Sūtra III.16 – Chapter III, Sūtra 16

परिणामत्रयसंयमादतीतानागतज्ञानम् I


Profound understanding (saṁyamā) on the three (traya) types of transformation (pariṇāma) leads to deep knowledge (jñānam) of the past (atīta) and the future (anāgata).

PRACTICAL LIVING     Sūtras III.9-14 lead us through descriptions of how we experience mental metamorphosis. Patañjali tells us that practice is a key component (see sūtra III.10). We learned that gradually, we move from an agitated and distracted mind to a calmer and more focused one. We move from a judgmental and unclear mind to an open and present one. As our clarity and understanding deepens, we begin to experience moments of saṁyama – a deep understanding of it all – the mind, life and the whole journey through this human experience. The three types of transformation discussed in sūtra III.13 explored the importance of understanding one’s essence, one’s environment and timing (see sūtra II.13).

Here, Patañjali begins a multi-sūtra-journey through some of the results of that deep understanding. These results, powers or siddhis, can either feed the ego and bring us back to the clinging and desiring vision of the ego, or…help us see and understand life from a more detached, looser and freer lense.

This sūtra says that as we develop a more intimate relationship with our essence, come to terms with our environment and find acceptance and patience towards the timing of change, then we acquire a masterful taste of the past and that which has not happened yet. Excavating the richness of the past, understanding how it has developed the amazing human being we are today and even deeper, celebrating the beauty and pain that has happened, helps us fully embrace our life story – regardless of how much suffering or love it may have included. Similarly, by understanding the flow of what has made us who we are today, we have an equally deep understanding of how life proceeds forward – including pleasant valleys and rough painful uphills.

IN THE YOGA WORLD     It is very easy to interpret these sūtras as magical powers one can acquire. Personally, I see them as moments of clarity that occur as I proceed on my life path towards truthful vision – one which involves the full experience of being a body who thinks and feels and has a shining essence. These are moment of softness, of ‘bigness’ and the seeing of time as flowing endlessly – there are no chapters or phases to life – life just keeps flowing. The present moments is continuously becoming the past and always about to become the future. Time becomes a constant flowing river…

It is extremely important to keep on practicing as we gain insights. It has been shown numerous times that insightful people stopped practicing and allowed these ‘powers’ to run their lives and end up causing pain to themselves and others. As we begin to see clearer, let us have the humbleness and wisdom to understand we are still students on the path – let our hearts keep serving as we awaken.

INSPIRATIONAL PERSON     I long to spend more time with AmitJai (AJ) and embrace his AJnowness as he enjoys playing with children and lives a vibrant life. The little I know about him draws me closer to him. As he navigates life and explores the divinity of the past and present, his eyes shine brighter and his understanding of life seems to deepen. He allows life to flow through him through music, the drums and his sacred voice. AJ, the time we have spent together has influenced me in beautiful ways. Thank you for being in my life! Until the next time amigo! Love you man!

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 language, ideas and objects!

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