Imagination is the result of mere words

Do you know that imagination is the fantasy which moves you away from the reality?

The biggest click I got from the 9th Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is – imagination is the results of mere words – words we create unconsciously! Patanjali says anything experienced by you, other than your pure consciousness is vikalpa – imagination. Imagination is that which is created merely by words! Hence imagination brings more suffering than wrong knowledge because for wrong knowledge to happen, your consciousness needs be present and the mind needs to do something. Wrong knowledge can only happen in waking state or dream state. Wrong knowledge is nothing but wrong logic. But imagination can disturb you in all the three states – waking state, dream state and deep sleep state because imagination touches the deeper zones than wrong knowledge.

Another important truth I discovered from this sutra is that imagination corrupts your seven chakras. What are chakras? See, your mind and body come in contact with each other at 7 points in your body. These 7 points are known as the 7 energy centres or chakras. The Yoga tradition describes these 7 points as Chit-Jada-granthi – the points where matter and consciousness meet each other. Whenever you carry imagination, you corrupt these 7 energy centres and disturb their functioning.

For example, if your imagination touches your root centre, Mooladhara chakra at the base of the spine, it is called fantasy. You are caught in fantasies about others and yourself which results in distortion of your basic perception of reality. You start seeing everything as larger than life, you start expecting the things which can never happen. Projecting your magnified expectation on reality is called fantasy. This happens often in relationships, you will always feel that the other person is not fulfilling you. You start imagining things, projecting things and creating things. When you see that it is not happening through the other person, you start blaming the other person. That is why you constantly feel the other person is depriving you or suffocating you. You are not even aware that it is your fantasy which is creating the expectation of things which can never happen or which never happened.

Next, if your imagination touches your Swadhistana chakra or being centre located 2 inches above the root centre, it is called fear. You experience fear of others and fear of yourself. You start to have phobia for no reason. If your imagination touches the Manipuraka chakra, the navel centre, it is called worry. You start worrying about others and worrying about yourself. If your imagination touches your Anahata chakra, the heart centre, it is called attention-need. You suffer from continuous attention need from others and from yourself. Sometimes you put up with abusive relationships just because of your attention-need. You forget that you can be a source of love and you need not be a beggar for love and attention. If your imagination touches your Visuddhi chakra, the throat centre, it is called jealousy. You start constant comparison with others and comparison with yourself. This happens a lot when you constantly compare with yourself what you were able to do yesterday and not today. If your imagination touches your Ajna chakra, the brow centre, it is called ego. You start suffering from ego with others and with yourself. The greatest suffering is you judge yourself, you regret your own words and actions or you are angry with yourself for something. When you carry too many judgments about life, about others and yourself, it means imagination is corrupting your brow centre. Finally, if your imagination touches your Sahasrara chakra or the crown centre, it is called discontentment. You suffer from discontentment with others and discontentment with yourself. This is how we create different kinds of suffering in our life due to the inability to handle the realities of life!

Have you seen people renouncing life due to many unfulfilled fantasies about life? They fantasized about luxury lifestyle but they didn’t make it and they couldn’t tolerate the failure, the reality of their life. They started to renounce out of frustration due to not having the right understanding about their fantasy.  I’ve seen people misunderstood about yoga and they created a fantasy about themselves and tortured themselves in the name of yoga. They are not able to come out of the fantasy they are caught in. That’s the endless suffering.

In essence, imagination – Vikalpa is fantasy which not only moves you away from reality, but it also makes you experience the ultimate suffering. It has to be understood with very deep awareness. It originates from the words you use to yourself and others because words have power to shape your destiny. Your ability to relax from imagination is the ultimate relaxation you can have in life. Namaste 😀

Source : 108 Truths of Yoga of Enlightenment by Paramahamsa Nithyananda

Understanding of modifications of the mind

For those intellects out there, this is a sutra for you from Patanjali, the great sage of yoga.

In the 6th Sutra, he states that “Right knowledge, wrong knowledge, imagination, sleep and memory – these are the 5 modifications of the mind which may lead to suffering or joy, anguish or non-anguish.”

The revelation is right knowledge can lead to suffering or joy! Even though it is right knowledge, it is still a modification of your mind which is bondage. The mind leads you to bondage or freedom, you mind can make anything out of anything. Any situation can be experienced in any way. The mind can enjoy a certain happening or suffer due to it. It can experience joy or suffering in the same situation, it can comprehend pleasure or pain in the same situation, it can make you experience anything out of anything! That is the power of the mind.

Have you seen people creating guilt out of right knowledge? With the right knowledge, when you misunderstand it and apply it in the wrong way or when you misuse it, you can create agony, guilt and doubt inside you and other people. In the hands of wrong people, even the right knowledge can create suffering!

Next, all of us know that wrong knowledge can also lead us to suffering or joy. This is because wrong knowledge comes from our emotions, mood swings which are nothing but the function of liver and hormones. Do you notice how your mood changes during morning, at noon and at night? Your thought patterns and moods are all based on your liver function which is wrong knowledge. Another example, when you are hungry, your idea about food is very different, after you finish your meal, suddenly your idea about food is different. This also applies to lust: when you want the experience, your idea about the other person, your idea about beauty, your idea about the act, everything is different. When you are finished with the act, suddenly everything is different! Hence, Patanjali says any knowledge based on your senses, your hormones which changes from time to time, is wrong knowledge. That’s why Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji) who is a living incarnation, emphasized that during the hormonal hijack, one should never make any important life decision.

You may ask – How can wrong knowledge create joy? According to Swamiji, wrong knowledge can lead one to joy for only a short period, but it is not permanent joy. It is joy that leads to bondage, to more suffering. So even if it gives you temporary joy, wrong knowledge is still wrong knowledge.

There are only 2 things your mind can do – it can either continuously condition you or it can continuously liberate you. Your imagination can either go this way or that way, it cannot stay still. You either progress or you go down, in the inner world there is no such thing as being stuck. If your imagination is used by you to liberate yourself, to remove all conditioning, it is called meditation. If your imagination is used by you to bind you more and more, to create more and more bondage for you, it is called mind. Imagination can either lead you to hell or heaven. People can either move completely away from the spiritual path or completely get enlightened.

Even with this great knowledge of Yoga, I’ve seen people create one more bondage – like feeling depressed due to misuse of this knowledge or misinterpretation of this great truth. That is why these great truths should be heard directly from an enlightened being. The enlightened being knows how to interpret Patanjali and from what context the truths are expressed.

Here Patanjali emphasized the importance of a cognitive shift by a master. The moment we experience a cognitive shift, our comprehension is illumined. We will be able to directly relate with the truth without difficulties or complications, without torturing ourselves. This cognitive shift happens with the initiation of an enlightened master. For instance, the science of unclutching is the direct initiation (energy transmission) by Patanjali where he spoke about in the 2nd sutra – “Mind is an action, you can stop it”. In the entire Yoga Sutra, Patanjali did not mention about initiation because he already knew that enlightened beings will continue to come down to planet earth to remind humanity of this science as a form of initiation and keep this tradition alive for future generations. It is only with a living master who can take you to the right imagination and lead you beyond the mind, the no-mind state of ecstasy!

In sum, the right knowledge, wrong knowledge and imagination are different modifications of the mind which only lead us to the extremes of joy or suffering, anguish and non-anguish. Beware of them! Namaste. 😀

  • Source – 108 truths of the Yoga of Enlightenment by Paramahamsa Nithyananda.