Satkaryavad – The Yogic Philosophy

Satkaryavad is the oldest philosophy from Bharat. A better philosophy than this has not emerged since the vedic times. This is a scientific philosophy. Satkaryavad is based on the principle that whatever we see in this world is only an effect and not the cause. The ultimate reality is in fact the cause. This cause can be known and understood. It can be experienced. It cannot be seen in the form of picture, nor it can be received in the form of object. The objects which we see are indeed the means to know the ultimate cause. A seeker employs suitable methods to find the ultimate cause and thereby he gets established in the self and achieves bliss.

The philosophy of Satkaryavad inspires us to rise from individuality to universality , from finiteness to infiniteness and from humanity into divinity. The Yog philosophy presents the practical and action related description of the Satkaryavadi philosophy. The theoretical aspect of Satkaryavad is known as Sankhya . Its practical aspect is called Yog. Sankhya deals with the knowledge which makes us aware of the cause effect relationship of Satkaryavad. Yog helps us acquire that knowledge . Indeed , Sankhya and Yog represent the core of entire Bhartiya philosophy.

Yog is not restricted to only as ones pranayam and dhyan. It is in fact a way of living of wholesome life. By adopting Yogic way of life, a person brings all round development in his personality viz physical, mental,intellectual,emotional , social,aesthetic,moral and spiritual.

Yog darshan of Patanjali has one hundred and ninety five aphorisms. The adoption of even a few of them is sufficient for a better life. Even the religions like Jainism and Buddhism also adopt yog techniques. Yog darshan contains the statement of principles, placing more emphasis on the verification of these statements. It is not necessary to accept them as dogmas. Yog prescribes spiritual practices which when adopted leads to realization of these principles.

Yogic philosophyy accepts that there is a suffering in the world. Why suffer ? Find its cause. It says that it is not possible to uproot suffering unless its cause is found and removed. Indeed ” the cause of suffering is avidya (nescience) ”. If avidya is destroyed, suffering can be removed, otherwise it will remain the matter which and how many techniques we use for its removal. Yog identifies five sources of distress. Patanjali Yog Sutra states :

” Avidyasmitargadveshabhiniveshah Panch Kleshah ” (Y.S.2/3). These five kleshas are avidya,asmita,rag,dvesh and abhinivesh. Of all these , avidya is considered as the root cause of other four. It is indeed avidya to accept non-eternal as eternal , impure as pure, to seek happiness inthose objects which cause unhappiness and to search self for non self.

Swami Vivekanand said that every soul is potentially divine. The goal of life is to manifest this divinity within by controlling nature externally and internally. The aim of Yog is to elevate the atma so high that it becomes one with Parmatma. Sun is the eye of all being. Yet it is now affected by the defects of the eyes. Similarly , even through Parmatma (Super soul) is the atma of all beings. He is not affected by the afflictions of the mind,chitt and bodies of the individual beings. This is stated in the upanishads and also by Maharishi Patanjali who says that He is pure and holy, manifest only through a medium.

The attributes and defects of the medium through which He appears is routinely attributed to Him. Fire has neither good nor bad smell , yet if we put incense in fire , it creates nice fragrance. The presence of leather in the fire creates foul smell. Smell is not the property of fire. It is the property of the fuel to fire. In the same manner, we attribute to atma, the qualities of chitt which is only a medium of manifestation. When chitt becomes pure, Atma appears pure as well. Therefore , all spiritual practices are only for the purpose of purifying chitt.

The splendour of the entire world we see is ‘atma’. Tulsidas writes :-

Arb kharab lo dravya hon udai asta hon raj

Tulsi jyon nij maran hoi ave kahin kaj

We may be offered the kingdom of land covered from sunrise to sunset and we may be provided with immense wealth. If at the same time, our life is taken away, what good would that kingdom and wealth do for us ? There is an incidence in Upanishads . Rishi (seer) Yagyavalkya had acquired enormous wealth as reward from kings. In order to prepare for his sanyas , he divided his entire property between his two wives, Maitreyi and Katyayani. Katyayani accepted her share. But Maitreyi began to think: We are beautiful , obedient,able,rich and have good disposition , yet our husband is leaving us. He must be leaving us for some better means of happiness. When asked by her, Rishi confirmed that he was indeed leaving for greater happiness. Will the wealth give her immortality, Maitreyi said no, but it will provide you means of comfort. Maitreyi then decided to forego wealth and learn the secret of immortality. Rishi Yagyavalkya was impressed. He praised her, found her worthy of receiving knowledge of the principle of reality which he described to her –

” atmakamaya idam Sarvapriyam bhawati ”

Our love for this world is due to atma. WE do not love this body after atma leaves it. According to Tulsidas , the entire splendour of the world becomes useless if it is given to the body in exchange for atma. The body is useful only if it is graced by atma, which is full knowledge. Atma comes first. The rest of the world is for its use. We should reserve the right to use the wealth but not to own it. When we exercise the right to use wealth , we enjoy it without fear or worry. When we exercise ownership of it, we begin to fear and worry. Ownership is an illusion. Right to use is reality. This indeed is the teaching of Yogdarshan. Whatever we see is for enjoyment and fulfilment of atma. Use it for enjoyment and emancipation. Our welfare lies in realising the reality ie atmanubhuti. This indeed is the message of yogdarshan for mankind.soul_body


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