“Now the exposition of Yoga is being made.”
Direct instruction on how to practice Yoga. Mere philosophy will not satisfy us. We cannot reach the goal by words alone. Without practice, nothing can be achieved.
“The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga.”
If one is able to restrain mental modifications, they have reached the goal of Yoga.
Yoga: Normally means union, but in this context refers to the experience of controlling the modifications of the mind.
Citta: Sum total of the mind. The mind is made up of 3 parts: Ahamkara [the ego], Buddhi [intellect], Manas [desiring part of mind'].
Citta vrttis, modifications of the mind-stuff, distrub the peace of our natural state.
Reality is based on our thoughts and attitudes. Therefore, Yoga is less concerned about changing the outside world.
“As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.”
Things outside neither bind or liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that.
If you control your mind, you have controlled everything. Then there is nothing in this world to bind you.
Tada = then, Drastuh = the Seer, Sva = own, Rupe = in color/nature, Avasthanam = abides
“Then the seer abides in its own nature”
You are that true Seer. You are not the body no the mind. But to understand that eternal peaceful You, the mind must be quiet; otherwise, it seems to distort the truth.
When the mind ceases to create thought forms, or when the citta is completely free from vrttis, you see your true self.
When the reflection is distorted, the Seer appears to be distorted. The true you is always the same, but you appear to be mixed up with the mind. Normally you can’t see your true self because the mind is colored. If the mind is dirty, you say “I am dirty.” If it’s all polished and shiny, you say “I am beautiful. “ That means you think you are your reflection in the mind. By making the mind clean and pure, you go back to your original state.
Vrtti = modification, sarupyam = assumes form, identification; itaratra = at other times.
“At other times [the Self appears to] assume the forms of the mental modifications.”
You seem to have lost your original identity and have identified with your thoughts and body. You could identify yourself as your gender, occupation, wealth level, social status, familial role.
If you detach yourself completely from all the things you have identified yourself with, you realize yourself as the pure “I.” In that pure “I” there is no difference between you and me.
This is true not only with human beings, but with everything. You call something a dog because it has a dog’s body. The spirit in a dog and a human are the same. The same is true even with inanimate objectsl there is the same spirit in a stone or a wall. If I use the term “spirit” or “self” you might hesitate to believe me, but if the physicist says the wall is nothing but energy, you will believe that. Behind the different forms of energy is one unchanging consciousness or spirit or Self.
This is why if we could calm our minds and get to the basis of all these modifications, we would find the unity among everything. That is the real Yogic life. That does not mean we are indifferent to the changes and become useless to the world. Instead, with this experience of universal unity, we function better.
Behind All these ever-changing phenomena is a never-changing One. That One appears to change due to our mental modifications. So by changing your mind, you change everything. By correcting our vision, we correct things outside. Yoga is based on self-reformation, self-control, and self-adjustment. When this reformation is accomplished we will see a new world, a harmonious and happy world.
Vrttayah = modifications, Pancatayyah = fivefold, Klista = painful, Aklistah = painless
“There are five kinds of mental modifications which are either painful or painless.”
Patanjali says there are five kinds of vrttis, and again these are grouped into two major categories. One variety brings us pain; the other does not. He does not divide the thoughts in to painful and pleasurable. Because even a so-called pleasurable thought might ultimately bring us pain. Some thoughts begin with pain but end leaving us at peace. Others appear to be pleasurable but bring pain. Instead of these terms, “painful” and “painless,” we might be able to understand this point better if we used two other words. Call them “selfless” and “selfish” thoughts. For example, to love something or someone is pleasurable. But that very same love can bring unhappiness, pain, hatred, jealousy and so on. Because that love was not just a pure love but was based on some expectation in return. So love, thought it appears to be a painless thought, ultimately ends in pain if it is based on selfishness.
Whatever the thought is, if there is no selfishness behind it, it can never really bring pain to the person concerned. The result is neither pain nor pleasure, but peace. Seeing this truth, we should analyze all our motives and try to cultivate selfless thoughts. That is our first and foremost duty.
The goal of yoga is to make the mind thoughtless. But you can’t make the mind thoughtless immediately. That is why we develop the trick of developing certain positive thoughts while removing negative ones. We say to the mind “All right. If you want to create some thought forms, go ahead. But if you create thoughts that will bring you pain, you are the one who will suffer. If you are selfish, you will suffer later on.”
Forget your selfishness, make others happy, and you will be the happiest person.
Selfish thoughts will bring misery and selfless ones leave us in peace. How are we to know whether our thoughts are selfless or not? We have to watch carefully the moment a thought-form arises in our mind. We become analysts. This itself it Yoga practice - watching our own thoughts and analyzing them.
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