tada drastuh svarupe-avasthanam
As a result of directing the mind exclusively towards an object and sustaining that focus in one direction without distractions, we experience the deepest part of ourselves.
PRACTICAL LIVING This sutra is directly connected to the previous one, and states that when we are in the state of Yoga, then (tada), as a result of choosing an object, focusing on it and sustaining that focus, the ability to understand the object fully and correctly is apparent. In the state of Yoga the different preconceptions and products of the imagination that can prevent or distort understanding are controlled, reduced or eliminated. This can be elucidated by a simple metaphor where we imagine the mind as a mirror. For most of us that mirror is dirty and bent, which results in a distorted image. In other words, we usually perceive ourselves and the world in a distorted manner. This sutra states that when we’ve done the work and have cleaned and smoothened our mirrors, then we begin to perceive ourselves and the world with clarity. We perceive things just as they are. Why is it rude to belch in some cultures and not not in others? When we stop and reflect on the cultural phenomena of belching, we realize that the act in itself is not rude, it just is what it is. Some of us have learned to associate the act with rudeness. This is one of millions of examples which illustrate what prevents us from seeing things as they are: a conditioned mind.
In the state of Yoga :
- we are who we are
- we see things as they are (without the learned judgments)
- we are firmly established (avasthanam) in our own (svarupe) true nature (drastuh)
IN THE YOGA WORLD Then, when the mind is calm and focused, it no longer distorts the true expression of the soul. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are based on Samkhya philosophy, which says that living beings are made out of 2 different parts: an unchanging, formless light which is the source of our inner joy, peace and wisdom (purusha or drastuh), and a changing part which consists of our body, thoughts and emotions (prakrti). According to Samkhya, we experience suffering because we are disconnected from our purusha. We think we are only bodies that think and feel. We are that, but there is also something deeper (drastuh). The mind is the only way to experience purusha. Since most of us have distorted mirrors as minds, it is difficult to experience our inner light. When the mind is unclear, we only perceive the mind’s projection, not the truth. So, on a more positive note, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are primarily concerned with explaining the nature of the mind and providing us with tools to “clean our mirrors” and therefore cultivate more clarity (viveka), so that we eventually establish ourselves in our own true nature 🙂 Of course, this is easier said than done. In fact, Sutras I.1 and I.2 emphasize that commitment and action are required to reach a state of Yoga! Meanwhile, reflect, act and enjoy the ride!
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON This incredible woman has known me all my life. In fact, she gave me my first home: her womb. MamaMagic is a fountain of love. She has taught me some of the most beautiful lessons I have received in life: connecting to and expressing love, the beauty of crying, observing nature, taking the time to reflect, and the joy of spontaneity. She also introduced me to Yoga. This woman has a connection to nature, to reflection and to life that amazes me. Thank you Mama for always supporting me in my path, for all the inspiring conversations about life, and for helping me to experience my inner light little by little. I feel profound gratitude for this huge blessing in my life. Like Mami (and Violeta Parra) would sing: “Gracias a la vida que me has dado tanto!” Translation: Thank you life, whose given me so much!
Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!
Thanks and we will look at what happens when we’re not in a state of yoga next week!