3.27 By the practice of the threefold discipline on the sun, a knowledge of the physical universe is gained.
3.28 By the practice of the threefold discipline on the moon, there arises a knowledge of the stellar system.
3.29 By the practice of the threefold discipline on the pole star, there comes a knowledge of its movement (or the movement of the stars).
Translation by Swami Venkatesananda
Human beings are a curious lot. We are pretty good at recognizing patterns. Once we spot one, or an anomaly without pattern, we want to know why and how. Why is it warm and light for a time and then cold and dark for a time in a proportion that changes gradually with repetition until a cycle of repetitions starts all over again?
We’re also creative. And when we didn’t know why, we made up stories – myths – that offered explanation and helped at the very least provide some perspective on our relationship to phenomena we didn’t fully understand.
Many of those myths seem preposterous in the light of facts uncovered through science, but if we look long and hard at our own tendency to let hasty conclusions stand in for well-tested facts, it becomes a little easier to imagine. In the absence of all the facts, we’ll grab at any explanation that helps us construct rules of behavior so that we can just get on with our lives.
Happily, not everyone is fulfilled by that approach, and some of us can operate successfully with unknowns and uncertainties until we can figure out the truth.
When I read through the siddhis (powers, accomplishments) listed in book three, I see not magic powers, but as close to the scientific method as any one individual can get within herself. If you listen closely to the truth inside your observations, and leave yourself open to discovery rather than jumping to conclusions before you’re able to see clearly the detail or full picture you’re examining, you’ll find something akin to comprehension of the context in which you exist.
You’ll get to know the sun (our star), the moon (our moon), and the stars (our galaxy) and realize the universe isn’t “ours” and doesn’t exist for us or because of us but right along side of us. We are made of “star stuff”, and just maybe if we can truly know ourselves, we can know the stars, too.
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.