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Binding Vasanas and Moksa
Diana: I don’t know how to email James directly, as his email is not listed, but he told me on Facebook to email him if I had a question, so I thought this link might work? Anyways, I usually email Ted, but my question relates specifically to James.
My question is… I saw a video where you spoke about working on a sugar vasana for 13 years because you didn’t want your jiva to suffer with getting diabetes, ect. So does this mean it was a binding vasana for you? If so, then is it actually true that binding vasanas will drop with moksa? Or do they sometimes and sometimes not? Another reason I ask is that your guru used snuff regularly, and Nisargadatta was a chain smoker.
I vape, so use nicotine through a vaper, similar to smoking. I have tried to quit for months now, even went nine weeks nicotine-free, but I felt a strong desire to do it that didn’t go away, so I started it up again. I don’t know if it’s something I must stop or not, if others gained moksa but also used a substance.
PS: I’ve already realized who I am, but I haven’t fully assimilated this knowledge, but getting there.
Thank you, hopefully this message gets to you.
Sundari: Hello, Diana.
James was illustrating a point about vasanas when he said he had a sugar vasana. Sugar was never a problem for him, because he does not particularly like sweet things. The point he was making was that if a vasana compels you to adharmic actions which cause harm to the body, they must be neutralized or peace of mind will not be possible. That does not mean that moksa cannot obtain. As you point out, his guru Chinmaya had a vasana for snuff and definitely knew who he was, and Nisargadatta was a chain smoker. Chinmaya and Nisargadatta chose not to act on theses binding vasanas, as they saw them as not-self and were willing to live with the unpleasant consequences. However, freedom is not that free unless all binding vasanas are rendered non-binding. How much peace of mind will anyone have if their binding vasanas cause disease to the body or mental and emotional agitation?
Your question is: How can you know who you are and still have vasanas? The answer is that who you are is in one dimension of reality and the vasanas are in another. So knowing who you are does not remove vasanas unless you apply the knowledge to the vasanas as they arise. Applying the knowledge means that you know that they are unreal, that acting them out will only perpetuate them. Therefore you renounce them as they arise. In this way, they can’t cause karma.
However, since you realised who you are when you still have binding vasanas, as it seems you do, then you cannot expect them to disappear overnight. If you are hunting and see something moving in the bushes and it seems to be a deer, and you shoot at the very moment that you discover it is a human being, you cannot get back the arrow even though you want to. Some vasanas keep on causing karma once you know who you are. It is quite natural. Just knowing who you are is not moksa. It is the fifth stage of enlightenment. The sixth stage is the disappearance of the doer.
In fact self-realisation is where the “work” of moksa begins. Some vasanas are deeply buried in the causal body and will take as long as they take to fructify. We call these samskaras because they are usually connected to a bunch of other tendencies, which form obstacles called pratibandikas. As always, karma yoga is the approach to everything, especially vasanas. It is the only way to release the pressure of the vasanas and to negate the doer.
~ Namaste, Sundari