Drstanusravika-visayvitrsnasya vasikara-samjna vairagyam
Literally this sutra of Patanjali means to be in that state of consciousness that the craving for all desires for objects seen and unseen has ceased.
This is not only quite a mouthful but also quite an achievement for any yogi to aspire to. It is because of the severity of this sutra that I would like to discuss it.
I have seen over the years many young men and women who have , through idealism, or from being conditioned by some teacher, to renounce all the pleasures of their young lives. Not only the attachment to "things" and people, but also to the very attributes of their own youthful natures, i.e. "sex and the pleasures received from love and partnerships".
Today, Yoga itself does not talk about such things, as the Yoga today seems to be more about Hatha Yoga and diet - keeping healthy and fit.. Whereas real yoga starts out with the aspirant longing to learn techniques which will subdue his passions, rendering him dispassionate about the world and his own relative state and more passionate about his real SELF, the Atman.
Many of these young adherents were indoctrinated into Yoga long before puberty, and upon the discovery of their own adulthood were already in the right attitude to experience shame and disgust for what was quite a natural occurrence. Many , in later years after not experiencing anything spoken of in Yoga became disenchanted never to have experienced their youth, and in the interim losing the ability to succeed emotionally in a non Yogic life.
So how does one go about rectifying the doctrinaire of some early and dogmatic training centers, and the new approach of Yoga schools, and still arrive at the same end results ?
In many of my writings about Yoga, I have talked about remaining functional while at the same time practicing sadhanas. Not everyone is keyed in to become a Master Yogi, thus one wants to be able to discern just exactly how one wants to practice dispassion - through a forced method of denial and sacrifice, or through a natural means of "dropping away".
I teach the natural way as that is how I was instructed - and in time, it is quite true , without frustration or denial, what one once thought was pleasurable finally is seen as something else and is no longer sought after.
It was Krishnamurti who brought in to vogue the concept of indulgence to the extreme so that one could see exactly what that desire was doing to one. Too often one limits his desire, thinking he has overcome, when all of a sudden, that same desire rears its ugly head and romances him into fulfilling that desire once again. The natural psychological feelings are such that once feeling free and pure in their studies, when caught up again, shame and guilt ensue. The circle becomes endless, and that particular type of Yogi gets no where. He will end out his life in that vicious circle of being caught by Maya, and also by his renunciation.
It is much wiser to fulfill and enjoy your desires while at the same time undergoing a practical study of yoga, so that one day the eradication of Maya's veil will be easy to lift.
In simple cases apart from Yoga we have seen criminals doing the same thing over and over, being caught, serving time, and on being released, doing the same thing again. It is as though they can not put two and two together. Maya has blinded them for this moment in time, and neither memory or reason can serve them well enough to make that simple leap to the logic of, "If I do this and am caught, I will go back to prison" It seems Maya, through her devious means wipes clean the slate of their reasoning. Its as though memory and experience are all for nothing.
The same is true of the Yogi who is caught in the rounds of guilt ridden attachments. It is only when you can through viveka, spiritual discernment, act in full indulgence so that the results of that action are plain, clear and simple. Like turning on a light in a dark rook, once seen the act will not be done again.
With our emotions and passions and sexual desires it is not such an easy road as it is with the criminal, for Maya wiped away the criminals appreciation of the fact , that he could be caught. Most of them, think they will not be caught.
With our passions and desires, we do not have that simple solution of reasoning, because what Maya gives us is momentary pleasure, somewhat akin to the Bliss that the Yogi will experience in Samadhi.
I say somewhat akin, because it is not the same thing of course. One, the sexual and the passionate fulfillment and joy is of the physical Kosa (body), whereas Bliss of samadhi is of the Ethereal Kosa.
It is for this reason that the young Yogi should not be confused about his desires and his passions. They belong right were they should - in the physical. That is why it is perfectly alright to remain as a normal functional being.
With the advent of the Higher Yoga studies, consciousness now takes a new turning, just as though the weight on the teeter totter at one end was physical and the one at the other end was Yoga consciousness. In the beginning the scales of the physical far outweigh the Yoga state, but in time as consciousness peels away it onion skin layers of unfoldment, that tiny seed of Yoga consciousness takes precedence over the physical, and not through disgust or hate, or any other negative feeling, the physical desires become narrower and narrower until they are no more.
To think there was no effort in it . That's right, there was no effort in attaining the highest states of Yoga, because you did it right. You began these lessons by being taught to love doing Yoga. When there is love, there is no effort. If there is effort, then STOP. Only practice all your techniques with love. Otherwise you will only receive the physical value of Yoga.
It is the higher states of consciousness you want to achieve, and this is always done with love. By the same token, if you can fulfill your physical life with that same endeavour, progress will be insured. Learn to love your relationships, your sexual enjoyments, your duties, your work - your entire life. Remain functional while leading a loving Yogic way of living. You will see how one life is peeled away after the other until you are left lovingly in the arms of your own true SELF, ATMAN.