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Happiness Is about the Me That Doesn’t Want
Simon: Dear Sundariji/Ramji, namaste! When the mind is disturbed on some occasions due to certain trigger, I can see how verbal self-talk takes place in the mind. While I can see it separately from me, little am I able to stop it quickly when it has great momentum. The disturbance subsides on its own after some time. Can you suggest something that can make this stop in a shorter period or I should just keep on watching what goes on in mind and in due course it will get purified on its own on permanent basis?
~ Kind regards, Simon
Sundari: Hello, Simon. Observing the mind and how the vasanas play out in the light of self-knowledge is the main step towards rendering the vasanas non-binding. What this entails is to track the mind and see what the trigger was for the disturbance whatever it is, what guna was in play and what value underpinned the guna. Ignorance works the same way every time, so it should not be difficult to track. Sometimes though, when it comes to deeply-entrenched samskaras, it can take repeated observation and determination to render them non-binding because very often they are hidden. Prarabdha karma plays out the way it plays out and Isvara gives us what we need to see when we need to see it. The effects of ignorance have been there for a long time and mostly do not dissolve overnight.
Samskaras will take time to go away – they will fade more quickly when they are fully understood. Applying the opposite thought works because it objectifies the anxiety – if one can remember to think it when one is stressed. Karma yoga works when worry is there; it is perfectly designed to destroy samskaras. However, the nature of rajas is such that the tamas (denial, blindness) that accompanies it causes one to feel that one does not have “time” to deconstruct the desire/fear on the spot! The doer forgets that it is now an inquirer and that it is supposed to free the mind of worry through self-knowledge, not to get the object in the world. It thinks that the results of the action will free the mind – which they will temporarily – leaving the samskara carefully concealed and intact, however.
When ones wants to ameliorate the effect of a samskara it is very effective to dismiss the present thought by taking the line of reasoning it represents to its logical conclusion thus defusing the power of the samskara in the moment.
The key to most samskaras is the word “time.” Time represents the pressure of the samskara. When it is operating, the thought/word “time” is meant to refer to something real, something substantial. But all it refers to is “I want.” We know what is behind that: “I am insecure, I am afraid, I am incomplete, etc.”
But then the doer/ego will immediately try to prevent this alternative because doing is the key to the maintenance of its identity as someone in control of his or her destiny – see the fear, again, rajas. This is the problem with relationships too. If one really surrenders to the relationship, you lose control.
But renunciation of karma causes another problem for the doer. It presents the scenario it was trying to avoid in the first place: no control, which is fear-based too. If the doer actually analyzed the root thought, the whole problem would go away instantly.
But if the samskara is doing the thinking that is the worst alternative. “What if…?” and off it goes worrying. Fear is meant to be very smart. At some point in the life of the doer, worry is self-validating. It equals love for the doer. It means “I care about myself.” But as you know, it is a purely samsaric value. If one encounters a terrible fear of any kind, dismiss it immediately. Reaffirm the opposite thought: “No bad result, I am awareness.”
Fear is hard to love.
Samskaras are never about what they purport to be about. An unnamed fear lurks behind them all. No matter what you do or don’t do, it is there attaching itself to an action. One needs to be sick and tired of the mind it creates. Yes, one can walk away from various situations relatively easily, but walking away from the belief that worldly results are necessary for peace of mind is the real renunciation because it amounts to renunciation of the doer itself.
The best mantra is “Nothing can go wrong.” Nothing ever went “wrong,” because life is not about me getting what I think I want. It is about the me that does not want. The only cure for a bad attitude is a good attitude.
There so many good thoughts available to remove the stress in any situation but attachment to the doer makes them all unpalatable. The renunciation thought is particularly difficult for the doer, because it indicates a failure to get what it wants the way it wants it when it wants it. It can’t stand that thought, because the “I am the self” thought does not actually sustain it when it is faced with various everyday situations that involve loss or the fear of loss.
I hope this helps.
~ Love, Sundari