3.27 Meditative integration (samyama) on the sun results in knowledge of the universe (the 7 realms).
An underlying theme in these sutras is that there is a pervasive interconnectedness among all of existence. The fabric of life is woven with threads of awareness. Life manifests in an infinite and ever-changing variety of ways. Focusing your awareness on any phenomenon with gentle firmness pierces through the superficial levels of appearance and reveals the subtle aspects of the phenomenon meditated upon. As it was explained in the latter section of Chapter One of the Yoga Sutra starting with aphorism 1.40, through deep meditation you gain access to the true wisdom present everywhere, in the shape of every leaf, the magnificent color gradations in any flower, the rhythms of animal migrations, and all the astonishing complexities and simplicities that come together in every ecosystem. This sutra can be interpreted as offering a way of understanding the physical universe through practicing samyama on the sun at the center of our solar system. On the other hand, following the ancient notion that there is a correspondence between the macrocosm and the microcosm, “As Above, So Below,” this aphorism offers the avenue of research adopted by yogis for millennia, to look within to learn about the Universe. In his extensive commentary on this brief sutra, Vyasa offers a complete description of the seven regions – the earth, the sky, the planets, the Mahaloka, the Janaloka, the Tapoloka and the Satyaloka – and their divisions and sub-divisions, dimensions, arrangement, and characteristics. For this second approach, Vyasa suggests that to access the hidden regions of the Universe the yogi needs to practice samyama on the solar entrance, the sushumna.
The sushumna, literally the very gracious or kind channel, is described as a subtle channel at the central axis of the human body through which the vital force of prana flows, connecting the center of the pelvic floor to the crown of the head. According to Swami Hariharananda Aranya in his commentary to the Yoga Sutra, rather than a channel running along the spinal cord, the sushumna is a nerve that goes up from the heart.
Is it possible that applying samyama to the central axis of your body may reveal what ancient yogis call the sushumna? May this focus on the subtle aspects of your body reveal hidden universes in their full splendor? One approach to exploring this question is to focus on the sensations along a thin thread starting at the center of your pelvic floor and moving along your spinal cord all the way up to the crown of your head. You may visualize the thread as a thin thread of light flowing up as you inhale and flowing down as you exhale. Alternatively, you can focus on the subtle connection between your heart and the crown of your head. What happens when you start with this?
As usual, one more way of exploring the meaning of this sutra is by chanting it.
You can choose to chant it in its traditional form with some of the words coming together:
3.27 bhuvanajñānaṃ sūryesaṃyamāt
भुवनज्ञानं सूर्येसंयमात् ॥२७॥
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually:
If you prefer, you may listen to the podcast:
This is an excerpt from the book Unravel the thread: Applying the ancient wisdom of yoga to live a happy life
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