11 Nov Q&A on ‘Avidya’
The topic for the English Satsang on Sunday, 10th November, 2013 was ‘Avidya.‘
Following is the transcript of the Q & A between the audience and Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.
Listen to the audio:
Q. Avidya is the inability to see things as they are. Can you elaborate on this?
Dr. J: This universe is infinite. We don’t know how vast, but we leave it there.
Smt. H: A simple example – what is our position in this whole world? Where is our Earth? How many suns are there in the whole galaxy? So many suns and so many planets are there. And then our Earth, in India, in Mumbai we are there. So that’s our position. We are such tiny things. But we think of ourselves to be quite great, as if without us the world can’t run, without us the house can’t run. Without us everything can run. We are nothing. So first of all, we have to remove that ignorance, we have to accept things as they are. If a person is not capable, accept and move ahead. The point is seeing things as they are, i.e. try to see things clearly, see what’s your position and understand accordingly.
Q. In practical life, they say ignorance is bliss. How do you explain?
Dr. J: Bliss – remain happy, don’t feel sad.
Smt. H: This is just a dictum which makes us feel very comfortable and we feel, ‘Good that I didn’t know.’ Ignorance means you didn’t know that, that knowledge was not there with you. Good that you don’t have the knowledge that some rape was there, or somewhere a tsunami came, because otherwise you would feel miserable. So from that angle, this dictum is used – Ignorance is bliss. But in yoga, ignorance is taken very differently. Something which is not permanent, we think it permanent. It is not the material knowledge we are talking about in yoga. In spirituality, it is an altogether different thing. And here in the worldly life, there are so many things that we don’t know. That, we have to accept and move ahead.
Q. The mind gets disturbed while dealing with a husband who is not working, is stubborn and self-centered. How can I remain peaceful?
Dr. J: Do you see God or not?
Smt. H: Be involved in your own work. You cannot change your husband. He must be having at least some good qualities. Try and see and increase those good qualities and the bad qualities will automatically reduce. A glass of milk has milk and air. Increase the milk and the air reduces. It is as simple as that.
Q. It is said that it is always easy to preach or advise. But it is very difficult to follow for the self. What is the technique to follow for ourselves?
Dr. J: Don’t take advice. See, in this meeting, I would not advise.
Smt. H: Stop this easy path. Stop advising unless you are asked for it. And after advising, whether someone follows it or not, let go. Work on yourself more, that is when you will feel good. There is no happiness in advising others because people don’t follow and why should they follow? It is your experience and your thinking. So stop telling others, keep yourself in the correct state.
Q. What techniques in yoga can be used to avoid Avidya?
Dr. J: Today’s topic was on Avidya. So we must not think of Avidya at all.
Smt. H: This is the formula. Do not think about Avidya. Think about Vidya, knowledge. Accept that we have ignorance but find out ways that improve our understanding. Learn from every single thing and increase your knowledge.
Satsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.