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Practical Application

Sam Hewinson TEST 12 February 2024

Now, having defined yoga and the nondual state, having clarified that a choice was made and granted. Having said that, how shall we live in society and in business?

“O Rāma, they who are infatuated with the diverse worldly affairs – in pursuit of pleasure and power – they no longer even wonder about the truth, they are oblivious.”

Yoga Vasiṣṭha IV.48

Here Vasiṣṭha explains that addiction to the dualistic experience prevents access to the nondual state. The kleśas poison our experience of yoga. Our spiritual practice – our sādhanā – is to wean ourselves off rāga and dvea, personal cravings and fears, all that individualistic thought.

“After all, whatever there is to be enjoyed has already been enjoyed, whatever there is to be seen has already been seen. What else is there in this world that a wise man should seek?”

Yoga Vasiṣṭha IV.32

We must thus save ourselves from drowning in the ocean of illusion via a mixture of living in this world of enjoyment along with frequent exposure to the nondual state.

Shall we do a quick recap on the kleśas? These are the key obstacles on the path to nonduality. They are a foundational teaching of yoga and should be found in any quality Teacher Training. Here they are:

Kleśa (क्लेश)

Klesha is a term from Indian philosophy meaning a “poison”. Patañjali’s Yoga sūtras explicitly identifies five poisons (pañcakleśā).

These five (pañcakleśas or afflictions (kleśā) are:

  • avidyā (ignorance, misapprehension about that reality, reducing things to materiality)
  • asmitā (egoism, mistaking the physical body and intellect as being who you are)
  • rāga (attachment)
  • dveṣa (aversion)
  • abhiniveśāḥ (fear of death, clinging ignorantly to life)