Book 1, Sutra 38: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

“OR THE MIND CAN BE STEADIED BY FOCUSING ON KNOWLEDGE OR EXPERIENCE GAINED WHILE SLEEPING.”

 

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.

Translators and commentators differ on exactly what Patanjali is referring to here. He doesn’t give us a lot of instructions on how to use this tool to steady the mind. The assumption must be that a competent teacher would provide the details.

Brahmananda Saraswati suggests that this is “self-analysis through dream analysis and analysis of deep sleep.” Vishnudevananda says “Many times the Truth is revealed by the superconscious during sleep. . . . if that knowledge is meditated on consciously, great progress can be made upon the path.” Satyananda Saraswati says “The mind can be controlled by developing the method of conscious dreaming and conscious sleeping. . . . There is a method of seeing dreams consciously, but it is dangerous and only a few can practice it. . . . It is meant only for people who are psychic.”

Nambiar combines this sutra with the last one: “Meditate on the dream experience of a holy personality or a divine symbol to stabilize the mind.” Shearer says that it’s about “witnessing the processing of dreaming or dreamless sleep.”

 

 

 

 

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About Kilaya

Kilaya is a yogi who is also well-versed in the sciences. He studied physics and mathematics at college, biology and molecular biology on his own, fluid dynamics while working as a professional plumber and has always had a passion for in-depth psychology. Now he adds what he has learned from his spiritual master, Amma, and from his life as a professional astrologer to his writings in order to make discoveries that may inspire others.

Posted on March 7, 2016, in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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