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 pranayama?

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 ignorance?

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 samskaras?

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 world.

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.



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