Category: Patanjali Yog Sutras (Page 2 of 5)

Day 38, 1.37 वीतरागविषयं वा चित्तम्॥  vītarāga viṣayam vā cittam 


Another form of meditation is mentioned here. It is stated that without any desire or hatred we can concentrate on objects. The necessary condition is we should have neither liking or disliking for the object of meditation. We should be neutral on the object of meditation. Or we can also concentrate on the consciousness of the mind itself. Take a thought of the mind and concentrate on it. Not on different thoughts but on one thought.


Day 37, 1.36 विशोका वा ज्योतिष्मती॥viśokā vā jyotiṣmatī ॥


The other method is if we can concentrate on the luminosity(light) of state of non-sorrowfulness. It is usually advised that we concentrate on a light at the forehead during meditation. This will help in fixing the mind and slowly clearing the mind.

We can see that we have been given many options as per the personality of the person and we are not forced to follow any certain method. We can choose what works best for us.

We can also concentrate on a state of non-sorrowfulness because if we concentrate on the sorrow that will sap our energies and make us sad.

Day 36,1.35: विषयवती वा प्रवृत्तिरुत्पन्ना मनसः स्थितिनिबन्धिनी॥viṣayavatī vā pravr̥tti-rutpannā manasaḥ sthiti nibandhinī


Another form of meditation is explained here to calm the mind. In1.33 about the states of experience in the world, in 1.34 meditating on breathing and here it is mentioned that meditating on the sensory perception of the five senses. The skin, nose, eyes, tongue, ears the five sense organs perceive the world. In this sutra, it is mentioned that we can concentrate on the act of sensing, and not on the objects of senses. Suppose we like the smell of a perfume, as per this sutra we will not concentrate on perfume, we will not concentrate on the smell of perfume but we will concentrate on the activities that are happening when we smell the perfume. First, the smell touches our nostrils, then it increases and then it stays and goes away. We will be concentrating on the whole process of perception and what changes it makes in the body and mind.

Day 35, Sutra 1.34, प्रच्छर्दनविधारणाभ्यां वा प्राणस्य॥ pracchardana-vidhāraṇa-ābhyāṁ vā prāṇasya


It has been explained in 1.32 that the process of removing obstacles is to calm the mind and the mind can be calmed by meditating on one principle. The practice of friendliness towards all people who are happy, compassion towards people in pain, goodwill towards habitually virtuous and difference towards sinful people. By practicing these attitudes and meditating on these feelings we can calm the mind.

The mind can also be calmed by meditating on breathing. I feel that Sutra 1.33 explains more about how to live life in society, our day to day dealings with the society when we are dealing with people. We should constantly practice these 4 feelings so that we get gradually detached from the feelings of desire, envy, hatred, greed, and attachments.

Then when we are alone or not dealing with people or when thoughts trouble us so much then , we can concentrate on the breath to make the mind calm.

Meditation on the breath is called “ana-Pana” meditation in Buddhism. More information on this can be found at link

Day 34, 1.33, मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातश्चित्तप्रसादनम्॥maitrī karuṇā mudito-pekṣāṇāṁ-sukha-duḥkha puṇya-apuṇya-viṣayāṇāṁ bhāvanātaḥ citta-prasādanam ॥

Day 34, 1.33, मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातश्चित्तप्रसादनम्॥maitrī karuā mudito-pekāā-sukha-dukha puya-apuya-viayāā bhāvanāta citta-prasādanam

Though every Sutra of Patanjali is a gem, I feel this as one of the most powerful sutras I have read till now. It is described that we should develop the feelings of Maitri(friendship), karuna(Compassion),Mudita(goodwill),upekshanam(indifference) towards virtues, sins to calm the chitta.

Earlier we have seen that chitta(our mind) has thought modifications which keeps us away from yoga. And the thought modifications can be kept calm by practice and vairagya. One of the components of practice is developing good thoughts. Whenever negative thoughts spring up in the mind, then deflect the mind towards positive thoughts.

This is applicable to our inner voice also. Whenever we get thoughts like is yoga useful, did it benefit anyone, why should I do this, till now in life you didn’t achieve anything what will you achieve now? You couldn’t get up in the morning so you are a failure. Such thoughts keep coming to our mind, them immediately develop the 4 positive feelings.

If we get in mind the person we don’t like or hate develop any one of the four feelings towards that person. In such a way we will calm the Chitta slowly and slowly.

For more information  can read

Day 33, 1.32, तत्प्रतिषेधार्थमेकतत्त्वाभ्यासः tatpratiShedhaartham ekatattvaabhyaasaH


The method of overcoming the obstacles and the symptoms caused by them is given in this sutra. It is mentioned that if we can concentrate on “one principle” then we can remove obstacles. What is that one principle? It can be Ishwara or self-realization or can be a goal in life for a person. Once after careful thought that one principle is finalized than the person should totally dedicate himself to the one ness. In this sutra, the word Abhyasa is again used. Earlier in sutra 1.12 we have learnt that “abhaya”(practice) and “vairagya”(detachment) will stop different manifestation (vritti) of the mind.So we can see that thought modifications( Vritti) causes obstacles which can be detected by some symptoms.

                                          1.5-1.11—->1.12—-> 1.31—>1.32

Day 32:1.31:दुःखदौर्मनस्याङ्गमेजयत्वश्वासप्रश्वासा विक्षेपसहभुवः॥duHkhadaurmanasyaa~ggamejayatva shvaasaprashvaasaa vikShepasahabhuvaH

In this sutra, it is explained what happens when there is the distraction of the mind because of obstacles. It also means how do we identify obstacles. What things arise simultaneously in the body whenever we face the nine obstacles.
1. The way we breathe changes. If we keenly look whenever we get angry, confused, lazy the way we breathe changes immediately.
2. The way we move, shake our legs and hands is also a symptom.
3. Sadness: the whole mood will be sad because of mental pain.
4.Despair: we will not have interest in any activity of life.
Whenever if we have these feelings, then if we immediately introspect we observe that these feelings are caused because of some obstacle we faced in the path of yoga/general life. Obstacles are causes given in sutra 1.30 and symptoms, manifestations are given in sutra 1.31.

Day 31,1.30, व्याधिस्त्यानसंशयप्रमादालस्याविरतिभ्रान्तिदर्शनालब्धभूमिकत्वानवस्थितत्वानि चित्तविक्षेपास्तेऽन्तरायाः॥vyaadhistyaanasaMshayapramaadaalasyaaviratibhraantidarshana vyādhi styāna saṁśaya pramāda-ālasya-avirati bhrāntidarśana-alabdha-bhūmikatva-anavasthitatvāni citta-vikṣepāḥ te antarāyāḥ

In the earlier sutra, it is mentioned that constant remembrance of “Om” ( Pranava sound) will remove the obstacles and the person will attain self-realization. In this sutra, it is explained what are those obstacles. If we know the obstacles in the path of the journey we will be well prepared to make the journey, we can plan strategies to overcome those obstacles. It is just like if we know that there is a 5 feet wall obstacle in the journey to reach a place we will practice to cross that 5 feet wall. That is why Patanjali is giving us the list of obstacles in the journey. the obstacles are
1. Illness. A person doing practice may fall ill at any time.
2.Doubt: A person having doubts about the methodology being followed ( whether the yoga practice he is following will benefit or not) etc
3.Laziness: this is a big obstacle for yoga. Whether we can get up in the morning to do yoga or better to sleep for some more time.
4.Lack of enthusiasm: This is the biggest obstacle to yoga. Enthusiasm will be there when the goal is clear and when there are no doubts about the goal being pursued. We feel very happy doing something for the people we like, why can’t we have enthusiasm in yoga practice which is going to help us in a better way?
5.Carelessness: We sometimes take a very easy approach and we are not serious about yoga practice. This becomes an obstacle. If we are serious about the task we will prioritize it in comparison to other tasks.
6.Distractions of Chitta: when we are not focused we will be involved in activities that will not help us reach yoga. So once we pursue the path of yoga then we should concentrate on activities that allow us to reach the final goal.
7.Instability: this is another major obstacle that occurs because of lack of enthusiasm and seriousness and doubt. We keep falling down, again and again, to pursue the path again. Valuable time will be lost because of instability.
8.False perception/knowledge: Sometimes we may get influenced by some other knowledge which may take us from yoga. This is very important in the age of the internet where there is too much information.
9.Lust: Bodily desires take us away from final goal.

Each obstacle is closely intertwined with each other and one leads to another. so we should be wary about our obstacles in the journey.

Patanjali says by remembering om continuously we can easily overcome the obstacles.

Day 29, 1.29, ततः प्रत्यक्चेतनाधिगमोऽप्यन्तरायाभावश्च॥ tataḥ pratyak-cetana-adhigamo-‘py-antarāya-abhavaś-ca

It is mentioned that constant remembrance of the Pranava sound “om” will lead to the removal of the obstacles in the path of self-realization and the person will attain self-realization.

To summarize the first 29 sutras, initially, it is mentioned what is yoga- stopping the modifications of thoughts and union of self with supreme consciousness. Then there were different types of thought modifications that do not allow us to unite ourselves with supreme consciousness.

Then it is explained how to stop these thought modifications, through practice and renunciation. What states are possible if we practice regularly with the concept of renunciation in mind is explained: we will attain samadhi. The types of samadhi and the categorization of people according to samadhi is explained later. Then it is explained that state of samadhi can be achieved not only by yoga but also intense bhakti to Ishwara. Then the concept of Ishvara and what sound is used to describe ishwara and what happens by the intense devotion is explained.

Day 27 , 1.27: तस्य वाचकः प्रणवः॥tasya vācakaḥ praṇavaḥ ॥


We use words to express something which we did not express indirectly. In the same way, the word used to express ishwarah is the sound pranavah – OM. Pranava means basically the sound which pleases him. Sound basically travels in the universe in the form of electromagnetic waves. God can be simply described by the sound om. More information at the Wikipedia site:

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