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Yoga Sutra 2.9: The coloring (klesha) of Fear (Abhiniveshah)

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras: Yoga Sutra 2.9 THE COLORING (KLESHA) OF FEAR (ABHINIVESHAH) http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-20109.htm#2.9 YOGA SUTRA 2.9: Even for those people
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 19 6:50 PM
      Yoga Sutras: Yoga Sutra 2.9

      YOGA SUTRA 2.9: Even for those people who are learned, there is an
      ever-flowing, firmly established love for continuation and a fear of
      cessation, or death, of these various colored modifications (kleshas).
      (sva-rasa-vahi vidushah api tatha rudhah abhiniveshah)

      sva-rasa-vahi = flowing on its own momentum (sva = own; rasa =
      inclination, momentum, potency; vahi = flowing)
      vidushah = in the wise or learned person
      api = even
      tatha = the same way
      rudhah = firmly established
      abhiniveshah = resistance to loss, fear of death of identity, desire
      for continuity, clinging to the life of

      PROTECTING YOUR FALSE IDENTITIES: Once the ignorance or veiling of
      our true nature (avidya, 2.4, 2.5) has happened, and individuality
      (asmita, 2.6) has arisen, along with the association with seemingly
      countless attractions (raga, 2.7) and aversions (dvesha, 2.8), there
      is a natural urge to protect that precarious balance of false

      TWO INCLINATIONS: There are two natural inclinations after the
      individual false identities have been constructed:

      1) LOVE FOR CONTINUATION: The false identity is strongly held onto,
      even though it is a phantom. It is perceived to be "me" even though
      it is a construct of attractions and aversions. Even the aversions
      are clung to as part of the balancing act of false identity.

      2) FEAR OF DISCONTINUATION: Any perceived threat to those false
      identities is taken to be the threat of cessation or death. It is not
      just a fear of death of the physical body (though that might be the
      strongest attachment), but also the fear of death of any of the false

      NOBODY IS EXEMPT: It is very common for seekers to fall into the trap
      of thinking that intellectual studies and understanding is sufficient
      on the spiritual path. This is particularly true in relation to
      practices such as described in the Yoga Sutras, where one can do
      endless analysis and debate of the Sanskrit sutras. Intellectual
      understanding is no protection whatsoever in relation to these
      colorings (kleshas) and the natural fear that arises in relation to
      their inevitable demise.

      UNDERSTANDING THE NEED FOR UNCOLORING: We are so thoroughly entangled
      in our attachments and aversions that even reading about coloring and
      uncoloring might have little effect. We continue to say, "But, I am
      this or that; I want this or that." How often do you say, "If only I
      were completely free from all of my attachments and aversions"? We
      tend to only want to let go of the painful ones, while holding on to
      the pleasureful ones. The Yogi gradually comes to see how even the
      pleasureful attachments contain the seed of pain (2.15), and are thus
      to be set aside as well (2.16), so that he or she can truly rest in
      the true nature of the Self (1.3).

      WANTING TO KEEP THINGS AS THEY ARE: Once the balance has been
      attained between the many attractions and aversions, along with
      having the foundation I-ness and spiritual ignorance, there comes an
      innate desire to keep things just the way the are.

      The resistance to losing the delicate balance among the false
      identities is called fear of the death of those identities.

      FEAR OF CHANGE: There is a resistance and fear that comes with the
      possibility of losing the current situation. It is like a fear of
      death, though it does not just mean death of the physical body.
      Often, this fear is not consciously experienced. It is common for a
      person new to meditation to say, "But I have no fear!" Then, after
      some time there arises a subtle fear, as one becomes more aware of
      the inner process.

      FEAR IS NATURAL: This is definitely not a matter of trying to create
      fear in people. Rather, it is a natural part of the process of
      thinning out the thick blanket of colored thought patterns. There is
      a recognition of letting go of our unconsciously cherished
      attachments and aversions. When meditation is practiced gently and
      systematically, this fear is seen as less of an obstacle.

      SEE ALSO this article:
      Abhinivesha section of Witnessing your Thoughts
      [Below is from that article]

      AN EXERCISE on "What to do":

      get a good understanding of witnessing the kleshas (colorings) is to
      sit quietly and intentionally allow streams of individual thoughts to
      arise. This doesn't mean thinking or worrying. It literally is an
      experiment in which you intentionally let an image come. It is
      easiest to do with what seem to be insignificant impressions.

      For example, imagine a fruit, and notice what comes to mind. An apple
      may come to mind, and you simply note "Attraction" if you like it, or
      are drawn to it. It may not be a strong coloring, but maybe you
      notice there is some coloring. You may think of a pear, and note that
      there is an ever so slight "aversion" because you do not like pears.

      EXPERIMENT WITH COLORINGS: Allow lots of such to images come. One of
      the things I have done often with people is to grab about 10-15 small
      stones in my hand, and ask a person to pick one they like. Then I ask
      them to pick one they are less drawn to (few people will say
      they "dislike" one of the stones). It is a very simple experiment
      that demonstrates the way in which attractions and aversions are
      born. It is easier at first to experiment with witnessing thoughts
      for which there is only slight coloring, only a small amount of
      attraction or aversion.

      You can easily run such experiments with many objects arising into
      the field of mind from the unconscious. You can also easily do this
      by observing the world around you. Notice the countless ways in which
      your attention is drawn to this or that object or person, but gently
      or strongly turns away from other objects or people.

      Though it is a bit harder to do, notice the countless objects you
      pass by everyday for which there is no response whatsoever. These are
      examples of neutral impressions in the mind field.

      GRADUALLY WITNESS STRONGER COLORINGS: By observing in this way, it is
      easier to gradually witness stronger attractions and aversions in a
      similar way. When we can begin the process of witnessing the type of
      coloring, then we can start the process of attenuating the coloring,
      which is discussed in the next section.

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