Part 2 Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras by B.K.S. Iyenger

Thought it will be nice sharing with you Patanjali Yoga Sutras Translated or Explored by B.K.S. Iyengar book “Light On Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”.

I chose to simply place the exact translation from the book and avoided adding my own comments. the Yoga Sutras are probably the “biggest key” to one’s practice of yoga. It is easy to “fall” into the practice of asanas (poses) and neglect the remaining, such as; Nama (restraining), Niyama (spiritual observation)  Pranayam (breathing), Karma (action) yoga,  and more.   Each practitioner has her/his pase of practice but it will be good to have the Sutras in one’s mind.

Part 2 – Sadhana Pada

2.1 Burning zeal in practice, self-study of scriptures, and surrender to god are the acts of yoga.

2.2  The practice of yoga reduces afflictions and leads to Samadhi.

2.3  The five afflictions which disturb the equilibrium of consciousness are: ignorance or luck of wisdom, ego, pride of the ego or sense of ‘I’, attachment to pleasure, aversion to pain, fear of death and clinging to life.

2.4  Lack of true knowledge is the source of all pains and sorrows, whether dormant, attenuated, interrupted or fully active.

2.5  Mistaking the transient for the permanent, the impure for the pure, pain for pleasure, and that which is not the self for the self: all this is called lack of spiritual knowledge, avidya.

2.6  Egoism is the identification of the seer with the instrumental power of seeing.

2.7  pleasure leads to desire and emotional attachment.

2.8  Unhappiness leads to hatred.

2.9  Self-preservation or attachment to life is the subtlest of all afflictions, It is found even in a wise man.

2.10 Subtle afflictions are to be minimized and be counteracted and eliminated, silenced at their very source.

2.11 The fluctuations of consciousness created by gross and subtle afflictions are to be silenced through meditation.

2.12 The accumulated imprints of past lives, rooted in afflictions, will be experienced in present and future life.

2.13 As long as the root of actions exists, it will give rise to class of birth, span of life and experiences.

2.14 According to our good, bad or mixed actions, the quality of our life, its span, and the nature of birth are experienced as being pleasant or painful.

2.15 The wise man knows that owing to fluctuations, the qualities of nature, and subliminal impressions, even pleasant experiences are tinged with sorrow, and keeps aloof from them.

2.16 The pain which are yet to come can be and are to be avoided.

2.17 The cause of pain is the association or identification of the seer with the seen and their remedy lies in their dissociation.

2.18 Nature, its three qualities, satva, rajas and tamas, and evolutes, the elements, mind senses of perception and organs of action, exist eternally to serve the seer, for enjoyment or emancipation.

2.19 The gunas generated their characteristic divisions and energies in the seer. Their stages are distinguishable and non-distinguishable, differentiable and non-differentiable.

2.20 The seer is pure consciousness. He witness nature without being reliant on it.

2.21 Nature and intelligence exist solely to serve the seer’s true purpose, emancipation.

2.22 The relationship with nature ceases for emancipated beings, its purpose having been fulfilled, but its processes continue to affect others.

2.23 The conjunction of the seer with seen is for the seer to discover his own true nature.

2.24 Lack of spiritual understanding is the cause of the false identification of the seer with the seen.

2.25 The destruction of ignorance through right knowledge breaks the link binding the seer to the seen. This is kaivalya, emancipation.

2.26 The ceaseless flow of discriminative knowledge in thought, words and deed destroys ignorance, the source of pain.

2.27 Through this unbroken flow of discriminative awareness, one gains perfect knowledge which has seven spheres.

2.28 By dedicated practice of the various aspects of yoga impurities are destroyed: the crown of wisdom radiated in glowry.

2.29 Moral injunctions (yama), fixed observances (niyama), posture (asana), regulation of breath (pranayama), internalization of the senses towards their source (pranayara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and obsorbtion of consciousness in the self (Samadhi), are the eight constituents of yoga.

2.30 Non-violent, truth, abstention from stealing, continuance, and absence of greed for possessions beyond one’s need are the five pillars of yama.

2.31 Yomas are the great, mighty, universal vows, unconditioned by place, time and class.

2.32 Cleanliness, contentment, religious zeal, self-study and surrender of the self to the supreme self or god are the niyamas.

2.33 Principles which run contrary to yama and niyama are to be countered with the knowledge of discrimination.

2.34 Uncertain knowledge giving rise to violence, whether done directly or indirectly, or condoned, is caused by greed, anger or delusion in mind, moderate or intense degree. It results in endless pain and ignorance. Through introspection comes the end of pain and ignorance.

2.35 When non-violence in speech, thought and action is established, one’s aggressive nature is relinquished and others abandon hostility in one’s presence.

2.36 When the sadhaka is firmly established in the practice of truth, his words becomes so potent that whatever he says comes to realization.

2.37 When abstention from stealing is firmly established, precious jewels come.

2.38 When the sadhaka is firmly established in continence, knowledge, vigor, valour and energy flow to him.

2.39 Knowledge of past future lives unfolds when one is free from greed for possessions.

2.40 Cleanliness of body and mind develops disinterest in contact with others for self-gratifications.

2.41 When the body is cleansed, the mind is purified and senses controlled, joyful awareness needed to realize the inner self, also comes.

2.42 From contentment and benevolence of consciousness comes supreme happiness.

2.43 Self-discipline burns away impurities and kindles the sparks of divinity.

2.44 Self-study leads towards the realization of god or communion with one’s desired deity.

2.45 Surrender to god brings perfection in Samadhi.

2.46 Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence benevolence of spirit.

2.47 Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.

2.48 From then on, the sadhaka is undisturbed by dualities.

2.49 Pranayama is the regulation of the incoming and outgoing of flow of breath with retention. It is to be practiced only after perfection in asana is attained.

2.50 Pranayama has three movements: prolonged and fine inhalation, exhalation and retention; all regulated with precision according to duration and place.

2.51 The forth type of pranayama transcends the external and internal pranayamas, and appears effortless and non-deliberates.

2.52 Pranayama removes the veil covering the light of knowledge and heralds the dawn of wisdom.

2.53 The mind also becomes fit for concentration.

2.54 Withdrawing the senses, mind and consciousness from contact with external object, and then drawing them inwards towards the seer, is pratyahara.

2.55 Pratyahara results in absolute control of the sense organs.


Keep following for part 3 coming soon.