Basis of upasana

May 01, 2020 01:34 am | Updated 01:34 am IST

Adyatma sadana is demanding as it takes root only when one is able to distance oneself from the immediate world and the impact of the physical awareness that is a constant presence in each one. In the Gita, it is clearly shown that Adyatma sadana is something that cannot be practised by one whose mind is caught in desire and anger, pointed out Swami Sashishikananda in a discourse.

Arjuna asks who and what is prompting him to act in a particular way, especially in doing wrong when he wants to avoid such acts. Krishna points out to Kama, desire, and also Krodha, anger that are present in all beings in the form of rajas. When prompted by desire one seeks to fulfil them; in case the effort is thwarted, it gives rise to anger and the ego in one regards this as a personal failure. This leads to being caught in a vicious cycle. Moreover, since there is no end to desires, chasing them in life is like entering a fathomless ocean. The answer is first of all to accept the presence of desires in us. They are a part of the human personality comprising the senses, mind and intellect. But one should be wary of desires and not allow them to occupy the mind as they can easily cause harm to one’s spiritual sadana when they lead to wrong actions, even as a strong virus can attack the physical health of a person. Instead, one can try to focus on one’s ordained duties, that is, what has devolved on one owing to birth, circumstances, etc and not encourage selfish tendencies.

The Kenopanishad teaches the foundations of upasana, the practice of austerities, such as self control and contentment and so on, and encourages one to cultivate and sustain these at all times. This is the only way to attain chitta suddhi which is conducive for Adyatma sadana.

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