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 – www.integralmusings.wordpress.com)

The Roots of Bondage-IV-Abhinivesha: The Thirst for Life -M.S. Srinivasan

The fifth affliction is Abhinivesa; which is defined as “self-taste  swarasa flowing  and carried on by its own inclination vahi, in that  way  established even in the wise”  What is the meaning of this suthra?  To put it in a simpler language, Abhinivesha is the attachment to the taste of the limited,  personal life of the ego-self.  As we have said elsewhere the vital being in man has  a taste and relish for life, not for this or that form or mood of life, but  for the  very throb and flow of life, not for the greater,  unconditioned, blissful and  eternal  life  of  the higher self but  for  the  conditioned  transient, conflict-ridden  and  personal  life of the lower  self  Abhinivesha  is  this attachment to the savour and relish of the personal ego-centric life swarasa; it is what Budha termed as Tanha, the primal and essential  thirst for life; it is  established  in  the  subconscious  roots  of  life-force,  Prana;  it   is established  even  in the wise because even the wise live  by  the  life-force Prana.  They are considered as wise because they have an enlightened mind, Sat, in most cases, this illumination in the mind does not have sufficient power to penetrate into the subconscious roots of life and root-out the source of vital ego and desire.

We  may  say  that  if Asmita is the source of  ego-sense  in  the  mind, Abhinivesha is the source of ego-sense in the life force or the vital being in man.   In fact raga-dvesha is the outer conscious manifestations or  forms  of this  deeper subconscious  thirst for life.  The Fear of death, which  is  the fear  of annihilation of the life of the personal self, is the  other  diverse form of Abhinivesha.

These  are  the  five afflictions Klesha which are the  source  of  Citta Vritti,  the modifications of the mind and also the source of  karma,  endless births,  bondage  and pain.  The first aim of the sadhana of  rajayoga  is  to weaken  the  klesas through a system of inner and outer discipline  called  as kriya  yoga  and yamas and niyamas.  But these  are  preliminary  purificatory disciplines which can only weaker but cannot eliminate the klesha.   According to Rajayoga total elimination of Kleshas is possible only by tracing them  to their  subtle seed in the subconscious roots of our Citta and dissolving  them the light of deep meditative understanding dhyan.

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This entry was posted on May 6, 2013 by in Rajayoga.
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