Introduction to Yoga Sutras 1.12-1.16
Practice and Non-Attachment
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TWO CORE PRINCIPLES: Practice (abhyasa, 1.13) and non-attachment
(vairagya, 1.15) are the two core principles on which the entire
system of Yoga rests (1.12). It is through the cultivation of these
two that the other practices evolve, by which mastery over the mind
field occurs (1.2), and allows the realization of the true Self (1.3).
ABHYASA/PRACTICE: Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent
effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility (1.13).
To become well established, this needs to be done for a long time,
without a break (1.14). From this stance the deeper practice
continues to unfold, going ever deeper towards the direct experience
of the eternal core of our being.
VAIRAGYA/NON-ATTACHMENT: The essential companion is non-attachment
(1.15), learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears,
and false identities that are clouding the true Self.
THEY WORK TOGETHER: Practice leads you in the right direction, while
non-attachment allows you to continue the inner journey without
getting sidetracked into the pains and pleasures along the way.
SUPREME NON-ATTACHMENT: Gradually, non-attachment expands to the
depth of the subtlest building blocks (gunas) of ourselves and the
universe, which is called paravairagya, supreme non-attachment
(1.16). Eventually the three gunas resolve back into their cause
during deep meditation, leading to final liberation (4.13-4.14, 4.32-