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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translated by Yogi Kalinath - Chapter 1, Verse 30


Pada 1, Sutra 30

Sanskrit Verse

Vyadhi-styana-sanshaya-pramadalasyavirati-bhranti-darshanalabdha-bhumikatvanavasthitatvani citta-viksepas te ‘ntarayah

Translation

Sickness, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sense addiction, false perception, non-attaining to the stages of Yoga and instability are the distractions of consciousness. These are the obstacles.

Interpretation

In this verse Rishi Patanjali enumerates the distractions of consciousness and hence the obstacles to Samadhi and to the Seer abiding in his/her own nature.

It takes tremendous strength physically and mentally to endure the travails of both maintaining our mundane responsibilities and going deeper into the essence of the psyche to attain to the state of Moksha or Spiritual Emancipation. A few individual take to the spiritual path thinking that it will fix all their issues both psychological and mundane. It doesn’t! If one has medical or psychological issues then one must consult with an allied health professional. Bona fide spiritual paths are designed for the realization of the Self and not for fixing anything to do with what most people relate ordinarily as to be their self (as body and ego). One will best succeed on the spiritual path if one integrates all aspects of the psyche and of life first then the obstacles which Rishi Patanjali enumerates here will be considerably diminished in either number or importance.

One who has successfully walked the spiritual path and instructs others is called Guru and is indispensable as a Guide lest we delude ourselves of our own progress or/and take wrong turns distancing us further from Truth.

Let’s look briefly at these distractions and the reasons as to why they are obstacles on the spiritual path:

Sickness: it is difficult to realize that one’s ultimate reality is non-physical and non-localized when our attention is drawn to the body due to sickness. Sickness also sap our body of vitality. Vitality is required on the spiritual path and to meet and express our Dharma.

Dullness: consciously practicing the spiritual path requires a refinement and uplifting of awareness. A tamasic state of mind which dullness is cannot attain to this.

Carelessness: for success both in the mundane and spiritual sense one needs to develop attention and concent