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Dravyaguna for Westerners (Vol 4) Vaidya Atreya Smith, BSc., director of the European Institute of Vedic Studies, has created a text book on Ayurvedic Herbal Therapies for health practitioners and schools throughout the world. [ Read more ] » All our books
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The sense of "I", or of being, is the foundation of psychological stress, not physical stress. The moment we take ourselves to be an individual separate from the pure conscious awareness that we are by nature, stress, fears and phobias arise. Why? Because the sense of "I" is an artificial state that requires effort to maintain itself. This effort becomes a habit, or Samskara, that allows all other habits or Samskaras to form and take root. Nevertheless, it requires an effort to maintain. Thus, all of us, at certain times of our lives, find ourselves in our natural state of consciousness. It is a simple, peaceful and happy beingness - it is not a state as it is the foundation of all states. Moving out of the beingness is the same thing as identifying with Ahamkara or the "I".

Many people are running around today giving "satsang" telling others that no effort is needed to return to their natural state. Sounds nice, no effort to remove all fears, stress, phobias and problems. Sorry, these people are either ignorant or lying. It is true that our natural state of pure awareness is without problems or pathology (Caraka Samhita, Sutrastana, Ch 1, 56). However, it is untrue that we can stop the powerful Samskara, or habit, of taking the shadow as the object (the "I" as conscious awareness). To remove this wrong habit, or wrong concept requires two steps:

1. understand the problem

2. make the effort to change the habit

On the vulgarized path of modern commercialized "satsang" people often understand the problem, but few make the tremendous effort needed to destroy the habit (Samskar) of identifying with Ahamkara. This is the strongest of all Samaskars and all other habits, conditions and psychological issues are rooted in this Samskara.

The classic manner of removing this Samskara is to repeat every day that "I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the emotions, etc.". In traditional systems this is repeated down to the cells, including waste, hair or anything that one could identify with.

My Guru, H.W.L. Poonjaji says, "On three accounts searching and practice are foolishness and misleading. They are only the clever mind postponing Freedom. The first is that it creates a searcher. This re-enforces the concept of an individual sufferer that is separate from Freedom, and that Self is something "other" than that Here and Now.

The Second is the search. Searching is a distraction which causes postponement and endless, needless suffering. Searching promotes religions, traditions, and paths to be adhered to, which serve only to trap you deeper in illusion. The truth is only Here and Now, but the search says it is tomorrow.

The third account is that search creates an object to be found, and this can be the subtlest and most misleading trap. As you start a search you conceptualize what it is that you are searching for. Since the nature of Maya, of illusion, is that whatever you think, so it becomes. Whatever you think the goal to be you will attain it.

There is no doubt about this: As you think so it becomes. So because of your search you will create and then attain that which you think you are searching for! Any heaven or high spiritual state that you long to attain you will attain after you conceptualize and create it. Then you will rest satisfied in the trap thinking that you have attained your "heaven".

The Truth is beyond thought, concept, and conditioning and this Truth is what you are, and only the Truth is.

Sri H.W.L. Poonjaji, The Truth Is, page 365

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