By Karuna (Carolyn) Beaver
One Christmas, while my sisters were playing happily with their new toys, i retreated to my room to cry. I remembered my mother asking me why I wasn’t happily playing with my siblings. My answer was that I was sad because I had so much and there were so many children who had nothing. I now know that I had created an identity around being a caring little person. This was the source of my sadness.
I still have an aversion to all the excess of the winter holiday season: food, parties, lavish gifts. Fortunately, “You Are the Light You Celebrate,” our December teachings article, has helped me come to grips with my aversion. The article points us to the different yogic “road maps” for moving through the holidays. Throughout 2017, our monthly contemplation articles have detailed these maps. In the midst of holiday glitter, these maps can show us tried and true ways to recognize that we are, indeed, the true Light of Consciousness.
To find my inner Light, I chose the map of tracing back through the kleshas. One klesha is aversion (“dvesha” in Sanskrit). Why am I so averse to the things that bring so many people happiness and connection with one another? The map says that dvesha is actually hiding a desire that you cannot fulfill. The desire is called raaga. So I tracked inward a little further and discovered that I actually DO have a desire. I want to experience the “highs” the holidays can bring — the excitement, joy, giving and receiving.
The klesha road map says you must keeping tracking inward in order to dissolve the roots of each klesha. The next is asmitaa, identity. We all create identities around what we do, who we know, where we are located. This brought me to that powerful memory of the identity of a caring person, since I was a child.
And this rather painful identity arose from the deepest and most powerful kleshas — avidyaa. “A” means “not” and “vidya” means “knowing.” The translation is literally “not knowing who you really are” — not feeling good enough. This can be scary and intense. I certainly experienced this as a child.
I didn’t know then what I know now. The Svaroopa® Sciences have awakened me to knowing I am the Light of Consciousness. Receiving Shaktipat from Swamiji was the primary key to this deep inner opening. I experience who I really am, so I don’t have to take on identities, desires, aversion or fear.
I write this from Ganeshpuri, India, on retreat with Swami Nirmalananda and other Svaroopa® yogis. Here, Swamiji sat at the feet of her Guru, as I now sit at hers. When I return home just before Christmas, I will approach the season and my nearest and dearest from a deeper sense of my own being. And I will follow Swami and Rukmini’s advice in our December teachings article. I will remember my own light and do more yoga in order to keep discovering who I really am.