My View on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

Book One

1.1. Atha yoganusasanam

1.2. Yogah chitta vritti nirodhah

1.3. Tada drastuh svarupe avasthanam

The first three sutras introduce the subject and tell us of the goal and meaning of yoga.

1.1. Now the auspicious exposition of yoga is being offered.

This is an auspicious occasion. The offering of yoga is made to the student at the right time, once the student has spent some time on an inner search, and therefore when it is likely to make sense and be useful.

1.2. Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations in the mind (citta vritti) or a calming in one's state of being.

The thoughts in the mind are calmed through the physical postures, breath control and concentration, leading to meditative practices. Yoga equals the path as well as the result. However it is the nature of the mind to fluctuate, so yoga ends up being a way of life.

1.3. Then the practitioner is able to see clearly and dwell joyfully in his/her true nature, which is the pure and eternal bliss of existence.

So, instead of associating himself/herself to the ever fluctuating thoughts in the mind, the yogi is able to look further inwards to realize that his true nature is stability, the joy of being alive and aware in this moment, a grounded feeling of balance and harmony. After looking inwards comes the realization of the unity in nature, i.e. the relationship and resemblance between the basic component of all things. Following this, comes the ability to look outwards with compassion, or Ahimsa, which is the first law of nature, in the Yamas, the first of Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga.

Article by Sejel at Yoga Harmony

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