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15Yoga Sutras 1.12: Twin practices of Abhyasa and Vairagya

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Jul 24, 2005
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      Yoga Sutras: Sutra 1.12:
      Twin practices of Abhyasa and Vairagya
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-11216.htm#1.12

      YOGA SUTRA 1.12: These thought patterns (vrittis) are mastered
      (nirodhah, regulated, coordinated, controlled, stilled, quieted)
      through practice (abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya).
      (abhyasa vairagyabhyam tat nirodhah)

      ABHYASA = by or with practice, repeated practice

      VAIRAGYABHYAM = non-attachment, by desirelessness or dispassion,
      neutrality or absence of coloring, without attraction or aversion

      TAT = of those, through that of

      NIRODHAH = control, regulation, channeling, mastery, integration,
      coordination, understanding, stilling, quieting, setting aside of

      TWO PRACTICES: Abhyasa and vairagya are companion practices, and are
      the means of mastering (nirodhah, 1.2) the many levels of mind, so as
      to experience the true Self (1.3). All of the many other practices of
      Yoga rest on these two principles.

      TWO DIRECTIONS: There are two directions that one can go in life as
      well as individual actions, speech, or thoughts. One direction is
      towards truth, reality, Self, or spiritual realization. The other
      direction is opposite, and involves those lifestyles, actions,
      speech, and thoughts that take one away from the higher experiences.

      ABHYASA means cultivating the lifestyle, actions, speech, and
      thoughts, as well as the spiritual practices that lead in the
      positive direction (rather than going in the opposite direction, away
      from the positive, and towards the negative).

      VAIRAGYA is the practice of gradually letting go of the mental
      colorings (1.5, 2.3) that lead one away from the spiritual (rather
      than going in the opposite direction, giving in to the attachments
      and aversions).

      DISCRIMINATION IS KEY: To be able to do the practices and to
      cultivate non-attachment, it is necessary to become better and better
      at discriminating between what actions, speech, and thoughts take you
      in the right direction, and those which are a diversion (2.26-2.29,
      3.4-3.6). This discrimination is both a foundation practice and also
      the subtler tool of the inner journey.