Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translated by Yogi Kalinath - Chapter 1 Verse 2
Yogah Citta Vrtti Nirodhah
Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind stuff
Yoga is the union of the Atma with Paratma, of the Self with the Overself, the religionist will call it union of the soul with the Lord. So many variances of ultimately the same process, a merging of the individuality with the Cosmic.
Just as Ayurveda is the Science of Life, Yoga is the Science of the Spirit. Just as Ayurveda teaches us that we are one with Nature and going contrary to Her rules leads to disease (or dis-ease, falling out of harmony with Her principles) likewise Yoga teaches us that we are one with Spirit (God, Brahman, Allah, Shiva or by whatever name one designate that Ultimate Transcendental Truth) and both forgetting this (called Avidya or ignorance of our True Soul Nature as Children of the Most High) and going contrary to Cosmic Laws brings suffering to ourselves and others.
In this verse, which is my favorite and most repeated verse to my students, Patanjali provides a definition of how Yoga or union with the Absolute, the One Without a Second, can be achieved : by the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind stuff.
The mind is usually fixated in 3 dimensions: the past, the allurement of the senses—the now distractions, and anticipation—the future (usually in association with lust and fear). The mind is rarely at peace with itself and usually only cognizant of the ripples, the modifications, the fluctuations (vrittis) it creates and leaves in its own awareness. The mind is both hypnotized externally by the world and internally by its own indigestion, programming and constant inner dialogue (self-hypnosis). Should the ripples stop, the mind would become a lake, perfectly still: ‘Be still and know that I am God” is indeed sage advice as anything else is rightly a definition of madness, of missing the mark, of forgetting our True Soul Nature, which is the mother of all sin—or self inflicted non-sense or self inflicted negation of the Truth whether by external agents through their own agenda or ignorance or through our own created veils. Hence the importance of Meditation which simplified is: Sit down (in a sit up position)—Be Still—and Shut up (both literally and figuratively meaning both the outer and inner dialogue).
There is something I would like you to remember and it is this: A still mind is a mind at peace as well as a sharper mind. A quieter mind is a more aware mind and with increased awareness comes more control of what you allow to feed your mind both externally and internally. A more aware mind that has more control of its own thought processes is the road to mastery of self and life, and one less subject to the influence of others. And it all starts with AWARENESS.