My perspective of Yog sutras by sage Patanjali, article 2: Yog and mind.

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The first chapter of Patanjal Yog Darshan is Samadhi Pada, i.e., the path of enlightenment.

This chapter answers the basic question “What is Yoga?” It talks about the psychology of a human being in general and how an aspirant can clear his hurdles in his path of solitary.

Our mind is like a lake of water and our soul is like the moon. If we must see a clear reflection of moon in the lake, the water needs to be still, similarly to be able to see the depths of our soul and our existence, we need to have a clear and a still mind. Sadhana Pada helps an aspirant achieve all of this.

In his aphorism 2 of the chapter 1, while defining Yoga, the sage says,

योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः॥२॥

Yoga is the nirodha i.e., regulating or channelizing the co-ordination of the modifications meaning the subtle thought patterns of the mind.

In simple words, Yoga means removing the fluctuations of the mind.

It’s a herculean task to remove the fluctuations of the mind because the mind is constantly thinking – that’s what it always does.

Sage Patanjali propagates the fact that one can overcome the hurdles in his path by taming his own-self. For the sake, a potential aspirant needs to start with a clean slate by getting rid of misconceptions, perceptions, distractions and physical problems which interfere with the process of reaching to the higher realms of human life.

Yog denotes the union of our mind, body & soul. It’s a state of peace, solitary and completeness. This sutra explains how to achieve this.

 

In next 2 Sutras the sage juxtaposes the state of mind of a visionary aspirant in two different scenarios: In self-realization mode and when not in mode of self-realization.

तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम्॥३॥

Then the Seer (visionary) abides, resting in its own True Nature, which is called Self-realization.

When in his own nature, the seer or aspirant comes to know about the real state of consciousness. In that state of mind there is no cognition or perception about anything. There is just silence, the soul establishes the real power of consciousness and meets the state of solitary.

वृत्तिसारूप्यमितरत्र॥४॥

At other times, when one is not in Self-realization, the Seer appears to take on the form of the modifications of the mind, making perceptions of the thought patterns. There is a connection or identification between the aspirant and vruttis of mind.

In the up-coming articles, we shall learn more on the nature of vruttis, their consequences and how to control them.

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