THE FIRST STATE OF VAIRAGYA – DESIRELESSNESS: CESSATION FROM SELF- INDULGENCE IN THE THIRST FOR SENSUOUS PLEASURES, WITH CONSCIOUS EFFORT.
“Conscious effort” is the key word. Consciousness is needed, and effort is also needed. And the effort should be conscious because there can be unconscious efforts. You can be trained in such a way that you can drop certain desires without knowing that you have dropped them.
For example, if you are born in a vegetarian home you will be eating vegetarian food. Non-vegetarian food is simply not the question. You never dropped it consciously. You have been brought up in such a way that unconsciously it has dropped by itself. But this is not going to give you some integrity; this is not going to give you some spiritual strength. Unless you do something consciously, it is not gained.
Many societies have tried this for their children to bring them up in such a way that certain wrong things simply don’t enter in their lives. They don’t enter, but nothing is gained through it because the real thing to gain is consciousness. And consciousness can be gained through effort. If without effort something is conditioned on you, it is not a gain at all.
So in India there are many vegetarians. Jains, Brahmins, many people are vegetarians. Nothing is gained because just by being born in a Jain family, being a vegetarian means nothing. It is not a conscious effort; you have not done anything about it. If you were born into a non-vegetarian family, you would have taken to non-vegetarian food similarly.
Unless some conscious effort is done, your crystallization never happens. You have to do something on your own. When you do something on your own, you gain something. Nothing is gained without consciousness, remember it. It is one of the ultimate. Nothing is gained without consciousness! You may become a perfect saint, but if you have not become through consciousness, it is futile, useless. You must struggle inch by inch because through struggle more consciousness will be needed. And the more consciousness you practice, the more conscious you become. And a moment comes when you become pure consciousness.
CESSATION FROM SELF-INDULGENCE IN THE THIRST FOR SENSUOUS PLEASURES, WITH CONSCIOUS EFFORT.
What to do? Whenever you are in any state of pleasure – sex, food, money, power, anything that gives you pleasure – meditate on it. Just try to find it, from where it is coming. You are the source, or the source is somewhere else? If the source is somewhere else, then there is no possibility of any transformation because you will remain dependent on the source.
But, fortunately, the source is not anywhere else, it is within you. If you meditate, you will find it. It is knocking every moment from within, that “I am here!” Once you have the feeling that it is there knocking every moment – and you were creating only situations outside in which it was happening – it can happen without situations. Then you need not depend on anybody, on food, on sex, on power, anything. You are enough unto yourself. Once you have come to this feeling, the feeling of enoughness, indulgence – the mind to indulge, the indulgent mind – disappears.
That doesn’t mean you will not enjoy food. You will enjoy it more. But now food is not the source of your happiness, you are the source. You are not dependent on food, you are not addicted to it.
That doesn’t mean you will not enjoy sex. You can enjoy more, but now it is fun, play; it is just a celebration. But you are not dependent on it, it is not the source. And once two persons, two lovers, can find this – that the other is not the source of their pleasure – they stop fighting with the other. They start loving the other for the first time.
Otherwise you cannot love a person upon whom you are dependent in any way. You will hate, because he is your dependence. Without him you cannot be happy. So he has the key, and a person who has the key of your happiness is your jailer. Lovers fight because they think that the other has the key and, “He can make me happy or unhappy.” Once you come to know that you are the source and the other is the source of his own happiness, you can share your happiness; that’s another thing, but you are not dependent. You can share. You can celebrate together. That’s what love means: celebrating together, sharing together – not driving from each other, not exploiting each other.
Because exploitation cannot be love. Then you are using the other as a means, and whomsoever you use as a means, he will hate you. Lovers hate each other because they are using, exploiting each other, and love – which should be the deepest ecstasy – becomes the ugliest hell. But once you know that you are the source of your happiness, no one else is the source, you can share it freely. Then the other is not your enemy, not even an intimate enemy. For the first time friendship arises, you can enjoy anything.
And you will be able to enjoy it only when you are free. Only an independent person can enjoy it. A person who is mad and obsessed with food cannot enjoy it. He may fill his belly, but cannot enjoy it. His eating is violent. It is a sort of killing. He is killing the food; he is destroying the food. And lovers who feel that their happiness depends on the other are fighting, trying to dominate the other, trying to kill the other, to destroy the other. You will be able to enjoy everything more when you know that the source is within. Then the whole life becomes a play, and moment-to-moment you can go on celebrating infinitely.
This is the first step, with effort. Consciousness and effort, you achieve desirelessness. Patanjali says this is the first because even effort, even consciousness, is not good, because it means that some struggle, some hidden struggle, is still on.Tags: Patanjali Yoga Sutra 5.1 Vairagya