03 Sep Hansaji talking on ‘Anitya Bhavana, Pratipaksha Bhavana, Nispandabhava’
The topic for the Hindi Satsang on Sunday, 1st September, 2013 was ‘Anitya Bhavana, Pratipaksha Bhavana, Nispandabhava.‘
Following is the transcript of the speech made by Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.
Listen to the Audio:
“We need to guide our feelings in the right direction, otherwise they can go haywire and create chaos. Our feelings can be positive or negative. When we love someone, we love them so much that we do not see any weakness / negative trait in that person. On the other hand, when we dislike someone, we are unable to see any positive traits in that person. We have to understand that when we think negative, we harm ourselves first. Therefore we have to be extremely careful that we do not let any negative thought enter our minds. Instead, make a conscious effort to think positive only.
Therefore, the rule in yoga is to replace negative with positive, hence Pratipaksha Bhavana. It’s not easy to replace the negative image of a person with a positive image, hence we need to quieten our mind first. First instill a calm or peaceful mind that observes without thinking, listens without thinking. Here I am talking about Nispandbhava where one sits in a comfortable position with eyes shut, making no movements and only listening to the sounds around without thinking – Passive Listening. This is a very useful technique that can be practiced to quieten the mind and keep out the negativity, very nicely demonstrated here in the skit today, where a person can travel in the local train so peacefully and get refreshed inspite of the variety of sounds and movements happening around. Similarly, when one attends a musical recital, if one just focuses on and listens to the music, enjoys it then that is meditation itself. But if one were to understand the music, think of how it could have been better with the addition or deletion of certain factors then the essence is lost and one returns home with negative energy instead. We are responsible for our world, we make it or break it by our way of thinking. Our thoughts define our feelings. Therefore it is extremely important to quieten our minds and then convert our negative energy into positive energy.
Imagine if one foot is injured, the mind constantly goes to the pain felt there and feels sad. Instead, if one could sit in Nispandbhava, then one could separate himself from the body by listening to the sounds around and not feel the pain as much anymore. Pain or sadness is felt when the mind visits the painful spot, therefore if the mind can be guided to a peaceful thought process then we can experience peace. It is said of Raman Maharshi that he was suffering from cancer in one of his arms and had to undergo an operation for the same. He refused anesthesia for the procedure. The doctors were shocked and tried to convince him otherwise without success. While operating, the doctors observed his blood pressure and pulse constantly for fluctuations but they were steady throughout. Raman Maharshi practised Nispandbhava at the time. The mind was concentrated on the sounds far away and was therefore separated from the body. The mind couldn’t feel any pain since it was taken far away and maintained like that for the duration of the procedure. The operation was completed successfully. This event is recorded. Constant and regular practice of this technique can work wonders and help us to quieten our minds. Please note that this technique can be practised anywhere and at anytime.
Let’s understand, why do our emotions have to get disturbed in the first place? Why can we not experience a blissful state of mind at all times? Why do the changes in circumstances or situations around us create a similar change in how we feel? There is a need to bring in a little philosophy that whatever is happening around us is changeful. It is not permanent. If someone behaves rudely with us, we need not get disturbed. Instead we could speak to them when they are receptive and sort things out. That same person will not remain the same and will change with time. Deep down within our subconscious, we need to absorb this philosophy that everything is changeful and nothing is permanent. The only thing permanent is our consciousness and therefore I should not get disturbed by the circumstances because this will change. I just need to be patient and this too shall pass. Let it be my family, my work, my dealings or conversations; everything will change. A king on his birthday was gifted a ring by his wise ministers with the engraving “This too shall pass” – whenever the king felt bogged down by his problems or was experiencing happiness – he would be reminded that both these situations were temporary and would pass in due course of time. We need to adapt the same philosophy in our everyday dealings at our work or with our family and friends.
Our emotions need to be guided and should not be allowed to function as per the environment around. We therefore need to incorporate these three Bhavas into our daily life. And for us to be able to do that, we need to become aware of ourselves and how our mind functions. Only then will we be able to correct ourselves. Watch yourself; if the mind is thinking negative, quieten it down and convert the negative to positive. Let’s make an effort and begin working on ourselves.”