྿ Chapter 1 - Sutra 2 ྿



  • 1.2 : योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः॥२॥
  • 2. Yogaś citta vṛtti nirodhaḥ.
  • Yoga restrains the mind-stuff (Chitta) from taking various forms (Vrttis). 
  • Yoga is about restraining the thought-streams natural to the mind.  Yoga restrains fluctuations of the consciousness. Yoga is the art and science of mental discipline , to make the mind cultured and mature. Chitta is the subtlest form of cosmic intelligence ( mahat ) .The eyes are only a secondary instrument, not the organ of vision. The organ of vision is in the nerve centre of the brain. Sometimes a man is asleep  with his eyes open. The light is there and the picture is there, but a third thing is necessary; mind must be joined to the organ. The mind takes the impression farther in, and presents it to the determinative faculty—Buddhi—which reacts. Along with this reaction flashes the idea of egoism. Then this mixture of action and reaction is presented to the Purusa, the real Soul, who perceives an object in this mixture. The organs (Indriyas), together with the mind (Manas), the determinative faculty (Buddhi) and egoism (Ahamkara), form the group called the Antahkarana (the internal instrument). They are but various processes in the mind-stuff, called Chitta ( consciousness ) . The waves of thought in the Chitta ( mindstuff )  are called Vrtti ( the whirlpool). The bottom of the lake we cannot see, because its surface is covered with ripples. It is only possible when the rippled have subsided, and the water is calm, for us to catch a glimpse of the bottom. If the water is muddy, the bottom will not be seen; if the water is agitated all the time, the bottom will not be seen. If the water is clear, and there are no waves, we shall see the bottom. That bottom of the lake is our own true Self; the lake is the Chitta, and the waves are the Vrttis. Again, this mind is in three states; one is darkness, which is called Tamas, just as in brutes and idiots; it only acts to injure others. No other idea comes into that state of mind. Then there is the active state of mind, Rajas, whose chief motives are power and  njoyment. “I will be powerful and rule others.” Then, at last, when the waves cease, and the water of the lake  becomes clear, there is the state called Sattva, serenity, calmness. It is not inactive, but rather intensely active. It is the greatest manifestation of power to be calm. It is easy to be active. Let the reins go, and the horses will drag you down. Anyone can do that, but he who can stop the plunging horses is the strong man. Which requires the greater strength, letting go, or restraining? The calm man is not the man who is dull. You must not mistake Sattva for dullness, or laziness. The calm man is the one who has restraint of these waves. Activity is the  anifestation of the lower strength, calmness of the superior strength. To restrain it, and to checkthis outward tendency  is the first step in Yoga, because only in this way can the Chitta get into its proper course. Although this Chitta is in every animal, from the lowest to the highest, it is only in the conscious human form that we find intellect, and until the mind-stuff can take the form of intellect it is not possible for it to return through all these steps, and liberate the soul. Immediate salvation is impossible for the non conscious animal ( who cant pass the colour/ mirror test )  although they have mind, because their Chitta cannot as yet take that form which we call intellect. Chitta manifests itself in all these different forms - scattering, darkening, weakening, and concentrating. These are the four states in which the mind-stuff manifests itself. First a scattered form, is activity. Its tendency is to manifest in the form of pleasure or of pain. Then the dull form is darkness, the only tendency of which is to injure others. The commentator says the first form is natural to the Devas, the angels, and the second is the demoniacal form. The Ekagra, the concentrated form of the Chitta, is what brings us to Samadhi. The sadhaka’s aim is to bring consciousness to a state of purity and transclusence. Antakharana ( conscience ) unifies ahamkara ( ego ) and antaratma ( soul ) by a common thread. Yoga stops mind chatter ( fluctuating thought ). Stillness is dharana ( concentration ) and silence is dhyana ( meditaion ) Restraining the fluctuations of the mind is the goal ( samadhi ). Yoga is both the means and the end.

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