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Standing Up to My Vasanas?
Anna: Hi, Ramji.
It is weird how ordinary life is. On a personal level, seemingly silly and somewhat amusing things are still going on. For instance, I observe the security vasana: trying to figure out how to sustain myself financially. It’s strange, weird, because I know Isvara takes care of all of us but after selling everything years ago, I’ve been always reliant on others’ generosity and somewhat picked up the thought that this isn’t okay and that I have to earn a living on my own, which might be true – maybe not – but on a relative level it is something that I want to figure out for myself.
Ramji: Well, it depends on your svadharma. If you enjoy being dependent on people, like a sannyasi, then it’s for you. If you want to feel independent, then you have to take matters into your own hands. I hate being dependent, but to bring this knowledge to people I have to rely on others to some degree. I write and teach, which brings in a little income, but I couldn’t do it without the generosity of others, who sometimes have an agenda. So it is like balancing on a tightwire.
Anna: With that fear, rajas comes and destroys my sattvic bubble. But to be honest, I see that it is an attachment to sattva, which is really hard to sustain in the apparent reality.
This leads me to a wonderful understanding: I surrender to Isvara as vasanas play out. Instead of trying to force or change anything, I focus on bringing attention and knowledge to the situation. It’s not an issue of getting an object of some sort but rather of understanding and identification. And eventually things do resolve somehow!
Ramji: That’s right. This is what Krishna means when he says, “Keep your attention on me and I will take care of your getting and keeping.”
Anna: Anyway, suppressing vasanas really does no good.
Ramji: Yes, you have to know which ones to act out and which ones to leave out.
Anna: Of course it is easier to stand up to them and dismiss them, but sometimes the fan still moves and then all I can do is to take a deep breath and offer all of it to Isvara. I don’t want to have anything to do with it anymore, because my jiva really feels like it is being played without end!
Ramji: That’s right! As long as you think you are a person, Isvara makes you dance like a puppet on a string. You can’t win. Maya is a zero-sum unreality.
Anna: Yes, I do love my family, even though they only think they love me. I can see beyond the personal issues and know that they are love, so I don’t have to “get” love from them.
Ramji: The only love you owe anyone is love you owe yourself. People’s affections come and go, but the love of the Self by the Self is eternal.