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the poetry of the yoga sutras of patanjali 1.3 & 1.4
Photography by roberta basile

the poetry of the yoga sutras of patanjali 1.3 & 1.4

by Maryam Ovissi maryam ovissi
Practice Yoga | What is Yoga? | | Q&A


sutra 1.3 tada drashtuh svarupe 'vasthanam and sutra 1.4 vritti sarupyam itaratra

The first 16 sutras are considered the sweet sixteen of the Yoga Philosophy. I truly feel you can taste the essence in the first four. These four that we have now explored (see below for the 2 others) can sustain you through your journey. Just like the four directions that are used to ground altars and medicine wheels, these four can ground you for your journey through life.

Sutra 1.3

tada drashtuh svarupe 'vasthanam

[by quieting the mind] Then the seer abides in its true whole and unchanging essence of itself peacefully

Sutra 1.4

vritti sarupyam itaratra

otherwise the thoughts [vrittis] will become our distorted view of our self and we will remain unpeaceful

What are all beings looking for in one way or another…it is peace. What steals our peace more than anything...it is our mind.

One morning while I was at whole foods, a natural food store in North America, I got into a conversation with the clerk and shared that I teach yoga and she responded to me, “ Oh I can’t do yoga, I cannot quiet my mind it is always chattering.” Then I asked her, “ What do you think lies beyond the chatter of your mind?” She paused and looked at me with a quizzical look in her eyes and said, “ I have no idea and do not want to know. My mind is my battlefield!”

This response offers me beautiful insight, insight to walk with ease and softness. I found out later for her that the she didn’t even want to listen to the chatter so she would find ways to ignore it, she shared with me many tools she had to ignore it, which in all honest sounded exhausting! She did look pretty tired. The same day later in the afternoon, I was at a friend’s bridal shower and ended up having a very similar conversation. the response ended up being different. This person’s answer to my question what lies beyond the chatter was this, “ I do not know, but I am curious what does lie beyond the chatter. My gut tells me it is peaceful and good.”

A seer [Yogi} is a being that allows and doesn’t limit the potential of what can be. In the midst of darkness, they keep the possibility of light present. In the experience of pure light, they are aware of the container that darkness holds for light to be. In the presence of Love, they recognize that the greatest suffering they will endure will be caused by what they love the most. The Seer understands that the greatest freedom will be to be released by the bondage of their mind around what one fear losing and doesn’t understand.

What keeps you from your peace? Have you made it acceptable to exist without wanting to know?

A.G. Mohan-ji says this sutras is basically saying,” If you do not pursue the practice minding your mind, you will be a mess.”

What is creating the greatest unrest in your mind? Discover it, unravel it, understand it and resolve to transform it into wisdom.

Poem 1. 3

Look in

Can you see the space between your cells?

Can you hear the sound of silence between your heart beats?

Can you feel the flow of life in your blood?

Can you taste the nectar that runs through your nadis?

Can you smell the fragrance of your essence?

Can you…..

What embodies all of it and at the same time is beyond it?

You…Beautiful… Powerful ….Expansive ….You

Here is the invitation

Yoga

Read about Sutra 1.1 atha yoga anushasanam and sutra 1.2 yoga citta vritti

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