Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

वृत्तिसारूप्यमितरत्र ॥४॥

vṛtti-sārūpyam-itaratra ||4||

At other times conformity with the fluctuations.

vṛtti - fluctuation; modification; turning; set in motion, course of action, behaviour, movement; activity, function; professionsārūpya - conformity with, sameness or similarity of form, identity of appearance, resemblance, likenessitaratra - at other times, on the other hand

Commentaries and Reflections

Commentary by T Krishnamacharya:

“What is the nature of distraction?”

“Working together with and directed by past impressions,
the three Guṇa, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas determine
whether the mind is calm, agitated or dull.”

“Past impressions also determine the
mind’s direction and quality of perception.”

“Sages say that the fruits of this vine are three
wisdom, wealth and joy.
Those free of desire pick wisdom
Those full of desire pick money
Those full of devotion pick the fruit of joy.
These are what the world is seeking
whether rushing forth or keeping still
But once you know the essence
of this triple bearing vine
There is no need to choose among its flavours.
Bhīṣma said Yoga’s lord is Kṛṣṇa,
beloved of all the gods
Patañjali said hold back your mind to silence the din
Nāthamuni, too, said follow the Yoga path
away from sickness, ignorance and fear.
I remember the friend of Yogavalli – Nārāyaṇa
four armed friend with bow, sword, club, discus and conch.”

Commentary by TKV Desikachar:

“In Sūtra Three and Four the mind is operating.
In Sūtra Three the mind is the means.
In Sūtra Four the mind is the means and the boss.”

“Whatever perceives is always right,
it is the mind that colours what we see.”

“Yoga presumes for most people that mind is the same,
always planning ahead or basing itself on what has happened.”

“If there is not a strong link to that which is inside,
the stronger force becomes the outside,
and we are pulled by and to that.”

“When the mind is not very clear,
you only get the message from the mind.”

Commentary by Paul Harvey:

“At all other times,
we identify with the fluctuations.”

“The mind modifies perception.
Though you might even say that,
the mind muddifies perception.”

“Yoga is about refining the skill
to rest in the awareness of the Cit,
rather than nest in the nature of the Citta.”

“Every step towards observing the play of the mind,
is a step towards observing the ploy of the mind.”

The less we act from within the field of the present moment,
the more we re-act from within the field of past memories.”

“It is difficult to realise the wonders of Cit
within the wanderings of the Citta.”

“Given the at all other times in this verse,
we need to thwart the ploys of the mind to
conform to its unhelpful fluctuations by reducing:
1. The tendency of the mind to perceive in too many ways.
2. The tendency of the mind to distort what we see.
3. The tendency of the mind to fantasize.
4. The tendency of the mind to go to sleep at inappropriate moments.
5. The tendency of the mind to get lost in memory or impose memory on reality.
When these old or other tendencies take over you are not there.
So if you are not consistent with your efforts,
you will not change your state of mind.
Plus, the unhelpful aspects of the fluctuations reduce
the tendency of the mind to experience a clarity of being.”

“In Sūtra 1.4 what are the fluctuations that
we personally most often conform to?”

Links to Related Posts:

Inspirational Quote

“We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts....” Harold Nicolson