The virus and vaccine within us


By Arijit Ray

The last ten months have been tumultuous for most. An unknown virus came from nowhere and threw our lives asunder.

Swami Sarvapriyananda of the Ramakrishna Mission, in one of his talks, quotes the Buddha’s message of the two arrows of suffering. The first arrow hits us as an adverse situation that comes into our lives. And the second arrow is our reaction to the stimulus generated from within.

Most often we are not able to generate the right kind of response, since we don’t have the awareness and knowledge of the infinitude of our real nature.

In the ‘Yoga Sutras’, Patanjali talks about the five kleshas, afflictions, that prevent us from accessing the higher reaches of our personality. Avidya, ignorance, asmita, ego-centredness, raga, attachment to things we like, dvesha, aversion for things we don’t like, and abhinivesha, fear of death.

Kleshas are viruses of the mind that destabilise us from within. When we seek all our happiness from the world outside, without looking inwards, due to our ignorance, and our lives revolve around the inflated notions about ourselves, our egos, we become limited individuals. The human personality gets further imprisoned in the conditioned world, created by the two emotions – raga and dvesha. We get attached to that which attracts us, and develop an aversion for what we dislike. Thus, we get entangled in the vicious trap of demarcated comfort zones and become slaves to our senses, egos and ignorance. Denying ourselves access to the all-important vaccine within, our infinite Spiritual Nature.

The goal of human life is to realise this divine nature; the path to it is laid out in our shastras. When we commit ourselves to this journey, through a reflective spiritual orientation, we start releasing ourselves from the lower reaches of our personality. The progress is slow because of the dominance of the kleshas on our personalities. They have to be overcome through sadhana.

Swami Vivekananda says: “All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak. Stand up and express the divinity within you.” With progress in spiritual life through swadhyaya, self-study of scriptures; with the attitude of assimilating and realising it in our lives, surrender to the Divine. With meditation, and company of holy men, we are able to develop virtues such as vairagya, progressive dispassion for the worldly material pursuits, and viveka, discrimination, knowledge that God alone is real and all else is illusory and impermanent.

With a spirit of surrender at the feet of the Divine, gradually, our expansive and universal personality shines through the genetically limited one. A person with this mindset starts working, not just for himself but also for the benefit of others. At the heart of the chittashuddhi, purification of the mind, is the spirit of selflessness. With this cleansing, we are able to extricate ourselves from the clutches of our ego-centred personalities and conditioned mindset.

Thus, drawing from within the infinite vaccine of our real divine nature. Forever insulating ourselves from any virus, situations, from the external world. When we are closer to the infinite bliss of our real nature, we are calm and fulfilled. Our reactions, measured and mature.

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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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