KNOWLEDGE AND DISPASSION
The Gita verse (XV:11) described the two different kinds of aspirants (with
pure and impure mind). Both aspirants practice the methods so what is the key
as to whether the aspirant who practices can actually purify the mind?
What are the impurities of the mind? Moha (delusion), vasana (desire,
passion), ahamkara (egoism). Dispassion and knowledge alone purifies the
mind and not the practice. Sadhana practice with no dispassion and no
knowledge is simply a work for the mind and body. Devotion comes first.
When an aspirant develops nonattachment to the world, worldly desires
decrease and one becomes humble in relating to others. It means the mind is
purified. Purified mind develops deep concentration and becomes peaceful.
Could you give an example how if two people sit down to practice pranayama,
one gets samadhi and the other doesn't? How does knowledge and dispassion
in the one that gets samadhi cause the person's mind to go deeper?
Deep ocean divers don't get samadhi. They can hold the breath for 3-5
minutes. In pranayama, concentration is the main key. If in doing pranayama,
the mind is restless and agitated, then pranayama will not do much good.
But both practitioners are trying to dive deep.
One is doing by awareness; one is not.
The difference between the two aspirants is that one has acquired knowledge
and dispassion and the other hasn't?
It is not the knowledge of the Self. It's a knowledge of one's firm aim which
develops devotion and dispassion.
Is that the knowledge that causes one to have success?
Yes. That goes with dispassion. Progress is based on dispassion and devotion.
You said one does pranayama with awareness and the other doesn't, so my
mind thought on the awareness of the breath. So it's better to concentrate the
awareness at ajna?
Awareness of the breath in pranayama breathing is important.
There's a difference between concentration at ajna and being aware of the
flow of the breath.
Awareness of breath is also concentration. One cannot keep awareness of one
object if the mind jumps around in various things.
So should one start with concentration on the breath?
Yes. In doing pranayama, you have to be aware of breath and you can fix the
mind at ajna chakra. In pranayama, the breathing pattern is not the same as we
breathe at other times. It is a yogic breathing which is measured by the time of
inhale, hold, and exhale.
Do different pranayama have better methods of concentration specific to the
All pranayamas purify the mind, move the pranic energy upward, and develop
the ability of concentration. One doesn't need to do all kinds of pranayamas.
One or two kinds can be perfected by regular practice.
Does the knowledge that we are talking about that helps you to go deeper in
meditation, does that come from meditation?
Yes. The process of meditation is to remove the world from the mind. When
the world subsides from the mind, even for a short period, it brings two things:
1) knowledge of the truth in degrees, 2) dispassion for the unreal world. Those
two things again in the next meditation deepen its intensity. In one meditation,
it's very hard to go into samadhi. Only those who have very high dispassion
can go into samadhi that way.
So is the transfer from meditation to meditation accomplished by weakening
the worldly samskaras or is there an imprint that transfers forward to reinforce
the succeeding meditations?
The five afflictions are the inner world. Avidya (ignorance), asmita (egoism),
raga (attraction), dvesha (repulsion), abhinivesha (fear of death or clinging to
life). They are in the mind and due to them, we identify the outer world. They
are weakened by regular practice of meditation. The more those samskaras are
weakened, the more one goes deeper in meditation.
Is the veil of ignorance the belief in those kleshas? What is the veil of
We are born with a belief: I am this mind-body complex. It's our ignorance
and the other kleshas reinforce this ignorance.
In the imprinting process of meditation that creates the samskara of one-
pointedness or restraint, is it the accumulation of those one-pointed samskaras
that burn the other samskaras that destroys the notion of the outer world? Is
there a cause and effect relationship from the meditation to the outer world
Any action in which the mind is aware makes samskaras. Meditation is action.
That makes samskaras. That samskara becomes the cause of the intensity of
the next meditation. So it's a cause and effect process.
Given that, to what extent does that development of the samskara of
meditation affect the samskara of attachment, greed, etc. directed to the outer
Samskara are accumulated in the mind. When the samskara of meditation
starts increasing, the worldly samskaras are blocked from getting active by
meditation samskara. What are meditation samskaras? 1) Knowledge (viveka)
and 2) dispassion (vairagya). Knowledge is opposite of ignorance and
dispassion is opposite of attachment.
© 1996 Sri Rama Publishing
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