What is Aparigraha?

Patanjali Yoga Sutra Knowledge Sheet 71

Contd. from knowledge sheet 70

"Agarigraha sthairye janmakathamta sambodhaha'' (II Sutra 39)

Aparigraha = non-accumulation; Sthairye = established; Janmakathamta = of how births happen; Sambhodhaha = knowledge.

"Being established in non-accumulation gives knowledge of how births happen."

When you do not accumulate, then the knowledge of the previous births, knowledge of different species, the communication in you improves. Do you see what I am saying? When, a person says "more for me, more for me", then he is obsessed with fear, one does not know the eternal value of life. Life has been there for ages and will continue for ages to come.

Non-accumulating simply means confidence in one's existence. Confidence is in one's ability. Knowledge of one's self. You know how to make bread and know you can earn it. So you will not make bread for a week and store it for a whole year in your room. It becomes stale. In China there is a proverb "What you give, you gain more. Whatever you scatter you have it all. What you hold on to, you lose that also". When you scatter it all, it all comes to you. Everything is yours all over.

Who is very stingy? The one who is so afraid of himself, who has no idea of his strength. A person who is very selfish and stingy, he stores and stores accumulate. A very wealthy gentleman was on his death bed, but was on the telephone looking into the share market "how much I have?" He was going to die any moment, but was concerned about "what the share prices are? How much am I gaining, losing?" What is he going to do with the money now? He does not even believe that he has to leave everything here and go. If money transfer was possible, people would transfers all their money up there, before going. Lawyers would have had fun writing wills. They would transfer all their property up, take it with them. Fortunately or unfortunately this is not possible. People accumulate and accumulate and then they die. That does not mean that you should not save.

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Not accepting or accumulating anything from anyone. What do we do? When people give us a compliment, we accept the compliment and then we begin to have a different idea about ourselves. They tell you, "You are so beautiful, so beautiful", and it goes to your head and you think you are beautiful. If ten people repeat the same thing it gets into your head and you lose all reality about who you are and what you are. Similarly, when you are on a trip to get things from others, that is called "parigraha." meaning "taking things". "Aparigraha" is the opposite of it, not trying to get anything from anybody.

Patanjali says, but what is the effect of it? Janma kathamta sambhodaha. You know, when you give things to people, it will give back something to you, some good vibrations to you. If you are very unhappy, then that day you give away something. Give some gifts to somebody. You will see how your consciousness will change, shift. Sometimes you accept things from someone, gifts or certain things and you feel miserable in life. In ancient days this rule stood very well. When someone accepts a gift, then the giver should be thankful. The giver is always thankful "Oh! I am thankful that you accepted the gift". So that was called as dakshina.

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(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)

 
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