My perspectives of Patanjali Yogsutra, article 17: The prerequisite of achieving mastery on modifications of mind.

My perspectives of Patanjali Yogsutras, article 16: The types of Aspirants on the path of Yoga.
May 30, 2018
This International Yoga day on 21st June 2018, let us be more mindful and open-eyed about Yoga and its pre requisities!
June 18, 2018

In the previous aphorisms, after having told us the type of aspirants set out to achieve mastery on thier mind and its modifications, Sage Patanjali tells us about importance of a strong desire for goal in the journey to achieve this mastery.

Patanjali invests two sutras to emphasize the crucial importance of the desire for attaining victory over the mind. He emphasizes that victory cannot be given; it can only be earned.


(tivra samvega asannah)

Translation: Those who pursue their practices with intensity of feeling, vigour, and firm conviction achieve concentration and the fruits thereof more quickly, compared to those of medium or lesser intensity.

मृदुमध्याधिमात्रत्वात् ततोऽपि विशेषः॥२२॥

(mridu madhya adhimatra tatah api visheshah)

Translation:For those with intense practices and intense conviction there are three more subdivisions of practice, those of mild intensity, medium intensity, and intense intensity.

My perception of these sutras is that Sage Patanjali not only is guiding us about the goal of achieving the goaal of masteery over one’s mind but also gives us a very important lesson for achieing our other goals in life. His views and the precise words used in aphorisms are a perfect lesson about amount and degree of intense desire while achieving goals in our life. Modern day struggles for success and other visions in life can be very aptly decoded by the above sutras.

As we know, behind any accomplishment there is always a force of desire that pushes us towards struggling to achieve our goals. The strength of our desire determines how easily we will attain your goal. It determines how easy it will be to overcome obstacles when they arise and indicates what kind of aspirant you are.

Sage Patanjali speaks about 3 levels of aspirants:

  1. The lower grade aspirants are those who have a mild degree of desire to gain their goal. The desire is mild and can be extinguished quite easily by fear of failure. The spark is not strong enough to propel them forward. Such people know the value of achieving the higher goal of life; they wish to attain it, but they do not have enough motivation to really start. They enjoy day-dreaming and planning but are very weak in execution.
  2. The intermediate grade of aspirants are ones with a higher degree of intense desire, but one that is still not powerful enough to help them to get through. They start their quest with great enthusiasm, but when confronted with obstacles they drop it with disappointment.
  3. The highest-grade aspirants are ones with a strong intense desire—a desire that has consumed all other desires. Such aspirants see nothing other than the goal and will settle for nothing other than what they have set out to achieve. This burning desire is like a fire that consumes all obstacles, including fear of death.

The fastest progress towards our spiritual goals grow out of nonattachment.  This is the opposite of our modern conception of achievement.  We most often see achievement as following passion, desire, and drive. Applying Sage Patanjali’s principle for success would definitely reduce our stress but help us hang on with our goals.

Love, Light, Peace and Success to all.

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