[Advaita-l] BrahmaGYAna and jIvanmukti - 6 (vAsanAkShaya and manonAsha by Yoga)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 21 23:39:56 CDT 2007

The previous postings pointed out that the practice of
vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha is necessary to attain BrahmaGYAna, and may
also be necessary afterwards to attain steadiness in BrahmaGYAna.
This posting will explain what the jIvanmuktiviveka (JMV) of svAmI
VidyAraNya (SV) means by vAsanA and manas, and the way to achieve
their destruction.

VAsanAkshaya: Eradication of Latent Tendencies

The JMV offers two definitions of the term "vAsanA". The first
definition is [1]:

  dR^iDhabhAvanayA tyaktapUrvAparavichAraNam.h .
  yadAdAnaM padArthasya vAsanA sA prakIrtitA ..

  "The perceiving of things through intense feeling, giving 
  up even the consideration for the antecedence or 
  consequence (i.e. giving up all hesitations), is 
  described as vAsanA."

The second definition is like the first [2]:

  vAsanA dharmAdharmarUpAjIvagatAH saMskArAH . 

  "vAsanA means good and evil forms in a jIva."

Sankara uses a similar reading of vAsanA in his commentary on
BR^ihadAraNyaka upanishhad (BU) 2.3.18:

  kAmakarmabhyAmudbhAsitAH pUrvAnubhUtavastusadR^ishIrvAsanA 
  anubhavatItyarthaH .

  "[The Self] experiences impressions (vAsanAs) corresponding
  to things previously perceived, revived by desires and 
  the result of past actions."

According to the above definitions, vAsanA can be taken to be a
hidden tendency or impression in one's mind which makes one proceed
along a certain path of action without discrimination, so it is often
translated as "latent tendency" or "latent impression".

The way to eliminate vAsanAs is through the practice of
discrimination (viveka) [3]:

  tasmAt.h vAsanayA baddhaM muktaM nirvAsanaM manaH .
  rAma nirvAsanIbhAvamAharAshu vivekataH ..
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 16.45)

  "Bondage is due to vAsanAs, and the mind is liberated when 
  it is free of them. By viveka (discrimination), O Rama, 
  acquire the state of being free of vAsanAs, as soon
  as possible." (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 16.45)

Ramana Maharshi has also taught that vAsanAs are eliminated through
the practice of discrimination [4]:

  "While it is true that to think through discrimination, 
  'I do not do anything; all actions are performed by the 
  instruments', is a means to prevent the mind from flowing 
  along thought vAsanAs, does it not also follow that only 
  if the mind flows along thought vAsanAs that it must be 
  restrained through discrimination as stated before?"

Some examples from the JMV on effecting the destruction of vAsanAs
through the practice of discrimination will be considered.

Eliminating Anger (kopaM) :-

Anger is one of the most potent latent tendencies, which inflicts
suffering on almost everyone at some point or another in his or her
life. The JMV teaches us how to use discrimination to help conquer
the anger in us [5,6]:

  apakAriNi kopashchet.h kopaH kope kathaM na te .
  dharmArthakAmamokShANAM prasahya paripanthini ..
  (YAGYavalkya upanishhad 20)

  "If you are angry with him who harms you, then why not be 
  angry with anger itself which hinders the attainment of 
  all the four objects of life (purushhArthas) - dharma, artha, 
  kAma and mokSha?" (YAGYavalkya upanishhad 20)

  phalArthino dharmayashorthanAshanaH
  sa chedapArthaH svasharIratApanaH .
  na cheha nAmutra hitAya yaH satAM
  manAMsi kopaH samupAshrayet.h kathaM ..

  "Even if the anger is successful in punishing the offender, 
  it destroys the virtue, fame and wealth of the angry one. 
  If the anger is vain, it torments the body of the one who 
  is afflicted by anger. How can anger, which is beneficial 
  neither in this life nor the next, take shelter in the 
  minds of the wise?"

Eliminating Remorse (pashchAttApaM):-

We have all committed some sins in our distant past that haunt us
when we think about it in the present. There is hardly a person who
does not suffer from at least a little bit of remorse thinking about
the actions performed in his/her past. Since this is one of the most
wide-spread afflictions of all aGYAnIs everywhere, it is important to
eliminate this needless suffering that stands in the way of one's

SV quotes the relevant scriptural passage describing the nature of
remorse [8]:

  'kimahaM sAdhu nAkaravam.h, kimahaM papamakaravam.h' iti.
  (taittirIya upanishhad 2.9.1)

  "Why have I not done the right thing, why have I done 
  the sinful thing?" (taittirIya upanishhad 2.9.1)

The above has the appearance of discrimination, but is not really so

  tAdR^ishe duHkhe prApte sati 'ahaM pApaH dhi~NmAm.h 
  durAtmAnam.h' iti anutApAtmikA tamoguNavikAratvena 
  bhrAntirUpA chittavR^ittirugvegaH . yadi api ayaM 
  viveka ivAbhavati tathA.api pUrvasmi~njanmani 
  chettatpApapravR^ittipratibandhakatvAt.h saprayojano 
  bhavati idAnIM tu nishhprayojena iti bhrAntitvaM 
  drashhTavyam.h .

  "Remorse of the form, 'I am a sinner, fie upon me, 
  the evil one' arises as a transmutation of the tamoguNa.
  This remorse, although it looks like discrimination (viveka)
  is not really so. Had it been practised in the previous 
  lives it would have prevented evil action and as such 
  would have been useful; now it serves no purpose, hence 
  it is considered a delusion."

Those of us who are afflicted by remorse may flatter ourselves by
imagining that we are "repenting" for our sins, but we are really
being attacked by tamoguNa. The distinction between repentance and
remorse is this: if one feels pain when the very thought of doing sin
arises, then it is said to be repentance and is very useful in
removing vAsanAs. But if one tortures oneself thinking about one's
past actions after committing them without regard to remedying the
action, it is called remorse, which is useless for one's spiritual
progress and needs to be eliminated.

The JMV identifies the cause of remorse [8]:

  puNyasya phalamichchhanti puNyaM nechchhanti mAnavAH .
  na pApaphalamichchhanti pApaM kurvanti yatnataH ..
  te cha puNyapApe pashchAttApaM janayataH .

  "People want the fruits of virtue but not virtue, they want
  to perform evil with great care but do not wish to have 
  its fruits. Both these produce remorse (pashchAttApaM)."

The recommended medicine for getting rid of remorse is [8,9]:

  yadyasau puNyapurushheshhu muditAM bhAvayet.h tadA 
  tadvAsanayA svayamevApramattaH puNyeshhu pravarteta . 
  tathA pApishhUpekShAM bhAvayan.h svayamapi pApAnnivarteta . 
  ataH pashchAttapasyAbhAvena chittaM prasIdati .

  "If he practises sympathy towards virtuous persons, 
  he sets himself on the path of virtue. In the same 
  manner by practising indifference towards the sinful 
  he becomes free from sin. Therefore, because of the 
  absence of remorse, the mind becomes pure."

Eliminating the desire to "seek approval from the world" (lokavAsanA)

Most people want to be loved and not hated by others. When people get
approval from the world they are happy, and when they are criticized
by the world, they become unhappy. This is described by the JMV as

  sarve janA yathA mAM na nindanti yathA vAstuvanti 
  tathaiva sarvadAcharishhyAmItyabhiniveshau lokavAsanA . 
  tasyAH cha saMpAdayituM ashakyatvAnmalinatvaM .

  " 'I will behave in such a way so that no one criticizes me,
  and everyone will praise me' constitutes the latent tendency
  concerning the world. This is impure, since it is impossible
  to accomplish."

  tAdRRishasyApi rAmasya pativratAshiromaNibhUtAyA
  jaganmAtuH sItAyAsh cha shrotumashakyo janApavAdaH 
  saMpravRRittaH . kimuvaktavyam anyeshhAm.h ? tathA hi 
  deshavisheshheNa parasparaM nindAbAhulyamupalabhyate .
  dAkshiNAtyairviprairauttarIyA vedavido viprA
  mAMsabhakshiNo nindyante . auttarIyaishcha 
  mAtulasutodvAhinoyAtrAsu mRRidbhANDa -
  vAhinodAkshiNAtyA nindyante. bahvRRichA AshvalAyanashAkhAM 
  kANvashAkhAyAH prashastAM manyante . vAjasaneyinas tu 
  vaiparItyena . evaM svasvakulagotrabandhuvargeshhTadevatA
  diprashaMsA parakIyanindA cha Avidvada~NganAgopAlaM 
  sarvatra prasiddhA .

  "Even rAma and his wife sItA - the mother of the world and 
  paragon of feminine virtue - were scandalized; what to say 
  of others? Thus for instance, people freely speak ill of 
  each other referring to their local peculiarities. 
  Southern BrAhmaNas censure their Northern counterparts as 
  flesh-eaters who are well-versed in the Vedas, and are 
  reciprocated by the Northerners for their practice of 
  marrying their maternal uncle's daughter and also for 
  their carrying earthernware (as cooking utensils) during 
  travels. The R^ig-Vedins consider the AshvalAyana branch 
  to be superior to the KANva branch; and the vAjasaneyins 
  of the Yajurveda think just the opposite. It is well-known
  that all people, from the learned to women to herdsmen, 
  extol their own community, lineage, relations, gods and 
  the like and execrate others."

  nishchittachoraH subhago.api kAmI ko lokam ArAdhayituM 
  samarthaH .. iti.
  vidyate na khalu kashchidupAyaH sarvalokaparitoshhakaro yaH .
  sarvathA svahitAmAcharaNIyaM kiM karishhyati jano bahujalpaH ..
  iti cha.

  "With this in view it is said thus:
  None can satisfy the people, they always speak ill of 
  others. Even a pure man is called a demon, a sagacious 
  one is looked upon as a conceited fellow, a forgiving 
  person is deemed as feeble, a strong man thought of as 
  vicious, absorbed in contemplation one is looked upon 
  as a thief and a handsome man as lustful. There is no 
  way to please everybody, so one should try to achieve by 
  all means one's own good; what can loquacious people do?"

Using discrimination, one should understand that trying to satisfy
everyone in the world is an impossibility, and hence one must
gradually let go of one's tendency to be loved and respected by all
(lokavAsanA) and keep one's mind fixed on bettering oneself

Eliminating Hatred (dvesha) [11]:

  rAgadveshhau cha pata~njaliH sUtrayAmAsa:
  sukhAnushayI rAgaH . (Yoga sUtra 2.7)
  duHkhAnushayI dveshaH . (Yoga sUtra 2.8) iti.

  "Patanjali has also described love and hate in aphorisms thus: 
  'Attachment follows what is pleasant.' (Yoga sUtra 2.7)
  'Hatred follows what is painful.' (Yoga sUtra 2.8)"

  tataH sa dveshhaH sadA hRRidayaM dahati . yadA svasyeva
  pareshhAM sarveshhAM pratikUlaM duHkhaM mA bhUyAdityanena 
  prakAreNa karuNAM duHkhishhu bhAvayet.h tadA 
  vairyAdidveshhanivRRittau chittaM prasIdati . 

  "Therefore that hatred burns the heart all the time. When one 
  thinks that, 'like my unhappiness all other people's 
  unfavorable unhappiness may not be,' and in this way 
  feels compassion for all miserable creatures then the 
  hatred towards the enemy etc. dissolves and the mind
  becomes pure."

  tatprakAraM cha mahAnto darshyanti:
  sarve.atra sukhinaH santu sarve santu nirAmayAH .
  sarve bhadrANi pashyantu mA kashchidduHkham ApnuyAt .. 
  (Bhavishhya mahApurANa 2.35.14) iti.

  "Great men show the manner it is done thus:
  'Let all be happy here, and free from ailments; 
  and achieve good of their lives, and may none suffer pain.'"
  (Bhavishhya mahApurANa 2.35.14)

Similarly, the JMV gives pointers on using one's powers of
discrimination to eliminate vAsanAs such as Pride, Lust, etc. with
relevant quotes from the scriptures.

manonAsha: Elimination of the Mind

What exactly is the mind? The definition given by the JMV is [12]:

  kAmaH saMkalpo vichikitsA shraddhAshraddhA 
  dhRRitiradhRRitirhrIrdhIbhIrityetatsarvaM mana eva 
  (BU 1.5.3) ityetallakshaNaM. 

  "Desire, Resolve, doubt, faith, want of faith, steadiness, 
  unsteadiness, shame, intelligence and fear - all these 
  are but the mind (BU 1.5.3)"

Note that the "manas" or mind is defined simply as the set of
vAsanAs. Hence it is not unusual to club vAsanAkShaya and manonAsha
together, and the JMV accepts that the origin of the mind and the
origin of vAsanAs coincide [13]:

  dve bIje chittavRRikshasya prANaspandanavAsane .
  ekasmiMshcha tayoH kshINe kshipraM dve api nashyataH .. 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.38) iti.

  "There are two seeds of the tree of the mind: the rhythm 
  of breathing and latent tendencies. When one of them is 
  destroyed, both are also quickly eliminated." 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.38)

What is the motivation to control the mind? Why not let the mind
wander as it desires and relieve oneself of the (seemingly) needless
effort to control the mind? The JMV issues a serious warning about
the mind that has slipped out of control [14]:

  chittayakshadRRiDhAkrAntaM na mitrANi na bAndhavAH .
  shaknuvanti paritrAtuM guravo na cha mAnavAH .. 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 30.18) iti.

  "Family, Friends and Teachers cannot save that man who 
  is Possessed by the Evil Spirit that is [his own] Mind." 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 30.18)

Mental diseases constitute the biggest problem in these modern times,
and the above warning rings true now more than ever. It is not at all
uncommon to find people around us who undergo mental suffering due to
a lack of control over their minds. It is therefore superfluous to
stress the need to have the mind under one's control. If one is
convinced that the mind needs to be controlled, how does one go about
doing it? The JMV gives the prescription for eliminating the two
seeds of the tree of the mind - the rhythm of breathing and vAsanAs

  prANAyAmadRRiDhAbhyAsairyuktyA cha gurudattayA .
  AsanAshanayogena prANaspandonirudhyate .. 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.122)

  asa~NgavyavahAritvAd bhavabhAvanavarjanAt .
  sharIranAshadarshitvAdvAsanA na pravartate .. 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.123)

  "By the steady practice of prANAyAma in proper posture 
  along with control of food and by other means as advised 
  by the teacher the life force is controlled."
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.122)

  "By leading the ordinary life with non-attachment and 
  abandoning worldly thoughts and remaining aware of the 
  mortality of the body, vAsanAs do not arise." 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.123)

The JMV recommends very simple ways to achive manonAsha, which fits
in with what most sAttvic brAhmaNas practice as part of their daily
spiritual routine. Does not one require "harder" methods to control
the mind - such as haTha-yoga? The JMV actually steers the
(beginning) spiritual aspirant clear of haTha Yoga as will be
explained in the next section.

The Role of Yoga in vAsanAkShaya and manonAsha

The practise of vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha is precisely Yoga. The JMV
quotes the definition of Yoga as per the Yoga-sUtras [16]:

  yogaH chittavRRittinirodhaH . (Yoga-sUtra 1.2)

  "Yoga is restraint of mental fluctuations. (Yoga-sUtra 1.2)"

Therefore, speaking in a broad sense of the various terms involved:

  chitta-vR^itti nirodha ~ vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha

But the "Yoga" that the JMV refers to is considerably different from
the term "Yoga" used in popular parlance. People commonly think of
"haTha-Yoga" when they use the word Yoga, but the JMV is not for the
practice of haTha Yoga, and instead prescribes a different kind of
Yoga called "mR^idu-Yoga" [17]:

  chapalasya pashorbandhanAya dvAvupAyau bhavataH. 
  haritatRRiNadarshanaM kaNDUyanAdikam, vAkpArushhyaM 
  daNDAdibhirbhartsanaM cheti . tatrAdyena sahasA praveshyate, 
  dvitIyenetastato dhAva~nchhanaiH shanaiH praveshyate . 
  tathA shatrumitrAdisamatvasukhabodhanaM 
  prANAyAmapratyAhArAdipurushhaprayatnashchetyetau dvau 
  chittashAntyupAyau . tatrAdyena mRRiduyogena shIghraM lAlayet . 
  dvitIyena haThayogena drAgiti na lAlayet, 
  kiM tu shanaiH shanaiH.

  "There are two ways to stall a refractory animal. One is by 
  fondling and tempting the animal with fresh grass, and the 
  other is by berating and beating with a rod. By the first 
  method the animal is led to its stall at once but by the 
  second way, the animal, running hither and thither
  (i.e. resisting till the end), is perforce entered gradually. 
  Similarly in persuading the mind to equanimity, 
  by convincing it that there is no distinction between a 
  friend and foe and the manly effort such as controlling 
  of breath and restraining of mental function - these are 
  the two ways. By the first way of gentle Yoga (mR^idu-Yoga), 
  the mind quickly becomes calm, but by the second way of 
  forceful Yoga (haTha-Yoga), the result is achieved 
  only by degrees."

Here, the contrast is between the well-known haTha-yoga (where one
subjects one's body and mind to harsh disciplines by means of
difficult postures and strict mental training) and the gentle
mR^idu-yoga method of eliminating vAsanAs from one's mind through
discrimination (viveka), as already explained [18]:

  haThato yuktitashchApi dvividho nigraho mataH .
  nigraho dhIvikriyANAM haThogolakanigrahAt.h ..
  kadAchijjAyate kashchinmanastena vilIyate .

  "It is held that control over the mind is obtained either 
  by haTha-yoga or by reasoning. By exercising forced control 
  over the seats of the knowledge and action-organs, a hold of 
  sort on them sometimes occurs, which leads to the dissolution 
  of the mind."

  adhyAtmavidyAdhigamaH sAdhusaMgama eva cha ..
  vAsanAsaMparityAgAH prANaspandanirodhanam . 
  etAstu yuktayaH pushhTAH santi chittajaye kila .. 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.128,129)

  "Study of the knowledge of the Supreme Self, association 
  with the good (sAdhus), total renunciation of vAsanAs, 
  control of vital breath - these are the methods of 
  conquering the mind."  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.128,129)

The means of conquering the mind are simple activities of mR^idu-yoga
like sAdhusaMgama - association with the good (sAdhus), and the like.
Even if one merely seeks the association with sAdhus, one is actually
practising Yoga, even without realizing it! This is the "Yoga" that
the JMV teaches as the correct way to eliminate the vAsanAs, because
the harder haTha-yoga accomplishes the same final result in a
round-about manner [18]:

  satIshhu yuktishhvetAsu haThAnniyamayanti ye .
  chetaste dIpamutsRRijya vinighnanti tamo.a~njanaiH .. 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.130)

  "Those who apply haThayoga to control the mind while such 
  effective means are available, resemble them who abandon 
  the lamp and instead apply magic ointment to their eyes 
  to dispel darkness."  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.130)

  vimUDhAH kartumudyuktA ye haThAchchetasojayam .
  te nibadhnanti nAgendramunmattaM bisatantubhiH .. 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.131)

  "The deluded who attempt to control the mind by haTha-yoga 
  are trying to bind the large frantic elephant by lotus-fibres."
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.131)

When advaitins stress on "chitta-shuddhi" as a pre-requisite to the
study of VedAnta, they are referring to a cleansing of the vAsanAs
through the gentle practice of mR^idu-Yoga, and only seldom to
haTha-yoga. The former is a means of softly leading the mind away
from harmful vAsanAs, while the latter accomplishes the same end
result in a more "violent" manner.

However, it should be noted that although the JMV recommends
mR^idu-Yoga more than haTha-Yoga, there is no statement in the JMV
that haTha-Yoga will NOT result in chitta-shuddhi. In fact the JMV
does admit that it is possible to practice haTha-yoga for the sake of
vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha - but only that it is not highly recommended.
The way of haTha-yoga is harsher in effecting the same outcome
(chitta-shuddhi), and therefore is not prescribed for the average
spiritual aspirant as it requires great strength of will and effort. 

It is worth noting here that the past Pontiff of Sringeri,
H.H. abhinava vidyAtIrtha mahAswAmigaL had practised haTha-yoga to
attain advaita-siddhi.

VAsanAkShaya-manonAsha and the Grace of the Ishvara

Some people imagine that advaita-sAdhana ignores the Grace of the
Lord, whereas other schools such as vishishhTAdvaita and dvaita place
much weight on Ishvara-anugraha in their doctrines. This is a myth
that needs to be dispelled, for advaita VedAnta more than any other
school considers Ishvara-anugraha to be the only way to effect
vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha. The reason for stressing on the practice of
Yoga for chitta-shuddhi is because Yoga is the way to obtain the
Lord's Grace! In fact, it is virtually impossible to effect
vAsanAkShaya and manonAsha by oneself without Ishvara-anugraha.

The impossibility of effecting VAsanAkShaya by oneself should become
obvious when one realizes that it is more difficult than uprooting a
mountain [19]:

  duHsAdhovAsanAtyAgaH sumerUnmUlanAdapi .. 
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.109) iti.

  "Giving up of vAsanAs is a task even harder than
  uprooting the Sumeru mountain."
  (Laghu Yoga VAsishhTha 28.109)

It is just as equally impossible to effect manonAsha [20]:

  cha~nchalaM hi manaH kRRishhNa pramAthi balavaddRRiDham .
  tasyAhaM nigrahaM manye vAyoriva sudushhkaraM .. (GItA 6.34) iti.

  "And Arjuna also said:
  'Verily, the mind, O Krishna, is restless, turbulent, 
  strong and unyielding; I regard it quite as hard to achieve 
  its control as that of the wind.' (GItA 6.34)"


  upAyataH prAptiM gauDapAdAcharyAH sadRRishhTAntamAhuH:
  utseka udadheryadvatkushAgreNaikabindunA .
  manaso nigrahastadvadbhavedaparikhedataH ..
  (GauDapAdIya kArikA 3.41) iti.

  "AchArya GauDapAda has illustrated how by right means yoga 
  is attained thus:

  'The mind is to be brought under control by untiring
  effort: it is like emptying the ocean drop by drop, with 
  the help of a blade of kusha grass."
  (GauDapAdIya kArikA 3.41)

If vAsanAkShaya is likened to uprooting a mountain, manonAsha is
equivalent to controlling the wind or draining the oceans - all of
which are pretty much impossible tasks for an ordinary human being.
However, the practice of Yoga is Graced by the Supreme Lord [20]:

  bahubhirna viroddhavyamekenaapi balIyasaa .
  sa paraabhavamaapnoti samudra iva TiTTibhAt.h ..

  "Although the mind is very powerful yet it cannot hold on 
  alone against the many efforts of the Yogi and is defeated 
  even as the ocean was defeated by the TiTTibha bird."

  atra saMpradAyavida AkhyAyikAmAchakshate: kasyachitkila 
  pakshiNo.aNDAni tIrasthAnyudadhirutsekenApajahAra . 
  taM cha samudraM shoshhayAmIti pravRRittaH sa cha 
  pakshI svamukhAgrAgreNaikaikaM jalabinduM bahiH 
  prakshipati sma . tadA bahubhiH pakshibhirbandhuvargair 
  vAryamANo.apyanuparataH pratyuta tAnapi sahakAriNovavre .
  tAMshcha patanotpatanAbhyAM bahudhA klishyataH sarvAnavalokya 
  kRRipAlur nArado garuDaM samIpe preshhayAm Asa . 
  tato garuDa pakshavAtena shushhyansamudro 
  bhItastAnyaNDAnyAnIya pakshiNe dadau .

  evam akhedena manonirodhe paramadharme pravartamAnaM 
  yoginamIshvaro.anugRRihNAti .

  "Those knowledgeable about the Vedantic tradition
  (sampradAyavit) narrate a story thus: 'The eggs of some 
  bird which were laid on the shore were carried away by 
  the ocean by the flowing tide. Determined to retrieve
  the eggs by drying up the ocean, it started throwing
  out water drop by drop by its beak. Although discouraged
  by its friends and many other birds it did not desist
  rather requested them to assist. The compassionate nArada, 
  seeing them suffer in various ways, flying in and out of the 
  ocean, was moved and sent GaruDa there. Then the frightened 
  ocean, which started to dry up by the wind produced by the 
  fluttering of the wings of GaruDa, returned those eggs to 
  the bird.

  Similarly, the YogI obtains the Grace of the Lord 
  (Ishvara-anugraha) for being engaged in the highest 
  religious practice (parama-dharma) of untiringly 
  restraining the mind (manonirodha)."

Therefore, vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha may seem like an impossibility, but
is easily effected through the Grace of the Lord obtained by the
practice of (mR^idu-)Yoga:

  Yoga-sAdhana --> Ishvara-anugraha --> mukti

JMV and Psychotherapy/Psychiatry

We find in Psychotherapy/Psychiatry buzzwords like "Anger
Management", or "Being haunted by the past", etc. Popular Psychology
books also speak of people who are "desperate for approval by the
world", hence I believe it is important to compare and contrast the
JMV with Psychotherapy/Psychiatry. Here are some differences I can
find between the two:

1) Unlike psychotherapy where the goal is "Anger Management", the JMV
sets the goal as "Anger Destruction". While the former may provide a
way to suppress Anger so that one may live the present life without
mental suffering, the latter provides a way to get rid of Anger once
and for all.

2) "Pride" is not considered a problem that requires help from
psychotherapy, but is considered by the JMV to be a bad vAsanA that
needs to be eliminated.

3) The JMV does not endorse the use of medication such as
"anti-depressants", but recommends only one medicine for the diseases
of the Mind - the Grace of the Lord obtained by effort in Yoga.

4) There are many Mental diseases that modern Psychiatry considers
"incurable" - e.g. Bipolar Disorder [21]. But SV believes that all
the vagaries of the mind can be transcended through Yoga [22]:

  yathA jalagataM dravatvaM mRRittikAmelanenAbhibhUyate
  vahnervoshhNatvaM manimantrAdinA tathA
  sarvAshchittavRRittayo yogAbhyAsenAbhibhavituM shakyante.

  "As the fluidity of water is counterbalanced by adding
  earth to water, and the heat of fire by the help of a
  jewel or incantation, similarly each and every state
  of mind can be neutralized by the practice of Yoga."

The series will conclude in the next posting after some peripheral
discussions on various topics in the JMV.


[1] JMV-RG 2.4.8, page 137; JMV-SM page 109.

[2] JMV-RG 1.3.18, page 85; JMV-SM page 25-26.

[3] JMV-RG 2.11.17, page 171; JMV-SM page 175.

[4] "Self-enquiry," by Ramana Maharshi. Answer to question 13.

[5] JMV-RG 2.10.11-12, page 165; JMV-SM page 162.

[6] It is interesting that Ramana Maharshi gives exactly same advice
to a young man who was afflicted by anger:

  "...but however much I try to reduce this anger, it comes 
  on again and again. What shall I do?" said the poor boy.

  "Oh! Is that so, then get angry with that anger; 
  it will be all right," said Bhagavan.

(Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, by Suri Nagamma, 26th January, 1946)

[7] JMV-RG 1.6.10, page 97; JMV-SM page 46.

[8] JMV-RG 2.7.8-10, page 155; JMV-SM page 145.

[9] The above is from yogasutra 1.33
  "By cultivating friendliness towards happiness and 
  compassion towards misery, gladness towards virtue and
  indifference towards vice, the mind becomes pure."

[10] JMV-RG 2.4.43, page 141; JMV-SM page 118.

[11] JMV-RG 2.7, pages 154-155, JMV-SM pages 142-144.

[12] JMV-RG 2.5.2, page 148; JMV-SM pages 133-4.

[13] JMV-RG 3.2.18, page 186; JMV-SM page 188.

[14] JMV-RG 3.2.25, page 187; JMV-SM page 192.

[15] JMV-RG 3.2.19-20, page 186; JMV-SM page 190-1.

[16] JMV-RG 3.10.2, page 215, JMV-SM page 243.

[17] JMV-RG 1.3.27, page 87; JMV-SM 29-30.

[18] JMV-RG 3.2.2, page 184; JMV-SM page 186.

[19] JMV-RG 2.4.4, page 136, JMV-SM 108.

[20] JMV-RG 3.8.9-10, page 209; JMV-SM page 233-5.

[21] This is mentioned in several places, e.g.:
  "But, there is a choice to maintain a lifestyle that may
  minimize the impact of this incurable brain illness by
  avoiding stress and not aggravating symptoms."

[22] JMV-RG 1.3.4, page 82; JMV-SM page 21.

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