Pain and Sorrow

Patanjali in his Yogasutra describes that people are afflicted with five kinds of pain. These are - ignorance(avidya), attachment(raga), contempt(dvesha) and fear of death(abhinivesh)(II.3). However ignorance is the ground for the germination of all other pain and so long as ignorance is not rooted out through self-knowledge pain remains in one form or the other.

What is ignorance? Patanjali describes - to consider ephemeral(anitya) as eternal, falsity(ashuchi) as truth, sorrow(duhkha) as pleasure and soulless(anatman) as soul is ignorance(II.5). Things which the senses perceive have no real existence. These are ephemeral and false. These things inflict sorrow to those who believe in their reality. Hell, heaven, angels, ghosts or imaginary God have no real existence. All those religious symbols, statues of Gods and Goddesses have no real existence. The real power lies in the soul of every being. It is the illumination of souls by which everything illuminates. Things which have life and soul are real and existent. Matter which is lifeless is unreal and does not exist. Matter exists in the consciousness of living beings only.

Egoism develops when all visible powers accumulate(II.6). There are two powers - one is the power of soul and other is the power of visible things. Wealth power, ruling power, muscle power or atomic power are visible and are unreal. These are the manifestations of soul power only. Atomic power manifests when we invest huge amount in it; wealth power manifests when we work hard and earn it; ruling power manifests when a ruling few create fear in masses. All these powers are unreal and one who believes in their reality becomes a egoist and suffers from pain.

Similarly, because of ignorance, people develop attachment to unreal things considering them as real and blissful; people develop contemt and look down upon real and blissful things. At present, people are more and more attracted towards material gain, while they develop indifference or even contemt towards family, friends and other living beings. Soul, life and consciousness are only real and existent. We should be attracted towards them only.

Fear of death is highly painful. Patanjali describes - even those wise men who believe only in natural laws are afflicted with the fear of death and are no better than fools(II.9). Learned and wise men see and believe in the natural cycles of birth and death, sunrise and sunset, summer and winter and the cycle of water in rivers. However one should bear in mind that natural cycles or laws govern only material world. These cycles are not at par with the cycle of birth and death. Material world cannot deviate from natural laws, but man can deviate from everything. The mind of man cannot be subjugated by external forces. Mind and soul are unborn and eternal. As we change dresses, so the soul enters into different bodies as it wishes. So the fear of death is unfounded. As we go to dreaming and sleeping states, so we go to after world from the present world. As we go to dreaming and sleeping states whenever we wish, so we may go to after world depending upon our willingness. Through the practice of Yoga we should make our will power strong and keep it under control. Fear of death is avoidable and can be brought under control.

All thoughts which generate due to ignorance and cause pain may be avoided through meditation(II.11). In meditation a practitioner should try to rest in true self. True self is the home and reality of all. When one slips down from this reality. one succumbs to pail and misery. True self is blissful which only gives eternal pleasure.

Patanjali describes that the root cause of pain is desire to act. When there is action there is pain and sorrow, because action is succeeded by fruit of action which may be pleasure or pain. Virtuous deeds give rise to pleasure and happiness, whereas evil deeds give rise to pain and sorrow. So one should act thinking what to receive. None, even God gives fruit of action. The Twin Towers of New York was demolished due to the evil deeds of terrorists. While man can do whatever he wishes, there is none who may check him. Only man can check another man. For this impending pain and sorrow is avoidable. If Intelligence Agency would have been more vigilent, the demolition of Twin Towers would have been averted.

People desire more and act more. By this they invite sorrow. This impending sorrow is avoidable. So long as we do not know the cause of this impending sorrow, we cannot avoid it. Yogasutra describes the cause as - the union of seer and sight is the cause of this impending and avoidable sorrow(II.17). In deep sleep there is no desire and no action and for this there is no sorrow. In deep sleep seer and sight become one. There is none other than the self. For this one sees nothing and hear nothing. It is the blissful state. Even a cancer patient feels the bliss of deep sleep.

For learning more aphorisms relating to pain and sorrow and learning more about Yoga, readers may go through my book "quest for truth: the spiritual and yogic way"

Author Premansu Chand, 40, has published his first book "Quest for Truth: the spiritual and yogic way" recently. So far five articles have been published with relating to Yoga. If readers find these interpretations as rational and worth learning, they may email to the author in order to encourage him.

[email protected] th.php

In The News:

The 11 don'ts of yoga  Times of India
The don'ts of Yoga practice  Telangana Today
Yoga on a farm  Martha's Vineyard Times
Do yoga and sleep tight  The New Indian Express
Yoga for Readers  The New York Times
Yoga poses for beginners
Kekoka Yoga Retreat attracts 65  Rappahannock Record

Yogic Way of Controlling of Thoughts

As described in my earlier article... thoughts in the mind... Read More

Christian Yoga?

There is an interesting article in the September 5th issue... Read More

What is Self Mastery? ? Part 3

The next large component of self-mastery is mental health, and... Read More

Yoga, Do Not Knock It Until You Try It

Are you one of those folks who have never tried... Read More

Discover How Yoga Will Help You Reach Your Goals ? Part 1

Time is valuable and there are a number of successful... Read More

A World of Infinite Opportunities

Many people feel that there is a limited amount of... Read More

Positive Energy

Cultivating positive energy: Most of us who study Yoga have... Read More

Can a Yoga Prop Help Prop Up Your Practice?

Some people may wonder if using a yoga prop can... Read More

Yoga and Pregnancy

Every woman wants to have a healthy baby. Yogic practices,... Read More

Nine Things You Should Know About Yoga for Children

Here are some guidelines and realistic expectations for parents, who... Read More

What is Self Mastery? - Part 4

Now, let's cover the last component of self-mastery, which is... Read More

How to Find the Right Yoga Teacher?

I am often asked by beginners about how to evaluate... Read More

Yoga for PMS

Most women experience PMS symptoms at different points of their... Read More

Yoga Accessories? Getting What You Really Need

Unlike some other sports, you don't need a lot of... Read More

Discover How Yoga Will Help You Reach Your Goals ? Part 2

At this point, let's break down the major components of... Read More

Mind and Thoughts

Yoga is controlling of thoughts arising in the mind. When... Read More

The History of Yoga

The history of yoga is long and steeped in tradition.... Read More

Eating Wisely and Weight Loss

Please bear in mind that I am not a dietician,... Read More

Eight Amazing Benefits of Teaching Yoga

Every challenging occupation yields some sort of satisfaction, but the... Read More

Yoga Clothes for Comfort, Functionality ? and Lets Not Leave Out Fun!

Yoga clothes should be comfortable and functional. They should allow... Read More

Basic Yoga Poses (Asanas)

In most forms of Yoga there are three components to... Read More

Yoga and Weight Training ? Never the Twain Shall Meet?

Yoga has become part of Western fitness training techniques. However,... Read More

Child Yoga ? What is All the Fun About?

Many adults have taken up yoga, but yoga has not... Read More

Using Yoga to Manage ADD

Exercise is a powerful tool for ADD management. Medical professionals... Read More

What is Self Mastery? - Part 2

To continue with our overview of the physical component of... Read More