The Magic Of Consciousness
Realizing that change is in the nature of all beings, living or inert, the Awakened one remains unmoved and undisturbed, and easily finds peace within himself. Ashtavakra Gita 11-1
Consciousness is the source of whatever there is. Different levels of Consciousness exhibit different levels of existence, from illusion to reality, and from temporary to permanent.
Whatever you can see or touch, it arises and remains only on the surface of the Consciousness. It is temporary and ever-changing. That’s why it’s also called an illusion because it appears, disappears, and re-appears
What you saw a moment ago, it is no longer there now. It has changed but it appears to be the same. The ignorance freezes your vision, so you continuing seeing the same. In fact, you want the sameness to last, so it lasts. It is the sameness that gives you a feeling of permanence, and of your own. It is the sameness that causes attachments and binds you. You have a desire to live longer so that you could keep seeing the same; your same body, and same dear ones etc. The sameness, however, can also cause you to destroy. You become tired of the same. The sameness can also put people into depression. For them there is nothing new. Your frozen vision brings you both, happiness and sadness, pleasure and pain, good and bad, and creativity and destruction etc.
But the vision of an Awakened one is not frozen. He continuously and constantly sees the changing and temporary nature of all that which appears and disappears, and remains unaffected by the opposites. He sees both appearance and disappearance as non-existent. He remains in awe at the ever-changing wonder and magic of the Consciousness.
As though I know
But because I speak
Means I don’t know
I neither know
Nor don’t know
Nor have the desire
To know or not know
The one who knows
Is one of a kind
He is deaf, dumb
108 Sun Salutations
People often ask the following questions about practicing Sun Salutations:
- How many Sun Salutations (SS) one must do?
- What is the significance of doing 108 SS daily?
- I practice 108 SS daily, but why do i still feel tightness in the hips?
- Can the SS be done after the sunset?
Practicing 108 SS daily is a modern yoga craze, a result of the yoga becoming increasingly physical and competitive. It has no particular spiritual significance. However, practicing 108 SS daily can be a good cardio workout. but be careful. If you already have some imbalances in the body, which most people do, the imbalances can become worst over time, as it is easy to lose awareness of the correctness of the postures when your focus is on the quantity or the speed.
Any prolonged repetitive and speedy movement causes the muscles to become tighter. If you don’t do sufficient stretching afterwards, the tight muscles can cause several pain and movement related issues. So make sure that after practicing 108 SS you have the time and energy left to stretch the body properly afterwards.
There is no fixed number as to how many Sun Salutations you must do, but there are 12 mantras that are given for the practice of SS, and this number could be used as a guide. However, if doing 108 SS is your thing, by all means do it.
The Sun Salutations can certainly be practiced after Sunset as the Sun never really sets.
We practice SS to honour the life, and the Nature that supports the life. So, it can be practiced any time whenever you can. However, in the morning the higher sattva energy is conducive for the spiritual practices.
Do your SS practice with more attention and honour regardless of when you do it or for how long you do it. When you practice SS with honour, you make Patanjali and Sun very happy.