I’ve come to my favourite chapter in the Bhagawad Gita, the one that always gives me goosebumps, perhaps a reflection of my true inclinations.
Verse 7 jumped out at me with its commentary and it made me look up other translations. Nothing matched the piercing sharpness of this one which found echoes in the usual definitions of yoga.
“He, who in truth knows these manifold manifestations of My being (Macrocosm), and (this) YOGA-power of Mine (Microcosm), becomes established in the ‘tremorless-YOGA’; there is no doubt about it.”
None spoke of tremorless yoga, they spoke about peace or yoga but not this particular rendition of ‘tremorless’ yoga. The footnote mentions the usual two shlokas defining yoga as well as third not commonly heard. They are
2:48- Samatwam Yoga Uchyate
2:50- Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam
6:23- Dukha-samyoga-viyogam Yogasamjnitam
In the meanwhile, I’m going to stay and play with the word vikampena, tremorless. A little lingering on the word conjures up a couple of images, the first of which is an earthquake and the second nervous debility. Both occurrences leave devastation in their wake and cannot be anything but unsteady and uncomfortable. In both cases, there needs a settling first of the instability before repair and reconstruction is possible.
Isn’t the disturbance of the mind nothing short than a seismic occurrence and in the case of chronic nervous dysfunction, a series of rumblings. How can one build on a shaky ground? It needs levelling, settling, making foundations that resist and a structure that absorbs without crumbling down. A lot like the basics of asana. I’m looking forward to a beginners class in addition to the therapy class, come June. A couple of fellow students didn’t understand why I didn’t ask for my earlier Intermediate class but this is what I want. To start again. All over again, an experience of rebuilding from ground zero.
The previous verses open the symbolism of the Seven Seers and Four Ancients as the material and efficient causes of the macrocosmic and microcosmic worlds. The personification of many deities, sages and other beings obscured the depth of their mystic significances and they remain hidden in plain sight until we are graced with the Guru’s blessings.
I’ve been struggling in my practice, no longer a sadhana since it is not sharp and unwavering. This too is a phase of learning, despair, doubt and the stoicism all part of a lesson beyond the initial excitement of the journey. I was lucky to have a good, long run of discovery. I reckon right about now is probably time for the first Sutra😊
In the meanwhile, the Gayatri has revealed the peace of ‘Om’, the pranava and it’s a far more fuller experience than before. It reminded me of a story I read somewhere. The devas went to Brahma and asked him to enlighten them and he gave them the Vedas, they thought it was too hard. He then gave them the Gayatri Manyra which also was too much. So he told them to meditate on the vyahritis but they found that was also very difficult. He then initiated them into Om and that was enough. I don’t recollect where I read it or perhaps it was a talk. I’ll edit this post when I find out.
The world around me continues to spin in much agony and I found myself incapable of the necessary detachment. I sought answers in the divine song and the culminating verses of the previous chapter provided solace.
As always, I remain grateful for Gurus who are present through their words, long after they have passed on. They are the devas I offer pranams to in my heart.
Note- Translations quoted are from the Commentary by Swami Chinmayananda on the Holy Geeta.
4 thoughts on “Tremorless Yoga”
Absolutely wonderful. I love how insightful and erudite your commentary is. You are far more aware of the subtleties of practice than many teachers I am around, to be perfectly frank. I, too, am chanting the Gayatri; it’s part of the opening of my pranayama practice. It leaves me vulnerable and grounded at the same time. Be well, Rachel
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Thank you very much, although it is very much a beginner’s attempt at internalising the teachings. And all the lessons are but the grace of teachers, mortal and eternal. I would love to know more about how your practice of the Gayatri has been.
Very nice commentary on the Gayatri in relation to the Gita. So many things apply to this. The ground must be ready before plants can grow. During my workshop with Blakeney I signed up for all basic classes. It is in the foundational poses where I feel the real juice of the practice abides. As we age and get injured, those foundational poses become even more important.
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Thank you, Michael. The Gita has been a solace and a strength. And somedays I feel a sureness like when I wrote this post about everything being just how it should be. I find the loss of many things is not really a loss but an opportunity to get more inside. Today’s reading reminded me about the need to keep company with those on the same quest. I was slacking in that respect by not blogging about my dark periods and small learnings. In retrospect, the period of maximum discovery was when I shared honestly and often. Hopefully, I’ll get there again.
There was a DVD where Geetaji took sitting poses before standing ones and that is similar to my routine now. It’s a different kind of legwork
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