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On aversion

The second of the Klesha's - or afflication - is Dvesha or aversion.

Aversion is the effort to avoid objects or events that we perceive - or fear - will make us unhappy.

Dukha anusayu dvesah II.8

Unhappiness leads to hatred.

Pain can lead to aversion towards other beings or other objects, circumstances, etc..

To avoid pain we are often motivated by doing things that feel good, that make us happy, we tent to run after that which feels good and avoid that which is unpleasant. This often dictates our decisions in life.

In the Katha Upanishads, a chapter in the Upanishads which explains how every moment we are faced with the choice between what is good (shreya) and what is merely pleasant (preya), and that as long as we live in a state of duality we will always have to pay careful attention in making a distinction between these two qualities when making a decision.

This particular conversation is between Yama (death) and Nachiketa (teenage student), Yama says to his student:

"The joy of the spirit ever abides,

But not what seeks pleasant to the senses.

Both these, differing in their purpose, prompt

us to action. All is well for those who choose

the joy of the spirit, but they miss

the goal of life who prefer the pleasant.

Perennial joy or passing pleasure?

This is the choice one it to make always.

Those who are wise recognize this, but not

the ignorant. They first welcome what leads

to abiding joy, though painful at the time.

The latter run, goaded by their senses,

After what seems immediate pleasure. ...

...the good is one thing; the pleasant another. These

two, differing in their ends, both prompt to action....

The wise, having examined both, distinguish one from

the other. The wise prefer the good to the pleasant."

Dvesha can also be interpreted as an avoidance of something, or feeling of dislike towards something. The ego is usually involved in this choice. For instance…When we are challenged out of our comfort zone by a pose in our practice, we may encounter this sensation of dislike. Uncomfortable as it may be, sometimes a lesson lies in taking that step that takes out to a new ground, out of your comfort zone… It’s a great opportunity for growth.

Living a life running away from pain in search of pleasure, is a recipe for disaster. There are so many things that cannot be controlled or anticipated. In order for me to make a choice that will steer me away from discomfort or pain I will most likely need to overrun someone else's well being or inflict pain somewhere else in order to preserve my own state of happiness.

'A discriminating person strives to acquire knowledge so that he may strike a balance between sukha (good space, positive, pleasant) and dhukha (bad space, negative, unpleasant) and live at the mercy of neither pleasure not pain.'

Here is something to think about:

-If you usually WANT to challenge yourself, what would it feel like to take a step back?

-If you usually DON’T WANT to challenge yourself, what would happen if you did?

“We perceive as good that which brings pleasure; we perceive as bad that which brings pain” — Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Inside the Yoga Sutras

To step out of a state of aversion is to step out of your ego’s comfort zone. Being pushed around by the ego (I want, I don’t want) is a vicious, never ending cycle, which creates suffering.

You are in power of breaking the cycle. Identify one habit, and change it. You will come to see that your True identity is not defined by your likes and dislikes.

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