By Janaki Murray
Looking at what is “lurking in the background” can be so revealing. Whether delving into a fear, desire or aversion, I discover the motivating force and I experience many “aha!” moments. Thus, I find working with the kleshas a highly rewarding practice, as described in our October contemplation from Swami Nirmalananda and Rukmini Abbruzzi.
For example, I bought a new phone last week. It was a desire (raga) fulfilled. However, it turned out to be quite painful as it did not work in the way I expected. It meant I had to deal with the service provider and the store I purchased the phone from. Fear (abhinivesha) and aversion (dvesha) raised their heads, as I had to somehow get to grips with the technology. This threatened my identity (asmitaa) as an intelligent, educated person. Would I be smart enough to understand what was going on? Would I be able to resolve the problem? In other words, was I going to be “good enough?”
My mind was churning! Looking at what was “hidden underneath” allowed me to recognize the identity (at least for now). I could relax and allow my mind to settle. I was no longer lost in that identity. I found I was even able to enjoy the challenge before me and learn something in the process. I didn’t have to wrestle with myself.
When I become aware that I am lost in “need, greed and fear,” in that moment of contemplation I know who I am. I am the Self. It is like the light in the darkness — the lifting of the veil of utter despair.
I find it a blissful thought that Consciousness has become me for the pure joy of being me. How many people in the world have that understanding!
I also find it comforting to understand that it is not my fault, because avidyaa (the not-knowing) is the human condition; it is built in existential angst. I cannot think my way out of it and I need help. For this I have so many Svaroopa® yoga and meditation practices to choose from. They support me in growing closer to vidya (the knowing of my own Self). They address my spiritual amnesia.
Threading through all of this is the Grace that flows through this lineage, through Swamiji and her teachings, through me and to my students. All this leads me lovingly towards a Divine destiny — and freedom from the kleshas. Yippee!