Friday, February 19, 2016

Cause of Fear -Swami Sivananda

Cause of Fear  
by Swami Sivananda 

Ignorance is the cause of fear. Man tasted the "forbidden fruit" and became a slave of lust. He forgot his original, divine nature and was thus caught up in the whirlpool of ignorance. The infinite fearless Brahman became the finite Jiva with fear. Identification of the body (Dehadhyasa) is the cause of fear.

Dehadhyasa is another form of ignorance. This physical body is an instrument for man’s sensual enjoyment. If he suffers from any disease he is afraid that he will lose this body which serves him as a vehicle for his enjoyment. He tries his level best to preserve this body. All other causes of fear are traceable to Dehadhyasa.

Feeling of inferiority is another cause of fear. This negative feeling produces lack of self-reliance or self-confidence in man. He is afraid of those who are superior to him in talents, power, position and efficiency. He feels that he is incapable of doing anything.

Some physical deformity or deficiency, lack of physical and mental efficiency, wrong training in children, are other causes of fear.

There is no other way to get rid of fear than realization of the Self (Atman or Brahman)

Fear And Raga (attachment)

Fear (Bhaya) and Raga (attachment) are modifications (Vrittis) in the mind. They are temporary whirlpools or waves. The substance of the mind is nothing but Raga and fear. They are twin-sisters. Hence they are closely related to each other. If you destroy fear and Raga there is neither life nor existence for the mind. The Upanishad declares, "Detachment, faith, fear, Raga, shyness, modesty, shame. etc.," are only mind.

Fear is a product of ignorance (Avidya). Man forgets his essential, divine nature through  infatuation and identification with the body ( Moha). He was the all-pervading immortal fearless Soul or Brahman in the beginning. He was the "Santam (Peaceful), Ajaram (decayless), Amritam (immortal), Abhayam (fearless) Brahman." On account of egoism he became a rebellious child. He separated himself from his Father. He had division of property. He started his own independent living in this earth-plane. He rented a house in the mundane world. He entered the body-house of flesh and bone and became a little timid man, a little Jiva, with all sorts of fears. Thus started his downfall on account of his quarrel with his Almighty Father and owing to his starting a new egoistic living with Raga-Dvesha.

He was bodiless muscle-less, fleshless, boneless, I-less, mine-less, desireless, Vasana-less, when he was one with the Father, when there was a joint family. And so he was absolutely fearless, and ever blissful and peaceful. He had no thought of body, house, property, wife, children, position and prestige. He had no thought of diseases of body and fall from his social status or prestige. He had no thought of enemies, war, riots and of running to any place for safety, security. His original bode was peacefully secure and free from any sort of a danger and enemies. It was all one Brahman community. There was no Hindu-Muslim trouble there. There was no fear of attacks through bombs or torpedoes. It was an impregnable, invulnerable fortress. It was disease-proof, bomb-proof, earthquake-proof.

In his new, independent egoistic life, he became selfish, crooked, narrow, and mean-minded. He entertained low thoughts. He ever thought of flesh and pleasures of the flesh. He practiced the philosophy of flesh and preached the philosophy of flesh which is synonymous with "Pig-philosophy." Every day fears multiplied, as he was very much attached to his body, the bodies of wife, children, and to his house, property, etc.

Raga (attachment) is the long-standing associate of fear. Wherever there is Raga, there is fear. Fear and Raga co-exist. Man is attached to his wife. The body of his wife is his greatest pleasure-centre. So there is fear for him, fear of losing her, fear of her death, fear of her running away with another man, fear of her divorcing him, fear of her being displeased with him, etc. As he is attached to his children, house and property, he has fear of losing his house, property and children. He is drowned in sorrow and gets terrible shock if these objects are destroyed or lost. Hence Raga is the cause of fear. If there is no Raga, there is no fear. The first link in the chain of Raga is his attachment to his body. All kinds, of Raga start from this Raga to the physical body.

Lord Krishna says in His Gita: "Vitaragabhayakrodhah sthitadheer muniruchyate". "He who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of stable mind." 

Abandon attachment through practice of non-attachment or Vairagya and attachment to the lotus feet of the Lord or fearless Brahman. All fears will vanish.

You are attached to a fountain-pen, walking stick, book, watch, towel, cloth. Fear slowly creeps in. There is fear of losing them. Always entertain the thought "All objects are illusory, perishable and pain-giving." You will have no attachment. Even if there is attachment, it will be mild. You can drive it away with slight thinking and discrimination.

Give up attachment to this body by identifying yourself with the bodiless, sexless, pure, all-pervading immortal Atman or Brahman. All sorts of fears and attachments will totally disappear. Assert, feel, recognize:

I am bodiless, immortal Soul or Brahman
I am sexless, all-pervading Atman
I am fearless Brahman
I am full of Vairagya now
There is no world at all
I alone exist
I am Deathless and Blissful
I am Absolute Brahman

May you all be free from Fear and Raga! May you all be established in the fearless, (Abhaya, Nirbhaya) Brahman through the practice of courage and meditation on the fearless, immortal Brahman.

Extract from the book: Conquest of Fear
The causes of fear and its eradication.
Formats: .pdf (100 kb), .html (58 kb)*