Raga, attachment, one of the four obstacles or branches of Avidya expresses itself in making demands. We want things to turn out our way or we want the past to have happened differently. We want the things we don’t have and to keep the things we do. We want our body to be more flexible or stronger, we want our teacher to hurry up and change the pose, and we always want more of the things that made us feel good even if more might make us feel bad. It’s a sticky side of human nature, and being part of a very goal driven materialistic world I often find myself tangled in a spider web of attachments.
During my training in India I remember the Guru of the ashram, Yogacharya Vishwas Mandlik, asking us what is driving our tendency to accumulate and posses more and more, and why do we waste so much energy ensuring that we don’t lose it? I certainly don’t have an answer to this massive question, but I see that we associate security and pleasure with material possession, and material goods are limited resources, so logically we don’t want to lose something we may not be able to replace.
But let’s step back a minute and imagine that ultimate security would come from an unlimited resource, and then we may find motivation to refocus with a yogic perspective. Love is an unlimited resource, the Prana within is an unlimited resource, our Purusha or inner observer and all its traits of curiosity and engaging with the world are unlimited resources. Ultimately many unlimited resources exist within us, and as we cultivate a deeper understanding of ourselves and the wellspring within, the less raga/attachment we have to the finite and every changing material world.
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