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Yoga Sutras 1.21-1.22: Choosing Your Level of Commitment

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras 1.21-1.22: Choosing Your Level of Commitment http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-11922.htm#1.21 YOGA SUTRA 1.21: Those who pursue their practices
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 21, 2005
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      Yoga Sutras 1.21-1.22:
      Choosing Your Level of Commitment
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-11922.htm#1.21

      YOGA SUTRA 1.21: Those who pursue their practices with intensity of
      feeling, vigor, and firm conviction achieve concentration and the
      fruits thereof more quickly, compared to those of medium or lesser
      intensity.
      (tivra samvega asannah)

      TIVRA = rate is fast, speedy
      SAMVEGA = momentum, force, vigor, conviction, enthusiasm
      ASSANAH = very close, near, speedy

      YOGA SUTRA 1.22: For those with intense practices and intense
      conviction (1.21), there are three more subdivisions of practice,
      those of mild intensity, medium intensity, and intense intensity.
      (mridu madhya adhimatra tatah api visheshah

      MRIDU = mild, slow
      MADHYA = medium, middling
      ADHIMATRA = intense, strong
      TATAH = from that
      API = also
      VISHESHAH = differentiation, distinction

      INTENSITY AND RATE OF PRACTICE: For those who move forward quickly in
      their practices, and do so with intensity, the fruits of the
      practices are very close. There are two dimensions here. One is that
      of the speed at which one is moving, and the other is the intensity
      of effort behind it. There are three levels of each, meaning that
      there are nine levels of practice.

      CHOOSE ONE OF NINE WAYS TO PRACTICE: There is something very
      practical about these nine levels of practice. It is important to be
      aware of this. You may feel you have little training or time, and
      thus cannot progress. However, it is sometimes like the story of the
      race between the tortoise and the hare. While the rabbit is faster,
      the tortoise won the race because of a steady persistence. If you
      feel you are on the slow track, rather than the fast track, your
      gentle, loving persistence can bring great payoffs.

      Mild Practice / Mild Conviction
      Medium Practice / Mild Conviction
      Intense Practice / Mild Conviction

      Mild Practice / Medium Conviction
      Medium Practice / Medium Conviction
      Intense Practice / Medium Conviction

      Mild Practice / Intense Conviction
      Medium Practice / Intense Conviction
      Intense Practice / Intense Conviction

      OPTIMUM: For most people reading this table, the Mild and Medium
      levels of practice are most important, due to the busy activities and
      duties of life.

      WITH LOTS OF TIME FOR PRACTICE, BUT WITH LITTLE CONVICTION: It is
      very easy to think that the only way to progress is when you have
      retired from worldly life, such as a monk in a Himalayan cave may
      have done. This is simply not true. Such a person might have a great
      deal of time available, and know quite a few practices. However, with
      only mild conviction, little progress is made.

      WITH LITTLE TIME FOR PRACTICE, BUT LOTS OF CONVICTION: On the other
      hand, a person with little time might do only mild practice, but have
      a great intensity of conviction. Such a stance is a far superior way
      to progress on the path of enlightenment. Having little time is
      balanced by conviction at practice time and sincere cultivation of
      meditation in action.

      THREE MORE DIVISIONS: For those with intense practice and intense
      conviction, there are still three further divisions. Recall that in
      the last sutra (1.21), it was pointed out that such intensity means
      that attainment is near. With this further subdivision, that
      attainment also has three levels:

      For those with mild intensity, attainment is imminent.
      For those with medium intensity, attainment is MORE imminent.
      For those with intense intensity, attainment is MOST imminent.

      EVERYONE CAN PRACTICE: For most people practicing Yoga meditation,
      these divisions help to make it clear that there really are levels of
      practice, and that everyone can practice. It is not a case where only
      the most ascetic meditators living in caves can attain. Rather,
      everyone can progress at his or her own comfortable rate.
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