Written Messages

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YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI

 

SADHANA PADA

Living practices without longing (sadhana) are the second step

 

1. Tapah-swadhyaya-ishwara-pranidhanani kriya-yoga

Kriya Yoga is the perception (pranidhanani) of the wholeness (ishwara) through meditation on the ego-mind (swadhyay) and the burning out of all conditioning (tapah), using certain practices.

 

2. Samadhi-bhavana-artha klesha-tanu-karana-arthash cha

It (kriya yoga) reduces conflict and develops equanimity in attitude and sentiments (samadhi bhavana).

 

3. Avidya-asmita-raga-dwesa-abhiniveshah kleshah

Indulgence (abhiniveshah) in the following are the root causes of suffering (kleshah):

1) Incapacity to learn (avidya)

2) I-ness and ego (asmita)

3) Attachments (raga)

4) Aversions (dwesa)

 

4. Avidya-ksetram-uttaresam prasupta-tanu-vichchino-daranam

The incapacity to learn (avidya) is the inability to see what is. Avidya can be manifested subtly (tanu) or appear dormant (prasupta) and can be scattered unevenly (vichchina) or ever present (daranam).

 

5. (I) Anitya-ashuchi-duhkha-anatmasu nitya-shuchi-sukha-atma-khyatir avidya

Avidya is the non-understanding of “what is”. Avidya is the illusion that results in the ephemeral appearing as eternal, of the profane appearing as sacred, of suffering as pleasure, of self ignorance as self-knowledge.

 

6. (II) Drig-darshana-shaktyor-eka-atmata-eva-asmita

The dichotomy between the eternal self (atma) and the ego (asmita) occurs due to the separation of the observer from the observed (drig-darshana).

 

7. (III) Sukha-anushayi ragah

Seeking gratification leads to attachment (ragah).

 

8. (IV) Duhkha-anushayi dwesah

Suffering is a consequence of aversion and hostility (dwesha).

 

9. (V) Swarasa-vahi vidusoapi tatha rudho abhinivesa

Indulgence in the continuity of I-ness and ego (swarasa-vahi) is sustained by conditioning and cultural inputs which dominate even the learned (vidusoapi).

 

10. Te pratiprasavah-heyah suksmah

Subtle (psychological) suffering is diminished by inward observation/reflection (pratiprasavah).

 

11. Dhyana-heyas tad-vrittayah

The movement of mental suffering can be reduced by meditative awareness.

 

12. Klesa-mulah karma-ashayo drista-janma-vedaniyah

The root cause of suffering is the reservoir of conditioning (karma) obviously or unwittingly collected since birth.

 

13. Sati mule tadvipako jaty-ayur-bhogah

The existence of this root (this reservoir of conditioning) sets off the whirlpool of life’s trials and tragedies.

 

14. Te hlada-paritapa-phala punya-apunya-hetutvat

And the result is pleasure and pain, virtue and vice.

 

15. Parinam-tapa-samskara-duhkhair guna-vritti-virodhch cha duhkham eva sarvam vivekinah

For one who understands (vivekinah), pleasure and pain are both painful. They are the consequence of impressions and influences (samskara), of pain arising from traits, tendencies (gunas), mind (vritti) and the mind’s everlasting indulgence in duality (virodhah) (and opposites) - all leading to sorrow only.

 

16. Heyam duhkham anagatam

Sorrow that is yet to come can be reduced or avoided.

 

17. Drasta-drishyayoh samyogo heya-hetuh

This is possible through a fusion between the observer and the observed.

 

18. Prakasha-kriya-sthiti-shilam bhutendriya-atmakam bhoga-aparvargartham drishyam

Pure observation (drishyam) leads to the emergence of a unitary movement between matter and sense organs (bhutendriyatmakaram). The purpose of this is to be liberated from experience (bhoga-aparvarga-artham) and to be established in the perfect order of enlightened action.

 

19. Vishesa-avishesa-linga-matra-alingani guna-parvani

There are four stages of transcendence beyond traits and tendencies (gunas), from profound (vishesha i.e. gunatit), to not so profound (avishesha i.e. satvic), to only a trace of profoundness (lingamatra i.e. rajasic), to none at all (alinga i.e. tamasic).

 

20. Drasta drshi-matrah suddhoapi pratyaya-anupashyah

The real observer (no-mind) is only pure observation, without contamination from the separative observer (mind). Pure observation subtly sees through direct perception (pratyaya).

 

21. Tad-artha eva drishyaya-atma

The purpose of pure observation is the dissolution of the separative observer and the emergence of the eternal observer.

 

22. Krita-artham prati nastam apyanastam tad anya-sadharanatvat

A glimpse of the otherness (kritartham) destroys everything although nothing is destroyed (anyasadharanatvat) in relation to all the common cognitive activities.

 

23. Swa-swami-shaktayoh swa-rupopalabdhi-hetuh samyogah

The purpose of the fusion of the separative observer (swa) and the real observer (swami) is to be in one's natural state (swa-rupopalabdhi).

 

24. Tasya hetur avidya

This fusion is blocked by a lack of inner awareness (avidya).

 

25. Tad-abhavat samyoga-abhavo hanam tad-drishteh kaivalyam

Bondage (hanam) is due to the absence of this fusion, which in turn is a lack of awareness of the “otherness”, whereas a glimpse of “the otherness” is liberation (kaivalyam).

 

26. Viveka-khyatir aviplava hanopayah

Discrimination, wakefulness and non-fluctuation are means of avoiding bondage.

 

27. Tasya saptadha pranta-bhumih prajna

There are seven stages towards wisdom - intelligence (i.e. purusha).

 

28. Yoga-anga-anusthanad ashuddhi-ksaye jnana-diptir a viveka-kyateh

These are :

1) Living in yoga

2) Ceremony (celebration)

3) Reducing impurity (mental and physical pollution)

4) Subtle knowledge

5) Radiance

6) Discrimination

7) Wakefulness

 

29. Yama-niyama-asana-pranayama-pratyahara-dharana-dhyana-samdhyo asta-angani

Eight aspects of yoga life are as follows:

1) Yama: behavioural regulations

2) Niyama: ethical recommendations

3) Asana: posture (sitting in stillness)

4) Pranayama: breath-regulation

5) Pratyahar: detachment

6) Dharana: glimpses of universal intelligence (chaitanya)

7) Dhyana: meditation without mental activity

8) Samadhi: established in equanimity, neither intoxicated nor comatose, but in a state that is immune from mental problems (samadhan)

 

30. Ahimsa-satya-asteya-brahmacharya-aparigraha yamah

Five Yamas:

1) Truthfulness (satya)

2) No over-indulgence or addiction (asteya)

3) No acquisitiveness or stealing (aparigraha)

4) No malice or animosity, i.e. non-violence (ahimsa)

5) No sensual or sexual misconduct (brahmacharya).

 

31. Jati-desha-kala-samaya-anavachchhinnah sarva-bhauma mahavratam

Regardless of birth, place or circumstances yamas are important commitments (mahavratam).

 

32. Shaucha-santosa-tapah-swadhyaya-iswara-pranidhanani niyamah

The five niyamas are:

1) Cleanliness (soucha)

2) Contentment (santosha)

3) Restraint or austerity (tapah or dama)

4) Giving up borrowed knowledge in order to be open to knowing the ego-self (swadhyay or daan)

5) The perception of wholeness or compassion for all (ishwara pranidhan or daya)

 

33. Vitarka-badhane pratipaksa-bhavanam

To be trapped in argumentative consciousness generates adversaries and conflict.

 

34. Vitarka himsa-adayah krita-karita-anumodita lobha-krodha-moha-purvaka mridu-madhyaadhimatra duhkha-ajnana-ananta-phala iti pratipaksa-bhavanam

Whether mild, medium or intense; argument, greed, anger, illusion and violence (whether approved of, or by oneself, or done through others) will lead to unlimited sorrow, ignorance and hostility.

 

35. Ahimsa-pratisthayam tat-sanidhau vaira-tyagah

There is a cessation of hostility in the vicinity of one who is installed in non-violence.

 

36. Satya-pratisthayam kriya-phala-ashrayatvam

The consequence of actions by one who is established in truthfulness forms a good basis for right living.

 

37. Asteya-pratisthayam sarva-ratno-pasthanam

All the gems of living are available to those who are installed in non-addiction.

 

38. Bramacharya-pratisthayam virya-labhah

Indomitable energy is gained when one is established in sky-consciousness (bramacharya).

 

39. Aparigraha-sthairye janma-kathanta sambodhah

One who is steady in non-acquisitiveness is available to the supreme wisdom that leads to the perception of the wonders of birth and death.

 

40. Shauchat swa-anga-jugupsa parair samsargah

Cleanliness in all ways leads to freedom from body-consciousness and attachment to other bodies.

 

41. Sattva-shuddhi-saumanasya-ekaagrya-indriya-jaya-atma-darshana-yogyatvani cha

Through pure being (rather than becoming) emerges equanimity, freedom from distractions and sensuality, and glimpses of the eternal self.

 

42. Santosad anuttamah sukha-labhah

Contentment (non-craving) gives rise to supreme happiness.

 

43. Kaya-indriya-siddhir ashuddhi-ksayat tapasah

Living with austerity and restraint causes the disappearance of disharmony in the structure of body-mind and the emergence of perfection.

 

44. Swadhyayad ista-devata-samprayogah

Meditation on the nature of the ego-self causes its melting into benediction and sanctity.

 

45. Samadhi-siddhir ishwara-pranidhanat

Being established in equanimity is perfection Then holistic perception begins.

 

46. Sthira-sukham asanam

Stillness and steadiness are only possible when one’s posture is comfortable.

 

47. Prayatna-shaithilya-ananta-samapattibhyam

Eternal freedom (ananta) is the release (shaithilya) from expectations and effort (prayatna). This means being equally indifferent.

 

48. Tato dvandva-anabhighatah

Then conflict and agitation can have no impact.

 

49. Tasmin sati shvasa-prashvasayor gati-vichchhedah pranayamah

Then consolidate this freedom from mind by practising pranayam. This is inhalation and exhalation with an intervening pause (an internalisation process).

 

50. Bahya-abhyantara-stambha-vrittir desha-kala-sankhyabhih paridristo dirgha-suksmah

The health and age of the body determine the duration, subtlety and frequency of pranayam. Pranayam can be classified as follows:

Internal (as indicated above)

External (anulom-vilom-vastrika)

Retention (stambha or kumbhaka)

Or, it may happen in rounds (vrittih) of inhalation, retention and exhalation.

 

51. Bahya-abhyantara-visaya-aksepi chaturthah

Another kind of pranayam concerns watching outer influences and inner conditioned reflexes in rhythm with the breath and thus transcending such influences and reflexes (this is called adjapajap or anapanasati).

 

52. Tatah ksiyate prakasa-avaranam

Thereby that which covers the light starts disappearing (this is meditation – dhyana – that removes the cover of borrowed knowledge and ushers us into the light of our own knowing).

 

53. Dharanasu cha yogyata manasah

The separative consciousness is then eligible to be available to that which holds all life.

 

54. Swa-visaya-asamprayoge chittasya swa-rupa-anukara iva indriyanam pratyaharah

Detachment (pratyahar) implies avoiding involvement in selfishness (swavisaya asamprayoge) and sensual (indriyanam) indulgences (anukarah) of the mind.

 

55. Tatah parama vashyate indriyanam

Thereafter occurs the supreme mastery over sensuality (mind).

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Kriya deconditions and sets the seeker free from the past karma. It transforms fundamentally the gross ego-centre of the seeker into a subtle individual uniqueness which also includes universality. It brings harmony with the wholeness of life by piercing through the ignorance of the ways of self. 

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