Monday, December 12, 2011

Patanjali Yoga Sutras = Verse.2.34 = 270 Varieties Of Obstructions = Excellent psychological principle (Of Patanjali) for Neutralising them




vitharkaa himsaadayah
kritha kaaritha anumodithah
lobha krodha moha purvakaa
mridu madhya adhimatraa
duhkha ajnaana anantha phalaa
ithi prathipaksha bhaavanam

Ø  vitharkah = thoughts (and actions) opposite to the principles of Yama and Niyama
Ø  himsaadayah =  like - violence etc
Ø  kritha = done by Self
Ø  kaaritha = or got done through others
Ø  anumoditaah = approved by us when done by others
Ø  lobha = greed
Ø  krodha = anger
Ø  moha = delusion, wrong Understanding
Ø  purvakaah = preceded by
Ø  mridhu = mild, low level
Ø  madhya = middle level
Ø  adhimatraah = high or intense level
Ø  duhkha = suffering, sorrow
Ø  ajnaana = ignorance
Ø  anantha = unending
Ø  phalaa = results
Ø  ithi = like this
Ø  pratipaksha = opposing thoughts
Ø  bhaavanam = contemplate on, reflect on

We find 5 ideas in this verse.

The  first idea given is – the obstructions to Yama and Niyama practices are – himsa or violence  and other similar ones. The obstructions for each Yama and Niyama principle is to be clearly understood by us – so that we can counter them. We attempt to give them here indicating the obstructing practice / thought and its corresponding, affected Yama / Niyama principle. In some cases, the Yama / niyama principle may be one, but obstructions may come from many directions.

(i) Violence (obstruction factor) = Nonviolence (Yama principle) (ii) Un-truthful behaviour (obstruction factor) = truthfulness (Yama principle)  (iii)  stealing (obstruction factor) = Non-stealing (Yama principle)  (iv) Indulgence in sex and bad ways (obstruction factor) = strict adherence to brahmacharyam (Yama principle)  (v) keeping  too many extra things / properties / not giving proper price / not getting with other person’s consent (obstruction factor) =   keeping minimum needed things; giving appropriate cost for what we get and getting it with the other person’s consent always (Yama principle)

(vi) Unclean,restless, disturbed internal mind-set and external environment (obstruction factor) = strict observance of internal and external cleanliness (Niyama principle) (vii) Greed / discontent (obstruction factor) = Absolute contentment and happiness (Niyama principle)  (viii) Laziness and dissipated efforts (obstruction factor) = concentrated efforts for achieving Yoga sadhanas (Niyama principle)  (ix) Not studying (or not enthusiastic for studying) Saastras, for not understanding them and for  irreverence to their prescribed principles (obstruction factor) = Reverence and adherence to Saastra and its study (Niyama principle); and (x) Disregard of the supreme power (Eeswara) or of the powers of nature (obstruction factor) = Total Surrender to Eeswara (Niyama principle).

Here, we have only mentioned the obstruction factor and the affected Yama / Niyama principle. Sometimes, the strict observance of Yama / Niyama principle itself removes obstruction. But, there can be other powerful factors that can remove obstruction factors – as we shall see below. 

The second idea in the verse is : these obstructive thoughts and actions may be either (i) thought of and done by us – i.e., we are our self the obstructor or the direct cause, or, (ii) done indirectly by us through others. Or, (iii) Others do a bad thing without our inciting / encouraging initially but, we approve or appreciate their bad deed. 

This means – all the ten above obstructions can be of 3 varieties each – depending on whether we do, or we get it done by others or, approve / appreciate when others do a bad deed. This means, the total obstructions , at this level – is 10 obstructions x 3 types of doers = 30 : thirty in number.

This happens all the time in our society. We are angry with a person. So, we try to harm him. This is one way. Or, we incite others to harm him. Or at least, when some one harms him without our asking him to do so – we feel very glad and mentally approve of the violent deed. Same is the case with untruth, stealing and other yama /niyama principles.

The third idea in the verse is : there are three clear basic / root causes for all the obstructions to Yama/ Niyama principles and these are weaknesses emanating from our own minds. 

These are Lobham or greed, krodham or anger and moham or delusion (incorrect understanding). Patanjali is hitting out at the basic/root causes  for the obstructions, which are sitting in our brain. 

We may become violent or untruthful or start stealing because of greed. Or, we may induce another person to act for the same ends – but on our behalf. At least, we may silently approve of such violent or untruthful actions (or stealing) done by some one else without our incitement - when it serves our own greed. Lobham or Greed  is mainly responsible for the huge amount of Corruption in India and many other countries today.

Likewise – anger is responsible for much violence, untruthfulness, theft and many other bad deeds. Here again – our anger may induce us to act; or we may incite others to act for avenging our past angers etc, or at least, we may feel happy when some unknown person acts in the manner we thought of, without our knowledge.

Moham or delusion is at the root of sexual indulgence and praigraha etc. This also may be done through our own actions, others actions or we may just approve and enjoy others’ actions. Cinema, Internet etc are also of this variety. Lobham, krodham and moham can induce obstructions of a huge variety – in our Yoga Sadhanas. 

Total obstructions so far identified - are therefore of 90 types at this point. (10 obstruction factors x 3 types of doers x 3 root causes).

The fourth idea in this verse is that the obstructions reside in the Sadhakas in different levels of intensity and create their level of obstruction to the particular Yama / niyama factor. The obstructive thought / action can be graded as, either – (i) mild (ii) middle level or (iii) high intensity. Thus, at the fourth level, the total number of obstructions amount to 270 in number. (10 obstruction factors x 3 types of doers x 3 root causes x 3 levels of intensity).

The fifth idea in the verse is – that, these obstructions result in unending and enormous sorrow and ignorance for the sadhaka. The Sadhaka must constantly remind himself of this fact – that these obstructions are the root cause of his unending sorrow and ignorance. 

He must examine himself constantly on - which obstruction factor is more pronounced and serious in him and is obstructing his sadhanas, whether the doership rests in himself or others, whether the intensity is low, middle or high and whether he suffers from greed, anger or delusion more. All these factors need constant self-examination.

These are to be opposed by the sadhaka with their exact opposite actions and thoughts, of the relevant intensity – to achieve the desired result of cultivating the yama and niyama principles. 

Greed must be ended by bringing in  generosity. Anger must be extinguished by invoking compassion and love. Delusion must be ended by going to Guru and doing the Swaadhyaaya. In all cases, surrender to the supreme lord of all fruits of our actions – is a great reliever of our obstructions.

In some of the coming verses – we shall see – how, bringing in the opposite factors of the obstructions – helps the sadhaka in his Sadhanas also – apart from removing the obstructions. In some ways, these are attractive Siddhis, or bonus gifts from the forces of Nature – that quicken the pace of his Yoga Sadhana.

Verse.2.34 is a particularly useful verse fo Yoga Sadhakas – who do not know how to conquer anger, greed, delusion, untruthfulness etc. You can’t just erase them from your life. You must fill your life with their opposites – so that these negativities will have no place in your heart. This is an extraordinarily effective principle, but not that well – understood by people. Modern psychology must understand Patanjali’s EXCELLENT and EXTRAORDINARY prescription – for removing all mental illnesses.

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