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Yoga Sutra 2.6: The coloring (klesha) of I-ness or egoism (asmita)

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras: Yoga Sutra 2.6 THE COLORING (KLESHA) OF I-NESS OR EGOISM (ASMITA) http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-20109.htm#2.6 YOGA SUTRA 2.6: The coloring
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2006
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      Yoga Sutras: Yoga Sutra 2.6
      THE COLORING (KLESHA) OF I-NESS OR EGOISM (ASMITA)
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-20109.htm#2.6

      YOGA SUTRA 2.6: The coloring (klesha) of I-ness or egoism (asmita),
      which arises from the ignorance, occurs due to the mistake of taking
      the intellect (buddhi, which knows, decides, judges, and
      discriminates) to itself be pure consciousness (purusha/drig).
      (drig darshana shaktyoh ekatmata iva asmita)

      drig = consciousness itself as seeing agent (purusha)
      darshana-shaktyoh = the instrument of seeing, power of intellect or
      buddhi to observe (darshana = seeing; shakti = power)
      ekatmata = identity, with oneself (eka = one; atmata = selfness
      iva = appearing to be, apparently as if
      asmita = I-ness

      FINEST FORM OF INDIVIDUALITY: Asmita is the finest form of
      individuality. It is not I-am-ness, as when we say, "I am a man or
      woman," or "I am a person from this or that country." Rather, it is I-
      ness that has not taken on any of those identities.

      MISTAKE OF THINKING IT IS ABOUT ME: However, when we see I-ness or
      Asmita as a coloring, a klesha, we are seeing that a kind of mistake
      has been made. The mistake is that the thought pattern of the object
      is falsely associated with I-ness (Asmita), and thus we say that the
      thought pattern is a klishta thought pattern, or a klishta vritti. We
      incorrectly come to think that this or that thought pattern is who I
      am.

      THE IMAGE IN THE MIND IS NOT NEUTRAL: Imagine some thought that it is
      not colored by I-ness. Such an un-colored thought would have no
      ability to distract your mind during meditation, nor to control your
      actions. Actually, there are many such neutral thought patterns. For
      example, we encounter many people in daily life whom we may
      recognize, but have never met, and for whom their memory in our mind
      is neither colored with attraction nor aversion. It simply means that
      the image of those people is stored in the mind, but that it is
      neutral, not colored.

      UNCOLORING YOUR THOUGHTS: Imagine how nice it would be if you could
      regulate this coloring process itself. Then, if there were an
      attraction or aversion, we could un-color it, internally, so as to be
      free from its control (or attenuate it). This is done as a part of
      the process of meditation. It not only has benefits in our
      relationship with the world, but also purifies the mind so as to
      experience deeper meditation.

      I-NESS IS NECESSARY FOR THE OTHERS: In relation to individual thought
      patterns, the coloring of I-ness is necessary for attraction,
      aversion, and fear to have any power. Thus, the I-ness itself is seen
      as a coloring process of the thoughts. The practice is that of
      witnessing this Asmita (I-ness), and how it comes into relation with
      though patterns.

      LIKE THE FILAMENT CONFUSING ITSELF WITH THE ELECTRICITY: The klesha
      of asmita is like the filament of a light bulb confusing itself with
      electricity. The filament is the finest, most essential part of the
      light bulb, but it still pales in comparison to the electricity that
      is the true source of the light coming out of the bulb. Similarly,
      buddhi, at is finest level is a very superior instrument when
      compared to the other levels of mind, energy, and body. However, even
      buddhi is little compared to the pure consciousness, or shakti, that
      is the driving force behind not only buddhi, but all of the other,
      grosser levels of our being. The coloring, or klesha of asmita (the I-
      ness) thinks that it is the consciousness, forgetting the truth of
      the matter, and that is the mistake that blocks Self-realization.
      This I-ness arises the instant that the wave forgets (avidya) that it
      is also ocean.

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