sutras 3.3: what is samadhi?

Sutra 3.3: tad eva artha matra nirbhasam svarupa shunyam iva samadhih When the field of observation and the observing intelligence merge as if their own form is abolished and the total intelligence shines as the sole substance or reality, there is pure choiceless awareness without the divided identity of the observer and the observed –…

sutras 3.1+3.2: practice stillness

Sutra 3.1: desa bandhas cittasya dharana When the attention of the mind-stuff is directed in a single stream to a chosen field, without being dissipated and thus distracted – that is concentration. Translation and interpretation by Swami Venkatesananda Sutra 3.2: tatra pratyayai katanata dhyanam Keeping the attention uninterruptedly in that state [of concentration] is meditation.…

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…

sutra 2.49: breathe easy

Sutra 2.49: tasmin sati shvasa prashvsayoh gati vichchhedah pranayamah Pranayama is the conscious, deliberate regulation of the breath replacing unconscious patterns of breathing. It is possible only after a reasonable mastery of asana practice. Translation and interpretation by TKV Desikachar I’ve been sitting on this sutra for a few extra days because it strikes me…

sutra 2.48: landing in center

Sutra 2.48: tatah dvandva anabhighata Thence comes unassailability by the opposites [found in nature, such as hot and cold]. Translation by Georg Feuerstein Summer in NYC has been mild this year. Some of you are even wondering if it’s arrived yet, even as we begin the movement into fall. I, however, have been quite thankful…