The first state of vairagya, desirelessness: cessation
from self-indulgence in the first for sensuous
pleasures, with conscious effort.
The last state of vairagya, desirelessness: cessation
of all desiring by knowing the innermost nature of
purush, the supreme self.
Abhyasa and vairagya – constant inner practice and desirelessness: these are the two foundation stones of Patanjali’s Yoga. Constant inner effort is needed not because something has to be achieved but because of wrong habits. The fight is not against nature, the fight is against habits. Nature is there, every moment available to flow in, to become one with it, but you have a wrong pattern of habits. Those habits create barriers. The fight is against these habits, and unless they are destroyed, the nature, your inherent nature, cannot flow, cannot move, cannot reach to the destiny for which it is meant.
So remember the first thing: the struggle is not against nature. The struggle is against wrong nurture, wrong habits. You are not fighting yourself, you are fighting something else which has become fixed with you. If this is not understood rightly, then your whole effort can go in a wrong direction. You may start fighting with yourself, and once you start fighting with yourself you are fighting a losing battle. You can never be victorious. Who will be victorious and who will be defeated? – because you are both. The one who is fighting and the one with whom you are fighting are the same. If both my hands start fighting, who is going to win?
Once you start fighting with yourself you are lost. And so many persons, in their endeavors, in their seeking for spiritual truth, fall into that error. They become victims of this error – they start fighting with themselves. If you fight with yourself you will go more and more insane. You will be more and more divided, split. You will become schizophrenic. This is what is happening in the West.
Christianity has taught – not Christ, Christianity has taught – to fight with oneself, to condemn oneself, to deny oneself. Christianity has created a great division between the lower and the higher. There is nothing lower and nothing higher in you, but Christianity talks about the lower self and the higher self, or the body and the soul. But somehow Christianity divides you and then creates a fight. This fight is going to be endless, it will not lead you anywhere. The ultimate result can only be self-destruction, a schizophrenic chaos. That’s what is happening in the West.