Values: What is Right Dispassion, I-Sense, Limitations of Human Birth? (137)


Lesson 137 is Value 10, 11, 12. What is proper dispassion? What is function of I-Sense? What is samsara?

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 8.


  • Value 10: Vairāgyam: Dispassion or Keeping Things in Proper Perspective.
  • For sake of helping aspirant keep things in perspective throughout stages of life:
    • 4 stages were devised:
      1. Brahmacarya:
        • Youthful years of self-discovery, exploration.
      2. Gṛhastha:
        • Kāma/artha is in full throttle.
        • Career, family.
        • DANGER: Person gets enmeshed, thus loses perspective. Hence next stage is advised…
      3. Vanaprastha:
        • VEDIC TIME: Physical retirement, without distraction. Sake of reprioritizing one’s life.
        • MODERN TIME: Today, can be incorporated into Gṛhastha, by: (1) Reserving time alone (2) Setting boundaries (3) Having own space in house.
      4. Sannyāsa:
        • Result of re-evaluating/re-prioritizing in Vanaprastha, conclusion is: Despite goals actualized, I still feel a void/emptiness in my life. Let me direct most time-energy-effort into pursuing mokṣa.
        • In Vedic culture, guru who taught children/king had wife also. Sannyāsa only came during Adi Shankara period. Eitherway, the principle was always, love for knowledge, whether married or not. Therefore, also possible within Gṛhastha.
      • Vanaprastha/Sannyāsa can be (1) end of life (2) amidst life. Not bound to aloneness.
      • In all cases, vairāgyam is not about “keeping things balanced” because impossible to always be in balance. Rather vairāgyam is “Keeping things in right perspective”.
  • Consequence of “Loss of Perspective” (Absence of Value 10):

    • Amanitvam: Wanting recognition from everyone.
    • Adambhitvam: Pretending to be someone I’m not.
    • Ahimsa: I don’t hesitate to step on others shoes, unless I'm benefiting.
    • Kshanti: I have agenda for everyone. I don't give them freedom to be who they are.
      • EG: Arjuna couldn’t accommodate the ugly side of reality in CH11. Hence blocked Īśvara from showing him more.
    • Arjavam: Not straight. Said one thing, meant another.
    • Acaryopasanam: I don't need teacher. I can figure it out myself. It's all just repetition after all. OR blindly surrender to someone.
    • Shaucam:
      • Vedānta becomes a self-help pursuit. Improving limited jīva becomes the end.
      • Aspirant owns up to one’s truth, but has silent air of rebelliousness towards world for being “mithyā”.
      • Self-condemnation: Finding new shortcomings in yourself. “I can’t”.
      • Envy: Instead of admiring others qualities, one brings them down to own level.
    • Sthairyam: Giving up at slightest discomfort. One doesn’t gain perspective change overnight.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 8:

Value 10: vairāgyam/virāga: Dispassion through Objectivity


  • Again, what is vairāgya? Keeping with the facts. Involves asking, “Am I limiting OR inflating this object through my perception?”.
    • EG:
      • President (D.T):
        • Undeveloped vairagya: The election was rigged. 3x count is insufficient. I want 4th count!
        • Vairagya: Apparently more have voted for my opponent.
      • Gold:
        • Undeveloped vairagya: Gold is symbol of wealth. It makes me a royalty, rich, more attractive.
        • Vairāgya: Gold is yellow, malleable, rare.
      • Money:
        • Undeveloped vairagya: Generalizing by saying, “It’ll make everything much easier”.
        • Vairagya: Taking 1h to design a report, how much you absolutely need per month. Create Incomings-Outgoings spreadsheet.
      • Intimate relationship:
        • Undeveloped vairagya: He/she is supposed to ___. It’s their duty to fulfill all my needs.
        • Vairagya: Ask, “What can THIS relationship do for me, and NOT do for me?”. Get clear.
          • EG: It CAN give different perspective or help me see how accommodative I am.
  • Virāga/Vairāgya is removing the colour through which we view the world. Has nothing to do with “staying away from OR blocking emotion“. It's having right perspective (meaning knowing what X can and can NOT do for me).
    • EG: If you understand what X relationship CAN and CANNOT do for you, that's Virāga. But if we superimpose expectations on relationship, leads to suffering.
  • What makes person excessively passionate / needy / over-attached to objects?
    • Superimposing a personal value (result of conditioning, marketing, culture)… over a value-neutral object.
    • Result is:
      • Because you’ve limited yourself to ONE possibility out of many.
      • Loss of perspective. EG:
        • Greeting everyone in same manner. Loss of perspective.
        • One partner says “My system is more rounded then yours”. Reality is: Everyone needs to follow their svadharma to progress.
  • How is dispassion developed?
    • By asking frequently, “What is my relationship to THIS?”. Prevents you from losing perspective. Meaning, needs repetition until automatic.
    • Knowing what X can and can NOT do according to it’s factual capacity (and not my notions of it).
    • Vairāgyam is also not physical nor emotional distancing oneself from world. That’s a coping mechanism (arising from unresolved relationship to one’s thoughts), and not vairāgyam.


Value 11: anahaṅkāraḥ: Absence of Self-Importance

* Starts at: 27:33

  • What is aham kāra?
    • Individuating mechanism every living specie has. Also called “I-sense”.
    • Examples:
      • When “I AM” hungry, I don’t start feeding you. I feed the body that is associated to “Andre I-sense”.
      • When fish caught in net, it doesn’t succumb. But attempts to free itself as an individual fish.
      • Birds don’t eat from coconut held by human, but only those on ground. Because “I may get hurt” says the bird. Also from bird’s standpoint, the coconut in human hand is associated to human-I. Thus it doesn’t touch the coconut, to same extent as it doesn’t touch the human.
      • Plants. EG: Two trees next to each other, each will compete for their-share of ground water.
  • In reference to HUMAN being:
    • In presence of ahamkara, the individual associated to that aham kāra, doesn’t mistake itself for another individual.
    • Ahamkara is a biological reality. Can’t be erased nor reduced or eradicated, long as being is alive.
    • Then what does it mean to say “Mokṣa is total eradication of aham kāra?”
      • It means the intellect owns up that it’s sense of individuality is INCIDENTAL. Just like individual-pot is incidental to universal-clay.
        • Thus identity has shifted from “I-pot” to “I-clay”. From “I-individual” to “I-Intelligence-Called-Īśvara-Whose-Content-Is-Awareness”.
  • CASE of dysfunctional aham kāra?
    1. Person’s character changes. Intellectual/aggressive/afraid. Unlikely to be disorder of the subtle body… else would be in full-load right from birth.
      • Thus more likely, a brain abnormality (genetic, chemistry)… which disrupts the operation of subtle body functioning through.
    2. Similar to when LSD attaches to serotonin receptors, it disrupts physical brain functioning, hence diminishing “I-sense”.
  • Inflated VS Deflated VS Healthy “I-sense”:
    1. Inflated:
      • Assuming everyone thinks just like you. Causes projection.
      • My teacher/friends/scriptures are better then yours.
      • Saying in background, “I can explain this better. This is so simple! I’ve heard this before!”.
    2. Deflated:
      • I’m not enough”. Manifests in 2 ways:
        1. Pessimism towards oneself. “I can’t. I won’t. What’s the point!”.
        2. Tries to artificially prove oneself. Violation of amanitvam/adambhitavam.
    3. Healthy:
      • Involves reducing inflated/deflated “I-sense”. How?
        1. Know everyone is born ignorant about (a) world (b) Meaning no place for in/deflated.
          • Inflated “I-sense” uses this FACT to reduce others.
          • Deflated “I-sense” uses this FACT to artificially inflate itself.
        2. Ask, “Do I really own anything?”. Everything is given.
          • Faculty to think is given. Object-of-though given. Memorization capacity given. Aham kāra Free will to TACTFULLY respond (EG: when playing sports).
          • Can’t even claim pride in knowledge. Many contributed in removing ignorance. Including school teachers, bus/train driver.
            • EG: Einstein needed classical physics to change paradigm towards Quantum Theory.
  • SUMMARY: Recognizing your dependence on others, one takes attitude of gratitude in life.
    • To enjoy where I today, I needed participation of others in PAST.
    • To STAY where I am, I need participation of others in the PRESENT. Meaning we can’t afford to disrespect people, as it chases them away, who we need.


Value 12: anudarśanam: Considering the 5-fold Limitations

* Starts at: 56:50

  • Whole name: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣa-anudarśanam.
  • This involves intimately considering (anudarśanam) 5-fold limitations:
    1. Birth: janma
    2. Afflictions: dukḥkam
    3. Sickness: vyādhi
    4. Old age: jarā
    5. Death: mṛtyu
  • Vedic culture is neither positive nor negative. It points out the FACT of saṃsāra.
    • EG: Arjuna embodies most favourable human privileges. Born to be prince, multi-faceted, dharmic, emotionally intelligent, handsome. Life can't get any better. But he too has share of sufferings. In Arjuna's case, he is connected to adharmic-Duryodhana. Whatever Duryo does, affects Arjuna. He can’t change Duryo.
      • Meaning: What others do, affects you.  No one person has an unceasing smooth ride.
  • Saṃsāra brings 3 types of challenges (level of control decreases down):
    1. Ādhyātmika (caused by internal):
      • Discomfort centered on yourself (either physical/mental).
      • EG: Everything is fine externally, but caught up in internal dialogue.
      • Where comes from?
        • Prārabdha karma. Generated by past saṃskāras (habits). It constantly interprets “now”.
        • Can either:
          1. Get further entangled.
          2. Mitigate: Acknowledge > Revisit >Re-Understanding > Re-Frame.
    2. Ādhibhautika (caused by humanity):
      • Obstacles from environment/surroundings contributed by you/others.
      • EG: Not totally free from inflation, rent cancellation, DNA, noise, neighbours, air quality.
      • SOLUTION: (1) Complain (2) Mitigate.
    3. Ādhidaivika (caused by nature):
      • Obstacles from variables we have ZERO control.
      • EG: Volcanic eruption.
      • Which one is Covid-19?
        • Ādhibhautika (humanity): Dirty environment.
        • Ādhidaivika (nature): Don’t know what NEW form it’ll come, and HOW it’ll affect humanity long-term.
  • 5-Fold Limitations Must Be Addresses From Two Standpoints:
    • Standpoint of jīva (body-mind complex):
      • Best cure is prevention of future afflictions. EG:
        • Old-age (jarā):
          • Re-interpret. “Aging means I’m shedding away my ignorance. Becoming integrated.”.
          • Possibility is dementia/Alzheimer. Prevention: keep an engaged mind.
        • Situations afflictions (duḥkham):
          • Reframing: Re-asses the inner dialogue that’s keeping you unmotivated.
          • Revisit childhood. And re-create the scene.
          • Ask, “What could be source of this discomfort?
    • Standpoint of Mokṣa: Involves 3 Steps:
      • Step 1: Thoroughly get to know nature of the 3 bodies… worn: Gross Body, Subtle Body, Causal Body (consists of impressions which makes the Gross/Subtle body go through experiences).
      • Step 2: Acknowledge there is a final reality about Me, which is Awareness, in whose presence all changes are taking place, at level of the 3 bodies.
      • Step 3: Own up that My true nature is this very Awareness… unaffected by changes.
    • Value 1: amānitvam: Absence of demanding validation/respect.
    • Value 2: adhambhitam: Absence of pretense (making up stories).
    • Value 3: ahiṃsā: Deliberation of thought/word/action.
    • Value 4: kṣānti: Accommodation / Glad Acceptance of WHAT-IS.
    • Value 5: ārjavam: Straightforwardness (Alignment of thought/word/action).
    • Value 6: ācāryopāsanam: Service to teacher.
    • Value 7: śaucam: Inner & outer cleanliness.
    • Value 8: sthairyam: Steadfastness (Persistence).
    • Value 9: ātmavinigraha: Mastery/Management of the Mind.
    • Value 10: indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam: Dispassion Through Objectivity.
    • Value 11: anahaṅkāra: Healthy “I-Sense”.
    • Value 12: anudarśanam: Reflecting on 5-fold limitations.


Keywords: adhibhautika, adhidaivika, ahamkara, ahankara, anudarshanam, dosha, duhkha, mrityu, samsara, viraga, vyadhi, adhyatmika


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 3 Aug, 2021


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