After having helped the aspirants with the modifications of mind and their nature, Sage Patanjali takes us ahead with the principle of establishing Yogic practices with consistent efforts while staying non-attached to the outcome.
Abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodhah)
Translation: The modifications and habits of mind are overcome by practice and by detachment for those things we cannot control.”
If we look deeper,
Abhyasa means persistent effort or practice, vairagya means non-attachment to the result and nirodhah means complete control or restrain.
These are the two strongest pillars on which the entire system of Yoga stands. The practices in yoga evolve, stabilize and become a part of our samskara by cultivating Abhyasa and Vairagya.
We can consider them as our google map in the journey of Yoga & self-realization. They are practical as much as spiritual concepts for day to day life.
Abhyasa (Practice) and vairagya (non-attachment) are often looked upon as 2 opposing concepts. Abhyasa means holding strongly and vairagya means to let go! This is where people get confused but what we need to understand is the basic underlying principle behind the word “Yog”. The word “Yog” is derived from the root “yuj,” which means to connect or join. And this connection is often referring to objects in two different directions.
The principle approach of Yoga is where opposites can co-exist and balance each other. In this Sutra, Sage Patanjali propagates developing the ability to be steadfast without focusing on the fruits of actions.
Abhyasa is to take efforts to attain and maintain a state of stability within. As we know, for anything to settle down as a habit we need to take dedicated efforts in a direction consistently. On the other hand, non-attachment helps us to let go of the many attachments and fears that form a veil of ignorance on the knowledge of the true Self.
Consistent efforts lead the sear (aspirant) in the right direction, and non-attachment helps one to ease the inner journey without getting stuck with happiness and sorrows of results being achieved or not.
As also propagated by Lord Krishna in Karma Yoga in Bhagwad Gita, if one focuses on the efforts only without being attached to the results, then one gets free of stress. It is obvious so because the consciousness will be less chaotic and the Vrittis (mental modifications) of Buddhi (mind) will settle down and help him move forward in his journey of Yoga aspirations.
Thus, following these two principles help the aspirant to achieve Nirodha i.e., complete mastery and restrain over the pleasures or pains of his desires, actions and efforts
All the while, its very important to understand that being non-attached does not mean that one becomes too much relaxed and lack persistence in their efforts. This ultimately reduces the possibility of reaching the goal.
With this and many such practical concepts, Patanjali Yog Sutras help us to make the best out of our life.
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