sutra 3.21 + 3.22: what do you see?

Sutra 3.21: kaya rupa samyama tat grahya shakti tat stambhe chaksuh prakasha asamprayoga antardhanam By performing samyama on the outer form of the body, invisibility [is attained]. This occurs when perceptibility is obstructed by blocking contact between light and eyes. Translation by Edwin Bryant By the practice of the threefold inner discipline on the form…

sutra 3.18: evolution of knowledge

Sutra 3.18: samskara saksat karanat purva jati jnanam By bringing [previous] samskaras into direct perception comes the knowledge of previous births. Translation by Edwin Bryant By bringing roots or causes into direct observation there comes knowledge of lives as they have been lived before. Translation by Kofi Busia Once upon a time, people didn’t know…

sutra 3.17: communicating through insight

Sutra 3.17: sabdartha pratyayanam itaretaradhyasat sankaras tat pravibhaga samyamat sarva bhuta ruta jnanam An object, the word for it, and the idea evoked by it all tend to be confused with each other. Total attentiveness paid to the differences between these brings a true understanding of the utterance of all living beings. Translation by Kofi…

sutra 2.55: super you

Sutra 2.55: tatah parama vashyata indriyanam With such an abundance of energy it follows that there is complete mastery (in the sense of ever-vigilant understanding) over the senses, as all psychological conflicts and confused movements of thought and energy cease, and the senses function intelligently without disorder and disharmony, inhibitions and excitation. Translation and interpretation…

sutra 2.54: sensing deeply

Sutra 2.54: sva vishaya asamprayoge chittasya svarupe anukarah iva indriyanam pratyaharah Sense-withdrawal is the imitation as it were of the own-form of consciousness [on the part] of the sense-organs by disuniting [themselves] from their objects. Translation by Georg Feuerstein There is psychological freedom when the senses function spontaneously in complete harmony with the inherent intelligence…

sutra 2.53: zoom in

Sutra 2.53: dharanasu cha yogyata manasah And the mind is now prepared for the process of direction toward a chosen goal. Translation and interpretation by TKV Desikachar And the mind attains the ability to concentrate, to focus its attention.Translation by Swami Venkatesananda And the mind attains the ability to concentrate, to focus its attention –…

sutra 2.52: there’s a light in you

Sutra 2.52: tatah kshiyate prakasha avaranam The regular practice of pranayama reduces the obstacles that inhibit clear perception. Translation and interpretation by TKV Desikachar Thence the covering of the [inner] light disappears. Translation by Georg Feuerstein What inner light? Oh, didn’t you know you have a light glowing inside of you? You may have glimpsed…

sutra 2.51: the borders of your skin

Sutra 2.51: bahya abhyantara vishaya akshepi chaturthah Then the breath transcends the level of consciousness. Translation and interpretation by TKV Desikachar The fourth kind of control is to transcend the boundaries of inner and outer. Translation by Kofi Busia When I first considered sutra 2.51, I thought to myself: which boundaries? which inner, which outer?…

gunas

sutra 2.50: ways to breathe

Sutra 2.50: bahya abhyantara stambha vrittih desha kala sankhyabhih paridrishtah dirgha sukshmah Pranayama involves the regulation of the exhalation, the inhalation, and the suspension of the breath. The regulation of these three processes is achieved by modulating their length and maintaining this modulation for a period of time, as well as directing the mind into…