220 – Abhinivesha – Fear of Death

Abhinivesha means clinging to life, deep sense of anxiety, fear of death. It is from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, Sutra II.3.

What are we clinging to if we are no longer battling for basic survival? We are governed by five afflictions. They are ignorance, ego, desire, aversion, and fear of death. What is the death we fear?

  1. Fear of missing out
  2. Social life
  3. Selfies
  4. Need to share – Oversharing
  5. Air Brushing our lives
  6. Seeking Appreciation from others

We must acknowledge our abhinivesha. Uncover the layer of abhinivesha. How many desires do we have?

Each desire has a layer of raga (attraction) and (dvesha) aversion degree of abhinivesha on top of it. It defends itself when there is a perceived threat.

How many of our desires do we have to protect ourselves from, in order to stay alive? So, we are overwrought with our fears, and we now have to understand that we have to lead a life free from these gnawing fears.

How does abhinivesha affect our body, breath, and mind?

Let us look at our body language. Are we nail biters? Are we fidgeting all the time? Are we clenching our fists or our teeth? Our nervous system is affected by our internal dialogue, and our anxieties and stress. We have four vital urges and abhinivesha is linked to them. The urges are food, sleep, sex, and self-preservation.

We require nutrition to stay alive. Sleep is essential, the rest-wake-cycle. Sex is desire and the reproductive urge within us. Self-preservation is protection of the body when there is danger, or the mind is imagining a threat.

There are two faces of fear.

  1. We may lose, what we have, and not gain what we want.
  2. Our fear affects others.

We are open and vulnerable to danger when we are negative and fatalistic. In order to appreciate and understand that the possibility of death is always present in our life, we must become aware of our acts and deeds. Attempt to do your best. Accept life as our sacred and precious gift. Take responsibility for our actions and experience each moment as though it was our first and last.

Reference: Swami Satyanananda Saraswati

Aim Hrim Klim


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