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Yoga Sutras 1.20: Five-fold Efforts and Commitments

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras: Sutra 1.18: Five-fold Efforts and Commitments http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-11922.htm#1.20 YOGA SUTRA 1.20: Others follow a five-fold
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 19, 2005
      Yoga Sutras: Sutra 1.18:
      Five-fold Efforts and Commitments

      YOGA SUTRA 1.20: Others follow a five-fold systematic path of 1)
      faithful certainty in the path, 2) directing energy towards the
      practices, 3) repeated memory of the path and the process of stilling
      the mind, 4) training in deep concentration, and 5) the pursuit of
      real knowledge, by which the higher samadhi (asamprajnata samadhi) is
      (shraddha virya smriti samadhi prajna purvakah itaresham)

      SHRADDHA = unconditional faith, trust, confidence, belief, certainty

      VIRYA = energy, strength of will

      SMRITI = memory, intentful remembrance, mindfulness

      SAMADHI = deep absorption of meditation, entasy

      PRAJNA = wisdom, discernment, super cognitive

      PURVAKAH = preceding, coming before, prerequisite
      itaresham = of other people

      SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD OUTLINE: The five principles and practices in
      this sutra form a very simple, straightforward outline of the
      personal commitments needed to follow the path of Self-realization.
      It is very useful to memorize these five, and to reflect on them
      often. This five-point orientation works in conjunction with the
      eight rungs of Yoga introduced in Sutra 2.28:

      SHRADDHA is a faith that you are moving in the right direction. It is
      not a blind faith in some organization, institution, or teacher.
      Rather, it is an inner feeling of certainty that you are moving in
      the right direction. You may not know exactly how your journey is
      unfolding, but have an inner intuition of walking steadily towards
      the goal of life.

      VIRYA is the positive energy of ego that is the support for the faith
      of going in the right direction. This energy of virya puts the power
      behind your sense of knowing what to do. When you are strongly acting
      on what you know to be your correct path, that is virya. When you
      feel weak or uncertain, and are taking little action, that is from
      lack of virya. Virya is that conviction that says, "I can do it! I
      will do it! I have to do it!"

      SMRITI is cultivating a constant mindfulness of treading the path,
      and of remembering the steps along the way. This memory is not a
      negative mental obsession, but rather, a gentle, though persistent
      awareness of the goal of life, of your faith, and of your decision to
      commit your energy to the process. Smriti is also the practice of
      mindfulness of inner process, both witnessing at meditation time and
      during daily life. See the article on Witnessing:

      SAMADHI is intently pursued through the various stages of samadhi
      already described (1.17-1.18). It means committing to systematically
      moving through the levels or stages of samadhi, and to use these
      skills of attention as the tools to discriminate (2.26-2.29) the
      various forms of ignorance (2.5).

      PRAJNA is the higher wisdom that comes from discrimination, and this
      wisdom is assiduously sought through the process of introspection
      (2.26-2.29), utilizing the razor-sharp tool of samadhi (3.4-3.6).
      Numerous levels of wisdom are experienced through the practices in
      Chapters 2 and 3, all of which are set aside with non-attachment
      (3.38). See also the Prajna section of the Om Mantra Article, and
      the Prajna section of the Levels and Dimensions of Consciousness

      CONSTANT REMEMBRANCE: By cultivating a constant remembrance of these
      five forms of efforts and commitments, the specific practices are all
      understood in this simple context. This helps a great deal to inspire
      one to follow through on doing the actual practices suggested
      throughout the Yoga Sutras.
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