The fourth vikshepa is pramada, which translates as carelessness, haste and indifference. When do we become careless? When do we do things hastily, with indifference? When we do not take interest. It is the opposite of being careful, the opposite of excelling in whatever we do, from cleaning the bathroom to becoming one with the Ultimate. It is the opposite of putting our hearts into everything we do. When we act without enthusiasm, we have not “put God into” whatever we do. In other words, we are disconnected from the Source.
Once again, this happens because of the layers of complexities and impurities that fill our consciousness. We cannot penetrate to any depth, we are operating within the thinnest film of consciousness at the surface level. We are not able to feel connected. The simple antidote is a three-fold process: meditate in order to dive deep, purify the field of consciousness, and connect with the source. These are the 3 practices of Heartfulness – Meditation, Cleaning and Prayer.
Through Heartfulness Meditation we become so aware, so sensitive to everything within, as well as to everything in the outer world. Our observational skills become fine-tuned, especially with the aid of Transmission or pranahuti. In stillness, it is so much easier to be careful. We are infused with God through Transmission. We first discover God within ourselves, and then in everything and everyone. In this state, how could we possibly be indifferent to those around us? How could we remain careless? Life becomes more alive and vital, and pramada is negated.
There is a Heartfulness Suggestion that can help with this:
Think that everything surrounding you – the air particles, people, the birds, the trees, everything around you – is deeply absorbed in Godly remembrance. All are in osmosis with the Source, and developing increasing peace and moderation.
Start by feeling absorbed in Godly remembrance yourself first, so its echo is felt outside. A time will come when you notice that you don’t have thoughts at all. Little by little the mind becomes fine-tuned. This simple suggestion keeps your mind focused. As Yoda says in Star Wars: “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere. Yes, even between this land and that ship.” And there is another benefit: wherever you go – to the theatre, a shopping mall or college – the feeling in the atmosphere around you will be affected.
Think that everything surrounding you
– the air particles, people, the birds,
the trees, everything around you
– is deeply absorbed in Godly remembrance.
All are in osmosis with the Source,
and developing increasing peace and moderation.
Try it as an experiment when you have some free time. Slowly the absorbency will expand around you. If you also think of a friend who is living somewhere else, you will send these vibrations there also. Allow this feeling to expand. There are no limits to this expansion. Even the Universe will be too small when you allow a consciousness packed with love to expand.
Today there is so much talk of compassion fatigue, burnout and indifference, and we often blame the media for showing us constant negativity and horror in the news, making us numb to empathy, compassion and love. We blame stress and lack of sleep for hyping up our nervous systems so that we are irritable and unable to pause long enough to care about others. We blame our workplace environment for always rushing us and causing us to be hasty in everything we do, including decision-making. These are all examples of pramada – carelessness and indifference, rushing around, unable to pause and dive deep into the heart in order to feel and make wise decisions.
Is this the life we want to lead? We all know Aesop’s fable of The Hare and the Tortoise, and there are numerous proverbs in all languages about haste. Here are just a few:
Haste is the enemy of perfection.
Patience is the key of joy; but haste is the key to sorrow.
Haste and hurry can only bear children with many regrets.
People fated to be happy need not haste.
Of hasty counsel take good heed, for haste is very rarely speed.
Mulla Nasruddin also demonstrated this quality with his peculiar brand of humor. One day, while seated on his donkey, rushing through the marketplace, followers and friends tried to stop him to chat every few meters. He kept going faster and faster, replying, “I can’t stop to talk now. Can’t you see I am busy? I’m looking for my donkey!”
Pause, remain poised,
especially when everyone else is rushing,
go into your heart,
feel your center and recalibrate yourself.
Try to approach every task
at hand with poise and grace.
This captures the human predicament. It is critical to slow down, have time for those around us, enjoy the beauties of life, and become conscious of the search and ourselves as seekers. So pause, remain poised, especially when everyone else is rushing, go into your heart, feel your center and recalibrate yourself. Try to approach every task at hand with poise and grace.
Pramada results in sloppy thinking, sloppy action and sloppy work, so even in the worldly sense we will not achieve excellence in any field while this vikshepa is still creating obstacles. That is one of the many reasons why successful people meditate. Excellence depends on removing this obstacle of pramada. And in the spiritual field it is even more critical to transcend it. Spiritual growth is all about refinement – removing negative tendencies and cultivating noble qualities. It is all about becoming more God-like every day. It is all about becoming the best we can possibly be, and then unbecoming – removing every conceivable obstacle to oneness with the Ultimate. There is no room for pramada or any of the vikshepas in that equation.
Spiritual growth is all about refinement –
removing negative tendencies and
cultivating noble qualities.
It is all about becoming more God-like every day.
It is all about becoming
the best we can possibly be,
and then unbecoming
– removing every conceivable obstacle
to oneness with the Ultimate.
Article by KAMLESH PATEL
Kamlesh D. Patel
Kamlesh Patel is the world teacher of Heartfulness, and the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga. He oversees Heartfulness centers and ashrams in over 130 countries, and guides the thousands of certified Heartfulness trainers who are permitted to impart Yogic Transmission under his care. Known to many as Daaji, he... Read more