Bhoga is Sanskrit word which means ‘full of sense enjoyments’. In the current age, Senses are in overdrive mode, and we are totally at the mercy of the senses. This constant outward pull, leaves us with very little time for introspection and reflection. The pleasures and pains from the senses are temporary and in the end leave us tired, causing mental unrest, agitation, and always seeking out for the next high. Some, look for some form of relief, not fully comprehending what is it that they are looking for, and it is in this state, most turn towards Yoga & Meditation, in the hope to find peace in some form. Again, unsure of what the end state is or what that state of peace is.
While turning towards Yoga is directionally correct, often what is missed out is the prior preparation that is needed to enter Yoga – the calming of the mind.
To practice Yoga in its true form, it is important to develop a calm mind, and to develop a calm mind, one needs to delve into the mind as explained by our mystics.
Our scriptures say there are 5 kinds of changing state of mind. The sages emphatically say that any state of mind, has to fall within one of the 5 states. These 5 states of the mind are called ‘vrttis’.
While some of these changing states are positive, uplifting, and promote inward focus, the other states are negative, bound outwards and downwards. The vrttis that are positive are called ‘aklista’ and the vrttis that are not conducive, negative bound are called ‘klista’. So, there are ‘Klista vrttis’ and then there are ‘aklista vrttis’.
The ‘klistas’ (negative vrttis/states of mind) are caused again by 5 ‘kleshas’ – EGO, IGNORANCE, ATTACHMENT, HATERED and CLINGING to LIFE. These the scriptures say, are the biggest obstacles to YOGA.. Trapped within these 5 kleshas, we, forever remain in the state of BHOGA.
Likewise ‘Aklista vrttis’, are borne out of discrimination. These vrttis are more contemplative by nature, and are focused on a higher goal, on nobler causes and therefore the mind is not disturbed or neither does it have interest in the mundane.
What drives these two different types of vritts which are so diametrically opposite? Can a person have both, or anyone? If a person has both, then what triggers one or the other? These are the fundamental questions one should try and find answers for.
Our scriptures say, that the Rajasic and Tamasic nature within each of us promote the Kleshas vrittis/Klistas, and the Sattvic nature within each of us promote aklista vrttis.
We are all a combination of Rajas, Tamas and Sattva, albeit of varying proportions. The key is to promote Sattva and curb Rajas and Tamas. This requires close analysis of the `self, and working on cultivating Sattva
We need to examine our thoughts and start placing the thoughts in the vrttis / Akista-Klista grid. Even if we have one uplifting thought among the many Klistas, that is a good start in itself. We need to continue to develop the Akilsta, and curb the Klists. This requires a good understanding of the 5 vrttis / states of mind that trigger these thoughts, I will write about the 5 vrttis next, but suffice to say that developing the right vrttis that can be accomplished by developing Sattva, is key to developing a calm mind, that is conducive for Yoga.
Also read High and Lower and the 3 Gunas