Discover Your Gunas

The sutra for this week is Drashta drushimatraha shuddopi pratyayanupashyaha meaning the self is pure consciousness, although it get covered when mixed with intellect.

The self, though pure, is a mere witness. But when it becomes one with the buddhi or intellect, it gets coloured. People who are stuck in their intellect, stick to their thoughts and ideas as though they are their own. They suffer as the self becomes the centre of their creation.

Moving on to the next sutra — Tadartha eva drushyasyatma, which means for the unenlightened only the world exists.

Though this world does not exist for the enlightened one, it exists for the one who is not enlightened. To them, the world continues to exist with its opposites. For the one who is awakened to knowledge, there is no more suffering. The world appears different. For the enlightened one, every inch of creation is filled with bliss. But for others it exists as the seed. So, though the enlightened one has realised this world and sees it as separate, but a part of the self, it does not exist for them.

The next sutra says Kruthartham prati nashtamapyanashtamtadanyasadharanatvat , which means that for the enlightened one the world is destroyed even though for others the world is not destroyed. Consider travelling in a bus. The journey may be over for you but the plane keeps moving or the bus keeps going. The bus still goes because it has to take the other passengers elsewhere.

Swaswamishaktyoho swarooppopalabdhihetuhu samyogaha  is the next sutra and it means the power of nature is the cause and when united with the seer brings about its effects.

Your body is made up of three gunas — sattva, rajas and tamas and the three act according to the circumstances. When the tamasic guna dominates it creates lethargy. When rajasic guna dominates, you feel restless. When the mind is dominated by sattva, then you are alert. Observe the tendencies that come up in you without thinking that you are those tendencies.

Keeping Life Within

This week, we look at Heyam dukhamanagatham, which means that the pain that has not yet come can be avoided. This sutra tells us that we need to learn to eliminate the root cause of pain. The pain that has not yet entered our lives, the sorrow that has not yet sprouted must be nipped in the bud. But how does one do that?


That is where Drashtridrushyayoho samyogo heyahetuhu  or the next sutra comes in. This means that the cause of suffering is when the seer becomes one with the seen and forgets one’s true nature.


Forgetfulness of one’s self is the root cause of pain. The self becomes one with the objects that are all around the self. This is because of lack of perception. You think “this is me”. Then the problems begin.


There is a story which children in India read during their childhood, about a wicked king who has to be killed. Only the life of the king is in a parrot in another place, which means that the only way to kill the king is to kill the parrot.


According to the story, the king’s life is not within him and he will not die even if someone tries to kill him. To kill the king you have to go to the island where the parrot is and into a fort where the parrot is caged. The fort is guarded by cobras and anyone seeking to kill the king has to get past all of that.


When the person attempting to kill the king manages to get inside the fort, he finds that there is a cage there and the parrot inside it. Only problem is that he cannot touch the cage because if he does it will burn him. So he has to kill the parrot without touching it, the same way he has to kill the king without touching him.


In the same way, you keep your life somewhere else, and not within you. Your life is somewhere else, in the bank account. You have not just deposited the money in the bank. Along with the money you have also deposited your life. If something happens to the bank account, you will have a heart attack. Do you see what I am saying?


Whatever you think of as more important becomes the cause of suffering. So, when you see the difference, then the seer separates from the surrounding you will ask yourself, “What is all this?”


That’s when the true meditation happens. Patanjali says — Prakashakriyasthitisheelam bhutendriyatmakam bhogaapavargartham drushyam, which means manifestation, dynamism, inertia is the nature of one consciousness. The entire creation being made up of five elements gives you pleasure and relief from the objects of enjoyment. That does not mean you have to run away from this world. This world is here to enjoy. Patanjali is very clear about that.


The world is here for you to see. Great food is here for you to eat. The whole world is here for you to enjoy, but while enjoying do not forget yourself. You are separate from them. This is viveka.


This seen world is eliminated. It conveys a message. It gives you an idea of how great the consciousness is. Every aspect in the world is an expression of God. Everything is active. Everything is manifested from the consciousness. Everything in this universe is dynamic. It is not static. There is nothing that is static. Even though the mountains appear to be static, they are not. They are all dynamic. Every atom is dynamic.


Everything is governed by certain principles and certain qualities. The entire creation is made up of five elements and five organs of action. These are the ten organs. The entire creation is endowed by these ten. The mind is also a part of the creation. This entire creation is there to give you pleasure and relief. Whatever gives you pleasure will also give you relief. Otherwise pleasure becomes a pain. The entire creation gives you enjoyment and liberation and relieves you. You have to get yourself liberated from all this at some time or the other so it does not become pain.

No Pain, No Gain

The next sutra is Tehladaparitapaphalaha punyapunyahetutvat meaning “impressions give you pleasure and pain as the fruits of virtues and vices”.


When the impressions are good, they bring you joy, but when they are not, they bring you suffering. It all depends on whether you have done something good or soemthing bad. Good karma accumulates and brings you joy.


If a person is happy it is because they have done some good in the past. If they are miserable, then it is obvious they have done something bad. Patanjali connects happiness and misery to an act of the past.


Patanjali says meditation is the way out of all that. Meditation helps you wash everything out.


If you look into the pleasures or joy that you get in life from birth they all come with a tax. You have to pay a tax for that and that is sorrow.


In the next sutra Patanjali says: Parinamatapasamskaradukhairgunavruttivirodhachcha dukhameva sarvam vivekinaha, which means “The result of an event, anxious wait for an event, feverishness to achieve and the impressions of these events cause sorrow and more so when things happen to the contrary. Therefore, for an intelligent one, everything is indeed considered as painful”.


Every event causes some pain. Even if the event is pleasant, when it ends, there is a little pain. The greater the joy, the greater the pain too. Right? Parinama, the effect or the result of an event, brings you pain.


The longing or waiting for a pleasurable event is again pain. Memory of a pleasure too brings pain. Longing for something too causes pain. Then when you get it, the fear of losing it too is painful.


For a viveki or an intelligent one, the one who is awakened, he sees the whole incident as painful. There is nothing that is not painful. You say love is beautiful, but love is also painful. Bodies can get close, but still there is no satisfaction. Often the male takes the female body and the female takes a male body in the next life. That is what craving or longing does to a person. The mind is more prominent. That is why in every male you find a female and in every female you find a male. This is because there is some impression from the past.


The soul is not just satisfied by the physical body coming closer. It wants something more. It wants to merge, vanish and disappear. This is what you call love.


Love also creates tremendous amount of pain. Separation is pain. Trying to please creates pain. You want to know the mind of the other person in and out. How can you, when you do not even know your own mind? You want to know somebody else’s mind! It is impossible to know anybody else’s mind just by their words and movements of their lips and tongue.


There is a saying that the tongue has no bone. It is not steady. It says something today and tomorrow it may say something else. You cannot trust your tongue. You can trust anything in the world. You experience some good feeling, love, you feel wonderful and joyful and suddenly it is not there the next moment and it is painful.


Pain seems to exist in everything. What do you do? When you realise that everything is pain, then how do you go about it? What do you do? You have to do something to stop this pain. How will you do it? The next sutra will study that.