Abhinivesha - Fear


The final of the kleshas, the obstacles in our life that cause pain and suffering is Abhinivesha, fear and more specifically fear of death, derived from clinging ignorantly to life.  This is the perhaps most secret aspect of avidya and it is expressed in many ways in our everyday life.  Our will to live is the deepest most universal desire of all and we hold onto this tightly until our inevitable death. We know that one day we will indeed die, yet our fear of death is deeply buried in our unconsciousness.  It is the most difficult klesha to overcome and even the most advance yogis may fail to let go of this final affliction.

Abhinivesha, fear, is expressed in many ways. We feel uncertain, we have doubts about our position in life, we are afraid what people think of us and that they might judge us negatively, we are uncertain when our life is upset, we do not want to grow old, we don’t want to acknowledge children growing up. These are all expressions of abhinivesha in our life.

As much as this klesha is the fear of death of the physical body it can also be describe our fear of loss or the ending of certain situations. For example the end of a job, a relationship, our youth. We cling on as we are uncertain of the future, of the unknown.

When we can start to recognise these afflictions happening  in our everyday life we can work to with compassion and consciousness such that we can make sound judgements and decisions, to change how we react to situations.

Everyday life may not provide us with what we perceive ideal conditions for practice or living, but it does give us the opportunity to practice. Practice taking a step back from what is happening. Making decisions without the push and pull of the ego, of our likes and dislikes, our fear. For when our understanding is clear, when we are free of avidya we are quiet, calm.