Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 9

शब्दज्ञानानुपाती वस्तुशून्योविकल्पः ॥९॥

śabda-jñāna-anupātī vastu-śūnyaḥ vikalpaḥ ||9||

Imagination is knowledge following words empty of substance.

śabda - words, sound, languagejñāna - knowing; knowledge; higher knowledgeanupātin - followingvastu - any really existing or abiding substance or essence, thing, objectśūnya - emptyvikalpa - false notion, fancy, imagination

Commentaries and Reflections

Commentary by TKV Desikachar:

“The biggest obstacle to meditation is Vikalpa,
the ability of the mind to fabricate in spite of reality.
Through Vikalpa, the mind fabricates thoughts of no essence,
no substance; and since meditation is, for most of us,
the play of the mind, Vikalpa is the greatest obstacle.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 9

Commentary by Paul Harvey:

“Imagination is knowledge that comes from words empty of substance.”

Inspirational Quote

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere....” Carl Sagan