Yogic meaning of the term ‘gṛhastha’.

I translated a verse from the Gorakh Sabadī, which the Nāthas call the Sūkṣma Veda (the refined essence of the Veda). I am always amased at how many layers of meaning can be found in these types of texts, when you know enough and dig deep into the subject. In general, in the language of the siddhas, the image of the city (pur), chariot (ratha) and house (gṛha) can be used to designate the body. In the latter case, gṛha can also mean a temple in which a deity is installed in the form of our soul (i.e. ourselves). And the very establishment of “āsana” is the unity of Śiva and Śakti, where the soul (ātmā) is Śiva and the body is Śakti. Śiva’s descent into his “āsana” is a sacred fusion of spirit and body, at least as the āsana is interpreted in the tantras. In principle, “āsana” in this context can be considered as yoga itself. The term “sahaja” is also used here, which can also have different levels of meaning. For example, as a “together born” state there is something that is not named, since it is transcendental, it is together with the manifested (born) body. And let me remind you that Sabadī is a poetic text, they are sung, and in this sense the text of Sabadī itself can serve as a means of meditation. Much like the texts of the Vedas, which are the object of prayer and meditation.

गिरही सो जो गिरहै काया, अभि अंतरि की त्यागै माया।
सहज सील का धरै सरीर, सो गिरही गंगा का नीर।।४५ ।।

girahī so jo girahai kāyā, abhi aṃtari kī tyāgai māyā।
sahaja sīla kā dharai sarīra, so girahī gaṃgā kā nīra।।45 ।।

गिरही – grihastha; सो (Sanskrit सः) – he; जो – who; गिरहै (गिरह) – binds, holds; काया – body;
अभि – now; अंतरि – inside, soul. त्यागै – sacrificed, left; माया – illusion.
सहज – innate nature; सील (शील) का – good character; धरै – retention; सरीर – body; सो – he; गिरही – living in the house (grihastha); गंगा का – like the Ganges; नीर – water.

Gṛhastha is the one who holds the body; at the same time sacrificing the conditioned mind (māyā) within. Goodness of character naturally sustains the body; one who lives in the house (body) is like the sacred waters of the Ganges. (45)

About the perfect consciousness of yogis through quotations of the Amanaska-yoga, the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Akulavīra-tantra

Gorakṣanātha in his Amanaska-yoga talks about four states (levels) of mind, two of which are associated with tamas and rajas, fluctuations of the mind. The other two are the state of mind in sattvaguṇa and the state of mind beyond any qualities or complete dissolution of the mind.

1) विश्लिष्टं viśliṣṭa – mind in the state of tamas
2) गतागत gatāgata – mind in the state of rajas
3) सुश्लिष्ट suśliṣṭa – mind in the state of sattva
4) सुलीन sulīna – mind beyond qualities, dissolved into Ātman

In the Caraka-saṃhitā, in the section dedicated to yoga, also emphasised that for yoga it is important to overcome the obscurations associated with guṇas of tamas and rajas:

मोक्षो रजस्तमोऽभावात् बलवत्कर्मसङ्क्षयात् ।
वियोगः सर्वसंयोगैरपुनर्भव उच्यते ॥१।१४२॥

In the liberated state, all desires are destroyed due to the absence of rajas and tamas. Thus, a person is finally and irrevocably freed from the bonds of the phenomenal world, from rebirth.

Below are excerpts from my translation of the Amanaska-yoga by Gorakṣanātha:

चतुर्विधा मनोऽवस्था विज्ञातव्या मनीषिभिः।
विश्लिष्टं च गतायातं सुश्लिष्टं च सुलीनकम् ॥ ९४ ॥

The wise know four states of mind: viśliṣṭa, gatāgata (gatāyata), suśliṣṭa and sulīna.

​​विश्लिष्टं तामसं प्रोक्तं राजसं च गतागतम्।
सुश्लिष्टं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तं सुलीनं गुणवर्जितम् ॥ ९५॥

Viśliṣṭa – tamasic, gatāgata – rajasic, suśliṣṭa – sattvic, sulīna – devoid of qualities.

विश्लिष्टं च गतायातं विकल्पविषयग्रहम् ।
सुश्लिष्टं च सुलीनं च विकल्पविषनाशनम् ॥ ९६ ॥

In viśliṣṭa and gatāgata there is the perception of fictitious objects (vikalpa-viṣaya), in suśliṣṭa and sulīna there is the destruction of the poison of vikalpas.

​ततोऽभ्यासनियोगेन निरालम्बो भवेद यदि।
तदा सरिसभूतानि (समरसभूतः ?) परमानन्द एव सः॥९७ ॥

If through the practice of yoga [a person] becomes independent, then he acquires naturalness and supreme bliss.

​अभ्यस्यतो मनः पूर्व विश्लिष्टं चलमुच्यते।
ततश्च निश्चलं किञ्चित् सानन्दं च गतागतम् ॥ ९८ ॥

During practice, the mind first moves, this state is called viśliṣṭa. Then the mind becomes still at times and filled with bliss – this is gatāgata.

​सानन्दं निश्चलं चेतः ततः सुश्लिष्टमुच्यते।
अतीव निश्चलीभूतं सानन्दं च सुलीनकम् ।। ९९ ॥

When the mind is in blissful stillness, this is suśliṣṭa. When it reaches final stillness and bliss, it is sulīna.

बभूव तस्य कर्माणि पापपुण्यस्य संक्षयः।
प्रयान्ति नैव लिम्पन्ति क्रियमाणानि सानुना ॥ १० ॥

The sinful and good karmas of a righteous ascetic disappear, and no matter what he does, the karmas pass by without staining him.

उत्तुङ्गः सहजानन्दः सदाभ्यासरतः स्वयम्।
सर्वसंकल्पसंत्यक्तः स विद्वान् कर्म संत्यजेत् ॥ १०१ ॥

The sage, permanently immersed in abhyāsa, abiding in the sublime bliss of naturalness and detached from all saṃkalpas, is freed from karma.

The last śloka says that this highest state is called sahajānanda, as it was previously spoken about in the ślokas 20 and 92. The same term is also used by Matsyendranāth in the Akulavīra-tantra, which indicates the importance of sahaja-avasthā among the Nāthas. The Akulavīra-tantra begins as following:

श्रीमच्छन्दपादकेभ्यो नमः ।
श्रीमीनसहजनन्दं स्वकीयाङ्गसमुद्भवम् ।
सर्वमाधारगम्भीरमचलं व्यपकं परम् ।

Salutations to the feet of Śrī Macchanda!
[Bow to] Śrī Mīna [nāth], the Bliss of the sahaja, born from his own body, the Whole, the Deepest Root, the Immovable, the All-pervading, the Supreme!