Monday, August 22, 2011

Sutra 1.3: The Seer Abides In Its Own Nature

Ah, so much going on at the same time.  As I write this, a friend is struggling to give birth to a new human baby.  Jai to the little one and its mother.  Another friend is struggling with negative thoughts that plague her mind, poor thing.  Yoga Dog as usual is in sit, stay, drop it training as I watch and just giggle inside.  Luckily I am a cat and no one expects me to train in such mundane "trickery."  Since I do not have to bother with such trainings and have more time to study the Yoga Sutras, the primary text of the ancient science of Raja Yoga. 

Sri Patanjali's Sutras: 1.3  Then The Seer (Self) Abides In Its Own Nature

You are not the body nor the mind.  So simple, yet most of us get bogged down by distortions that cloud our ability to see the truth.  Our mind creates thoughts and desires.  The Seer or Self knows this but sometimes is mixed up by the mind.  For example, one day Yoga Dog was walking by a beautiful lake and looked in the clear water.  First he thought there was another dog looking back at him so he barked and barked.  After I told him that he was looking at a reflection of himself he recoiled in horror.  The lake from all his barking was rippling and he looked like a wavy mess.  He thought that was what he looked like.  Of course we know that his head is not wavy and misshapen.  He is not as good looking as a cat, but he is handsome for a dog.  Why is it that he could not see himself?  He thought that the reflection was him.  Of course we know that the reflection we see in a lake or mirror is not us, but then again if we have never seen ourselves before this might be something our mind believes.  This is how our mind works sometimes-- it looks at the reflection from mirrors, from other people-- and we take that as truth.  But our True Selves never change, and we are within pure and beautiful.

So how do we see ourselves as always true and unwavy?  We must help the mind get clear and calm again, just like the lake water.  When we allow our minds to be disturbed by negative thoughts, worrying, judgment, etc. we can no longer see our True Selves.  It is through meditation and Hatha Yoga that we can help the mind practice being in this calm clear state.  It isn't easy, but with time, perseverance and enthusiasm we can master the mind.

Any questions?  Try reading Sri Swami Satchidananda's translation and commentary of the Sutras (see picture above.)  Also my friend Rev. Jaganath's book Inside The Yoga Sutras is so helpful in understanding this ancient and wise text.  Rev. Jaganath analyzes the Sanskrit words and helps the reader understand why each word was used and what it meant at that time.  Very interesting!

And of course I want to hear from you.  Are you having a hard time with The Yoga Sutras?  Or any part of Yoga?  Life?  Love?  Going back to school?  Let me know.  I'm all ears, and a little fur.

With much respect, love and purring,

Swami Cat

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This blog was born through the inspiration and teachings of Rev. Jaganath Carrera and The Yoga Life Society.