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Yoga Sutras
Sutra 2.9

svarasa-vāhi viduṣo ‘pi tathārūḍho ‘bhiniveśaḥ

Self-preservation or attachment to life is the subtlest of all afflictions. It is found even in wise men.

Translated - B.K.S. Iyengar

In this sutra, Patanjali addresses the subtlest and most deeply ingrained affliction known as "abhiniveśa," which can be translated as "attachment to life" or "clinging to existence." Abhiniveśa represents the instinctual and innate fear of death and the attachment to the preservation of the self or individual identity. This deep-seated fear of non-existence arises from the egoic mind's natural inclination to safeguard its existence and continue its sense of separate identity. It is considered the most subtle of all afflictions because it underlies many other forms of attachment and aversion and is deeply embedded in the human psyche. Even individuals who have gained wisdom and insight into the nature of reality can still be influenced by abhiniveśa. Wise men, or viduṣa, are not immune to this affliction, as it is deeply ingrained in the human experience and is not easily overcome. Abhiniveśa can manifest in various ways in daily life. It can create a fear of death or a fear of losing loved ones, possessions, or social status. It can also manifest as a strong desire for self-preservation and a resistance to change or letting go of familiar situations. By developing a deeper understanding of the impermanence of the material world and the eternal nature of the true self (Purusha), the practitioner gradually loosens the grip of this affliction. By realising the interconnectedness of all beings and embracing the impermanence of the material world, the practitioner can begin to experience a sense of inner freedom and peace.
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