Monday, December 19, 2011

PATANJALI = YOGA SUTRAS = Vs.2.40 :Soucha = Effort to clean body & mind creates aversion to them finally


Verse.2.40 :Soucha

sauchaath sva-anga jugupsaa

paraih asamsargah

Ø  sauchaata = Because of the keeping of body and mind always clean and pure
Ø  sva-anga = (on or about) one's own body and body parts
Ø  jugupsaa = a feeling of  distaste / aversion
Ø  paraih = with the bodies of others
Ø  asamsargah = disinclined for close contact or association

This is a peculiar, puzzling sutra – but only until we understand its inner significance. It says, as you strive and keep your body clean – you develop disinclination and aversion towards it. Not only for your body, but also for any contact with the bodies of others.

Soucha involves purity of both bodies and minds. But, first let us understand about the effect of striving to keep our bodies clean.

How long can you keep your body clean by any effort? An hour maximum. Again, it gets dirty and requires cleaning. Again. And again. And again. Any number of times you clean the body – with anything that you know of – it again and again becomes dirty and foul smelling.

So, keeping body clean is a continuous, herculean and yet largely futile  task in the long run. It looks so wonderful and beautiful one day – but next day, you will find that - something destroying that beauty is cropping up from inside the body itself.

As age progresses, all beautiful bodies become slowly but surely, ugly bodies. It happens to everyone. The smooth, flawless skin disappears and becomes wrinkled. The inner parts of body start troubling you more and more often, with diseases and weaknesses. Hair falls off and changes colour. Teeth fall off. Eyes lose their colour, Power and smile. Every part of the body starts defying your efforts to keep them clean and pure.

Cleanliness and purity of body is of course an important part of Niyama – the second anga of Yoga sutras.

But, the effort to keep it clean - itself reveals to us the true, ephemeral nature of the body. Beauty and strength are temporary. Even Health is temporary.  Your own body starts creating in you a feeling of distaste and disinclination towards itself.

Remember the story of Buddha. After seeing the old man, the dead body and the diseased man – Buddha could no more love the body of Yasodhara, his beautiful wife, who was sleeping by his side. One day, this body too – will be like that…diseased, dead, old bodies. It is already progressing towards that end. This realization creates aversion and disinclination towards the bodies.

Yet, one must keep it clean. Why so? “deho devaalayo prokthah” . The body is a temple and Jeeva residing inside is God himself. Therefore the effort for cleanliness and purity will continue, but there will be no more attachment to it as – this is myself, this is beautiful and so on. Same with the body of the wife, husband, son, parents, friends and so on.

The mind is no better. The more you try to keep it clean and pure, the more, it looks impure and uncontrollable for you. The effort of Yoga is to conquer the mind – and keep it free of chittha vritthis.

Now, when there are no Chittha Vritthis , the mind itself disappears. You are no more interested in it. Therefore, the greatest use of Soucha (inner and external cleanliness and purity) – is to create total aversion towards the body and mind finally.

This path of progress leads you towards the real YOU. The real you, which transcends both body and mind has no need for soucha. It is always unchanging, and never in need of soucha. As we progress towards our real self, the interest in the body and mind and their purity and cleanliness wears off.

If this is the case with our own bodies, will it be different with the bodies of others? The same distaste and aversion towards bodies and minds – of others too is bound to take roots in the mind of the Sadhaka, when he practices Niyama.

We must understand that – as the bodies and mind cease to have attraction for theSadhaka, the Sadhanas of Sadhaka become more centred on the object of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi – by enabling the Sadhaka to practice Pratyahara effortlessly and easily. Soucha is thus a great enabling factor for future Sadhyanas.

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