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Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Visesa-darsina atma-bhava-bhavana-vinivrttih. (25)

Visesa = the distinction; Darsina = who sees; Atmabhava = consciousness of Atma;Bhavana = dwelling upon;  Vinivrttih = complete cessation.

The cessation of desire for dwelling in the consciousness of Atma for one who has seen the distinction (between penultimate and the ultimate states).

Seeking happiness is the prime motive of all the creatures of the world. Happiness outside is not free from inherent limitations and misery. Subhuman beings have no choice but to suffer the cycle of happiness and misery while completing their life span on this earth. Human beings are fortunate in this matter. The wisdom that the 'kingdom of heaven is within', that the source of true, peerless, everlasting bliss is within, is available to them. Though most of us are familiar with this 'information', it does not help unless applied in day-to-day life for detachment from worldly life. We enjoy the degree of pure bliss and freedom to the extent to which we master vairagya, detachment. Very talk of vairagya is like poison for those who are grossly involved in worldly life. Sugar tastes bitter to the person stung by a venomous snake! As the effect of venom wears down, he starts experiencing the sweetness of sugar gradually. Same is true for a seeker of Truth. When the effect of maya starts loosening its grip on him, he starts enjoying the layers of subtle bliss within till he reaches the last veil, the 'atmic' plane. Desire for worldly objects then drops effortlessly and automatically for him.

One has to pass through various difficult stages to come to this plane, crossing various obstacles, stagnation and set-backs. Last stagnation is to get stuck up with the penultimate atmic plane. It is so full of pure bliss, expansion and power that is becomes difficult to leave this and plunge in the ultimate (but unknown) ocean of bliss. The difficulty becomes more because there is a subtle fear of losing one's individuality in 'unknown'. It may be easy to comprehend theoretically that when a wave merges in the ocean, it is 'going back home', getting back its true, pristine nature, becoming what it is supposed to be but when that moment of 'merger' comes, fear crops up! Here true, ultimate viveka, the distinction between illusion (howsoever refined) and reality helps. When that ultimate 'knowledge' dawns then one is free from the bondage once for all. Even the desire for dwelling on 'atmic' plane is a bondage.

Yoga is Chitta Vrtti Nirodhah (Cessation of all vrttis). Using ultimate viveka (visesa), a seeker (darshinah) becomes free from the last Vrtti of atmic plane (atma-bhava bhavana). Then complete cessation of all vrttis (vinivrttih) happens and he gets established in his true nature (swarupa).

This article appears in the Yoga Magazine, Yoga Sudha November, 2003 edition. This article has been published courtesy www.yogasudha.com

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