Yoga is the path from the low level of awareness towards the highest level. But how can one know where the person is on this path? Vedas have explain seven stages of knowledge.
1. SUBBECHA (the good desire)
This stage is achieved after the following sub stages are achieved.
(a) VIVEK:- The power of discrimination
This level of awareness is achieved when the spiritual seeker is completely aware of the difference between real and unreal, permanent and impermanent.
What is unreal?
When the form or matter of a thing can change it is consider to be unreal. So all material things are unreal as their form or shape can be changed. For example a tree can be cut and converted into a table or chair.
What is real?
When the form or matter of a thing cannot change it is consider to be real. As per Vedas only the soul is permanent. For example when a human being dies its only the body which goes back in to 5 elements but the soul continues to take a new body.
(b) VAIRAGYA:- Dispassion
Once the seeker achieves vivek his interest in temporary things diminishes and slowly fades away. There is no attachment to belongings or people. Example when a family member dies, a person may get sad about it but is still aware of the circle of life and death.
(c.) SHATSAMPAT:- Mastery of the six senses
When the seeker masters his six senses (hear, touch, see, taste, smell and intuition) he reaches this level. Five senses help us to get information and intuition is the information we get without using any of the five senses. We are supposed to use these senses only for knowing but we due to lower natures began to indulge in these senses. When we master our senses we don’t react anymore to senses we experience anymore. Example if we smell garbage but we don’t have any reaction with this information, we don’t like it and we don’t dislike it.
(d) MUMUKSHUTAVA :- In this level we cherish the deep desire for the place where you go after liberation that is MOKSHA. Liberation is also called Nirvana. The seeker at this level understands the misery of the life forms and thus wants to get liberated from the circle of life and death.
2. VICHARANA– Pondering /thinking/reflecting
The seeker in this stage wants to find out the right information and the right teaching. He wants to get to the moksha and all the time thinks about how to get there. He reflects on his past life, his current life, life of those who have attained moksha and tries to find the answers.
3. TANUMANASANA – Thinning out the mind
Once the seeker finds out the way to get to moksha he is strongly focused on the path of getting to the moksha. There are no other thoughts left and is only focused on the goal and how to reach there.
4. SATTVAPATI – Owner of purity
At this level the seeker becomes Sattvic while following the divine path towards moksha.
5. ASAMSHAKTI – Unlimited power
In this stage the person becomes unaffected by anything. There are no longer senses uncontrolled. For example eating or drinking or using hot water just for satisfaction. The seeker is pure and may receive astral powers, like walking on water or healing. There is no ego left and if it does turn up the person falls back to level Zero.
6. PADARTH BHAWNA – seeing the truth beyond maya
In this stage seeker sees reality behind everything. He sees a tree instead of a chair, he sees an animal instead of a leather boot. He is aware of the fact that a dead body is just the outside part of a human being, the soul is the real self. This person sees the truth beyond the illusion.
7. TURIYA – stage before liberation
In this stage the seeker is almost ready to be liberated.
This information is part of the curriculum of our 200 hour yoga teacher training courses.