distinction between the essence of one’s being (satva) and the manness within (purua), becomes the basic ground of all things and of all-knowingness. [50] Through disinterestedness (vairagya) even in that consummation, and with the total destruction of the seeds of impurity, there comes into being total freedom [kaivalya /s] – I don’t exactly see a reference to Mahesh’s ‘unity consciousness’ here. It seems more likely that Patanjali is much closer to a reference to upekkha or equanimity. What I do see is "with the total destruction of the seeds of impurity, there comes into being total freedom."

Grasping, copyrighting, selling, building, planning, claiming to control the weather (but not the current hurricane, apparently), invincibility, making money, being rich, developing one expansive grandiosity after another and so on and on and on is just IMPURITY, contact, ignorance. This is not THAT. This is the clutter of contact, this is what stands in the way of freedom.

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