Q&A on ‘Purusha and Prakruti’

The topic for the English Satsang on Sunday, 11th May, 2014 was ‘Purusha and Prakruti.’

Following is the transcript of the Q & A between the audience and Smt. Hansaji J. Yogendra.

Smt. Hansaji and Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra

Listen to the audio:

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Q. Please explain the terms Ishwar and Purusha.
Smt. H: In yoga technology, Ishwar is known as Purusha Vishesha, that is a special Purusha, which means Purusha which is untouched by Kleshas, Purusha which is not doing any Karmas. So Ishwar doesn’t want anything; Santosh (contentment) is one of God’s qualities, Chaitanyamaya i.e. alive and alert, is Ishwar. He is omnipresent, omniscient and can do anything and He is all-knowing. You don’t have to tell Him that I have this or that problem and to do something. God knows everything. So these are the basic qualities of God, but in yoga, God means special Purusha which is unaffected by Karmas.

Q. How to avoid the outburst of emotions?
Smt. H: It is said that outburst of emotion comes when a person is totally helpless and a person puts himself down all the time. You have to uplift yourself. That advise has been given so strongly in the Bhagwad Gita. Why are you putting yourself down? If somebody tells you that you are wrong and somebody is speaking lies, but you know that you have not spoken lies. But you don’t have to put yourself down. Let someone else have their opinion. And see to it that you can try and respect yourself and do what you can do. Why feel helpless and have an outburst? Remember that others are different and have a right to say or do what they want. You do what is right and manage people.

Q. Who is alive? Body or soul?
Smt. H: It is very clear that the soul can never die. The body finishes – from a child, it becomes old, very old, etc. It is explained that as you put on clothes on your body and they get torn, you remove those clothes and wear other clothes. In the same way the human body, once it becomes weaker and tattered, it goes away and a new body comes in the form of a new birth and child. So the soul is permanent, the body changes.

Q. We have ego or Asmita. What is the co-relation of ego with Purusha?
Smt. H: The word Ego has to be understood. If you are taking it from a negative sense as our Klesha, then it is a negative trait, it means you are egoistic, you expect and demand things from others and push your point across. This is known as an egoistic personality which should just go away. Such people bother themselves and the whole world, like Hitler and all such people who have harmed the world. Ego or Asmita in yoga means a sense of ‘I.’ I should know ‘Who Am I?’ My name, address, position, job, duty, work. So this is something which everybody must have, the awareness about that ‘I’ and his work and duty. So we have to see this from both angles.

Q. Even if we make a mistake unknowingly, tension sets in. What to do?
Smt. H: We just need to learn from our mistakes. A mistake occurs when we are not alert or aware or probably did not have the knowledge on how to handle something. But if we take tension from that, our mistakes will only increase. Putting yourself down for it or thinking ‘How could I have made such a mistake?’ is ego which should be removed. Many times I have noticed that if we make a mistake and no one found out about it, we are happy. But if someone finds out, we get tense. This is the fear of what others will say. This needs to be removed. See why a mistake occurred, learn from it and make sure it is not repeated next time. That is the way we should grow in life. A person who doesn’t fall, won’t learn how to run. Mistakes are natural phenomena.

Q. Do you think that consciousness is always projected by intelligence and materialistic possessions? If yes, then why?
Smt. H: Consciousness is never getting affected by anything. It is only matter which gets affected. A matter that is very close to consciousness, i.e. the Sattva state of mind, in this state a person is very relaxed and peaceful and does wise things. But if he’s a little away from Sattva, then all the chaos starts. So a person has to see that he always remains Sattvic. He should eat that type of food, have that type of routines, he should think that way and behave with other people wisely and he should live in such a way that always good thoughts, feelings and actions, selflessness and caring personality comes and that bring joy and happiness. Learning takes place only when someone is in a Sattva state, otherwise the blame game goes on that becomes someone did something, I suffered. And that’s all an ego trip and nothing else.

Q. If Prakruti is all materialistic things, then is it true that Prakruti is not important at all and we should give more importance to Purusha?
Smt. H: Understand that there is nothing that is lower or higher. Both are equally important. Both are there and they should be given equal importance. Yoga literature says that you should understand Prakruti thoroughly well. Understand all these games and colours and flavours of Prakruti. Once you understand that, then the wisdom comes, then you go closer to consciousness. Then wisdom comes and then a Sattva state comes. Otherwise how would you get the knowledge? Only through these experiences is it possible. Once you put your finger in the fire and burn, then you get knowledge that you should not do that We are growing, but it is only through the experiences of Prakruti that we are growing. Literature says that this entire world is for your growth. It’s for us only. So we should use that. If we gain knowledge, we are wise, if we suffer because of Prakruti then we are stupid. So we have to become wise.


Satsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.


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