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Intentional Self Healing and Setting ‘Right Action’ with the aid of the 2nd Book of Yoga Sutras


Our choices affect us more than we realise, where we quite often or not place wellness and ownership in the responsibility of others.

Life is uncertain, change causes fear, and latent impressions bring pain, all is indeed suffering to us where we have fashioned a trend for our own self discrimination. [2:15].

This can be averted. With the second book of Sutras reminding us that the play of the world can overshadow our wellness with the play of the universal energies named gunas.

It is only for the sake of the self that the world exists. [2:21] To clearly remind us that the purpose of the world is to provide us with ‘experience’ and thus lead us into personal liberation [2:18] from the basis of experience.

The self becomes obscured by the world in order that the reality of both may be discovered; the shades of light and dark. [2:23] Encouraging us when negative feelings restrict us in this path, the opposite should be cultured within its delicate balance. [2:31]

Negativity, such as violence is damaging to life; wether we act upon it ourselves, or cause or condone it within others. Each born of greed, anger, or delusion, that may be slight, moderate, or intense. Their fruit is endless ignorance and suffering. By remembering this we can clearly cultivate the opposite.[2:34]. [2:35-39]

When we are firmly established in non violence, all beings around us cease to feel hostility. When we are firmly established in truthfulness, action accomplishes its desired end. When we are firmly established in integrity, all riches present themselves freely. When we are established in non attachment, the nature and purpose of existence is understood.

[2;40-42] Simplicity destroys identification with the body, and brings freedom from contact with other bodies.

Purity of mind, cheerfulness, mastery of the senses, one pointedness, and readiness for self realisation will flow. 

From contentment, unsurpassed happiness is gained. 

For it is merely ignorance of our real nature that causes the ‘self’ to be obscured’ [2:24] The ‘self’ is boundless, and the pure consciousness alone illuminates the contents of the mind. [2:20] When ignorance is destroyed, the Self is liberated from its identification with the world. [2:25]

There are seven clear states within the aligning of self growth. Taken from this clear wisdom of purity of consciousness; with the awareness to the value of our experiences gifted by the world of knowledge.

Yama : The laws of life (non violence, truthfulness, integrity, chastity, non attachment) [2:30] Each unaffected by time, place, birth or circumstance. [2:31]

Niyama : The Rules of living (Simplicity, contentment, purification, refinement, surrender to the divine)

Asana : The physical postures

Pranayama : The exercise of breath

Pratyahara : Retirement of the senses

Dharana : Steadiness of the Mind

Dhyana : Meditation

Samadhi : The settled mind

The 2nd book of sutras of ‘treading the path’ opens out by clearly identifying three unbound practical steps for self clearing.

[2:1] Purification to Refinement to Surrender

Each path numbing and weakening the ’causes of suffering’ listed as


The ignorances of our real nature:

  • Egotism
  • Attachment
  • Aversion
  • Fear of death, making us ‘cling’ to life

Our ignorance is the failure to discriminate between the permanent and impermanent states. The pure and impure, the bliss and suffering, the self and the non self. [2:5]

Where each of the attributes to ignorance are clearly defined as:

  • Egotism, being the limiting sense of “I”, resulting from the individuals intellects attributing the power consciousness to itself. [2:6]
  • Attachment the clinging to pleasure. [2.7]
  • Aversion the clinging to pain.[2.8]
  • The spontaneous fear of death, deeply rooted within us all. [2.9]

When we carry a life where we recognise and open the causes of suffering the mind can merge back to a neutral space, where the effects of suffering discard with mindful practices.

It therefore is a great paradigm to remind ourselves that the impressions of past action, stored deep in the mind, are the seeds of desire. They ripen not action in seen and unseen ways. [2:12] As long as action leaves its seed in the mind, this seed will grow, generating more births, lives and actions.[2:13] In these too, the fruit of wrong action is sorrow, the fruit of right action is joy.

True yoga is a natural process, and has no place for repression, forced control is against life and can only result in strain and tension. Being nourished by yoga, a wider loving awareness is present at all times and the healthy mindset process begins to flourish. Such all inclusiveness is the natural state of awareness; it has its own economy, self sufficient and unforced. If transformation is experienced, it is due to the limited self, which is more or less motivated by the need to overcome its chronic and anxious states of separation of shades of light and dark. Becoming a state of self sufficient wholeness, a purity and innocence that has its own ecstasy within the mindset of neutrality.

References – Alistair Shearer – Translation of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Image Credit with gratitude to: affirmats

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