Monday, May 9, 2016

The play of gunas and desire ~ Atman Nityananda

The play of gunas and desire
All life is a game of the cosmic energy, the three gunas (sattva-rajas-tamas) and the five elements animated by consciousness. These three (energy, gunas and elements) are insensitive and they borrow their sentience from Consciousness or Spirit that is self-existing, self-luminous and indestructible, which is their source and at the same time beyond these qualities and the energy. Moreover consciousness has no parts, is an homogeneous essence, free from dualities, suffering, change, time, form and causality: it is infinite peace and bliss.

Although we are in essence are the absolute consciousness (Atman Brahman), due to the tamas and rajas gunas we forget that we are consciousness (Atman) identical with the universal consciousness (Brahman) and identify with the body and mind. This has as an effect to perceive the external world as real and ourselves separate from the source of life (Consciousness) and the world: thus we feel strangers in our home.

The tamas guna puts a veil on the mind and obscures the perception that we are consciousness and makes us identify with the body and mind, and the rajas guna makes the mind extroverted, restless, lustful, passionate and attached to action, pleasure and achievements. Thus due to tamas and rajas we forget that we are consciousness, we fail to experience the unity, fullness, freedom and bliss that eternally shines in us and the mind becomes extroverted seeking sensory pleasures, possesions, comforts, fame and power.

Due to the contact of the mind with the sense objects and the pleasure we experience due to this, gradually are developed in our psyche lust, desire, attachment and selfishness which multiply to all other egoic tendencies. The desire mechanism drives us to action; the desire is always the compelling power behind our body and mind that make us seek and find pleasure, fame, and power. This seeking for fulfillment to the external world never stops since desire by nature is insatiable and tireless.

The tree of ego is an expansion of desire

Along with the desire grow all selfish tendencies which are only modifications or expansion of desire itself. Greed is for example wanting more and more of what we desire. Jealousy is wanting what others have. Anger which is a modification of desire (just as milk transforms to yogurt, desire transforms to anger) manifests when something or someone prevents us to meet our desire. All branches (selfish tendencies) of the tree of ego are only modifications of desire.

The vicious circle of pleasure and suffering

Through experience we get pleasure, pleasure assumes the form of lust and selfishness, lust becomes desire, desire causes attachment, and attachment suffering.

Since the lust and the desire mechanism are already established in our psyche, if we think or contemplate on the sense objects, easily it is born in us the desire to possess and enjoy them.
When a desire (due to some trigger) is arising in us, assumes the form of an impulse that compels our mind, intellect and the body to action. Along with the desire arise also anxiety, worries, impatience, agony and if something prevents us to fulfill the desire then anger also arises (in reality desire itself modifies as anger).

So when a desire is manifested, the mind becomes agitated, restless and impatient; and it will remain restless until to posses the desired object. Only after the possession and the enjoyment of the desired object, after desire has been gratified, the mind tends towards its source within (Consciousness, Soul). Then ceases to function and is filled with purity or Sattva. All thoughts fade for just a while, and the mind rests in the Soul within. The bliss of Alma is reflected in the intellect. But the ignorants think that they got the happiness from the object.

In reality there is only one desire that assumes different aspects and expressions due its association with different objects. In realtion with food desire takes the form of gluttony, with sexuality lasciviousness with money avarice, with fame abition etc.. This energy of desire makes us feel incomplete, restless, separated, unhappy, empty and at the same time impels us to look for something pleasurable or something to achieve and at the same time makes us to believe that by the pleasurable experience or the achievement we will overcome all these negative emotions and we will feel complete happy (which can happen to some extent but only temporarily). But since the sensory experiences and objects are empty, they cannot give us what the desire makes us believe, that is, love, joy, fulfillment, freedom and peace. We only for a while as I stated above there is a relief of the negative emotional state and a partial experience of the peace, contentment and happiness that derive from our soul. 

But what happens in long term is that due to the identification with the mind and the body (caused by desire and the gunas) and the identification with the experiences, the mind becomes gradually more and more dense, cloud, blur, distracted and extroverted. This state of mind together with the wasting of energy we spend to meet our desires (which usually happens due to the overuse or misuse of the body, mind and senses), we feel more empty, unhappy and restless. This we can see it clearly to the stars of Hollywood who have so much fame, money and sex and are some of the most miserable people in the world. Some of them, at some point of their life they understood the trap to satisfy their desires and entered in spirituality.

And although we see that the desires and pleasures don't make us happy, due to the very fact that desire is powerful, insatiable and tireless, it never stops to function and compel us to experience the same or similar pleasures again and again; thus we continue to suffer because our mind is dominated by the desire.  The desire only temporarily is satisfied and let us experience for a while the peace and bliss of our essence; but a little later comes back making us feel again incomplete, unfulfilled, empty, discontent, uneasy and because of it we are compelled to seek another pleasurable experience or to find another goal to accomplish.

This vicious circle which begins with a state of dissatisfaction, restlessness, discontentment, incompleteness, continues with the seeking the pleasure which is always accompanied by anxiety, worries, impatience, agony, restlessness, anguish, anger, fear, impatience, disappointment, depression etc. and after a brief relief of the above mentioned emotions and a partial experience of satisfaction, peace and happiness when we enjoy the desired object, continues for one more time with the arousal of a state of dissatisfaction, restlessness, discontentment; this wheel is endlessly revolving (only during deep sleep stops for a some hours). 

After the death of the body due to desire we reincarnate in a new body and this vicious circle continues in a new body.

This vicious circle goes on in eternity without a break until we by incessant, regular, diligent and sincere practice eliminate the mechanism of desire and realize that we are pure consciousness beyond body and mind.