The Vedantic View on the Law of Attraction
Jun 13, 2016
You are what your deep driving desire is.
As your desire is, so your will. As your will is,
So your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.
(Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.5)
Most of us are familiar with the law of attraction. It has been debated around the world and put into practice by many. There have even been whole workshops devoted to just this law and we’ve found that it works for some, but not others. Why is this so?
A law is absolute. If it is a law, it should work for everyone. Right? There is more to this law than meets the physical eye of course. The debate has only touched upon the law, focusing more on the objects of desire and how to attain these objects than the subject who perceives and makes life happen. To fully understand the law of attraction, we need to understand its origin. That origin begins and ends with you. The world lives in us and is perceived by a body -mind system we have created.
We have always been creators, and we continue to create every day of our lives. Our mind is the tool we use to paint the world, but most of us don’t have full control of our brushes. Most of us live at the level of the body- mind system, believing that is who we are. We allow this system to run the show. We lose sight of the fact that the body - mind system is our tool, a tool of our own making; a tool that allows us to create and live in this world as we travel through life having the experiences we so want to have.
We’ve become lost along the way, the human mind regularly moves from one desire to another, trying to find fulfillment, trying to regain our original state of bliss. We forget that is who we are. We are bliss itself. We are Sat Chit Ananda, existence, knowledge, and bliss absolute. This is our true nature, for we are powerful beings living in a world we have created and surrounded by other parts of ourselves that do reflect ourselves back to us.
At any moment, we can take the reins and run the show. We are all sleeping, but we don’t know we are until we wake up. So, as we take on the body- mind system, we forget our true nature. We become what our deep driving desire is. Desire is the cause, and birth is the effect. This world of duality is sustained by the law of cause and effect, the law of karma.
Once we accept our birth, countless desires are born, as we move away from the true self and into the world. These desires will be fulfilled in this lifetime or a future lifetime… that is the law. This process of birth continues until all desires are exhausted. These desires become exhausted, as we try on different roles, achieve our goals, and attain the objects we seek, bringing us to the realization after each desire is met, we are still no closer to the state of eternal bliss.
It is a state we catch glimpses of as we achieve a goal, but it is a temporary bliss, it never lasts. We then look in a different direction, inward. We start to ask ourselves the bigger questions of life, like who am I? What is the purpose of this life? Where do I fit into the scheme of things? We start to desire to know the Self and awaken to our original state, as we know all desires are fulfilled in this lifetime or future lifetimes.
The universe conspires to teach you about the self. It draws you into life situations that will satisfy your desires. A friend might bring you along to a yoga class. You might meet someone who is involved in an ashram and visit later that month. A guru might be there who speaks to you. Indeed, out- of- nowhere situations will present itself to you, so you may learn more about the Self, because your desire to know the Self has been awakened, and the universe is answering that call.
The universe always answers. However, our mind often becomes scattered, running in different directions, which is why our life reflects chaos. When all desires cease, even the basic desire to know the Self, we are able to merge with the supreme Self. Desire is what veils the Self and sustains the illusion, allowing the Self to experience its creation.
What is your deep driving desire? We seem only to know the immediate desires that surface when we are in constant contact with the world. Most of these desires are material ones... I desire to be rich, I want a huge mansion, a fancy sports car and more… but what is the underlying goal of all these desires? We think that when we have many material objects, we will be happy, but when we get them, we realize they bring only a temporary happiness that does not last. True happiness is spiritual in nature, not material.
You will never find permanent happiness in the objects of the world; the only place to find happiness is within yourself. Schopenhauer says “It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.” You need to look within to the subject that perceives the object; this is where your focus needs to be. The subject is the perceiver, the part of us that is eternally happy and satisfied; it cares not about material gain or the lack of it.
When the perceiver becomes our internal reference point, our anchor, we are always happy and satisfied. The mind becomes calm, yet able to move within the world as a productive creator of life. Spiritual evolution is marked not by your knowledge of the scriptures or how much you are able to renounce, but by stability of the mind. When the mind becomes stable, it allows you to move in the world as a conscious creator, not a victim of circumstance. We start to use the mind as a tool to create the world around us. We use our intellect to make evolutionary choices, and we keep the body healthy, so we can use this birth to realize the “Self”, the ultimate goal of life.
At the core of our being, we are actually whole, the Supreme Self, the Atman which is cloaked in the body- mind system. The Atman is what animates the body and allows it to perceive and act. It animates the mind and lets it feel and allows the intellect to think and contemplate. Yet, the type of perception, action, feeling, and thought that comes from the body- mind and intellect will depend on one’s inherent nature or vasanas. Your present vasanas set the pattern of your life, and only self-effort can modify or change that pattern. It is a choice only human beings have.
Vasanas are unmanifested seeds of action that lie dormant as your potential nature. These seeds wait for the right environment before they will grow, and when that right environment presents, they take root and grow into the proper manifestation. Your vasanas come from and are a result of the past. Your past actions produce your present vasanas, and your present vasanas produce further actions. This cycle continues until all desires are exhausted. When all desires cease, we merge with the Supreme Self. Here we exist in eternal bliss. It is the state we are actively searching for in the world. It is the ultimate goal of human life. That state is here within us; there is no need to search outside, for we carry it everywhere we go.
But how do we find this bliss? With all the desires that keep bubbling up to the surface of the mind, how is it possible not to have desires? But let’s not go down that path of thinking yet, for most of us are not ready for the ultimate goal. We still desire many objects of the world, which is why the law of attraction is so attractive... Many of us still like the play. So let’s play with the world as a conscious creator.
The whole universe that springs forth from the Supreme Self also resides in you, for you are a creator. When you created this world, you spoke its language and told it what you wanted it to do and be for you. You received just what you asked for, but to fully experience the creation, you had to lose yourself in it, forget how powerful you were. You are now asking to become a full participant in your life story, and the universe is listening.
We can all speak the language of the universe. We do so every day; its language is vibration. When you raise your vibration, the universe matches it and sends it back with an experience that matches the vibration. When you lower your vibration, the universe does the same; it does not discriminate. So how do you raise and lower your vibration? With your thoughts… where do your thoughts come from? Your mind.
Here it gets tricky because the mind is a product of your vasanas, and your vasanas are the primary cause or source of desire, thought, and action. This is why when you hold a thought about what you think you want, other thoughts combat that thought because it might not be in line with your inherent nature. That’s not to say that the law of attraction does not work. What I am saying here is that we have to master a lot more than your thoughts because those thoughts won’t stay in line with your desire if the desire is not in harmony with your inherent nature.
A person who is an environmental activist will not wake up one day and wish for more of anything that might ruin our earth. He has awakened to his purpose, now anything he desires from this place will manifest easily as he is in harmony with his higher calling. It would then be against his inherent nature to wish for a gas guzzling car etc... The same is true of us. If what we wish for is something that is not in line with our inherent nature that something will not manifest. Our inner dialogue will be at war with what we wish for. You see our desire has to be believable to ourselves before the universe, our source of material abundance, can believe it and provide you with it.
Most of us are not sure what our inherent nature is because we don’t really reflect or contemplate the Self. We really need to look at who we are, or more accurately we need to look at who this person is that we’ve created. We need to look at our ego or created self and analyze it to see what desires we can safely absorb and play with in our lives. Then we can move forward and manifest our life to be in line with our inherent nature. We can play in this world where we exist and be a conscious creator of life. We are powerful beings enveloped in this body – mind system, live from your true self and the world becomes your playground.
Some people live their Life for a Cause. And Chitra Sukhu is one such Lady. She has committed her Life in diligent Service (Seva) to enhance the Lives of so many Others. Her Cause is, “To Enrich, Empower, and Enlighten (E3) through Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedanta, and Meditation.” Her Purpose (Dharma) is, “To raise the Consciousness of the World, so that All may live Happier, Healthier Lives together as a Whole.” Chitra was born in Guyana to a Family of Indian ancestry. Although raised mostly in the United States, She also grew up in the many Sivananda Ashrams scattered around the world. Chitra’s parents, Yogi Hari and Leela Mata, joined the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Organization when She was three years old. And since the tender age of three, Chitra has practiced Yoga and Meditation daily. Such immersion in this Classical Culture, Discipline, and Celebration of Life has given Her a rather rare orientation for someone in the Western World. Reflecting Inner Wisdom She says, “Even though I come from the Sivananda lineage and respect all Teachers, I don't claim any Guru. My Guru has been Life – and through Life I have learned My greatest Lessons.” During her University years, while continuing Her “Foundational Practice” of Yoga and Meditation, Chitra also developed an interest in “the pleasures of the material world”, and pursued a career in Modeling and Acting. And while garnering success in this area, She did not attain Fulfillment. Later on, following the 9/11 attacks, Chitra experienced a powerful Spiritual Calling. She recognized the need to provide answers to the multitude of (often disregarded) questions inside a Child’s mind – questions about Terrorism, Killing, Death, Suffering, and the many other complexities of Life. People everywhere were fearful and confused, and these young minds were hardly ever given straightforward answers. She soon realized that many more and more people find it difficult to face stressful and demanding situations, and this inability to cope could be attributed to a failure to recognize One’s Inner Self. Being Herself a Mother, Chitra has always encouraged her Children to meditate and find an Inner Peace, a state of Mind, which helps them find the answers themselves. Chitra is an experienced Yoga teacher, registered with The Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT 500 level. She has a Diploma in Ayurvedic Sciences from Kerala Ayurveda. She is also an accomplished Indian classical dancer in the ancient style of Bharata Natyam. Chitra’s Mother, Leela Mata, travels the world teaching Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedanta Philosophy, and Meditation. Leela has a Spiritual Center (Leela Mata Peaceful Valley Ashram) in Pennsylvania. Her Father, Yogi Hari, a Master of Hatha, Raja, and Nada Yoga, is well known and respected around the world, has an Ashram in Florida, and has published over 20 CDs and 3 books. Chitra now continues the distinguished legacy of her Parents' LifeWork. She teaches and leads many Retreats around the world for adults and children. She has “birthed” the organization, New Age Kids Inc. -- a sincere effort to generate well-balanced individuals with a Sense of Self, from an early age. She has eleven Guided-Meditation CD’s and one CD where she sings Vedic slokas. Some of her CDs have become part of the Curriculum at schools. They have proven to reduce stress and confusion for Children, propagating healthy lifestyle, creativity, happiness and success. She has authored an acclaimed Children’s book, “Elven Rhyme – Journey through Time”. Chitra is now a published Playwright with Her play “To My Amazement”, garnering praise from recent performances in Canada. Chitra was the first to create the Youth Yoga Teachers Training Course (YYTTC) for Youth ages 16-21, Herein, young people can come together to learn more about Higher Consciousness and the Journey of the Self, while becoming Certified Yoga Teachers. Chitra is currently working on a Yoga video for Teens and Tweens, and one for Youth. When She is not traveling, She resides in Los Angeles.