An artwork response
Above is my depiction of The Upanishads. The image seeks to represent the different states of Reality according to The Upanishads, which ultimately all blend and merge as One. The green at the bottom represent the material world, Prakriti, which includes everything physical we see in our atomic world, but also our awareness and our mind. This is our waking life: the first condition of consciousness. The second condition of consciousness is our dream state; the third is deep sleep, where a “person beholds no desires and beholds no dreams”. This is an extremely powerful state: “the beginning and the end of beings" - inner consciousness. The fourth condition is Atman, the Spirit himself: “neither consciousness nor unconsciousness”; the Spirit is thought to be “beyond thought… union with him is proof of his reality.”
When Atman is reached and that person “Sees great God in all, and all in God”, they has crossed the “bridge”, or the “river of life”, where the shore welcomes supreme consciousness of immortality. “When the small drop of human consciousness becomes one with the ocean of consciousness”, there is no separation. This is the Ultimate Reality,
‘Tat Tvum Asi’ - ‘Thou art That.’
This is intuitively linked with the three sounds of the eternal word OM, ‘a’, ‘u’, ‘m’. A is the waking, U is dreaming, M is deep sleeping consciousness. The forth state, is the full sound ‘OM’, supreme consciousness. ‘It is non-duality and love’.
With most yoga classes being firmly in the first state of consciousness, it is our role as authentic yoga practitioners to give others the opportunity to discover more by introducing them to the spiritual and philosophical teachings of Yoga. In our attention-grabbing world of separation, our minds are consumed with stress, anxiety and sometimes fear; yoga can bring a “calm steadiness in the senses”, “concentration in the mind and peace in ones heart”, where we may be able to glimpse the Ultimate Reality of non-duality and love. “The mind is indeed the source of bondage and also the source of liberation”