The root cause of all sufferings

The root cause of all sufferings

||Tapah svadhyaya ishvara-pranidhana kriya-yogah||1||

English meaning of the sutra: Discipline for Sadhana

English meaning of Sanskrit terms: tapah = austerity; svadhyaya = self-study of scriptures; ishvara = God; pranidhana = surrender to god; kriya-yogah = practical yoga

On following Kriya Yoga by study, with complete innermost awareness, one involves in acts of self-purification, self-observation and evolving self awareness. All these three acts are Kriya Yoga. And Kriya yoga is one of the methods of Raja Yoga.

||Samadhi bhavana arthah klesha tanu karanarthah cha||2||

English meaning of the sutra:

Why Kriya-Yoga?

English meaning of Sanskrit terms: samadhi = Samadhi; bhavanarthah = for developing the state of; klesha = cause of afflictions; tanu-karana = thin; arthah = for making; cha = and

Uncontrolled mind plays its games on us. At the end, leaves us with the bitter pain that these games have actually obstructed the practice of yoga. The only way to denying the mind and holding it in check is through Kriya-Yoga. This sutra answers the question – ‘Why Samadhi?’ and points to the need of discipline to reach Samadhi through Kriya Yoga.

Kriya Yoga is practiced for two reasons. One is to develop Samadhi and second to overcome afflictions. Higher state of Samadhi becomes possible on removal of kleshas.

Practice of Kriya Yoga leads to an emotional state called Trance. Physical, psychic and emotional bodies stand modified by Kriya Yoga.

||Avidya asmita raga dvesha abhinivesha pancha klesha||3||

English meaning of the sutra:

The causes of Pain: Ignorance, I-feeling, Liking, disliking and fear of death.

 English meaning of Sanskrit terms: avidya = ignorance; asmita = ego; raga = liking; dvesha = repulsion, dislike; abhinivesha = fear of death; pancha = five; klesha = afflictions

Patanjali discusses the causes of pain. Klesha or afflictions are deep rooted in our very being. Klesha is an agony embedded in past events. Our day to day activities throws a blanket over this subconscious pain. This results in developing an outer life in contrast to an inner life. The movements of the outer man and the inner man are totally different. This is the reason why judging a person on basis of his outer life is totally a useless act.

Patanjali distinguishes the affliction of ignorance as the cause of all other four pains. From ignorance, he says comes all other four miseries of I-feeling, liking, disliking and the fear of death. While the nature of the soul is eternal bliss, it is ignorance that creates a hallucination and delusion of pain of the soul. It is not only the pain but expresses itself as behavior in men.

||Avidya kshetram uttaresham prasupta tanu vicchinna udaranam||4||

 English meaning of the sutra: Ignorance is the root cause that develops other afflictions that are expressed in different degrees.

 English meaning of Sanskrit terms:

avidya = ignorance; kshetram = field; uttaresham = of the following; prasupta = dormant; tanu = thin; vicchinna = scattered; udaranam = fully operated, expanded.

Ignorance acts as the field that fabricates the afflictions or kleshas – ego (asmita), liking (raga), disliking (dwesha) and clinging to life (abhinivesha).

These are both individualistic and collective. An individual moving towards new goal or an entire nation making effort towards new goals, in order to avoid the unpleasant conditions of life, is the compulsion brought by these afflictions. Ambition to achieve new goals and effort put forth to attain them are in themselves upshot of the afflictions.

Human behavioral changes are due to the kleshas and predominantly ignorance is the source of other four afflictions. From avidya, asmita is born; from asmita, raga; from raga, dwesha and from dwesha, abhinivesha.

These impressions express themselves in four states.

1. Dormant: when kleshas cannot be perceived at all;

2. attenuated-thin: when they are mildly expressed;

3. overpowered: when they are expressed in an oscillating state;

4. Expanded: when they are fully expressed.

Ignorance should be uprooted. Patanjali proposes the process of involution starting from abhinivesha to avidya and then to vidya or enlightenment as the route to uprooting ignorance.

||Anitiya ashuchi duhkha anatmasu nitya shuchi sukha atman khyatih avidya||5||

 English meaning of the sutra:

Avidya is to mistake the non-eternal to eternal and eternal to non-eternal.

English meaning of Sanskrit terms: antiya = non-eternal; ashuchi = impure; duhkha = painful; anatmasu = non-atman; nitya = eternal; shuchi = pure; sukha = happiness; atman = Self; khyatih = knowledge;

avidya = avidya

Avidya is generally equaled to ignorance. This sutra speaks on avidya in a different light. Avidya says Patanjali, is an inability to distinguish the difference in the nature of matter (body, senses, buddhi) and energy. In Vedanta avidya is called Maya. Avidya is an error in spiritual perception, a mental illusion where name and form are fabricated. Being in the state of avidya we mistake pure as impure and impure as pure. We misunderstand our relations with people due to avidya just as we mistake a rope for a snake. Avidya conditions our brain and thoughts and does not make us realize that our efforts are to orient towards eternal, more permanent, consciousness instead of identifying with the body or emotions and buddhi, which are limiting. Avidya, a kind of psychosis makes us indifferent to the inner atman and keeps us in a morphed dose. It is difficult to dispel avidya even at an intellectual level. Intellectual deliberation may distinguish that the body is not mind and not consciousness. But only deep meditation can make one experience the difference between the two- matter and energy. Only way to dispel ourselves from avidya is with help of Viveka. Fighting with darkness will not bring light. Only lighting a candle dispels darkness. Similarly fighting avidya does not remove it but exposing to Viveka helps in enlightenment and Viveka is a temporary form of enlightenment.

 

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