The Play of Elements
February 18, 2016
The Grace
March 6, 2016

Viveka (Discrimination)


Viveka (Discrimination)

Viveka is the one of the two wealth you acquire or inherit from the Guru, the other being the Vairagya (Detachment). Viveka literally means the absolute discrimination between right and wrong, light and darkness, death and immortality. Viveka is also defined as understanding the duality as it is, without bringing your mind in between the situations ie the likes and the dislikes, the pleasure and the pain. And one very important thing to understand about Viveka that nobody borns with a general idea of discrimination forget about the absolute discrimination. We learn it while growing up, when we go through the experience of the world.

The Viveka is tough process. It takes years and years. According to tradition, they say serving the Guru and doing proper practices under his guidance and supervision for 12 years or just being in contact with high souls who have have experienced the truth through their journey of love and god. That means you have to surround yourself with the true, real and original kind of people all the time. And from general experience we all know, that the world is not as black and white as we think it is. Its all mixture of everything, its absolute chaos, pure grey, all things entangled in one another, a very very complex structure to be precise. Thats why from the lower mind or from the surface its very hard to even get the idea of right and wrong. Because everything, every situation of life, every idea, is not a still or singular concept rather it is dynamic and plural.

Discrimination is like knowing the enormity of the iceberg from just looking at the tip of it. Because from the tip of an iceberg its very difficult to get an idea of how big it is from inside. Theres comes the concept of chain reaction, the cause and the effect. For example, One situation is not created by one previous situation alone rather it is the outcome or contributed by, may be say 100s of situations. Then this situation is also contributing to the 100s of situations, so seeing the exact cause behind the effect or the situation is again needs very sharp awareness or we call it Viveka. But there is one thing you have to be very careful is to not mix the judgement with the discrimination.


Judgement is narrow view of a situation. When you impose your ideas on a person or on a situation. Many times when you meet a person Immediately, an automatic process of conclusion happens in your mind which tries to save your position in that given situation or save your identity from the person in front of you, which is called as Judgement. Like for an example judging a person which happens all the time with us. This not a good person; A drunkard, whore, mad, beggar, drug addict, depressed, immediately a condemnation happens. This is judgment. If we don’t have a absolute parameter of what is actually right and what is actually wrong, how can we run to a conclusion so fast. Not knowing a person at all, not knowing his situation, not knowing his problem, not knowing his miseries? How can you judge not knowing the whole life of a man? How can you judge by a fraction/fragment? It is like seeing the tip of a iceberg n judging the enormity of the thing inside the sea. How can you say that this person is bad! if he had not been a drunkard, a beggar, or whatever, do you think he would have been a better man? It is possible he would have been worse. So what to say? how to judge? things are complicated. Its not like becoming an alcoholic, drug addict or becoming a beggar is good. but complexity of life is such that one should not judge. Judgement belongs to Stupid mind. A closed mind is always ready to judge. Judgement is not for the wise. Its not for the people who are walking on the path of Love and God. So next time you meet a person or a situation, try to see it from the eyes of love with broader view not from the eyes Judgement…

How to bring Viveka

Viveka needs a guru in the first place but in todays world of weak emotions and unfocused reactions one should be very slow and steady on the path of spirituality. We are probably the weakest generation in entire history of human race. After getting every kind of comforts and ease we never even tried to go beyond general existential humdrum. 1960’s we start the space journeys but we are still hankering on racism, relationships and dirty politics. We started with talks about consciousness when first of the yogis went to west now we are stuck into Ashtanga and Bikram yoga. Thats why the burning need of Viveka in society today is the path forward. And greater responsibilities always try to find strong shoulders. We talk about few practices for getting the viveka or awakening the intellect.

  1. Living with Guru
  2. Living with high souls on the path
  3. The Gayatri Mantra
  4. The Ishta Mantra
  5. Worrior sequences
  6. Shashank bhujanga pose
  7. Bakasana
  8. Nadishodhan Pranayam with Gayatri Mantra.
  9. Chanting of Gita (not study)

Article By Om Tirth

Copyright SWAN Yoga Retreat, Assagao, Goa, India