Tag Archives: obstacles

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2.2

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They (the 3 principles of kriya yoga)help us minimize obstacles and attain samadhi

That Yoga of action (kriya yoga) is practiced to bring about samadhi and to minimize the colored thought patterns (kleshas)

Here, Patanjali is giving a rationale for practising Kriya Yoga – to minimize the obstacles and attain samadhi. Everything we do in our asana practice is all part of our preparation for meditation and samadhi.

 

 

 

 

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.31

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Accompaniments to the mental distractions include distress, despair, trembling of the body and disturbed breathing.

From these obstacles, there are four other consequences that also arise, and these are: 1) mental or physical pain, 2) sadness or dejection, 3) restlessness, shakiness, or anxiety, and 4) irregularities in the exhalation and inhalation of breath.

These four arise because of the other nine obstacles discussed in 1.30. These four may be easier to notice in yourself, and give a clue that something more subtle is going on below the surface. At times in my life, I have experienced low mood or sadness, and I can see that this could be a symptom of a deeper instability – for example I may have been feeling sad because of ‘false perception’, or not seeing things as they really are, or perhaps I was comparing myself to others, or not maintaining a regular meditation and yoga practice (‘failure to reach firm ground’). If we notice these four clues in ourselves or others, it is a sign that something deeper is going on that needs addressing.

 

Yoga sutras of Patanjali 1.30

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Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from the ground gained – these distractions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles.

Nine kinds of distractions come that are obstacles naturally encountered on the path, and are physical illness, tendency of the mind to not work efficiently, doubt or indecision, lack of attention to pursuing the means of samadhi, laziness in mind and body, failure to regulate the desire for worldly objects, incorrect assumptions or thinking, failing to attain stages of the practice, and instability in maintaining a level of practice once attained.

Sri Swami Satchidananda says that these obstacles are like a chain, one leading on to the next. For example, physical disease leads on to a dull mind, which then leads on to doubt and carelessness, and so on and so on.

On reflection, I have experienced many of these obstacles on my journey, particularly ‘slipping from ground maintained’. It is good to know that these are common obstacles that many people face on their spiritual journey, and Satchidananda says that once we know this, we won’t get disheartened. If we were not aware of these obstacles, we might just give up altogether. Part of the practice is experiencing the highs and the lows, and always returning to it.

 

Yoga sutras of Patanjali 1.29

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From this practice all the obstacles disappear and simultaneously dawns knowledge of the inner Self

From that remembering comes the realization of the individual Self and the removal of obstacles.

Two direct benefits of reciting the OM mantra are removal of obstacles (see next few sutras), & it is a direct route to self-realisation.

 

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.29

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From that remembering comes the realization of the individual Self and the removal of obstacles.

From this practice all the obstacles disappear and simultaneously dawns knowledge of the inner Self.

From repeating the OM mantra, all obstacles will be removed, and this is a direct route to self-realisation. Sri Swami Satchidananda describes this as a ‘transcendence’ of your limitations.