Thursday, November 22, 2012

The pairs of opposites - Swami Sivananda

Attraction & Repulsion (Raga & Dvesha)

Raga (attraction), Dvesha (repulsion) and Tatastha (indifference) are the three important modes of the sensual mind and the psychic vital.

Raga and Dvesha (like and dislike or love and hatred or attraction and repulsion) are the two currents in the mind which bind a man to the Samsaric wheel of pleasure and pain, of birth and death. Raga and Dvesha is a mechanical reaction to the one or other opposite of every situation or experience.

The main forms that take this main function of mind and the vital are:
·         Desire or Attachment- aversion
·         Like-dislike
·         Attraction- repulsion
·         Love-hatred
Pair of opposites

·         Pleasure-pain
·        exhilaration –depression
·         happiness- sorrow
·         lucky-unlucky
·        Right-wrong
·        Good-bad
·        Cold-warm
·        High-low
·        Nice-ungly


Pleasure and pain go always together. You cannot have the one without the other. If you want to take pleasure you must be ready to experience the pain also.

Dislike creates pain because when you see or experience the object you dislike there is a contraction of the vital energy and the sensual mind. This contraction is experienced as pain. But like gives you also pain; perhaps not at the moment of the experience of the desired object (as possibly may happen) but for the following reasons:

1.        When you lose the object you are attached you get pain. If an object gives pleasure, you get attached to the object. But when there is separation from the object, as in the case of death of your dear wife or son, you get immense pain in the form of anger, sorrow, depression, frustration etc. which is indescribable.

2.        Whenever there is pleasure, there exist side by side fear and anger. Anger is only a modification of desire. Fear and anger are two old associates of pleasure. Fear arises of the possibility not to get or to lose what you desire and anger for anything that may prevents you to get the desired object.

For example when you have got Raga for body, fear of death comes in. When you have Raga for money, there is fear of losing money, as money is the means of getting objects of enjoyment. When you have Raga for a woman, you always take care in protecting her. Fear is a very old, intimate friend of Raga.


Raga-Dvesha has four states (Avasthas) -the first two states pertain to a Yogin; the last two to worldlings.

1.        Dagdha (burnt up),
2.        Tanu (attenuated or thinned out),
3.        Vicchinna (concealed)
4.        Udara (fully expanded).
In a fully developed Yogin, the Vrittis of Raga-Dvesha are burnt up by Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In a Yogin who is practising, the impressions of Raga-Dvesha are tenuous. They are in a fine state. He has control over these two Vrittis.
In those who are given to enjoyments, they are concealed and fully expanded. A worldly-minded man is a mere slave of Raga-Dvesha currents.
When the wife shows affection to her husband, when the Raga-Vritti is in operation, her anger and hatred remain concealed for the time being. The moment she gets displeased with him for some reason or other, the Dvesha-Vritti manifests itself. In the last (expanded) state, the Samskaras of Raga-Dvesha, having favourable surroundings, attain to great activity.

In sleep, these two emotions exist in a man in a Bija state (seed form). They are not destroyed. As soon as the man gets up from sleep, they begin to operate again.

In children, these twin currents manifest for a short time and disappear soon. They fight in this second and join together with joy the very next second. They do not keep up any ill feelings in their minds. They do not brood also over the wrongs done by others. They do not exhibit any grudge. The wave comes and passes away.

As the child grows, these currents assume a grave phase by constant repetition and become inveterate. Dvaita slowly develops when the child reaches the second year. Place a baby within one year of age in any place. It will remain there like a block of stone. It will laugh and see alike all people without any Raga-Dvesha.

Ask a child of two years of age to sit. It will stand. Ask the child to come near. It will recede back to a distance. Tell the child, .Do not go to the street; it will immediately march to the street. It will do contrary actions, because Dvaita is developing now in the child.


Raga-Dvesha in the mind is the real Karma. It is the original action. When the mind is set in motion or vibration through the currents of Raga-Dvesha, real Karmas begin. Real Karma originates from Sankalpas of the mind. It is the actions of the mind that are truly termed Karmas. External actions manifest later on.

It is desire that sets the mind in motion. When there is a desire, Raga and Dvesha exist side by side in the mind.  Desire is a motive force. Emotions and impulses co-exist with desire.

Amongst the several modes in the mind, Raga-Dvesha and infatuation (Moha) are very deep-rooted. They demand strenuous and persistent efforts for their eradication. The Raga-Dvesha currents, the characteristics of the mind, can be removed by spiritual Sadhana.

These can be completely fried up by Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Asamprajnata Samadhi.
EMOTIONS and raga-dvesha

Raga and Dvesha (love and hatred) are the two important emotions of the mind and all the different emotions can be classified under these two headings.

Raga and Dvesha (likes and dislikes) only constitute this Samsara or this world of phenomena. It can be totally destroyed by knowledge of Brahman.

Raga-Dvesha is a Vasana. It has four states. Raga-Dvesha, Vasanas, Samskaras and Gunas are intertwined. They co-exist. The seat of Raga-Dvesha is the mind and the senses. Destruction of one will lead to the destruction of others.

But the destruc­tion of the source, Avidya or Ajnana (ignorance), the seed of Samsara, through Brahma-Jnana will destroy everything to the very root.

The cultivation of virtues like Maitri (friend­ship), Karuna, (mercy), Mudita (complacency) and Upeksha (indifference) can thin out or attenuate Raga-Dvesha. This is the Pratipaksha-Bhavana me­thod or cultivation of the opposite positive qualities, of the Raja Yogins.

Destruction of Avidya will lead to the destruction of Raga-Dvesha. Raga and Dvesha are the modifications or effects of Avidya or ignorance.

The fire of devotion also can burn in toto Raga­-Dvesha.

The practice of Nishkama Karma Yoga or disinterested selfless service can thin out Raga-Dvesha to a very great extent. Kill Raga (attachment) by the sword of Vai­ragya (non- attachment or dispassion or indifference to sensual objects) and Dvesha by developing cosmic love.

Raga-Dvesha assumes various forms. You like certain foods and dislike certain other foods. You like certain clothing and dislike certain other cloth­ing. You like certain persons and dislike certain other persons. You like certain places and dislike certain other places. You like certain sounds and dislike certain other sounds. You like certain colours and dislike certain other colours. You like soft things and dislike hard things. You like praise, res­pect, honour, and dislike censure, disregard, dis­honour. You like a religion, view, opinion and dis­like other religions, views and opinions. You like comforts, pleasures, and dislike discomforts and pain.

Thus there is no peace of mind for you as the mind is ever restless and agitated. The waves of Raga-Dvesha are ever disturbing the mind. One wave of Raga-Dvesha arises in the mind and subsides after some time. Again another wave rises, and so on. There is no balance of mind. There is no peace. He who has destroyed Raga-Dvesha will be ever happy, peaceful, joyful, strong and healthy. Only he who is free from Raga-Dvesha will have a long life. Raga-Dvesha is the real cause for all diseases (Adhi and Vyadhi).

Wherever there is pleasure, there is Raga; wherever there is pain, there is Dvesha. Man wants to remain in close contact with those objects which give him pleasure. He shuns those objects which give him pain.

Though the objects that give pain are far away from you, the memory of the objects will give you pain. It is only the removal of the currents of Dvesha that will give you happiness. It is the Vritti or thought-wave that gives pain but not the objects. Hence try to destroy the current of Dvesha by deve­loping cosmic love and Brahma-bhavana or Isvara­-bhavana in all objects. Then the whole world will appear to you as the Lord in manifestation.

The world or the worldly object is neither good nor bad, but it is your lower instinctive mind that makes it good or bad. Remember this point well, always. Do not find fault with the world or the objects. Find fault with your own mind.

Destruction of Raga-Dvesha means destruction of ignorance or mind and the idea of the world.

No meditation, no peace, no Samadhi is possible for a man who has not removed these two currents two foes of peace, knowledge and devotion. He who says I enter into deep meditation. I have attained Self-realisation and Samadhi. I can also help you to enter into Samadhi is a confirmed hypocrite.

If you find in him Raga-Dvesha, attachment, hatred, pre­judice, intolerance, anger, irritability, know him to be a Mithyachari. Shun his company. Remain at a respectable distance from him, because you also will catch the infection or contagion from him.

Be­ware. Beware. Be cautious, friends!



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