Sutra 1.2; yoga chitta vritti nirodhah
- yoga = harmonic union; derives from the root word yuj, which means ‘to join’,
- chitta = from the root word ‘chit’ which means conscious, consciousness; ‘chitta’ means mind or mind-consciousness
- vritti = levels, stages, forms (of mind-consciousness), modifications
- nirodhah = still, quiet, calm, suspend, surrender, open
Translated loosely into English;
Union (Higher consciousness) is obtained by surrendering to the stillness of the various modifications of the mind-consciousness.
*It is important to note what I have found very interesting about this Sutra. Nirodhah is often translated into the word control, which would mean that Ego is the controller. In order for self-realization to unfold a suspension or surrender of the Ego must happen. This means that the word ‘nirodhah’ is quiet, calm, still, surrender, open, and without any ‘control’. * (Yay!! I learned something new!!)
The practice of Yoga, whether it be only yoga asanas (postures), certain aspects of the 8 limbs, or ALL 8 limbs of Yoga, is setting aside what is not needed for self-knowledge. Nothing is required. No material good. All these daily doings, actions, thoughts, habits, events, life-stories we are immersed in are distractions along the path. When we surrender, in meditation, contemplation, experience, eventually (so Patanjali says) leads to the highest consciousness and beyond.
I would love to be able to just meditate. I feel I meditate in my day-to-day as I walk, drive, eat, etc. But as a Yogini-in-Training, shouldn’t I be doing more? In order for me to do that I need Vipassana Meditation. I need an environment where I can’t talk, where I have no distractions. I find it really hard to set aside time in my day to meditate. It is hard enough to run, work out, read, do yoga, write my daily articles and I don’t even have a job (living with my new husband and can not work in USA as I am Canadian)! I have to start making it happen…. 10 minutes a day to start….
This Sutra reminds me of the saying that ‘the only thing stopping us from pure happiness, contentment, etc. (getting something done such as meditating) is our own thoughts and our own restrictions.
I better get my meditation cushion out now.