Feb 2018

YS 1.16

Tat param

purusha khyatei

Guna vaitrsnyam

 

Indifference to the subtlest elements, or the constituent principles- (gunas)

Achieved through a knowledge of the nature of pure consciousness- (purusha)

Is called supreme non-attachment- (paravairagya)

 

The art of Listening- Within

To listen without being distracted. To listen without interrupting. To listen without preferring to hear something different. By dissected the qualities of the mind through thoughts, the body through sensations and the emotions through feeling, you can refine your attention to the details, inside. Begin to understand the conversation that is revealing itself to you from within. Once you learn to observe the superficial, gross and impermanent aspects of your being, you will learn how to let go of your desire to cling or identify to everything you observe.

 

The art of Listening- Interacting

What qualities does a good listener embody?

Eye contact, presence, someone who doesn’t feel the need to converse about themselves after listening. Someone who is empathetic, yet not overly emotional. Someone who can give advice keeping your best interest in mind. Learning how to listen in interactions displays the practice or sadhana you practice listening to within. Give yourself the same compassion, attention and nurturance listening to your best friend.

 

Desire or Longing

All of your desires are in direct relationship to preferences. You either prefer what is happening in your external or internal environment, drawing you into pleasure, craving or attachment. Or you dislike what is happening and you therefore avoid, ignore or try to change it. A vritti, can be defined as the fluctuations of the mind, or a vortex of energy. This vritti arises from desire and it circles around you and you get spun in it until you dissolve or neutralize the desire. All discomfort in the mind field begins from a clouded heart. The four longings are: I want, I need, I like and I reject. All of the human longings can fall under these categories. When you claim I- you are identified with what you are stating. How often to you choose to focus on the I, me, mine selfish tendency that is of the small self?

 

Truth

Truth is the purity that is under the desire. The practices of yoga help purify all the layers of your being so you can orient to the consciousness at the center. It is spiritual freedom from the comings and goings of the mind or the detachment of the vortexes of energy. A cloudy mind shrouds the truth. But through non-attachment truth shines with perfect clarity. The mind is like a lake. You can see your reflection in the water provided the lake is clear and calm. Clarity and calmness are equally important in creating an undistorted reflection. The clarity of the water depends on the absence of pollutants; if the lake is calm but dirty the reflection will be vague and blurry. If the lake is clear but agitated the reflection will be distorted. Abhyasa (the method of yoga, as described by Patanjali) makes the lake of the mind calm; the practice of vairagya (detachment) makes it clear.

 

The practice of non- attachment- Vairagya

The simplest way of describing non-attachment is as the process of letting go. Gradually learning to let go of attachments and aversions, and systematically moving subtler and subtler through the layers of attachments in the mind. However, non-attachment goes beyond this; it is not just a practice of letting go, but is a practice of not taking on in the first place. Non-attachment is not suppression, non-attachment is not a mere personality trait that one practices in dealing with the other people of the world. It is very easy to fool oneself into thinking that non-attachment is being practiced when what is really happening is pretending to be non-attached. It is like saying that you have lost your inner craving to some object while inside you are longing for it intensely. Non-attachment is not a process of suppression or repression of wants, wishes, desires, thoughts, or emotions. Non-attachment is a process that evolves progressively as practice deepens. Eventually it leads to a supreme non-attachment, Paravairagya. It means there is non-attachment even in relation to the most fundamental building blocks of all manifestation, the gunas. This level of non-attachment comes through the direct experience of pure consciousness or purusha.

Three levels of non-attachment:

We can think of this as a systematic process of developing non-attachment (vairagya) at three levels:

1. Gross world: There are many objects of our daily lives for which our mental impressions are colored with various degrees of attraction or aversion. This is the first level of developing freedom from those bondages and experiencing greater inner peace.

2. Everything between: There are many types of objects between the levels of the gross world and the subtlest building blocks. After the mind is stabilized, these subtler levels are explored and set aside with non-attachment and discrimination-viveka. (Non-attachment to meditation, to pranic energy, the five elements, the senses, and the subtler aspects of mind.

3. Subtlest building blocks: These are the three primal elements (gunas) that are addressed in this current sutra. The idea is that the yogi becomes non-attached even to the subtlest building blocks of existence, (paravairagya).

Detachment from the gunas is like detaching from atomic particles

This concept of levels may seem foreign, but we are all accustomed to this in our world. If we compare this to only the physical universe, it would be somewhat like becoming non-attached to protons, electrons, and neutrons, which are the particles that form atoms. Notice how the physical universe is also constructed in levels or layers:

• Particles (protons, electrons, neutrons)

• Atoms

• Molecules

• Compounds

• Objects

Imagine that you were free from attachment and aversion to the particles (protons, electrons, and neutrons). Then (in our metaphor) you would be free from attachment and aversion to all of its evolutes as well, including, molecules, compounds, and all of the physical objects of the world.

Supreme non-attachment: Similarly, this is the suggestion of supreme non-attachment (paravairagya) to the gunas, the three primal elements that the yogis speak of as the prime constituents of the manifest and unmanifest matter (prakriti). Non-attachment to the gunas includes non-attachment in relation to not only the gross world, but also the entire subtle, psychic, astral plane, as well as the causal out of which they arise.

Paravairagya comes after Self-realization: On a practical level, this is not to say that we must attain the paravairagya level to attain direct experience of the center of consciousness (purusha). Rather, it is describing where non-attachment ultimately leads once you have the tool of samadhi and direct experience.

The Gunas

Guna means string, thread, or strand, or virtue, quality, or attribute. The operating principles or the subtle forces of nature are the interplay of that defines the character of someone or something, of nature and determines the progress of life. There are three gunas, that have always been and continue to be present in all things and beings in the world. These three gunas are called: sattva (goodness, constructive, harmonious), rajas (passion, active, confused), and tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic). All of these three gunas are present in everyone and everything, it is the proportion that is different, according to Hindu worldview. The sattvic and tamasic forces of the gunas are the sources of liking and disliking. The sattvic energy influences our mind in a way that causes us to like virtues and dislike nonvirtues. Tamasic energy, on the other hand, influences our mind in the opposite way. Our mind is constantly tossed by the interplay of sattvic and tamasic energies, forcing us to remain caught in the whirlpool of our likes and dislikes. Self-realization gives us a realistic perspective on life. And once we have that, instead of wasting our time on likes and dislikes, we engage tire mind and heart in attaining the purpose of life.

How to trust the purusha

The pure inner consciousness that is at the center, that is in direct alignment with your truth will not lead you astray. It is not identified with anything that is impermanent and changing. It is not affected by the operating principles of the gunas. When you can perceive purely without; longing, needs, desires, preferences, cravings or aversions, this consciousness will lead you to the path of Universal consciousness and union that is the goal of yoga. Learn how to listen and trust in all the ways you can