Uncover your impurities!
This article consists of 6 chapters
1.Introduction: uncover your impurities
3.Asmita: I feeling – the ego
4.Raga: attachment to pleasure
5: Dwesha: aversion
- Abhinivesah: fear of death + conclusion
Today you can read part 5:
YS 2.8 Dwesha is the repulsion of accompanying pain.
Aversion are things, partners, friends, practices, objects, thoughts etc we don’t desire, we don’t want. Example: I don’t want to be rushed or I don’t want to eat or I don’t want to see him/her.
In his book, ‘Four chapters of freedom’, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, comments on this sutra, saying: Dwesha is the opposite of raga. Both of them bind innumerable persons and things, either positively or negatively. They are definite conditions of our mind and the conditioning is done on the basis of senses of happiness or repulsion. Raga and dwesha bind us down to the lower level of consciousness. So long as they are there, the mind cannot be raised to spiritual heights. It should be remembered that they are the two sides of the coin. They are the twofold expression of an inner raga. Liking for one thing involves repulsion for something else, so they are not the opposite of each other, but are the two sides of the mind. Dwesha should be removed first then also raga will go.
Let’s illustrate this with an example. As long as I can remember I don’t like cats. The reason is because I grew up on a farm with wild cats; so I’m actually not used to a cat as a pet. About six years ago a new girl came to live in the community in which I used to live in the Netherlands. To my displeasure, she brought a cat with her. At first I was really scared for the cat but gradually by sending the cat loving kindness, my fear went away and got replaced for a neutral state. In other words: when dwesha (anti desire) drops than raga (desire) drops also. Nowadays I really love to see this cat. I do cuddle and talk to him. We really became friends 🙂
Exercise: loving kindness meditation
Metta bhavana (Pali language), or loving kindness, is a method of developing compassion. It comes from budhist tradition but it can be practiced and adapted by anyone. Loving kindness meditation is essentially about cultivating love.
Take a very comfortable posture. Begin to focus around the solar plexus, your chest area, and your heart center. Breathe in and out from that area, as if you are breathing from the heart center and as if all experience is happening from there. Feel any areas of mental blockage or numbness, self-judgment or self-hatred. Then drop beneath that to the place where we care for ourselves, where we want strength and health and safety for ourselves. Continuing to breathe in and out and use either these traditional phrases or ones you choose yourself.
May I be free from inner and outer harm and danger.
May I be safe and protected.
May I be free of mental suffering or distress.
May I be happy
May I be free of physical pain and suffering.
May I be healthy and strong.
May I be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully with ease.
Next move to a person who most invites the feeling of pure unconditional loving kindness, the love that does not depend on getting anything back. This person usually is your teacher, mentor, father or friend: someone toward whom it takes no effort to feel respect and reverence, someone who immediately elicts the feeling of care. Repeat the phrases for this person.
May he/she be safe and protected etc…
Next move to a neutral person, someone from who you feel neither strong like nor dislike. As you repeat the phrases allow yourself to feel tenderness, loving care for their welfare.
Next move to someone you have difficulty with hostile-feelings. Repeat the phrases for this person. If you have difficulty doing this, you can say before the phrases: “To the best of my ability I wish that you be…..etc” If you begin to feel ill to this person, return to the benefactor and let the loving kindness arise again. Then return to this person.
After the difficult person, radiate loving kindness out to all beings. Stay in touch with the ember of warm, tender loving kindness at the center of your being. The traditions phrases are these:
May all beings be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously
May all living beings be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously
May all breathing beings be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously
May all individuals be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously
May all beings in existence be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously
Allow the phrases to be simply a conduit of the force of loving kindness. Stay with all beings until you feel a personal sense of profound interconnectedness of all creatures, all life.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Four chapters on freedom, Yoga publication trust – Bihar. India.
Picture 2: painting by Sophie Nusselder