Sūtra III.9 – Chapter III, Sūtra 9

व्युत्थाननिरोधसंस्कारयोरभिभवप्रादुर्भावौ निरोधक्षणचित्तान्वयो निरोधपरिणामः I

vyutthāna-nirodha-saṁskārayoḥ-abhibhava-prādhurbhāvau nirodha-kṣaṇa-citta-anvayaḥ nirodha-pariṇāmaḥ

Mental metamorphosis (pariṇāmaḥ) occurs when the mind’s tendencies (saṁskāra) go from being scattered and agitated (vyutthāna) to stable and calm (nirodha). These moments (kṣaṇa) of mental calmness (nirodha) begin to permeate (anvayaḥ) us and this reflects a change towards inner peace (nirodha-pariṇāmaḥ).

PRACTICAL LIVING     Patañjali tells us here that we can only be in one of two states of mind at a given moment:

(i) vyutthāna saṁskāra – here anxiety and lack of focus prevails. The mind is distracted, agitated and lacking clarity. Usually we are caught in our own emotions and life melodramas and cannot see a larger picture.

(ii) nirodha saṁskāra – when the waters of the mind are calmer. Like a still lake, the thoughts slow down, the emotions are non-reactive and a sense of joy, presence and peace is experienced.

A very optimistic sūtra, here we are told that we can all change. Mental patterns are habits. We can train ourselves to be less dispersed and more focused, less anxious and calmer. These moments of stillness and inner calmness gradually add up so that state becomes more of who we are. Calmness becomes a state that we spend more time in. This is neuroscience: the brain is ‘plastic’ and can anatomically change as we make an effort to change our thoughts and behaviors. Personally, I’ve seen this process happen in myself, loved ones and great stories of criminals who became peace leaders. When the thoughts and emotions change, the body does as well. When one is sick, for example, science is now recognizing the power of the mind over the body’s physical healing. Change is available to all of us, if we want it.

IN THE YOGA WORLD     Is is very simple to know which state we are in. Like we’ve seen in sūtra I.31, in an agitated state we experience:

  • duḥkha – unpleasant emotions
  • daurmanasya – negative mental patterns/lack of confidence
  • aṅgamejayatva – physical discomfort
  • śvāsapraśvāsaḥ – irregular breathing

Whereas in a state of calm and focus we experience:

Like a pendulum, the mind has a moment of inactivity in between activities. So do the breath and the thoughts. Between one breath and the next, between one thought and the next, there is a moment, a brief moment when there is no movement or the system is vṛtti-less (activity-less). But these very brief moments are not registered by the mind. In nirodha-pariṇāma, the citta registers these precious moments. We become more aware of the joyful moments of calmness.

INSPIRATIONAL PERSON     A woman who loves life and lives it FULLY and MARIANA
wholeheartedly, Nana’s smile, her enthusiasm for people and places fills the universe with a juicy nectar of love. She enjoys fully and is also seeking for constant growth. A wonderful friend, a shining star of a mother, a loving wife, Nana plays her roles with so much care. Thank you for showing me the beautiful balance of a life that is both pleasureful and meaningful! Te quiero mucho mujer!

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 results of transformation next week!

2 thoughts on “Sūtra III.9 – Chapter III, Sūtra 9

  1. Thank you for this one. I did not know there was a word for this, but this has been the motivation and goal of my personal for the last two years. Finding the calm and maintaining this state has been both the source of sustenance for my mind/spirit unity and the guide for life decisions I have made to find spaces and places of harmony and resonance for my work as well. So lovely there is a word for it ❤

  2. Pingback: Sūtra III.10 – Chapter III, Sūtra 10 | weeklysutra

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