Book 1, Sutra 35: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra
“OR ANOTHER WAY TO STEADY THE MIND (AND AVOID BEING SWEPT UNDER BY THE OBSTACLES) IS TO DEVELOP CONCENTRATION OF THE SUBTLER SENSE PERCEPTIONS.”
Patanjali listed the obstacles that can create distraction in the mind of the yogic practitioner in sutras 30-31. In sutra 32 he recommended that we apply a single antidote to any obstacle that might arise. Sutras 33-39 list examples of such antidote practices.
This sutra lists an advanced technique that involves capturing some sensorial image or experience within the mind itself and then focusing exclusively on it in order to bring stability of mind through detachment from the external world. In Sanskrt this is called “pravrtti” and will be the focus of the sutras in book 3, sutra 25 forward. In various translations for this sutra this technique has been called “higher objective perception,” “higher sense activity,” “sensuous immediate cognition,” “extraordinary sense perceptions,” and “mystical sense perception.”
Iyengar says that “One may equally attain an exalted state of consciousness by becoming totally engrossed, with dedication and devotion, in an object of interest.” I would qualify this somewhat to make it clear that such an object is being experienced entirely internally despite the fact that it still may be a sensual experience.
Posted on February 22, 2016, in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and tagged bhagavad gita, diligence, distraction of the mind, effort, extra-ordinary sense perception, persistence, transcendental meditation experience. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.