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5 Sources Of Misery
Excerpts from Gurudev’s discourse on Patanjali Yogasutras

Tapaha swaadhyaaya ishwara pranidhaana kriya yogaha.

This is the Yoga of action. But even when you are doing something, you should think that you are not doing it. You should be a silent witness. There is a depth in you, a silent corner that does not change. All the activity is taking place in this silent space. Every atom is revolving around the nucleus and all the planets are moving around. Yet, there is silence.

The purpose of this is klesha tanukarana – to reduce the suffering or misery in life. Samadhi bhaavanaarthaha – and to bring about samadhi, harmony and equanimity in life.

What are the root causes of misery in life?

Avidya, asmita, raga, dwesha, abhinivesha, panchakleshaaha.

Avidya is ignorance. It is the root cause of all suffering. Ignorance is to consider permanent that which is not so; to think or to understand that which is changing to be unchanging; that which is not joy to be joy, and which is not Self to be the Self. It is thinking you are the body when you are not; thinking that you are your thoughts and emotions when you are not. It is considering your body to be unchanging, when it is, actually, changing continuously. Doctors say that the blood is changed every twenty-four hours and in five days your stomach lining changes. And the skin changes in a month. Every cell in the body changes in a year. In a year all the old cells are dead and gone and you have new ones. Your body is new. Your mind is new. However, you have never considered your body like a river which is undergoing change all the time.

As you awaken to this truth, you will not identify with your old fears and thoughts; with the old you. Your ignorance makes you hold on to them; hold on to your past. You hold on to your idea of who you are. People think it is a compliment to know who you are; to have an idea about yourself. But, if you have an idea of who you are, then you get stuck. The right attitude is to feel that you do not know who you are. This is because you are changing every moment. And you have understood this process when you do not know your own identity. A fixed idea about who you are destroys you totally. It stops your growth and limits your potential.

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October 2019

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