Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 8

विपर्ययः मिथ्याज्ञानमतद्रूपप्रतिष्ठम् ॥८॥

viparyayaḥ mithyā-jñānam-atadrūpa-pratiṣṭham ||8||

Wrong perception is false knowledge not established in form.

viparyaya - wrong perception, misapprehension, error, mistake; intrinsic misconception; reversed, inverted, perverse, contrary tomithyā - falsely, deceitfully, untruly; incorrectly, wrongly, improperlyjñāna - knowing; knowledge; higher knowledgeatat - not thatrūpa - any outward appearance or phenomenon or colour; form, shape, figure; aggregate; ‘formed or composed of’, ‘consisting of’pratiṣṭha - established; standing firmly, steadfast; point of support, centre or base of anything

Commentaries and Reflections

Commentary by T Krishnamacharya:

“Even when our understanding is consistent with our perception or repeated experience, it does not necessarily indicate a fact.
For instance, if we assume that a person is a woman simply because that person is dressed in a woman’s clothes, this is called Viparyaya or mental activity that is based on something other than fact.
Viparyaya, then, is comprehension based on a perceived characteristic in the observer, which leads to false assumptions.”

“A particular Dharma is not there,
but somewhere we feel it is there.”

Commentary by TKV Desikachar:

“These problems in our observation are related to the mixing of:
Imagination is already there operating when we begin to observe.
All the more that we are better and better informed about what we should see, etc.
Because of the past Saṃskāra,
there is a sort of perversion in observation.
Memory is, unfortunately, never factual.
Finally, we should never forget that all conclusions are wrong,
because things change.”

Commentary by Paul Harvey:

Wrong perception is a false knowing without support.”

Viparyaya is merely an opinion,
convincing in its rightness to exist.
A flight of fancy, posing, as if a truth.”

Viparyaya is seeing what we want to see,
or not seeing what we need to see.”

“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?”

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Inspirational Quote

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people....” Virginia Woolfe