I do feel that verses 10 and 11 Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two offer……


This post arose from a comment in a thread yesterday on my facebook page:
“I feel that by now you are surely off Yoga Sūtra 2.1?”
Its not something I think about often from that perspective so my thanks to Ivan for the following reflection:

“I do feel that verses 10 and 11 Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two offer an inspiration for the transition from Kriyā Yoga towards Aṣṭāṅga Yoga.

Yoga Sūtra 2.10:
te pratiprasava-heyāḥ sūkṣmāḥ
“They (Kleśa), when subtle, must be avoided by going back to their origin.”

Yoga Sūtra 2.11:
dhyāna-heyāḥ tat-vṛttayaḥ
“Those movements (their rise and fall in their perpetual potency to ‘take over’) are avoided by meditation.”

For me they are an essential refection in the transition from the application of Bahya Sādhana, towards the cultivation of Antar Sādhana. This is further emphasised by Patañjali in the Vinyāsa Krama (appropriate stages) as represented by the concept of the viniyoga of Yoga when discussing the deepening into Antar Sādhana:

Yoga Sūtra 3.6
tasya bhūmiṣu viniyogaḥ
“Its application is in stages.”

This verse also re-minds me of the simple yet heartfelt teaching inherent in Chapter One:

Yoga Sūtra 1.14
“Moreover, this stage become firm when cared for over a long time, without interruption, with respect and enthusiasm.”

My feeling for this process is touched on by a recent post.
“Interesting to observe myself saying ‘hello old friend’ as I take up my Dhyāna Pīṭham.”

However, amidst being aware of the irony of saying where you are being a blunder to show where you are not, or the not saying where you are not, as you ‘know’ this non-wordplay, perhaps a gravitational shift in terms of occasional glimpses of Antar Sādhana pulling me from the inside, rather than me pushing from the outside, as with Bahya Sādhana.

Thankfully though, Patañjali reminds us, in Chapter Two, of the subtleties inherent in the illusion (Avidyā) of
 recognizing (Khyātiḥ) psyche (Anātma) as awareness (Ātma):

Yoga Sūtra 2.5
”Avidyā is the illusion of recognising the ephemeral as the eternal, 
the profane as the profound,
 pain as pleasure and 
the silhouette as the source.”

Furthermore to help us stay grounded in the phenomena that accompanies most of ones Dhyāna, Patañjali reminds us, even late in Chapter Four that the seeds of the past remain ever open to sprouting in the field of the Kleśa:

Yoga Sūtra 4.27
tat-chidreṣu pratyaya-antarāṇi saṃskārebhyaḥ
“In the breaks between that (Dhyāna), other psychic activities, due to tendencies.”

So in the next verse he suggests, because nothing is destroyed and the past lurks in the reeds of memory, go back to base when re-viewing your Sādhana, especially when experiencing yourself within unskillful situations:

Yoga Sūtra 4.28
hānaṃ eṣāṃ kleśavat-uktam
“It is said the giving up of these is as for the afflictions.”

Thus we are guided right back to Kriyā Yoga in Chapter Two:

Yoga Sūtra 2.1
tapaḥ svādhyāya-īśvara-praṇidhānāni kriyā-yogaḥ
“The activities of Yoga are self-discipline, self-study and contemplation on the divine.”

Yoga Sūtra 2.2
samādhi-bhāvana-arthaḥ kleśa-tanū-karaṇa-arthaḥ ca
“Its purpose is cultivating integration and causing an attenuation of the afflictions.”

So, as we roll along the squares of Saṃsāra, ahead of each experience with the ‘ladder’ of awareness, lurks the longer snake of illusion or Avidyā. Here I am re-minded of Krishnamacharya’s insightful teachings around Kuṇḍalinī as a synonym for Avidyā.

In conclusion, wherever we might feel we are, it is better to always keep hold of Kriyā Yoga as a foundational Sādhana and constant mental mirror for where we actually are, rather than assuming that we are say ‘off’ the square of Kriyā Yoga in the Snakes and Ladders of Sādhana from Kriyā to Aṣṭāṅga.”

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