Sutra 3.5: tad jayat prajna lokah
When such inner discipline is mastered, there arises the vision that is wisdom. Translation and interpretation by Swami Venkatesananda
Through mastery of that [practice of constraint] [there ensues] the flashing-forth of transcendental-insight. Translation by Georg Feuerstein.
Samyama is a process of bringing “eureka!” moments, both big and small, into your life. Eureka usually feels like it happens to us rather than through our conscious control. In a way, this is true enough. It usually occurs when you relax away from seeking an answer and the connections in your brain “just happen” –the space is made for them happen. (At least, this is how I picture the inner workings of the brain based on a my very limited, amateur knowledge.)
Samadhi and samyama operate similarly: open yourself up to a bigger picture and comprehension ensues or emerges. When you master the ability to set up the conditions for this surrender to consciousness, truth, and connection –in whatever way this actually does come about– you become a walking wisdom wand!
Through meditating on an object in this manner (samyama), the nature and properties of that object, which were always part of your consciousness, become part of your usable knowledge, the consciousness of which you’re aware and in command of and as such can bring out into the living world with you.
Take my yoga teacher training students who were practice teaching last night –they know Surya Namaskar A (a set sequence of postures practiced with breath awareness). They know the steps, they know where to inhale and where to exhale, the know in their bodies what this thing is and does.
As they begin to learn how to teach Surya A to someone else, however, they discover they don’t know what to say to convey this thing to someone else, so that that person will know it too. Their knowledge of Surya A is personal, not universal; it is individual, not complete. This surprised them (as it did me when I learned to teach!): “but… I know it!… in my head…”
When we know for ourselves, our wisdom is useful in a personal scope. We need this. To grasp “the bigger picture” and “universal consciousness,” we need our wisdom to come from an expansive experience that takes in all perspectives, all knowing, all consciousness at once –so we can bring it into life and use it in any way needed –whether that’s to practice Surya A for yourself or to share it with someone else so that they, too, know it.
As best I comprehend it, that’s the kind of wisdom that comes from mastering samyama.
Hari om tat sat!
Experience your true self and bring it into every moment of your living!
The Yoga Sutras are a classical text on yoga–a guidebook of sorts.
Each week, 216 teacher Esther Palmer dives into one of the sutras and we let it take us where it takes us.