Yoga’s explosion in popularity means that more people are taking part in the practice than ever before.
However, while some people might just view it as a form of exercise or workout, the reality is that yoga goes much deeper than that, and is a holistic system that focuses on the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of life.
One of the key aspects of yoga is the pursuit of knowledge, which is believed to lead to self-realization and complete liberation.
Throughout yoga, there are several different forms of knowledge, all helping to lead the practitioner closer to greater self-awareness and spiritual growth.
In this guide, we’ll take a deeper look into these forms of knowledge, and how you can apply their teachings to your practice, which will allow you to increase your knowledge of yoga, and experience the full benefits of their transformative teachings.
The First Stage (Subhechha)
The first form of knowledge in yoga is known as Subhecca, represents the desire for knowledge, and is essential for those looking to eventually familiarize themselves with all seven forms of knowledge.
It is believed that this form of knowledge is characterized by a thirst for a deeper understanding and the willingness to seek out the necessary knowledge required to achieve spiritual growth.
This desire tends to be fueled by dissatisfaction and discontent with one’s current state, and the realization that there is more to be achieved.
This desire can stem from a wide range of different factors, including personal crises and circumstances, or being exposed to new ideas or experiences.
This form is essential, and is the catalyst for sparking the rest of the practitioner’s journey and exploration through the forms of knowledge found within yoga’s philosophy.
Without it, the journey toward full self-realization and spiritual growth cannot begin.
The Second Stage (Vicharana)
The second stage, Vicharana, is where the practitioner must begin to contemplate and inquire further about their beliefs.
This form of knowledge revolves around questioning their beliefs and assumptions about everything they know and seeking out the answers through studying, discussion, and introspection.
This stage helps to inform the practitioner, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of reality and their place within it, which leads to the development of an enriched sense of direction and purpose.
Challenging your own beliefs is vitally important, and is what makes this form so crucial.
Taking on new beliefs and perspectives allows the practitioner to open their mind up to new experiences and assumptions, and also allows them to engage in self-reflection, which can be somewhat uncomfortable at first, but becomes easier over time.
This form also helps to strengthen one’s understanding of the interconnectedness of all that is around them, but also to develop more profound empathy and compassion for the people that we meet in everyday life.
The Third Stage (Tanumanasi)
Tanumanasi, the third form of knowledge in yoga, is dedicated to the process of the refinement of the mind and concentration.
This form of knowledge revolves around learning how to focus the mind to a singular point, which helps to cultivate both a state of mental clarity, and stillness.
Through this process, the practitioner learns how to control their thoughts and emotions, allowing them to achieve and maintain a sense of inner calmness and equanimity.
This is a particularly difficult stage, and requires extremely high levels of focus and discipline, especially for a mind that is so used to distractions and restlessness.
This form of knowledge is believed to help the practitioner to deepen their understanding and connection to everything around them, which in turn helps them to develop a better foundation for the stages yet to come.
The Fourth Stage (Sattvapati)
This stage of knowledge, Sattvapati, refers to grace and divine illumination and is characterized as being an especially profound spiritual experience, where the practitioner experiences a state of oneness and a binding connection with the universal consciousness.
This stage sees a shift in consciousness in the mind of the practitioner, leading to the dissolution of one’s ego, and the individual realization of their true purpose and nature within the whole universe.
Many people refer to this stage as a form of blissful awareness, which can help the practitioner to reach a higher level of contentment and peace within themselves.
Sattvapati is arguably one of the most transformative stages for those in the pursuit of knowledge, especially when you consider the scale of the shift of consciousness that the practitioner undergoes.
This experience is said to be both rare and elusive, but a crucial part of one’s journey to enlightenment.
The Fifth Stage (Asamsakti)
Asamsakti is the fifth stage and form of knowledge within yoga and is the stage where one must learn to let go of the physical world, thus representing detachment and providing the practitioner with a sense of equanimity and separation from all things physical.
This detachment comes from all things physical, including material possessions, desires, relationships, and more, and once the practitioner has been able to shed their attachment to each of these aspects of life, they are granted a higher form of contentment and happiness, one that is not directly connected to external circumstances.
The material world is considered to be a distracting illusion on the path to enlightenment, and is one that the practitioner must overcome before they can reach their goals.
The Sixth Stage (Padarth Bhawana)
The penultimate stage and form of knowledge in yoga is Padarth Bhawana and is one where the practitioner must learn to develop their ability to see beyond what there is to be seen, allowing them to see a heightened level of reality, and to understand that there is more to be seen than what we can with our eyes.
Where many would see a wooden chair, those who have learned the way of Padarth Bhawana would see a tree, or an animal, instead of a leather boot.
This knowledge is another way of breaking down the illusions that life presents us with, and is crucial for those who are looking to pursue knowledge and enlightenment.
The Seventh Stage (Turiya)
The seventh, and final stage, Turiya, is where one reaches a state of transcendence or ultimate realization and enlightenment, and is where the practitioner comes to the complete realization that the highest state of consciousness is completely achievable for a human being.
Characterized by achieving a state of complete universal unity and understanding with the universal consciousness, the practitioner will have finally achieved all that they had set out to find in their pursuit of knowledge.
This stage is the final goal for many, and isn’t something that can merely be achieved in a week, with it taking decades for people to achieve this state of consciousness, and even then, it is still a rare and elusive occurrence.
We hope that this guide to the forms of knowledge with yoga has helped you to get a greater understanding of the deeper side of this amazing practice. Thank you for reading!
- Ultimate Guide to Yoga Strap Stretching: 12 Poses for Flexibility - September 15, 2023
- Phalakasana or Kumbhakasana – Plank Pose - September 13, 2023
- All About Iyengar Poses: Beginner to Advanced Guide - September 11, 2023