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Bondage and Liberation

3 Apr 2022 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

Bondage and Liberation

There are three form of suffering, due to which an idea arises in Purusha that it is bound. Whenever the three gunas are active,there is disharmony, and dealing with disharmony cause struggle.This conflict and suffering has been divided into three categories of : adhibhautika, adhyatmika and adhidaivika. The first kind of pain stems from, material causes, the second from personal, inner causes, and the third from cosmic or divine influences. More Bondage and Liberation.

When purusha, being the conscious nature, identifies with the three classifications of suffering, it appears bound. Prakriti is the cause of all sufferings, but does not identify with them, because prakriti does not have consciousness. We interact with pains and pleasures of the world according to inherited or innate predispotions, bhavas, and end up either further entangled in karma and detached from it.

Dharmena     gamanamoordhvam     gamanamadhastaadbhavatyadharmena;

Jnaanena     chaapavarago      viparyayaadishyate     bandhah.

Through the predisposition towards virtuous nature (dharma) one ascends to higher planes of existence; through inappropriate or vicious behaviour (adharma) one descends to lower planes. Through knowledge comes release and by its reverse (i.e avidya or ignorance) one become bound.

When Purusha is freed from the influences of mahat (buddhi), ahamkara and manas, it is chetana, pure consciousness. However, when Purusha comes into contact with Prakriti, it forgets its own nature. Due to its ignorance, Purusha identifies with intellect, ego and mind, and begins to believe it is not different from the experiences it has in the realm of Prakriti. This association of Purusha with Prakriti causes bondage through false identification. It is like reacting to a dream. While dreaming that somebody is chasing you with the gun, you experience fear and anxiety. But upon awakening, you realize it was just a dream. The nature of purusha is totally conscious, which can be related to the state of wakefulness. However, when Purusha interacts with Prakriti, the consciousness becomes dissipated.

While sitting alone in a room, you become introspective, absorbed in your thoughts and nature, but when somebody walks in, and you come out of that state. You look at the other person and start communicating, forgetting about yourself. The same thing happens with Purusha. While person is independent, it is perfectly at peace with itself. But when Prakriti comes before Purusha, it begins to interact with prakriti. At that time, the awareness is dissipated. Interaction and then identification begins due to association with Prakriti. Purusha loses its self-consciousness and begins to observe and react to the nature of Prakriti. Because of this loss of awareness and self- identification, Purusha thinks, “ I am the bhokta, the enjoyer” and begins to identify personally with the experiences of buddhi, manas and ahamkara, which are manifestations of Prakriti.

The  subtle ( sukshma) body , and the body born of mother  and father, together with the objects made of the gross elements , are specific. Of these, the subtle body is constant, and continues to exist from one life to the next, whereas the gross body born of parents perishes. There in Purusha experiences suffering brought about by old age and death on account of non- cessation of the subtle body ( linga ) . Therefore, pain is the very nature of things.

At this point, Purusha becomes a witness to the experience of pain, pleasure, and indifference, due to indentification with the effects of Prakriti and its trigunatmika nature. The natural and inherent consciousness of Purusha recedes further from awareness as Purusha identifies with the dance of Prakriti. That identity gives rise to the feeling of bondage. “I am limited, I am confined, I am only seeing, knowing, under-standing , and experiencing what is  being shown to me by Prakriti.”Due to the influence of the  three Gunas Purusha experiences bondage, and the ability to discriminate is lost. Now, the question arises as to why Purusha, being conscious, is affected by the role that Prakriti plays. This can be answered in the following way.

Parents become happy when their children do something positive and constructive , and unhappy when they do something destructive or negative. Although the parents are different to their offspring, they respond to the activities of their children because of an emotional relationship or connection. Similarly, a relationship exists between Purusha and Prakriti, and therefore Purusha is not able to separate its own role from the role of Prakriti and begins to think, “I am not different to the intelligence which guides Prakriti,” In this way, Purusha becomes totally identified with buddhi and forgets that buddhi ( mahat) is the product of Prakriti. This wrong identification or lack of discrimination is the cause of bondage. It is similar to parents identifying with the suffering of their child. Although the parents are not suffering, still they sit beside the child`s bed, knowing they cannot do anything to alleviate the suffering.

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