Exploration of Indian Yoga Psychology

A blog on the Transpersonal Psychology of Indian Yoga and the Spiritual Genius of India (another blog of the same author – http://integralmusings.aurosociety.org)

The Roots of Bondage-III- Raga-Dvesha: The Tentacles of Attachment- M.S. Srinivasan

rootsThe third affliction of the mind is Raga which is described as “clinging, anusayi,  to happiness” Raga is the attachment to the temporary and  evanescent pleasures thrown by Nature or prakriti to the soul inorder to keep it in  her net of bondage.  This includes attachment to all forms of happiness which nature can give from the lowest tamasic pleasures of sleep and indolence, joys of the body and senses, higher rajasic pleasures of the vital being in wealth and action and creation and success and name and fame and the highest sattwic pleasures of the intellectual, ethic and aesthetic being in knowledge and virtue and beauty. All these, including the happiness of the sattwic mind, when they are clung to with attachment become source of bondage for the soul.   Bhagavat Gita echoes a similar thought when describing nature of the triple  qualities of  Prakriti;  it  says  that Sattwa binds by its  attachment to  knowledge  and happiness and Rajas by its attachment to works and Tamas by its attachment  to sloth, sleep and indolence.

This doesn’t mean a Yogi has to reject these pleasures and activities of the mind and senses with an ascetic revulsion.  A Yogi who has achieved true inner detachment can enjoy sense pleasures without craving and feel the joy of intellectual and aesthetic pursuits or emotional relationship without any clinging grip of desire on them.  His happiness is not dependent on these external objects, activities or support.  He can be as happy and peaceful without them.

The fourth affliction is Dvesha and defined in almost similar terms as “attachment, anusayi, to sorrow (or pain) dukka”.  But how can there be any attachment to pain or sorrow?  Clinging to happiness is something which we can understand.   But is there in us attachment to sorrow also?  In most of the translations and interpretations of yogasutra the word Dvesha is translated as dislike for the painful.  But Yoga sutra’s definition of Dvesha does not suggest this traditional meaning of Dvesha.  Raga is defined as clinging anusayi to happiness sukkah and Dvesha, using the same term anusayi, is defined in the same manner as “clinging to pain”.  To a surface view such an attachment  to sorrow may appear as something morbid and a reasonably  healthy mind cannot have such perverse attachment.  This may be true at the conscious levels of our mind but at the subconscious levels of our mind we are not  as healthy noble and reasonable as we are in our conscious parts.

In  the  flow of life and in the energy of Nature,  Prakriti,  nothing  is static or permanent, both, sorrow and happiness of Prakriti are  impermanent and  pass  away  in  the flow of time. When there is in us a true, deep and complete Yogic detachment to these lolly-pops and whips of Nature we are free; joys and grief’s of life pass swiftly, without affecting us deeply or causing much disturbance to our inner calm and peace.  But we don’t have  this  inner calm  because  there  is  an clinging attachment  in  the  conscious  mind  to happiness  and  a perverse attachment to sorrow in the subconscious  parts  of life-force prana.  This vital being in us likes joy as well as sorrow; without them it finds life tasteless and dull.  The following exquisite verses from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri describe this truth of the life-force in us:

     “Tired soon of too much joy and happiness

     She needs the spur of pleasure and pain

     And the native taste of suffering and unease………

     A perverse savour haunts her thirsting lips

     for the grief she weeps which came from her own choice

     For the pleasure yearns that racked with wounds her breast”

But Dvesha includes not only attachment to sorrow but also to all  that leads  to sorrow like negative thoughts and feelings.  This is the reason  why some  times  we  find  so difficult to get rid  of  some  obstinate  negative thoughts  and feelings.  Our conscious minds might have realised clearly the harmfullness and misery of these negative thoughts and feelings like  hatred, jealousy  etc.  and  ready to reject it.  But they still persist obstinately because somewhere in the conscious or subconscious parts of our life-force, a little dark point clings vehemently to these negative feelings. There can be a similar subconscious clinging to illness, which prevents quick healing

 So  the  term  “Dvesha” in Yoga-sutra is used  not  in  the  traditional grammatical  sense  as  aversion  or hatred  but  in  a  deeper  psychological significance, perceived with a Yogic insight into the nature of life-force.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Information

This entry was posted on March 28, 2013 by in Rajayoga.