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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translated by Yogi Kalinath - Chapter 1, Verse 12


Pada 1, Sutra 12

Sanskrit Verse

Abhyasa-vairagyabhyam tan-nirodhah

Translation

The cessation of these fluctuations is achieved by constant practice and non-attachment.

Interpretation

Our practice has been to identify with the objects of this world and to become attached to them—people, things, circumstances, memories and desires. True lasting freedom can only be attained by becoming detached from everything that is transitory and therefore impermanent and instead focus our attention on what is everlasting and perennial. That is the price of freedom and attaining Moksha.

The easiest, most straight forward abhyasa or practices that will help us develop awareness of how our mind operates and hence how consciousness unfolds itself within the seer conjointly with developing a natural state of non-attachment are:

i) practicing Witnessing—purely observing the contents of one’s mind both on and off the meditation cushion without judgement, identification or justification, and

ii) devotion to one’s Ishta Devata—immersing one’s whole being in the Divine according to our attraction and natural propensity of that ideal.

In the first instance, with practice the ego’s incessant demands, insecurities, attention seeking and self-importance gradually loses its hold on us and by offering that refined ego to one’s highest ideal being the Devata of one’s attraction, one becomes magnanimous and tastes true sweetness, the nectar of devotion itself. True meaning is then derived by seeing the Devata in all beings and serving that Devata in all beings.

Ultimately there is no self but the Self and being in the world but not of it is best expressed as serving the Self in all selves.