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Lesson 153 -
Yoga Sutra Translations, and on Becoming
Date: Thu Apr 1, 2004 0:35pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: Thank you again for your lessons!!! Two questions if I may. Could you
possibly recommend a good translation of Pantajali's Yoga Sutras? Lastly, in
working with the sutras I found my chest feel as if it was expanding, as
well as my head - It was quite extraordinary. Is this normal? You spoke of
the different ways of the energy manifesting and I was just wondering if
this too is one of those manifestations? With love and unity.
A: There are many translations of the Yoga Sutras out there.
If you are wondering where the eight limbs are described, it starts in Book
Book 3 is on samyama and supernormal powers. By the way, the idea of
becoming "super-normal" is pretty appealing, isn't it? -- As in very, very
normal. Normal for human beings is enlightened. So why not become
Yes, your expansion is (super) normal, a beautiful indication of your
silence moving out from inside. This is samyama in action. Many different
things can happen. There can be more expansion, inner sensory experiences,
strong emotions, laughing, crying, physical vibrations, and new kinds of
breathing. It is all about obstacles being dissolved as inner silence moves
out through the nervous system as a result of our practices, now with
samyama added. The nervous system knows what to do as pure bliss
consciousness moves through it. If symptoms become excessive, just use
self-pacing in your practices. If necessary, that can mean paring back on
the number of repetitions in samyama for a while. Always take plenty of rest
coming out of meditation and samyama. That is important to facilitate stable
energy flows in daily activity.
All of these symptoms are normal releases and are signs of the emergence of
inner divinity. It is okay to let them happen. If your body wants to move or
shake, let it, but not to hazardous extreme. If breathing changes, let it,
but not to hazardous extreme. If emotions come, let them, but not to
hazardous extreme. If sexual arousal comes (and it can) let it, but not to
hazardous extreme. It is all normal as divine energy bubbles out through the
nervous system from the inside.
I am reminded of a passage in Swami Muktananda's book, "Play of
Consciousness," where he described a certain stage in his journey when he'd
go out of his house and roar like a tiger. Needless to say, the neighbors
were a bit concerned. There's no need to carry it that far.
At times along the path it might seem that there is not much happening with
our inner energy. Maybe things are being loosened underneath without many
symptoms, and later we will notice something. Or maybe we are waiting for
inner silence to come up with more weeks and months of meditation. Or maybe
we are not letting go with the subtle feeling of the sutra in samyama.
Sometimes doing nothing is a bit tricky - just not favoring anything that
comes up in the mind during that fifteen seconds in silence.
Successful yoga is not about experiences; it is about following the
procedures of our practices. We are changed by practices, not by
experiences. Experiences are the by-product of our practices and the
resulting spiritual transformation that is going on.
Also remember that immediate responses coming up from sutras should also be
let go during samyama. It is the ultimate karma yoga - divine doing while
letting go of the fruit of the doing. It is built into the technique of
samyama - doing and letting go of doing. So samyama is also cultivation of
the outflowing of divine love which expects nothing in return. If we do our
samyama that way, in time we will become radiating beacons of divine light
floating in the air.
Then who will be able to deny what we human beings are? Who will not want to
The guru is in you.
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