sūtraDevanāgarī: सूत्र Translation: a short sentence or aphoristic rule; a thread, yarn, string, line, cord, wire; that which like a thread runs through or holds together everything, rule, direction; a measuring line; the sacred thread or cord worn by the first three classes Similar words:śloka, āryā Related concepts:patañjali, śāsana, brahman, vedānta, śāstra, vyāsa, saṃskṛta, kapila, āpastamba, adhyayanam, yogasūtra, brahmasūtra
Appears inBhagavad Gītā:
Chapter 7: 7
Click here for complete Saṃskṛta Index
“The beauty of the Sūtra is that they are only related to the mind.
Thus they stand above various religions and can be studied and related to
by all types of persons from all types of religions.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1
“In this Sūtra, Patañjali lists the five types of mental activities:
Pramāṇa Vṛtti, Viparyaya Vṛtti, Vikalpa Vṛtti, Nidrā Vṛtti, and Smṛti Vṛtti.
Vṛtti and Pariṇāma are synonymous, meaning “change of form”.
These five Vṛtti represent changes in the characteristics and functions of the mind.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 6
“In Sūtra 1.7 Patañjali defines Pramāṇa as having three sources.
How do we discern that all three are not, in reality, self-selective
ascertainments and thus, just all muddled variants of Anumāna?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 7
“In Sūtra 1.8 Patañjali defines Viparyaya as a false knowing.
How can we discern a right perception from a wrong perception
and can a false knowing be both Kliṣṭa and Akliṣṭa?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 8
“Vikalpa is a particular kind of Citta Vṛtti in which understanding
arises from the spoken word. Is this kind of understanding valid or not?
Patañjali, in the definitive Mahābhāṣya commentary on Saṃskṛta grammar,
states that the essence of the spoken word is not separate from the fact
or object it refers to. Objects themselves cannot express their various aspects;
only Śabda can present them to us. Śabda can convey nuances
of meaning that only a special faculty of the mind can grasp.
Such an ability to comprehend is not given to everyone.
The essence of this Sūtra is that Vikalpa is the mental activity by
which what is spoken is understood to mean what it represents,
even when the actual thing is not present.
Thus when we hear the word Sarpa we know it means snake
even though there is no snake present at the moment.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 9
“In Sūtra 1.9 Patañjali defines Vikalpa as an
understanding arising from the spoken word.
How do we discern whether Vikalpa is actually what arises
from the spoken word from what was said to us, or what
arises from the spoken word in how what was said is heard?
In other words how to discern if there is any difference
between what is said to us and what we imagine we hear?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 9
“In Sūtra 1.10 Patañjali defines Nidrā as a
Citta Vṛtti or, a specific type of cognition, one
where Tamas is the object, to the point where
the mind’s link with external stimuli is cut off.
How do we discern between states such as
Pratyāhāra as a disengagement, or Samādhi,
where one is as if empty of one’s own character,
and what is seen as the experience of Tamo Nidrā?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 10
“In Sūtra 1.11 Patañjali defines Smṛti as
the retention of the experience of an object.
How do we know whether Smṛti is Pramāṇa,
given the presence of Viparyaya and Vikalpa
within our parti pris shaping of an experience?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 11
“In this Sūtra Patañjali states that there are two ways
to discipline the five types of mental activity.
They are Abhyāsa and Vairāgya.
Abhyāsa is practice.
Vairāgya is to disconnect or sever the link
between the Citta and external objects.
These two, Abhyāsa and Vairāgya,
always go together as a pair.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12
“In Sūtra 1.12 Patañjali defines Abhyāsa
and Vairāgya in relation to Nirodha.
A question we can explore as
an avenue towards grasping this
Sūtra is, what is the relationship
of these two seeming polarities?
Namely, what are the qualities of
Abhyāsa, in relation to the qualities
of its seeming counterpart, Vairāgya?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12
“In Sūtra 1.13 Patañjali succinctly
defines the aim of Abhyāsa as
the effort to remain there.
What is the ‘effort‘ mentioned here?
Where is the ‘there‘ mentioned here?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 13
“In Sūtra 1.14 Patañjali outlines qualities he feels are
important in cultivating the intention within Abhyāsa.
What are these qualities and how can we
realise them within our efforts to remain there?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14
“In Sūtra 1.15 Patañjali introduces Vairāgya
as dispassion arising from an absence of thirst.
Towards what and how would you interpret its
relevance towards your outer and inner life?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 15
“In Sūtra 1.16 Patañjali introduces two concepts which are
fundamental to the philosophical foundations in Sāṃkhya.
What are they and what is their relationship to Vitṛṣṇasya
within the Sāṃkhya teachings discussing cause and effect?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 16
“In Sūtra 1.17 Patañjali presents Asmitā, or the
sense of oneness, as the culmination of four
successively subtle forms of a meditational
process, collectively described as Saṃprajñāta.
How do we compare Asmitā in this verse
with the Asmitā described as one of the
five Kleśa listed in Chapter Two verse 3?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 17
“In Sūtra 1.18 Patañjali introduces the notion of Saṃskāra.
What is the relationship of Saṃskāra, as introduced
in this Sūtra, to the outcome of Abhyāsa,
as discussed in the preceding Sūtra?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 18
“In Sūtra 1.19 Patañjali appears to be alluding to
two possible cul-de-sac’s for misplaced intention,
in terms of experiencing an illusion of freedom.
What are they and how can they be avoided?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 19
“In Sūtra 1.20 Patañjali introduces four concepts which are
progressively linked outcomes of the experiential presence of Śraddhā.
For your own reflection firstly, list these four concepts using your own
choice of words to express their qualities and yet one which
also illustrates the progressive relationship between them.
Secondly, consider and describe what is it that intervenes
within and diverts us from our potential to experience
Śraddhā and its progressively linked outcomes?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20
“In this Sūtra,
Patañjali lists the nine kinds of obstacles
that are confronted by those who,
though fit and able to meditate on Īśvara,
neglect to do so.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 30
“What causes Duḥkha?
In the school of Sāṃkhya it arises from within, or from external influences,
or from extraordinary phenomena such as drought, storm, earthquake.
However, the experience of Duḥkha is not the same for everyone.
The same circumstance may not bring Duḥkha in erveryone.
Hence the cause of Duḥkha is association. Association implies “two”,
that which is “associated to” and that which is the “cause of association.”
In Yoga they are known as Draṣṭṛ and Dṛśya;
that which perceives and that which is perceived.
The next three Sūtra describe them.
How these two get associated is a subject matter of great debate.
Suffice it to say that this mystery is the Lord’s will.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 17
“The Sūtra does not require the Gem.
But the Gem requires the Sūtra.
Just like there is a hole in every Gem,
there is a place for God in every Being
and that hole is the Heart.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Seven verse 7
“The original essence of the Yoga Sūtra
was passed on by oral tradition.
First you learn the rhythm of the Sūtra.
This was in Saṃskṛta,
first learning the words or Sūtra, then the meanings.
By learning to recite the Sūtra perfectly it was clear
that you were earnest in wanting to learn their meanings.
The scheme would be to repeat it twice,
in exactly the same tone used by the teacher.
This would take many years.
Thus these days it’s difficult to expect to
understand the Sūtra from a book or a course.”
– TKV Desikachar 1979
“The Yoga of Patañjali, presented in very brief pithy statements,
asserts that all human problems emanate from the mind
and can be resolved by changing the quality of this mind.
Not only can they be resolved, but a person can also
utilise this refined mind for every use possible,
including comprehending the divine mystery.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996
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