Yoga Sutra 2.17

17 Feb

Sutra 2.17: drashtri drishyayoh samyogah heya hetuh

  • drashtri = of the seer, observer, knower
  • drishyayoh = of the seen,
  • samyogah= union
  • heya = to be avoided
  • hetuh = the cause

Translated loosely into English;

The cause (of suffering) to be avoided is the (false) union between the seer and seen.
The cause of suffering is false union between the seer and the seen.  In most Western yoga classes today, we are told that Yoga is the union of the body, mind and spirit-soul. This is a common misunderstanding.  The essence behind yoga is to connect with and experience the essence, the true nature that unites these 3 aspects. We must understand that the seer is awareness, pure consciousness (purusha). The seen is the objects of the world, external/internal impressions, the intellect, mind and Ego. We are not what we see and experience.  Conditioned existence has resulted in false union between the seer and seen, but by means of discriminative correct knowledge, one can gain ultimate freedom and liberation.  To identify with the world around us, our body, our minds, is suffering and Ego-ness.
Next time you enter a yoga class that uses New Age concepts such as ‘become one with All’, ‘unite the body-mind-spirit-soul’ keep in mind that it is an inquisitive task. To ask yourself to connect with, recognize and experience our true nature of purusha, the pure consciousness that is always there. The union is having the right knowledge of the Seer and the Seen.

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