मृदुमध्याधिमात्रत्वात् ततोऽपि विशेषः॥२२॥
We are all different. There are differences in how much effort, enthusiasm or faith we have in life. These could be mild (mrdu), average (madhya) or intense (adhimatratvat).
PRACTICAL LIVING The previous sutra talked about the importance of having enthusiasm and intensity towards the things we do in life (see Sutra I.21). This sutra mentions the fact that since we are all different, our levels of enthusiasm, intensity and faith are different. Moreover, within one individual’s lifetime, these levels change. As we focus on one area of our life, wanting to change and cultivate more positive behaviors and habits, that confidence grows. The more it grows, the more enthusiastic we are and the more effort we put into what we are doing. Consequently, the results we are aiming for tend to come faster.
As a teenager I found confidence playing sports. I dedicated many hours every week to training with a lot of enthusiasm and with faith in spending so much of my time doing one thing. The results were fruitful as I won several awards in different championships. In college, however, things changed. Mostly, I was in a new place with new people and faith in myself dwindled. As a consequence, the passion for the sport was not nearly as intense and I gradually stopped playing and enjoying it.
Since then I have found something else that gives me confidence: being a Yoga student and a teacher. I have dedicated the last 9 years to studying these profound teachings and applying them to my life as well as helping others apply it to their lives. It is clear to me that the more energy I put into it, the more I see the fruits of my labor.
In what areas of your life can you see more intense confidence, effort and enthusiasm? If there aren’t any currently, where can you direct all of this energy to?
IN THE YOGA WORLD Faith has different levels. Everybody can have different levels of faith/confidence in different areas and on different days. Such variations are a part of the human psyche. They are a product of the individual’s cultural background and capabilities. Faith is unique to who, what and why. The goal is to have adhimatra (very intense) sraddha (faith) in as many areas of our life as possible. A strong inner faith that can be sustained consistently eventually leads to moments of inner peace.
I am currently in India and yesterday we were lead into a meditation about “pushpam” or a flower. The imagery, the chanting, the breath and asana involved were very conducive to me experiencing a wonderful state of love. This however, was not the right meditation for everyone. There were other students who did not connect very much with the meditation. It is therefore very important to find the appropriate “object of meditation”, whether that object is the correct job, partner, diet, hobby…
What Patanjali is telling us clearly in this sutra are 3 main ideas:
1. We are all born differently therefore our inner potentials are different.
2. Find activities or areas of life where we can cultivate faith with lot’s of effort and enthusiasm
3. Remember that since the mind is in continuous fluctuation, this faith may change with time, therefore continuous effort is required.
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON Ara has been in my life for, wow, 27 years! She has been a close friend and it onlyseems appropriate for her to be mentioned in this sutra. Her life choices as an adult have been made through faith. Faith in herself, in her desires, in her strengths and what leads her to peace. The mother of three adorable children and the wife of a loving husband, she has built her life with a solid purpose: to raise a loving family. Her dedication, enthusiasm and energy towards her family is vivid! She clearly has that as her number one priority and very little (if anything) will stir her from her “object of meditation”. I admire her continuous and concrete commitment to her life choice. As a friend, her dedication and love are clear too. Ara, thank you for these decades of friendship and for giving so much love to your puppies: you’re making the world a better place🙂
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 the concept of surrender to a greater light, a greater teacher as an object of meditation.