The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
The Yoga Sutras changed my life! The information contained in this powerful text can be studied daily as a guide to enlightenment. In my regular studying of the book, I have compiled just a portion of valuable quotes that you can read, ponder and study, time and time again. Enjoy!
As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.” If you feel bound, you are bound. If you feel liberated, you are liberated. Things outside neither bind nor liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that.
But without any identifications, who are you? Have you ever thought about it? When you really understand that, you will see we are all the same. If you detach yourself completely from all the things you have identified yourself with, you realize yourself as the pure “I.” In that pure “I” there is no difference between you and me.
Behind the different forms of energy is one unchanging consciousness or spirit or Self. That is why, if we could calm our minds and get to the basis of all these modifications, we would find the unity among everything. That is the real Yogic life.
Whatever the thought is, if there is no selfishness behind it, it can never really bring pain to the person concerned. The result is neither pain nor pleasure, but peace. Seeing this truth, we should analyze all our motives and try to cultivate selfless thoughts. That is our first and foremost duty.
If you are that patient, your mind is more settled, and what you do will be more perfect. If you are unsettled and anxious to get the result, you are already disturbed; nothing done with that disturbed mind will have quality. So, it is not only how long you practice, but with what patience, what earnestness and what quality also.
Non-attachment should not be misunderstood to be indifference. Vairāgya (non-attachment) literally means “colorless.” Vi is “without;” rāga is “color.” Every desire brings its own color to the mind. The moment you color the mind, a ripple is formed—just as when a stone is thrown into a calm lake, it creates waves in the water. When the mind is tossed by these desires one after the other, there won’t be peace or rest in the mind. And with a restless mind you can’t have steady practice. When you want to do something constantly, your mind should not be distracted by other desires. That’s why this sort of dispassion or non-attachment must always go with the practice. Any practice without this non-attachment can never be fulfilled.
That’s why you can’t collect and compose the mind unless it is free from distracting desires. Meditation is possible only when the mind is free from attachment. In fact, you need not even practice meditation if your mind is completely free from all selfish desire. You will see that you are always at ease; you will never become restless and never disappointed. So we need the practice and the non-attachment; and, of these two, the non-attachment is the more important.
Immediately somebody will ask, “If you are unattached, won’t you lose all incentive and become dull?” No. When we say unattached, it means without personal desires.
The Vedantic scriptures say: “Even the desire for liberation is a bondage.” “Mokṣabhekṣo bandhaḥ.” Even if you desire liberation, you are binding yourself. Every desire binds you and brings restlessness. To get the liberation you have to be completely desireless.