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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translated by Yogi Kalinath - Chapter 2, Verse 9


Pada 2, Sutra 9

Sanskrit Verse

Sva-rasa-vaahee viduso ‘pi tathaarudho ‘bhiniveshah

Translation

Clinging to life, flowing from its own inclination, is even rooted in the Wise.

Interpretation

Self-preservation and self-perpetuation are the strongest unconscious drives in the life of humans and animals. Fear of death is the seed of all other fears. On the one hand we fear the unknown and on the other there are conscious and unconscious memories of prior losses (‘small deaths’ - end of relationships, life defeats, all types of losses occasioned in day to day living) and of experiencing death of the body and separation from life from previous incarnations. Even if one does not adhere to a belief in reincarnation and only perceive the universe and life as the recycling of matter and recombination of chemicals inherent in matter and the environment in a cosmic soup of subatomic interactions, the fact remains that the more conscious one is of one’s existence, the more awareness there is of death and annihilation.The Panch Kleshas or Five Afflictions are interdependent. The source of all afflictions is Avidya, or lack of Spiritual Knowledge of our True Nature as Spirit Souls, that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience and not human beings with at best some who are chosen to have a spiritual experience and at worst understanding the so-called mystical experiences of Yogis, Shamans, Saints and Prophets to be psychotic episodes.When we do not understand or accept our True Nature as Spirit Souls, we inherently build a false identity based on erroneous understanding limited by the senses and the conscious mind with its own limitations founded on the person’s own experiences, memories and cultural and societal indoctrinations. This false and ever-fragile entity gives rise to the second affliction called Asmita or the ever-insecure sense of ‘I am’.This insecure and vacillating sense of ‘I am’ gives rise to the constant pursuit of pleasure and happiness in a temporary, ever-changing world and to the aversion of its inevitable counterpart, pain. These are the third and fourth afflictions of Raagah and Dvesa or Attraction and Aversion.And with this frailty occasioned by knowing that all things that are created and in existence must come to an end, gives rise to clinging to life due to fear of loss. This predicament is nowhere more prevalent than in the human being.

Reflection:

Ponder the following:

“I died as mineral and became a plant, I died as plant and rose to animal, I died as animal and I was human, Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? Yet once more I shall die human, To soar with angels blessed above. And when I sacrifice my angel soul I shall become what no mind ever conceived. As a human, I will die once more, Reborn, I will with the angels soar. And when I let my angel body go, I shall be more than mortal mind can know.”

― Rumi Jalal ad'Din

Now knowing the Truth of your True Nature as a Spirit Soul why do you continue to build shrines to materialism in your daily life? Why do you allow possessions, titles and status to possess you? The pursuit of happiness (by chasing money, possessions, titles and status) is not the goal of life, the goal of life for a human being is Kaivalya, Freedom, Spiritual Emancipation, Self-Realization. Will you continue to create and sustain the false gods of materialism whose formula is ultimately: ‘dust to dust and ashes to ashes’?