Param Pujya Sri Hemendra Kumar Ji
(Translated from Atit, Agat and Anant Part II (pages 19 and 20) by Param Pujya Sri Hemendra Kumar. This is a liberal translation)
In search of peace (Shanti) people visit temples, recite devotional songs (Keertan), and attend all sorts of clubs; however, while these activities do provide temporary relief, everlasting peace remains elusive.
Why is it so? The cause of this disharmony (Ashanti) is impurities surrounding Atman. In yogic language it is described in three words
Impressions accumulated over time create a veil that covers Atman and impurities darken our inner core (Antahkaran => mind, intellect and ego). As a result, the separation between the individual soul and supreme soul occurs. Being disconnected from the source of eternal peace, individuals are unable to achieve everlasting peace.
Guru Maharaj taught us a process by which the three (Mala, Vikshep, and Avarana) may be removed. By adhering to this process, the bounded self gets cleansed and everlasting peace is achieved.
Guru Maharaj presented a spiritual practice (Sadhana) of inner Satsang to achieve this state of everlasting peace by removing Mala, Vikshep, and Avarana. The process helps us firstly turning our attention inwards, focusing it internally and then gradually cleansing the bounded self of Mala, Vikshep, and Avarana. Once this process of purification is completed our connection with the ultimate source of energy or that of individual soul to supreme soul is established.
Thereafter regular practice of inner Satsang ensures that the inner core stays clean and we are not covered by veil of ignorance. In due course by the grace of Guru (God) you will enjoy everlasting peace and achieve the state of self-realization, the ultimate goal of human life. In a short period of time you will notice that your attention is turning inward, you are feeling the presence of Guru (God) and you are connecting to the source of eternal peace. All we need to do is to follow the process as established by Guru Maharaj.
It is an established fact that whatever one learns, one learns from experience. It follows naturally that the company of experienced people is a necessity for learning. Teacher-Student tradition is to bring beginner and experienced together. Through his experience the Guru imparts his knowledge to remove Mala, Vikshep, and Avarana and liberate the student from the cycle of transmigration. Having total faith in Guru the student becomes Guru oriented. The student does not accumulate any more Sanskars and hence stays liberated.
Malas: Malas (impurities) of three kinds are delineated. "The mala, or the impurity of the bound self, anutva or aanva, is responsible for the non-intuition of the true nature of the self. The basic limitation, aanva, is reinforced by two other impurities; mayiya-mala and karma-mala. Mayiya-mala represents the whole series of categories, beginning from the covers that create the physical organism on the subjective side, and evolves the physical world down to earth, the last of the mahabhutas, on the objective side. Karma-mala is responsible for continuing the fetters of embodiment, and it is due to this impurity or mala that the Purusha (Atman) becomes subject to good or bad acts, and becomes entangled in repeated births and deaths." - Commentary by Sri Yogamuni on Siva-Sutra I. 2. "The Advaita says that manas is vibhu (all-pervading), otherwise, objects at a distance could not be grasped by manas. There is another reason why it should be all-pervading. Manas, according to the Kath Upanishad are the prius or source of the senses and their objects, and consequently it must pervade all of them. But then why does it not know all the objects always? It should have done so, but it is itself a product of the unconscious Maya, and so is overwhelmed by ignorance. It can know objects only when Maya permits it to know.
Vikshep: This unconscious energy (sakti) is of two kinds: avarana sakti or the energy that conceals the real nature of everything from the manas, and the vikshep sakti or the energy that projects the objects and the corresponding forms of manas, which then becomes aware of the objects. Sankhya and Yoga are almost in agreement with the Advaita concept of impurities." The above quote is from The Cultural Heritage Of India, Vol. III 1993 P. 312
Avarna: In his monumental work, a must read for every aspirant, Sadhana Ke Anubhav, Chapter 20, Guru Maharaj explains these terms in plain language. Avarana is accumulated Sanskars over time, and act like curtains which hide the Atman.
Sanskars - An impression or tendency created in a person's mind as the result of an action or thought. The sum total of a person's sanskars, including those from prior births, forms his or her character. An excellent discourse on the topic of Sanskars by Param Pujaya Dr. Narendra Kumar Ji is reproduced in Adhyatma aur Vyabahar - P. 24