Book 1, Sutra 29: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra
“REPETITION OF GOD’S NAME DESTROYS ALL OBSTACLES AND PAVES THE WAY FOR INNER KNOWLEDGE.”
Most translations admit that Patanjali is talking about the highest of realizations within this sutra. As I mentioned in my commentary to the last sutra, most translations have also defined “repeating God’s name” as repeating the ancient Hindu word, “OM.” As I explained earlier, however, Patanjali is more accurately referring to a much more religious activity than the repetition of “OM.” Although the repetition of “OM” maybe an effective spiritual tool, in this sutra Patanjali is referring to the heartfelt celebration and exultation of the greatness of God. This is instruction for religious worship.
In the last sutra Patanjali told us that such powerful celebration of God through praise results in a deeper understanding and awareness of the presence of the True God. Now, in this sutra, he tells us that such religious worship will bring us directly to the ultimate goal of yoga through its ability to destroy all obstacles. As Sadhakas says “Removal of obstacles like disease and laziness is important for self-development. This removal becomes easier with Divine aid.”