Author Archives: Kilaya

A New Book Published!

Dear Loved Ones, far and wide!

I am currently spending my second winter in a row on cold and snowy eastern
Long Island, NY. Besides working to make money in order to be with my guru, Amma, I am able to write and publish books in the relative solitude here. And so, I
am pleased to share my latest book with all of you.

liimmtm-cover-for-kindle

Entitled “Love Is In My Mother, The Moon,” it is a book of poetry, so if
you’re into that kind of thing please feel free to check it out here:

https://www.amazon.com/Love-My-Mother-Moon-Amritapuri/dp/098880154X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484696822&sr=1-1&keywords=love+is+in+my+mother%2C+the+moon

It’s available in a paper or an e-reader edition and you can even download
a large free sample in the Kindle edition.

Blessings,
Kilaya Ciriello

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Another KSFR Radio Broadcast on the Moon Phases

KSFR, Santa Fe’s NPR station, broadcasts a show called “MOONWISE” that is organized by an old friend of mine, Merrylin LeBlanc. I joined Merrylin on a number of her broadcasts of MOONWISE this summer. We mostly spoke about, what else . . ., the MOON. I shared with her the system of interpreting the MOON based on its 28 day cycle, called the DAY PHASES OF THE MOON, while Merrylin shared her expertise in the EIGHT phase system perfected by Rudhyar. This one is on the last 14 days of the Moon’s cycle, called the “waning” half of her cycle. Click the link to access the podcasts. You can stream them or download them for later listening.

http://moonwise.libsyn.com/moonwise-august-20-2016-waning-moon-cycle-with-kilaya-ciriello

 

I will be doing one more show with her on my most favorite topic of all: THE SCORPIO RING OF FIRE! As some of you might know, I wrote a book with this title on the sign of SCORPIO and its significance to all of life everywhere (not just birth chart Scorpios). I hope to expound on some of the concepts I wrote about in that book in my next show with Merrylin.

You can buy this book on AMAZON either in print or KINDLE form or you can download a SAMPLE for free! Check it out here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Scorpio-Ring-Fire-Astrological/dp/0988801507/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1419013271&sr=1-1

 

Some Recent Radio Broadcasts on Astrology

I have spent a beautiful summer in Santa Fe and got the chance to be on a local radio station as well. KSFR, Santa Fe’s NPR station, broadcasts a show called “MOONWISE” that is organized by an old friend of mine, Merrylin LeBlanc. Merrylin and I met years ago when I lived in Santa Fe and we were both members of the now-defunct Santa Fe Astrologers’ Forum. Merrylin and I used to run a clinic where we (along with other professional astrologers) gave readings to anyone who came. The unique thing about this was that we all collaborated on the readings. What a great experience that was! Normally, astrologers are completely alone (like psychologists) when they give readings which I think is somewhat limiting. It is better to collaborate! Especially when you are collaborating with such a top-notch experienced astrologer as Merrylin!

Anyway, I joined Merrylin on a number of her broadcasts of MOONWISE this summer. We mostly spoke about, what else . . ., the MOON. I shared with her the system of interpreting the MOON based on its 28 day cycle, called the DAY PHASES OF THE MOON, while Merrylin shared her expertise in the EIGHT phase system perfected by Rudhyar. So we had loads of fun! Enjoy. Click the links to access the podcasts. You can stream them or download them for later listening.

8/6/2016  http://moonwise.libsyn.com/moonwise-august-6-2016-waxing-phases-of-the-moon-with-kilaya

6/25/16   http://moonwise.libsyn.com/moonwise-june-25-2016-moon-phases-with-kilaya

6/11/16   http://moonwise.libsyn.com/moonwise-june-11-2016-28-moon-phases-with-astrologer-kilaya

2/27/16   http://moonwise.libsyn.com/moonwise-february-27-2016-moon-phases-with-kilaya-ciriello

 

These two shows focused on interpreting the current new moons of the summer so they are a bit less interesting after the fact, so to speak:

7/30/16  http://moonwise.libsyn.com/moonwise-july-30-2016-leo-moon-cycle-with-kilaya

7/2/16   http://moonwise.libsyn.com/moonwise-july-2-2016-cancer-moon-cycle-with-kilaya

 

I will be doing one more show with her on my most favorite topic of all: THE SCORPIO RING OF FIRE! As some of you might know, I wrote a book with this title on the sign of SCORPIO and its significance to all of life everywhere (not just birth chart Scorpios). I hope to expound on some of the concepts I wrote about in that book in my next show with Merrylin.

You can buy this book on AMAZON either in print or KINDLE form or you can download a SAMPLE for free! Check it out here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Scorpio-Ring-Fire-Astrological/dp/0988801507/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1419013271&sr=1-1

 

Spiritual RAP

One of the regulars at Amma’s ashram put together a video of him rapping. It’s great and has incredible shots of India, both street life and wild. He used a drone for many of the shots. If you’re so inclined to watch a profound and meaningful rap video, it’s here:

http://tinyurl.com/h7f6qn5

Book 1, Sutra 51: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

“WHEN THAT WISDOM BORN OF SAMADHI IS RELINQUISHED THEN EVERYTHING ENDS AND THE YOGI ENTERS THE ‘NIRBIJAH SAMADHI’ OR SAMADHI WITHOUT SEED.”

 

With this sutra Patanjali closes a circle that he opened with “yogas citta vrtti nirodhah” (sutra 2). Within “nirbijah samadhi” the yogi has a mind “free of fluctuation.” In the intervening 49 sutras Patanjali has taught us about a process of arriving at this state of mind. He has emphasized unrelenting energetic practice (abhyasa) and detachment (vairagya) as essential components. Along with energy, he has listed faith, a purified memory and samadhi as components of the path to this state of mental freedom. He has taught us the use of meditation (samapatti) to reach and develop samadhi. And in this sutra Patanjali explains that in the final stages of yoga even the wisdom concerning the purpose of existence, itself, must be released in order to completely free the mind of all disturbances.

Once that wisdom itself is relinquished then the yogi is “nirbijah,” or without a center. The mind, at that point, is truly free. It has no definable center and so, cannot be assaulted or disturbed from any direction. As the Buddha says, the mind at that point cannot be located anywhere by anyone or anything. The mind is established free of all thoughts, perceptions or investigations because it is completely anchored in its own form, “svarupe avasthanam,” as sutra 3 states. And that form is not located anywhere in either space or time (mostly due to a purification of the memory faculty which I discussed in the commentary connected to sutra 43).

This concludes book 1 but does not conclude all that Patanjali has to tell us about yoga. As we have seen so far, Patanjali is writing in a very beautiful style that becomes easier to interpret once we see its patterning. This treatise is called the “Yoga Sutra” for a good reason. “Yoga Sutra” literally means “necklace of wisdom.” This is a very fitting title because this sutra, as we have seen, must be taken as a whole. In other words, each “bead” of wisdom must be considered relative to the next one and also relative to all the other beads on the string.

The two important observations related to this that I have made so far is that (one) we can correctly interpret any given sutra by comparing its key Sanskrt terms with the same terms used in other sutras. In other words, all uses of the same Sanskrt word, taken together, can help us decode any one given use. And (two) we can rely upon Patanjali’s repetition of all the key themes. As we will see in the further books, 2-4, Patanjali will be describing the key terms and stages of yoga over and over in slightly different ways. Book 1 is therefore not isolated from books 2-4 and vice versa. Taken together we have the best chance of really understanding yoga, its practices, its principles and its goals.

I suspect that in my future posts we will discuss the same topics, ideas and even the same Sanskrt words that we have seen already in book 1 but our understanding will deepen and hopefully, with more understanding, our appreciation and enthusiasm will increase as well.

 

 

 

 

Book 1, Sutra 50: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

“THE ‘SAMSKARA’ CREATED BY THIS NEW WISDOM STOPS THE CREATION OF ANY OTHER TYPE OF ‘SAMSKARAS.'”

 

I have retained the Sanskrt word, “samskara,” here because of its complexity. “Samskaras” are commonly translated as “subliminal activators or residual impressions.” Simply stated, they are the latent tendencies that support our habits, which are themselves created by past actions. This gets even more complicated because “samskaras” are also inherited from past lives. So we are born with certain “samskaras” and we are constantly creating new ones in our lives. The old ones surface to create impulses to act in certain habitual ways. Those old ones then get exhausted but identical new ones are created by our re-enactment of past habits.

“Samskaras” imprison us within the wheel of rebirth. In other words, the latent tendencies and impulses that we die with lead to being born again. Although Patanjali has not told us that yoga is concerned with ending the cycle of rebirth we can logically connect “samskaras” to “vrttis” or disturbances of the mind. Later in book 4, sutras 8 & 9, Patanjali will talk more about “samskaras” and connect them to “vasanas.” Either way, it is certain that within Patanjali’s system “samskaras” must come to an end in order to reach the highest level of samadhi, as he will describe in the final sutra 51.

The wisdom born of samadhi causes these latent and unconscious tendencies and orientations to dissipate. Under the influence of this wisdom, we see only the underlying purpose or meaning to life and its objects. Seeing only the central purpose of life, the yogi is therefore not paying attention to anything else and so becomes naturally detached, “vairagyam.”

As Patanjali says in sutra 12, it is “vairagyabhyam” which causes the ending of mental disturbances, “citta vrtti nirodhah.” So the “prajna” of samadhi therefore generates an ever increasing “vairagya.” This is why the realization of “nirvicara samapatti,” the state of meditation in which this greater wisdom (which the Buddha calls “prajnaparamita”) arises, is the end of any effort that the yogi has to put forth. After that wisdom arises it has a life of its own, naturally terminating existing “samskaras” with its own “samskara.” And in the next sutra, Patanjali will tell us that this final “samskara” of the wisdom itself ends on its own naturally, completely freeing the mind of the yogi. Then the yogi has reached “nirbijah samadhi” which Patanjali will describe in the next, the final, sutra of book 1.

 

 

 

Book 1, Sutra 49: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

“THIS WISDOM DIFFERS FROM THAT DERIVING FROM CONVENTIONAL LEARNING OR ONE’S OWN INSIGHTS BECAUSE IT IS FOCUSED ON THE SPECIAL PURPOSE UNDERLYING ALL OBJECTS.”

 

Patanjali is telling us why the wisdom, “prajna,” produced by samadhi is so special and different from other types of more conventional wisdom. The specialness of the samadhi wisdom is derived from the very profound purpose underlying the objects that becomes clear to the yogi. That special purpose is called “artha” and Patanjali tells us about this “artha” (and its importance) in not less than 17 sutras.

In sutra 43 Patanjali describes the process of this special “artha” arising in the consciousness of the yogi and the monumental effect that it produces: “When memory is purified and there is a realization of emptiness then meaning alone stands forth without sense impressions. This is called nirvitarka samapatti.”

“Meaning” is interchangeable with “purpose” and both give us the definition of “artha.” We are all looking for the fundamental meaning of life which is the same as our purpose for existing and when we find it, true wisdom dawns, as Patanjali tells us in this sutra 49. Wisdom is “True” in the highest sense because it is about THE purpose, “arthatvat,” Patanjali tells us here. That purpose, in fact, is the “other” or hidden object, “visaya,” behind all objects. And that purpose is also the inner most core or seed, “sabijah,” that is the only thing remaining as an anchor to the yogi established in this stage of samadhi. As we shall see in the final sutra, 51, of this chapter, there is one higher stage, “nirbijah,” or without seed, for the yogi to reach. Even the underlying purpose of life, the “artha,” has to be relinquished for the mind to be completely freed of all disturbance.

 

 

 

 

Book 1, Sutra 48: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

“WITHIN NIRVICARA SAMAPATTI WISDOM OF THE MOST PROFOUND NATURE DAWNS.”

 

The word that Patanjali uses is “rtambhara,” or “truth bearing.” This truth is of a special Absolute nature. Satyananda Saraswati explains, “Sat is subtler than energy; ‘sat’ means existence. It has two aspects called ‘ritam’ and ‘satyam.’ ‘Satyam’ is the relative aspect and ‘ritam’ is the absolute or cosmic aspect. . . . ‘Ritam’ is the ultimate truth beyond matter and energy.”

Only one earlier sutra (20) includes the word, “prajna.” But it is the very important sutra number 20 that lists the ingredients necessary to reach the goal of yoga. There, “prajna” is listed along with “samadhi,” energy and purified memory. So “prajna,” although important, is not the end goal of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.

 

 

Book 1, Sutra 47: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

“THROUGH NIRVICARA SAMAPATTI, PURITY IS ACHIEVED AND THE PRIMORDIAL SELF BECOMES ILLUMINATED AND CLEARLY SEEN.”

 

With this sutra we have come full circle and reached the promise that Patanjali made in sutra 3:

“tada drastuh svarupe ‘vashtanam.”

In that sutra Patanjali promised that through “yoga, the seer [gets] established in his or her own essential nature.” As I noted in the commentary to that sutra, the key word in that sutra is “svarupe,” roughly meaning “one’s own form.” In this sutra Patanjali uses the Sanskrt word, “adhyatma,” which is roughly translated as “higher,” “original,” or “first self.” It could also be translated literally as “study of the self or the soul.” Although Patanjali uses the word, “atma,” frequently, this sutra is the only one that contains, “adhyatma.”

“Know Thyself” is, of course, the age-old truth engraved by the Oracle at Delphi, ancient Greece. But this dictum is repeated in many other places as well. “Adhyatma” is, in fact, used by Krishna in a number of his key teachings within the Bhagavad Gita. In sloka 8:3 from that text Krishna defines “adhyatma” specifically. There are many different existing translations of that line but in the compilation that I made of that text, entitled “The Bhagavad Gita In Focus,” (www.bhagavadgitainfocus.com) I list that sloka in this way:

“The principle behind awareness (adhyatma) is the essence of being ‘I’ (svabhavo).”

Krishna also uses “adhyatma” in another critical line within the Bhagavad Gita, 13:12. In that sloka Krishna identifies stable knowledge of the “adhyatma” as part of what true knowledge is. I list that sloka as saying:

“constancy of Self-knowledge (“adhyatma”)/ and an appreciation of Absolute Truth as the highest form of wealth;/ this is knowledge and anything to the contrary is ignorance.”

So, with these past 47 sutras, Patanjali has delineated a path to reaching and realizing that Self-knowledge: the highest stage of meditation beyond both sense impressions and their related thoughts (nirvicara samapatti).

 

Book 1, Sutra 46: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

“THESE STATES OF SAMAPATTI CAN BE CALLED ‘SABIJAH SAMADHI,’ OR SAMADHI WITH SEED.”

 

Samadhi with seed is the state of complete stillness that is still anchored to a center, or a seed. It is not yet a completely liberated mind. It still has a reference point and so, assumably, is still subject to the possibility of being disturbed or distracted. In samadhi with seed we have yet to reach a state that is beyond the possibility of being either disturbed (conforming to the “vrtti,” as sutra 4 describes) or distracted (“viksepah” from sutra 30). In other words, at that point none of the potential distractions listed in sutra 30 could possibly lead to any negative states listed in sutra 31. That is, such a yogi could never fall into a state of depression, pain or anxiety due to the occurrence of sickness, apathy, indecision, heedlessness (lack of mental focus to do the work), laziness, lust, wrong ideas or a perceived failure of any type. Even if these obstacles did arise the mind of the yogi could not waver. That is the goal of “yogas citta vrtti nirodhah.”

At this point, with sabijah samadhi, the yogi is almost there. His or her concentration is established and correct, focusing only on the underlying purpose of both objects existing and their related thoughts. But that concentration is still dependent on a center and so is not yet unassailable.

This book 1 of the Yoga Sutras is entitled “On Samadhi” but it is only now, at sutra 46, that we have reached the beginning of the description of “samadhi.” Only one earlier sutra (20) even mentions the word, itself. So we have been building up to the goal of yoga so far with the sutras. But it is important to remember that “samadhi,” although it is now a widely recognized word socially, is not the end goal of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. He first mentions “samadhi” in sutra 20 as ONE of the necessary components of the goal. In sutra 20 Patanjali told us that faith, energy, a purified memory, “samadhi,” and profound wisdom (“prajna”) lead us to the goal of yoga.

For this reason, and a few others I will go into later, I doubt that the individual chapter titles are part of Patanjali’s original text. I believe that they were added later in order to make the text easier to digest and understand. They are simplifications of the topics covered but they are not entirely accurate.