The Yoga Sutras contain 196 Sutras

divided between four chapters, discussing the aims and practice of yoga, the development of yogic powers and finally, liberation. Like a gentle guiding hand, the Yoga Sutras warn you of the pitfalls on your spiritual journey and offer the means to overcome them. 

In Vedic texts, it is common to encapsulate the whole teaching early in the discourse. Patanjali does simply in the first few sutras, giving you the essence of your spiritual practices:

“atha yoganushasanam"

Now concentration is explained.”

“yogas hchittavrittinirodhah"

Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (Chitta) from taking various forms (Vrttis)”

“tada drashtuh svaroope avasthanam"

At that time (the time of concentration) the seer (the PuraSa) rests in his own (unmodified) state.”

“vrittisaroopyam itaratra"

At other times (other than that of concentration) the seer is identified with the modifications.”

“vrittayah pangchatayyah klishta aklishtah"

There are five classes of modification, painful and not painful.”

“pramanna Viparyaya vikalpa nidrasmritayah

(These are) right knowledge, indiscrimination, verbal delusion, sleep, and memory.”

“pratyaksha numanagamah pramanani"

Direct perception, inference, and competent evidence, are proofs.

“viparyayo mithyajnanam atadroopapratishtham"

Indiscrimination is false knowledge not established in real nature.”

“shabdajnaananupati vastushoonyo vikalpah"

Verbal delusion follows from words having no (corresponding) reality.”

“abhavapratyayalambana vrittirnidra"

Sleep is a Vrtti which embraces the feeling of voidness.”

“anubhoota vishaya sanpramoshah smritih"

Memory is when the (Vrttis of) perceived subjects do not slip away (and through impressions come back to consciousness).”

“abhyasavairagyabhyan tannirodhah"

Their control is by practice and non-attachment. The mind, to have this non-attachment, must be clear, good and rational.” ( …to be continued.)

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