Yoga Sūtra Verse 1.7
July 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
pratyakṣa – n. perception, present before the eyes, visible, perceptible; litertaly (prati) before (akṣa) your senses (opp. to [paro’kSa]
anumāna – the act of inferring or drawing a conclusion from given premises, inference, consideration, reflection
āgamāḥ – learning from authority, reliable testimony
pramāṇāni – the means of obtaining correct knowledge or evidence about the nature of matter
“You obtain material evidence by 1) your senses, 2) through inference, or 3) from a reliable source”
Patañjali is explaining to us the nature of the human mind and how it works. Understanding the nature of the mind is key to overcoming its influence. The mind is how ‘matrix you’ – the material sense of you (the false ego), navigates matter. Matter is what confines your consciousness, because even though your consciousness is infinite and eternal, it can still be overcome by matter.
How is it possible for you, as infinite and eternal consciousness, to be overcome by matter? It is possible because there are different orders of infinity. Matter is a type of infinity that is many orders greater than you as a conscious being. However, the totality of consciousness is of an order of infinity many times greater than matter. This is why Patañjali and all yogis or sages for that matter, will direct you to turn your attention to matters spiritual because spiritual engagement overcomes the material energy. The key to overcoming the mind’s influence therefore, is to focus on the nature of consciousness.
Focusing on the nature of consciousness is something you can begin to do now; even while you are learning about the nature of the mind from the yoga sūtras.