One of India’s mystic philosophers, Abhinavagupta (c. 950 – 1020 AD) states: “Impure is what has fallen away from consciousness: therefore everything stays pure if it has achieved identity with consciousness.”
In terms of sattvic eating, therefore, pure food is fresh, live, organic, wholesome and eaten with good intention. Whereas, impure food is packaged, lifeless, processed, refined, and is often eaten as an automatic response to hunger or cravings.
Likewise, Yoga done consciously in an environment that is cool, calm, sanctified, with no shoes, and a clean body, etc.; may be regarded as more pure than doing Yoga in a secular environment, like a gym or workplace, where there are lots of mental distractions.
Although tantric yogic practices often follow a type of ‘non-dualism’ that transcends conventional ideas of pure and impure, Abhinavagupta clearly indicates what is pure and impure:
“Whatever is destitute of life should be considered as impure.”
This is a simple guideline for a leading a Yogic lifestyle.
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