Tuesday, December 6, 2016

WHAT IS ATTACHMENT ? ~ Atman Nityananda


"Know thou Rajas to be of the nature of passion, the source of thirst (for sensual enjoyment) and attachment; it binds fast, O Arjuna, the embodied one by attachment to action" 
 ~ Bhagavad Gita Ch.XIV  V.7 

"Attachment is due to infatuation. It is the offspring of the quality of Rajas. Detachment is born of Sattva. Attachment is born of ignorance, selfishness and passion and brings with it death; detachment is wisdom and brings with it freedom."
 ~  Swami Sivananda

Attachment has two aspects.

A. My mind is attached to sense objects, means that my mind is attracted by the sense objects and is occupied mostly by thoughts about sense objects (includes persons). Our egoic self (which has as its seat in the manas* and senses) schemes and plans what will get or what will experience if gets this or that object. Thinks about the qualities of objects, their frame, color, taste etc. It thinks and plans how to obtain the objects that considers beneficial for its comfort, fame, pleasure and happiness.

"When a man thinks of the objects, attachment to them arises; from attachment desire is born; from desire anger arises. From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes."
~ Bhagavad Gita Ch.II  V.62.63  

"That pleasure which arises from the contact of the sense-organs with the objects, which is at first like nectar and in the end like poison—that is declared to be Rajasic." 
~ Bhagavad Gita Ch.XVIII  V.38  

By thinking  about the sense objects identification and attachment is born together with fascination, from fascination desire is born and from desire like-dislike, attraction-aversion, anger, fear and depression and all other egoic tendencies are born. From desire and anger mostly but also from all other egoic tendencies (fear, jealousy, greed, pride, vanity, arrogance, lasciviousness etc.) as well, our intelligence is obscured and clouded and thus we fail to discriminate between the Self and the non self, the true and the false, the right and wrong.  

"That by which one incorrectly understands Dharma and Adharma, and also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done—that intellect, O Arjuna, is Rajasic"

Commentary of Swami Sivananda: That which is ordained in the scriptures is Dharma. That which hurls you into the abyss of ignorance is Adharma. The Rajasic intellect is not able to distinguish between righteous and unrighteous actions.

 ~ Bhagavad Gita Ch.XVIII  V.31 

B. My mind is attached to an object or a person means that my happiness, security, worthiness and well being is depended on this object or person. It means that I cannot live without this object without to suffer. Even to think that I could lose this object or this person that I am attached, makes me suffer. 

"Passionate, desiring to obtain the rewards of actions, cruel, greedy, impure, moved by joy and sorrow, such an agent is said to be Rajasic."
~ Bhagavad Gita Ch.XVIII  V.26

The fundamental attachments are with our body and mind (opinions, beliefs, concepts, ideas, emotions, etc.). Most people on earth are attached to their bodies and their minds and suffer due to these attachments.

Attachments are related to pleasure, comfort, happiness, security, prestige, fame, self-esteem and self-image.

We become attached to things that give us pleasure, comfort, make us feel  happy, make us feel secure, worthy, accepted, special. We develop aversion about things or persons that make us experience pain, make us feel insecure, uncomfortable, unworthy, inferior, rejected etc.

Attachment is related to desire mechanism and ego. The attachment is as strong as our desire and our ego are. 

In order to be free from attachments we must be free from desire and ego. As long as desire exist in us, will exist ego and attachments as well.

The root cause of attachments and desires are the ignorance of our true nature.. We can free ourselves from ego, desires and attachments by meditating constantly in our essence within. Profound constant meditation is possible only for a pure sattvic mind. 

"He who is free from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with firmness and enthusiasm and unaffected by success or failure, is called Sattvic.
~ Bhagavad Gita Ch.XVIII  V.26

We need a pure sattvic mind, right knowledge about the nature of our true Self, to contemplate and reflect on what we have learned about the Self and then meditate constantly until our mind merges in the Self. When this will happen, our ego, desires and attachments which already have been made weak by prolonged spiritual sadhana and austerities will be dissolved totally and for ever. Free from ego, attachments and desires we will be free from all suffering and will enjoy, the peace, freedom and bliss of our eternal Self!


ANTAHKARANA - MIND / The fourfold internal organ

The Antahkarana or Mind is made of the five subtle elements and by nature is sattvic (read about gunas). But due to ignorance of our true nature and the identification with the objects of senses and the development of the ego our mind is 'contaminated' by the rajas and tamas gunas. The purpose of spiritual practice is to weed out the rajas and tamas gunas from the mind and bring it back to its sattvic state. 

ANTAHKARANA has four aspects:
  1.     Manas (mind)
  2.     Buddhi (Intellect, Intelligence)
  3.     Ahamkara (Ego, the illusory identity)
  4.     Chita-Chitta (subconscious, memory, general field of the mind).

3. Manas (The external mind)

It has various functions. It makes really a great job. Coordinates the operation of the five senses of knowledge with the five senses of action. Coordinates the volitional body movements with the five senses. With the manas are related, the ego, the lower emotions and the mechanical thinking. The manas  brings through the senses the sensory information from the world in the buddhi (intellect-intelligence) and consciousness, and executes the commands that gets from the buddhi. Unfortunately due to the lower or vital ego the manas dysfunctions; operates under the unconscious mechanical impulses of the lower ego. This is the main cause of our imbalances (physical, emotional.mental, intellectual), disequilibrium, diseases and suffering.

The purpose of spiritual practice in relation with the manas is to purify the mind (manas), and put it under the control and service of the intelligence (buddhi) and the Consciousness. The main ways to purify the mind is to control the senses, to be detached from the manas, to feed the manas with sattvic impressions, eat sattvic food, to keep sattvic relations and do spiritual practices, like japa nama, japa mantra, kirtan, concentration, meditation, pranayama etc.