Towards Knowing Ourselves: Classical Yoga Perspective
AbstractSelf-knowledge, at first glance, seems to be naturally and easily accessible to each of us. We commonly believe that we need much less effort to understand ourselves than to understand the world. In this article, the author uncovers the fallacy of this popular view referring to the fundamental conceptions and philosophical ideas of the classical yoga. She tries to demystify our deceptive self-understanding explaining the definitions of ignorance (avidya) , I-am-ness (asmita) , desire (raga) , aversion (dvesha) and fear of death (abhinivesha) following the oldest yoga treatise. The article then goes on to discuss briefly how we can make use of our limited, incorrect self-knowledge as far as we are aware that it needs to be transcended. In the final part of the article, the issue of self-discipline consisting basically in cultivation of detachment and the practice of meditation is addressed.