Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 1 — Nature & Its Modification

March 26, 2020

 Nature & Its Modification

     Swami Venkatesananda at Sivananda Yoga Centre Los Angeles 1971What is nature? It is what makes grass green and milk white. In Sanskrit there are two words to describe nature — prakriti and vikriti. Prakriti is nature and vikriti is its modification. Prakriti is the innate tendency, and vikriti is its perversion. Your prakriti and mine may be different, just as a white canvas is different from a green canvas.
     That is natural. When we see the canvas and desire it to be some other color, we splash paint on it. This pleases us for a time, but later disappoints us, so we change the pattern again and again. This is vikriti, modification, perversion. And it is here that violence, aggression, and all the ugliness of human behavior manifest.

     Human nature does not need to be changed. It is part of the cosmic pattern, and will undergo natural change in God's good time. What does need change is the perversion of human nature. This cannot be brought about by a change of pattern on the canvas. Only when it is washed with a neutral agency does it become clean. Only when self-knowledge arrives does modification cease, and pure human nature stand revealed.

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