Do you know that imagination is the fantasy which moves you away from the reality?
The biggest click I got from the 9th Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is – imagination is the results of mere words – words we create unconsciously! Patanjali says anything experienced by you, other than your pure consciousness is vikalpa – imagination. Imagination is that which is created merely by words! Hence imagination brings more suffering than wrong knowledge because for wrong knowledge to happen, your consciousness needs be present and the mind needs to do something. Wrong knowledge can only happen in waking state or dream state. Wrong knowledge is nothing but wrong logic. But imagination can disturb you in all the three states – waking state, dream state and deep sleep state because imagination touches the deeper zones than wrong knowledge.
Another important truth I discovered from this sutra is that imagination corrupts your seven chakras. What are chakras? See, your mind and body come in contact with each other at 7 points in your body. These 7 points are known as the 7 energy centres or chakras. The Yoga tradition describes these 7 points as Chit-Jada-granthi – the points where matter and consciousness meet each other. Whenever you carry imagination, you corrupt these 7 energy centres and disturb their functioning.
For example, if your imagination touches your root centre, Mooladhara chakra at the base of the spine, it is called fantasy. You are caught in fantasies about others and yourself which results in distortion of your basic perception of reality. You start seeing everything as larger than life, you start expecting the things which can never happen. Projecting your magnified expectation on reality is called fantasy. This happens often in relationships, you will always feel that the other person is not fulfilling you. You start imagining things, projecting things and creating things. When you see that it is not happening through the other person, you start blaming the other person. That is why you constantly feel the other person is depriving you or suffocating you. You are not even aware that it is your fantasy which is creating the expectation of things which can never happen or which never happened.
Next, if your imagination touches your Swadhistana chakra or being centre located 2 inches above the root centre, it is called fear. You experience fear of others and fear of yourself. You start to have phobia for no reason. If your imagination touches the Manipuraka chakra, the navel centre, it is called worry. You start worrying about others and worrying about yourself. If your imagination touches your Anahata chakra, the heart centre, it is called attention-need. You suffer from continuous attention need from others and from yourself. Sometimes you put up with abusive relationships just because of your attention-need. You forget that you can be a source of love and you need not be a beggar for love and attention. If your imagination touches your Visuddhi chakra, the throat centre, it is called jealousy. You start constant comparison with others and comparison with yourself. This happens a lot when you constantly compare with yourself what you were able to do yesterday and not today. If your imagination touches your Ajna chakra, the brow centre, it is called ego. You start suffering from ego with others and with yourself. The greatest suffering is you judge yourself, you regret your own words and actions or you are angry with yourself for something. When you carry too many judgments about life, about others and yourself, it means imagination is corrupting your brow centre. Finally, if your imagination touches your Sahasrara chakra or the crown centre, it is called discontentment. You suffer from discontentment with others and discontentment with yourself. This is how we create different kinds of suffering in our life due to the inability to handle the realities of life!
Have you seen people renouncing life due to many unfulfilled fantasies about life? They fantasized about luxury lifestyle but they didn’t make it and they couldn’t tolerate the failure, the reality of their life. They started to renounce out of frustration due to not having the right understanding about their fantasy. I’ve seen people misunderstood about yoga and they created a fantasy about themselves and tortured themselves in the name of yoga. They are not able to come out of the fantasy they are caught in. That’s the endless suffering.
In essence, imagination – Vikalpa is fantasy which not only moves you away from reality, but it also makes you experience the ultimate suffering. It has to be understood with very deep awareness. It originates from the words you use to yourself and others because words have power to shape your destiny. Your ability to relax from imagination is the ultimate relaxation you can have in life. Namaste 😀
Source : 108 Truths of Yoga of Enlightenment by Paramahamsa Nithyananda