I.1. ATHA YOGANUSASANAM
ATHA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ now
YOGA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ yoga
ANUSASANAM Ã¢â‚¬â€œ instruction
Now begins the instruction of Yoga.
I.2. YOGAS CITTA VRTTI NIRODHAH
YOGAS Ã¢â‚¬â€œ yoga
CITTA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ sum total of the mind, consciousness
VRTTY Ã¢â‚¬â€œ fluctuations
NIRODHAH Ã¢â‚¬â€œ control
Yoga is the control of the fluctuations of the mind.
For many of us, when we think of Yoga, we think of the physical postures. While the physical practice of Yoga will bring you many benefits, it can also be viewed as a means toward a better capability to control the mind, moving toward a feeling of oneness with the universe.
I.3. TADA DRASTUH SVARUPE AVASTHANAM
TADA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ then
DRASTUH Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the Seer
SVARUPE Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in its true nature
AVASTHANAM Ã¢â‚¬â€œ abides
Then the Seer abides in His true nature.
As the fluctuations of the mind are quieted, one can then begin to experience her true nature. If you have a jar filled with water with a little mud in it, it is only when the jar remains still for a period of time that you can see clearly through the water. Likewise, we use breath, awareness and receptivity in our physical practice of Yoga to clear our minds, letting some of the “mud” settle. Then, our true nature can be experienced.
I.4. VRTTI SARUPYAM ITARATRA
VRTTI Ã¢â‚¬â€œ fluctuations
SARUPYAM Ã¢â‚¬â€œ identifies
ITARATRA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ otherwise
Otherwise we identify with the fluctuations of the mind.
Once we identify with these fluctuations, then we lose our true Self and become blind to the one unchanging consciousness.
I.5. VRTTAYAH PANCATAYYAH KLISTA AKLISTAH
VRTTAYAH Ã¢â‚¬â€œ fluctuations
PANCATAYYAH Ã¢â‚¬â€œ five kinds
KLISTA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ painful, distressing
AKLISTAH Ã¢â‚¬â€œ not painful, not distressing
There are five kinds of mental fluctuations, which are either painful, distressing or not painful, distressing.
Each of the five fluctuations can fall within these two broad categories and they can change with time. On the whole, selfish thoughts bring pain, while selfless thoughts bring peace.
I.6. PRAMANA VIPARYAYA VIKALPA NIDRA SMRTAYAH
PRAMANA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ correct knowledge
VIPARYAYA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ misconception
VIKALPA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ delusion
NIDRA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ sleep
SMRTAYAH Ã¢â‚¬â€œ memory
These are correct knowledge, misconception, delusion, sleep and memory.
These are the five types of “vrittis” or fluctuations and they will be explained in the next five sutras.
This article first appeared in 2009.