HomeVolume 4December 2019 - Collectors' EditionDilemma and indecision

The third vikshepa is samsaya, which is usually translated as “doubt,” but there are many words for “doubt” in Sanskrit, shanka being the most common. A more appropriate translation of samsaya is “dilemma” or “indecision.” It is that state of confusion, where we are not clear in our own judgment and decision-making ability. Why? Because our field of consciousness, the heart-mind field, is not calm. We are unable to dive deep, listen to the heart, and trust its wisdom.

We all know that feeling of sitting on the fence, unable to make a decision; the confusion, the weighing up of pros and cons. We still use the same the faculties of the mind – thinking (manas), intellect (buddhi) and ego (ahankar) – within the canvas of consciousness (chit), but we use them at a superficial level because we are unable to go deeper. We skim the surface because there is too much clutter in the heart, and the mind is turbulent, like an ocean during a storm.

This is a common state of consciousness for many of us, and so issues become dilemmas. The mind is not fine-tuned enough to perceive to any depth, and so we are left with many challenges. “What to do?” is the question we often ask. In this condition, our available consciousness is only a very thin film. Most of the spectrum of consciousness is unavailable to us, in the realms of the subconscious and the superconscious. We do not have the skills to access it, and so the mind remains very limited.

We evaluate and try to make decisions from a superficial perspective, within that thin film of data, because we cannot see from a higher and deeper perspective. Simultaneously, the mind is pulled by charged emotions, likes, dislikes and prejudices, so there is little clarity – only turmoil and drama.

Spectrum of Consciousness

Compare this with pure consciousness, uncluttered, light and infinitely expansive. Diving deeper into the heart, especially in meditation, we access a much greater spectrum of consciousness. Other dimensions open up that are not accessible at the surface level. For a start, as well using rational deductive thinking, we also use the faculty of feeling to make decisions, where the heart gives signals of a more direct and subtle nature.

The heart is our barometer for how we feel about everything, including the choices we make in life. When we are happy with those choices, the heart remains a silent witness and there is natural contentment. When the heart is not convinced, we feel restless. The heart sets our direction like a rudder, and tells us when we need to change direction.

The heart is our barometer for
how we feel about everything,

including the choices we make in life.
When we are happy with those choices,
the heart remains a silent witness and
there is natural contentment.

Listening to the heart’s signals is the first step. The second step is to make use of those signals, to ask the heart questions in such a way that we get clear indications. The more we listen, the clearer the messages become. As in neuroscience, the more we use the pathways, the stronger they become. The third step is then to have the courage to follow the heart’s guidance – the guidance from our own divine source. In essence, we are allowing the soul to guide our lives.

The heart is not static. Our inner environment is constantly changing, as our consciousness expands and contracts, and is purified or filled with complexities and impurities, as the case may be. Consciousness is fluid like the ocean, so the reference point of the heart is dynamic. And everything about us is tied to this state of consciousness: the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the habits that slowly adjust to our changing level of evolution, and the environment we are in. We are always in a state of continuous improvement, a work in progress.

And when we don’t listen to the heart, when we go against our conscience because we follow lower patterns and mental justifications, what happens? We keep on recycling those experiences and habits, and creating more and more complexities and impurities, leading to more and more entangled vikshepas.

Which way we go is actually a choice, especially when we have the simple Heartfulness Cleaning practice to remove complexities and impurities on a daily basis.

And here is another complementary method to resolve dilemmas and confusions:

Just before offering the Heartfulness Prayer at night before sleep, offer your problems, challenges and dilemmas also. There is no need to seek an answer right away. Often, by the time you wake up, the answer is there, although the answer may come in a form other than words.

Samsaya arises especially in the choice of a spiritual path, and a teacher who will support us on that path, as blind faith is not the best way to choose – some level of testing is needed to establish that it is the right path and the right Guide. There is an initial need to question and use a scientific approach in order to experience and decide. Then, once we are satisfied, trust comes, which eventually transforms into acceptance and gratitude, love and surrender. If samsaya is still present as an obstacle at a later stage, something is wrong. Maybe it is our inability to surrender and accept, or may be it is the Guide who is not up to the mark. So vigilance is required, and a lot of discernment and discrimination, known as Viveka, which is the first step on the path of Yoga. Viveka is the antidote to indecision and dilemma, and it is directly proportional to the purity of the heart, of consciousness. Viveka allows us to listen to the ‘Voice Real’ within.

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


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