The real truth about the yoga sutras of patanjali

Patanjali was not only a man of many talents who wrote texts on medicine, language, và grammar, he was one of the 18 classical Tamil siddhars (sages và intellectuals), & a realized being. But he is probably most widely known as the “father of modern yoga” – not because he originated yoga, but because he distilled the essence of yoga inlớn the famous Yoga Sutras. Here, sheds light on why the Yoga Sutras came into lớn being and how khổng lồ approach them. He also delves into lớn the first two sutras, disclosing the background of the cryptic Sanskrit words that khung the verses.

Dec 21, 2018

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – An Introduction Apart from his realization, Patanjali was a kind of intellect that would make top scientists look lượt thích kindergarten children – that is the kind of understanding he had about every aspect of life. In Patanjali’s time thousands of years ago, yoga had started specializing in such a way that there were hundreds of schools of yoga. It is like the specialization in medical science today. Thirty years ago, you just had one family doctor. Now, for every part of the toàn thân, you have sầu a different doctor. Maybe in another fifty years, it will become lượt thích this that if you want a medical checkup, you need one hundred doctors. By the time you get an appointment with these one hundred doctors, either you are well or you are dead.

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This happened lớn yoga at that time – hundreds of schools handling different dimensions of yoga. Patanjali saw that it had become completely impractical, so he codified yoga in almost two hundred sutras.

Once specialization crosses a certain point, it tends to lớn become ridiculous in terms of practicality. There is value in studying the details, but in terms of people learning và making use of it, it becomes quite ridiculous. This happened to lớn yoga at that time – hundreds of schools handling different dimensions of yoga. Patanjali saw that it had become completely impractical, so he codified yoga in almost two hundred sutras.

The Yoga Sutras Are Not Philosophy

Today, because everyone can publish a book, there are a hundred different interpretations of the Yoga Sutras. But the Yoga Sutras are not a philosophy to be interpreted. Nor bởi vì the Yoga Sutras give any practices. They are like a scientific document. They only talk about what does what in the system. Depending upon your intention or what you want lớn create in the system, accordingly you thiết kế a certain kriya.

The word sutra literally means “thread.” A garl& has a thread, but you never wear the garl& for its thread. What kind of flowers, beads, pearls, or diamonds you add khổng lồ it depends on the skill of the person who is putting it together. Patanjali is only providing the sutra, because without the thread, there is no garland. But you never wear a garl& for the sake of its thread. So bởi vì not look at the thread và come to lớn conclusions. The sutras are not meant to lớn be read & logically understood. If you approach it logically, trying to understand things intellectually, it will become nonsensical.

For someone who is in a certain state of experience, this thread means a lot; he will use it to lớn prepare a garl&. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are not to be read lượt thích a book. Take one sutra and make it a reality in your life. If one sutra becomes a living reality for you, you bởi not have sầu to necessarily read the other sutras.

Sutra 1: “… and now, Yoga”

The Yoga Sutras are a tremendous document on life. And Patanjali started this great document in a strange way. The first chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is half a sentence: “…và now, Yoga.” In a way, he is saying, “If you still think your life will become better with a new house, a new girlfriover, a new oto, more money, or whatever else, it is not yet time for yoga.” If you saw all that and you realized that it does not fulfill your life in any way: “…and now, Yoga.”

Sutra 2: Yoga & Focus of the Mind

Questioner:, Patanjali’s second Yoga Sutra says, yogash chitta vritti nirodhah, which could be translated as “Yoga is the ability khổng lồ direct the mind exclusively towards an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.” What does this really mean?

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When we say, “Hold your attention on an object,” people think they have sầu to worship a god or vì something in particular. No, you can focus on a flower, a leaf, a grain of sand, a worm – it does not matter. But if you want to lớn hold your attention on something, it must inspire a certain cấp độ of passion and emotion in you. Only then will your attention stay there. Why is it that it is so difficult for students lớn keep their attention on the textbook, but if there is a girl in the neighborhood that a boy is interested in, you bởi vì not have sầu lớn tell hlặng, “Think about her”? He anyway stays focused on her, because there is a certain emotion behind it.

This is the reason why the various forms of gods came in. Focus on whatever you can relate khổng lồ. Maybe you cannot relate to lớn the existing god, so you take another one. If this is not working for you, take another one. If none of them are working for you, you create your own. This is called Ishta Devata. The idea is that unless you hold something really high, you cannot maintain your focus. If you concentrate on something that you are not interested in, it will exhaust you. The focus will enhance you only when you are really grabbed by something.

It is as simple as going lớn a movie or reading a book. Let us say you read a textbook – the textbook is written for an average intelligence. In spite of that, you read it ten times but still vì not get it. On the other hand, you read a love sầu story or a suspense thriller at seventy pages per hour, and you rethành viên every word of it. The object of focus must inspire passion in you. Otherwise, concentration becomes a concentration camp within yourself. It becomes suffering.

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A version of this article was originally published in Forest Flower, August 2018.

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