Yoga Sūtra Verse 1.3

July 13, 2012 § 4 Comments

yoga_sutra_verse_1.3

Definitions

tadā – from that, in consequence of that, for that reason, consequently, so, as a result…
draṣṭuḥ – from the objective genitive case of draṣṭr meaning one who sees; the seer, the experiential observer; [more importantly is the connotation that this seeing is absolute (unfiltered by the influence of matter). Hence we have the idea of the experiencer of life as opposed to the body-mind complex which is an object to be experienced by the conscious being]
svarūpe – sva = one’s own; rūpa form, nature, character; best understood as one’s original nature or essence; cf. sanatana dharma (eternal nature)
avasthānam – from ava+sthāna (to stand or be fixed) n. standing, taking up one’s place; situation, condition; residing, abiding, dwelling; stability

Translation

“Which results in the experiencer of the mind/body  being free to be in  his/her original form of pure consciousness”

Commentary

You, your sense of identity, everything you hold as true and real will be destroyed and what remains will be an inconceivable, inexpressible experience of your Self as a conscious being. This is the message of Patañjali’s all important third verse.

This verse offers the keys to the kingdom. It describes the ultimate offer available to humans – liberation from the material experience. Now before you call out ‘give me those keys’, let’s consider what liberation really means.

Achieving liberation from the material experience is much harder than you might imagine, because the attachments you have to your current sense of identity run deep. For example, believing that someone in this material world can make you happy is a belief so deeply ingrained, it cannot be easily dislodged. Similarly, the belief that material success will make you feel fulfilled is not  easily removed.

You can, if you are courageous, choose to develop an emotional attraction to a life free of the pursuit for material certainty. In Sanskrit this is  Shraddha – the enviable sense of joy and wonder that accompanies the start of a new adventure or journey. In this case it is the journey of Self-discovery.

If you accept this offer and push forward, you may, however, risk disturbing those closest to you. In relationships, people often rely on the illusion of control.

Let’s say, you work on yourself and remove your attachment to having a significant other. So, now, you do what your loved one wants out simply out of the pure desire to please them without needing anything back from them. This choice, is no longer an ego driven decision. Now you’re acting out of altruism or unconditional love.

Acting out of unconditional love, just because it is the right thing to do however, may seem like a positive choice. But it removes something from the equation that your loved one has come to depend on — the illusion of control. This illusion comes from their false, but essential sense that you are responding to them on their terms. If you remove this illusion, they will certainly feel it and this is potentially disruptive to your relationship. As you have taken a step towards personal growth, you basically force your loved one to decide whether they can grow with you.

So, are you willing to risk changes in the nature of your present relationships and become a living example of unconditional love? If so you can become an inspiration to others not in what you say but in the way you are. You will become the kind of person who can raise the consciousness of others just by showing up.

You simply need the courage to step into the unknown. The keys to the kingdom are available to you if you decide now that embracing the mysterious and inconceivable nature of consciousness is your greatest priority. This new-found love of the unknown is the next step in your journey of Self-discovery.

As you approach life’s many challenges you have the opportunity to choose to embrace everything life has to offer you. Most people do not know about this opportunity because they are afraid of discomfort, they want to embrace only pleasure. You, as the sincere seeker however, are brave and unafraid so you can take advantage of this opportunity — you can choose to feel comfort and discomfort equally and let go of
the need to control outcomes. You can choose to embrace instead, the ups and downs of the journey equally and in this way, begin to liberate yourself from this material existence.

The trick is to start small. Look at the petty annoyances in your life and see them as moments you are will experience without resistance to the emotions that go with them. Before you react or repress — choose to feel. And do not be afraid to feel the uncomfortable emotions. Do not resist life’s discomfort. Resistance keeps you trapped in a fear based existence.

First step – know you are not your body or your emotions. Now step into the role of the willing experiencer of both for body and your emotions and you step away from ego and towards consciousness. Is this both scary and exciting to you? Can you push forward with determination? If so you are well on your way to being a modern yogi warrior.

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