Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2.5


Ignorance is regarding the impermanent as permanent, the impure as pure, the painful as pleasant, and the non-self as the self.

Ignorance (avidya) is of four types:

1) regarding that which is transient as eternal

2) mistaking the impure for pure

3) thinking that which brings misery to bring happiness

4) taking that which is not-self to be self.

Seeing the temporary as permanent – this could be something like thinking of our possessions as belonging to us, rather than realising that we are only their temporary keepers.

Thinking the not-self to be self – for example, identifying ourselves as ‘a doctor’ or ‘Michelle’, rather than the deeper identification of our self at a much deeper level.



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