by Nischala Joy Devi.
July 30, 2013.
There are five veils, kleshas, that cover the light of the Divine Self, obscuring it from recognition. When we become aware of them, the veils dissolve one by one, and the Divine Light within is seen again.
Dissolving the five kleshas, or veils, brings forth the radiance of the Divine Self.
The five kleshas are:
Avidya: innocence of our Divine nature
Asmita: undue trust in the individual self
Raga: excessive fondness of fleeting pleasures
Dvesa: excessive avoidance of unpleasant experiences
Abhinivesah: elusive awareness of immortality.
Innocence of our Divine nature (Avidya) creates a fertile field where the dormant seeds of the other four veils take root.
Innocence of our Divine nature (Avidya) encourages identification with the ever-changing, rather than with the inner stillness of the heart.
When undue trust is placed in the individual self (Asmita), it is confused with the Divine Self.
Excessive fondness for fleeting pleasures (Raga) causes longing.
Excessive avoidance of unpleasant experiences (Dvesa) causes disdain.
The elusive awareness of immortality is inherent even for the wise (Abhinivesah).
With keen observation and discretion, these kleshas become translucent.
If they have manifested into action, the veils must be dissolved through inward practice.
The Divine within is self-effulgent. With the donning of the physical body at birth, certain mental and emotional beliefs materialize as veils. At first these veils are translucent, and the radiant light still shines through. When we look into the eyes of a newborn baby, they reflect the clarity of the resplendent light. As we become increasingly invested in the material world, the seeds of infinite possibilities for wonderful or for unkind actions encased in the mind and emotions germinate. The veils thicken, and the knowledge that we are Divine Beings fades.
Did you ever use a kerosene lamp? At first the light shines bright, illuminating the darkness, enabling us to see clearly. After some time, the glass chimney begins to blacken with soot and the light dims. Turning up the flame only causes the soot to thicken until the light is totally obscured.
If we want the light, we must start cleaning that chimney. Reluctant to clean it earlier, we now become obliged to remove the chimney, wash it, and replace the sparkling clean chimney so the light will shine forth.
The yogic practices dissolve the veils in a process similar to cleaning the chimney. With this new clarity, the light shines clear and bright.
More about the kleshas and how to dissolve them next week.