Introduction to Yoga Sutras 3.17-3.37
EXPERIENCES FROM SAMYAMA
SETTING ASIDE THE SUBTLER EXPERIENCES:
There are numerous subtle realm experiences that come to the yogi
after the finer tool called samyama (3.4-3.6) becomes available. Each
of these, in their own way, is experienced so as to uncover the truth
(1.3) behind the false identities (1.4).
The suggestion is to set aside (1.2) as not-self all of the levels of
our being and all the levels of discovery, seeing through the avidya
or ignorance (2.5) by a process of discrimination (2.26-2.29) and non-
POWERS OR IMPEDIMENTS:
While some people see the coming of these experiences as powers
(siddhis, psychic, or occult abilities) to be sought for furtherance
of the ego identity, the true yogi sees these as nothing but the
subtler clouds of attraction that are impediments to the realization
of the Self. They are encountered, experienced, understood, and set
aside (1.2, 3.38).
READING THESE SUTRAS ON EXPERIENCES:
When reading these sutras, it is important to not feel that you must
attain all of these experiences to progress on the path to Self-
realization. Remember, these experiences and practices are done with
the tool of samadhi, once that skill level is attained.
SEEK THE HIGHEST:
There is a myth circulating that to experience the truth you must
first be completely, 100% purified, and that is simply not true.
First seek the direct experience of the top of the spiritual
mountain, and then learn to purify the subtler aspects.
THE LATER HOUSECLEANING:
Surely there is stabilizing and purifying needed to attain that
direct experience, but the final house cleaning is pursued after that
realization. For some comfort in this, note that sutra 4.27-4.28
gives instructions on dealing with breaches in enlightenment. It
means that one is not expected to have completed the process of
purifying karma before realization of the highest, and that is good
news for aspirants.