Uncover your impurities!
This article consists of 6 chapters
- Introduction: uncover your impurities
- Avidya: ignorance
- Asmita: I feeling – the ego
- Raga: attachment to pleasure
- Dwesha: aversion
- Abhinivesah: fear of death + conclusion
Today you can read part 6:
Abhinivesah: Fear of Death
We cling because we fear loss….
Let me introduce you to the sutra of the klesha in Sanskrit:
“ Svaransavahi viduso’pi tatharudho bhinivesah”
Svarasavahi: sustained by it’s own force
Visudah: of the learned
Thata: like that
Abhinivesah: fear of death, clinging to life
YS 2.9 Abhinivesha is the desire for life sustained by its own force which dominates even the learned.
Swami Satyananda: Even learned people fear death. They have an equally strong desire for life.The process of involution is exactly the opposite of the process of evolution. It starts with abhinvesha, then dwesha, then raga, then asmita, then avideya and lastly videya. This is the way to go back. While overcoming the kleshas, one should start with abhinivesah and go up to avidya.
In Indian scriptures it is said that Abhinivesha is due to attachment to the body. If attachment is reduced from active state to a potential state, then fear of death can be reduced to a minimum. Abhinivesha is a layer of fear that is added on top of an attraction (raga) or an aversion (dvesha). This happens because as soon as an attraction appears there will be fear of getting it, or losing it once you have it. When an aversion appears there will be fear of getting what you don’t want, or once it is there fear arises that it will not go away, it will stay.
Most common example is relationships. Yesterday I talked with a friend. She told me she falls in love very easily. She is an attractive young European woman spending her winter times in vibrating Goa. Goa is packed with attractive good looking, intelligent, highly spiritual young man and all she wants is pick them up. Once she meets someone on whom she has a crush (attraction or raga) she actually feels not available and open for love.
Why? She actually doesn’t know. Maybe it’s low self confidence or maybe she is still holding out for mister right or maybe she’s afraid this person will hurt her….She doesn’t know.
This example is actually quite general. My friend is not the only one who feels not available and open for love.
From personal experience I know beginning (or even contemplating) a relationship activates memories of old fears and insecurities from childhood and past relationships. Old issues who have not been solved – such as fear of intimacy, fear of abandonment, fear of rejection will surface and have to be cleared away. To overcome fear, you need to learn to look at relationships on a new way. Look. I learned this exercise from a relationship coach with whom I was having therapy sessions about two years ago. He gave me this exercise: instead of see people you know in the same old way, try to meet them as a stranger. This exercise actually opened up new conversations between my mother and me. I asked her a lot about the time she was a child. The information she shared with me actually gave me a new perspective of her.
This exercise gave me the insight that every new person I meet on my journey is a new experience. There is no way to control what will happen, or how the other person will act or respond. However, I know I am always in control of my own actions and responses. To me this is yoga: being in contact with myself from the heart. Not ready to please or tag the other but ready to meet the other person and enjoy his or her presence.
Source of this article was the question:
‘How can I deal with obstacles that come on my way?’
The entire yoga sutras of Patanjali are dedicated to overcoming and reducing obstacles, so we can realise the state of Yoga and connect to our source of happiness and freedom. In order to give some potential answers on this question, I decided to study the kleshas: the so called: ‘causes of suffering’.
In Patanjali’s yoga sutra 2.3 the kleshas: impurities, troubles or afflictions are described as following:
- Ignorance (avidya)
- Ego – I feeling (asmita)
- Attachment – liking (raga)
- Aversion – disliking (dvesa)
- Fear of Death (abhinivesah)
I shared with you obstacles I experience in my life. Also I added exercises that help me to become aware of my obstacles and possibly can help you also to come back to clarity.
The source of all obstacles is avidyā. This means lack of knowledge or ignorance. False identification happens when we only identify ourselves with our physical body and with changing circumstances (asmitā). Also, we suffer from personal and egoistic desires and aversions (rāga, dveṣa) and cling on outer circumstances for our happiness or unhappiness. To conclude; we feel a deep anxiety under the surface of our minds related to fear of death (abhiniveśaḥ). All our problems come from connecting to and identifying with everything that is transitory (avidyā) and from never resting in the Self that is eternal (Atman).
In our life circumstances of our inner and outer life are changing….Always! The beauty of every human being is that our essential nature is pure, eternal, blissful and free from reactivity.
Shanti Shanti Ommmm, Namaste
Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Four chapters on freedom, Yoga publication trust – Bihar. India.
Picture 1: www.omkarrayoga.com
Picture 2: Painting by Sophie Nusselder