तज्जः संस्कारोऽन्यसंस्कारप्रतिबन्धी I
Born out (tajjah) of this profound understanding is another (anya) conditioning of the mind (samskarah), which counteracts (pratibandhi) all previous mental impressions and deep seated habits (samskarah).
PRACTICAL LIVING As a result of the deepest state of meditation mentioned in the previous sutras, the individual has a profound clarity about him/herself and the world. This wisdom is sustained because the old impressions are replaced by this fresh and clear state.
In our daily lives, this sutra encourages us to keep working on awareness, which gradually brings open-mindedness, which results in a new and ‘cleaner’ way of viewing life. The more we practice this, the more we replace the old ways with newer and less cloudy ways of perception. This takes practice on a daily basis, and ideally on a moment to moment basis. The more we are able to let go of our ‘grabbing’ to our ways of viewing things, the more we are able to make space for new ideas, which eventually lead to a broader vision.
IN THE YOGA WORLD Yoga speaks of different layers of matter (the body and mind), forming who we are. One of those layers are our habits (samskaras), which determine how we think both consciously and subconsciously. How we think determines what we say and how we say it. A lot of what we think, what we say and how we speak is simply a collection of automatic reactions that we have absorbed through the years. Awareness is the process of carefully selecting those that we want to keep and replacing those what we don’t think are appropriate anymore. This sutra is the result of all of that ‘house cleaning’. We are brought to a deep state within, where those habits no longer influence us, and the only habit we have is one of seeing clearly – without judgements or opinions. Without having to to grab onto ideas to feel safe and feel like we belong to this group or the other. In this state of meditation, we are jivanmuktas (liberated living beings). In this state, one may be completely submerged into daily activities, but the difference is that there is no attachment to the actions and the results. Ahhh! Sounds wonderful!
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON Following last week’s inspirational person, Ram Dass, I chose to dedicate this sutra to his guru: Maharaji. The stories that Ram Dass tells of him are sweet, awing and inspirational all at the same time. I chose an excerpt from one of Ram Dass’ stories to talk about what sounded like a phenomenal and very wise human being:
“If you meditate regularly, even when you don’t feel like it, you will make great gains, for it will allow you to see how your thoughts impose limits on you. Your resistances to meditation are your mental prisons in miniature.
When I asked Maharajji how to meditate, he said, “Meditate like Christ.” I said, “Maharajji, how did Christ meditate?” He became very quiet and closed his eyes. After a few minutes, he had a blissful expression on his face and a tear trickled down his cheek. He opened his eyes and said, “He lost himself in Love.” Try the meditation of losing yourself in love….”
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 next week we will end the first chapter of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali!