The awareness of object and subject is common to all living beings. However, the yogis have the distinction that they are always aware of the self.Verse 106, Vigyan Bhairava Tantra
This is a beautiful verse, and a very important one. It defines what awareness really is. The awareness of object and subject is common to all living beings. Everyone is aware of the subject -object relationship between themselves, and other objects. We consider ourselves to be the subject, and everything else that comes into our sensory field as objects. If we are talking to someone, they are the object, and we are the subject. Similarly, if we are looking at some mountains, or the sea, the mountains and the sea are the objects, and we are the subject. However, the yogis have the distinction that they are always aware of the self. To be aware, some of our attention has to be directed back towards ourselves. If 100% of our attention is directed outwards, we are lost in objectivity. This happens to most people, throughout the day. For example, if you are talking to someone, usually you are totally engrossed in the conversation. You are not aware of yourself speaking. Your attention is 1 00% towards the object, the person you are speaking to. You are then 100% lost in objectivity. To be aware, to be in a state of awareness, some of your attention has to be reversed. It has to be redirected back towards yourself. Douglas Harding called this “reversing the arrow of attention.” Normally our attention is only pointed outwards.
Now, some of this attention is pointed back towards ourselves. When this happens, you become self-aware. When you are talking, you are aware of yourself talking. When you are eating food, you are aware that you are eating food. When you are listening to someone, you are aware of yourself listening. To be aware means to be a witness. You are constantly aware of what you are doing, and how you are reacting. Our true self is this witness, (our soul) not our body or ego. When we are aware, we are in our true state. When we are lost in thoughts or in objectivity, then we are not in a state of awareness. The longer we remain aware, the more our awareness grows. When we reach full awareness, we reach our highest state. How much attention should be redirected back towards ourselves? It varies from time to time. There is no fixed rule. Sometimes, you will find almost 1 00% of your attention is directed towards yourself. At other times, most of your attention is directed outwards and very little towards yourself. What is important is that at least some of your attention is directed towards yourself, even 1 %. Unless that happens, you are not in a state of awareness, you are lost in objectivity. To be aware means to be aware of the self. That is what this verse is saying. Sometimes, being aware is also defined as being a witness. They both mean the same thing. When you are aware of the self, you are a witness, and you are in a state of awareness.
However, the yogis have the distinction that they are always aware of the self. The way to practice this verse is given in this sentence. Always remain aware of the self. Simply put, always remain aware. The emphasis is on always. One has to remain aware, one has to maintain a state of awareness. If you get lost in thoughts or objectivity, become aware again. To be aware or aware of the self means to live in the present. Thoughts take us to the past or the future, and then we are no longer aware of the self. The term yogi in the verse is meant in a broader sense. It does not just mean someone who practices yoga. It also means someone enlightened. The difference between an enlightened person and others is that the enlightened person is always aware. Therefore, be a yogi. Become aware of the self. Remain aware throughout the day. Whether you are eating, drinking, bathing, talking, walking, watching a movie, or doing anything else, remain aware of the self. Some of the earlier verses taught us to be aware of our breath, or what we are being, throughout the day. Those verses were also teaching us to be aware of the self. To practice this verse, one can also be aware of one’s breath, or what one is being Ooytul, love), or simply just be aware of the self. When you remain aware throughout the day, you will find a definite change in yourself. When you are aware, it becomes impossible to continue certain types . of behavior. Anger, greed, violence, fear, hatred, etc., will disappear from your life. You can only be angry or fearful, when you lose awareness. It is impossible to be angry or be anything negative, when you are aware of the self. An angry person is one who is totally lost in the situation, or in objectivity. He has lost awareness of the self. There are some beautiful verses in this text that define yoga. That show us the main teachings of yoga. This is one of them. However, the yogis have the distinction that they are always aware of the self.