Thursday, September 15, 2011



Vs.15, 16, 17 

We have so far analyzed the five kleshaas (or sorrows) which are the major obstructions to our success in Yoga and in life.

These are Ignorance, Ego, likes, dislikes and love of life( or fear of death).

The three stages in extinguishing the five kleshaas are –

(i)      through thapas, bring them from their gross form to their subtle form
(ii)       Resolve them into their causes  and
(iii)     extinguish them through Meditation

Our Karmas (actions) follow us in a cycle. Subtle impressions in the mind prompt us into Karmas. Karmas then leave behind further subtle impressions in the mind. These impressions further prompt us into specific Karmas.

These Karmas result in our birth, our length of life and the good and bad experiences we feel in life. Pleasure results to us from the past good and benevolent deeds done by us. Likewise, pain and suffering result from the past bad and wicked deeds done by us. Our pleasure and pain thus come from this baggage of punya (benevolent deeds) and apunya (wicked deeds). We will now move further to verse.2.15.


 parinaama thaapa samskaara 

duhkhaih guna vritthi virodhaath 

cha duhkham eva 

sarvam vivekinah 

Ø  parinaama = change, transformation
Ø  thaapa = suffering, misery
Ø  samskaara = subtle impressions in the unconscious
Ø  duhkhaih = because of suffering
Ø  guna =  the three Gunas of Sattva, Rajas, Thamas
Ø  vritthih = activities, modifications
Ø  virodhaath = because of opposing reasoning
Ø  cha = and
Ø  duhkham = sorrow or suffering
Ø  eva = is only
Ø  sarvam = all
Ø vivekinah = to the discerning persons

The wise man learns from this clear sequence.

Whatever Karma we are performing right now is prompted by the Fine Samskaaraas or subtle impressions imprinted in the sub-conscious / unconscious part of the mind. The present Karma again leaves its own fine impression or samskaara in the mind (sub-conscious / unconscious).

In simple terms, this is the method of habit formation. Habits once formed prompt us into Karma again. This karma again makes subtle impressions in the mind. So, the mind gets into this continuous cycle.

If we remember the example of drunkards, the cycle becomes easy to understand. Habits are hard, but not impossible, to break.

This cycle gives rise to Punya (good deeds) and Paapa(bad deeds). These, in turn, give rise to sukha (comforts and happiness) and duhkha(sorrows and pains).

For the wise, discerning man, all Karma (giving sukha or duhkha) is sorrowful and painful.  

How is it so? This can be explained easily. When we are anticipating sukha (comforts and happiness) to come into our lives, we feel anxiety whether it will come or not and when exactly it will actually come. When sukha comes and is with us, we develop an inner fear that this sukha may possibly go away soon, from us. When it actually goes finally, we feel deep sorrow for losing the sukha.

When we expect / anticipate Duhkha (Pain or sorrow), then also, we feel anxiety - whether it will come and when it will come. We start praying that it should not come. When Duhkha actually comes and is with us, we pray and do all that is possible, for getting rid of it. When it goes finally, we again fear that it may come again. There is relief that the suffering has gone but there is also fear that it may come again.

Therefore, in both sukha and duhkha, wise man sees only pain. In reality, sukha and Duhkha follow each other in cyclical pattern in our life and neither of them stay with us always. But they leave deep impressions in our mind, which prompt us into Karma again, and into anxiety of all sorts again, and keeps us thus in their cycle. Even opposing the mental attitudes (samskaaraas) which give rise to Duhkha also give Duhkha only.

The discerning man – must understand this cycle and come out of the cycle by the means detailed further in subsequent verses.


 heyam duhkham anaagatham

Ø heyam =  to be avoided
Ø  duhkham = sorrow or suffering
Ø  anaagatham = that which is yet to come 

Let us look at this cycle from the timeline point of view.

Some Sorrows and comforts have already come and gone. They are Past. We can do nothing about them. But, they have left some subtle impressions in our mind –which are with us in the present also.

We are going through some sorrows and comforts right now. This is present. About the present also, there is nothing we can do. We must go through it. This also leaves subtle impressions in our minds – which remain after the comforts and sorrows are gone.

Therefore, past and present comforts and sorrows are not what the wise, discerning man will concentrate on.

The only one which we can and must avoid is the duhkham (sorrows and pains) which is yet to come. In other words – our action to avoid sorrows and pains must be futuristic.

This path is the most scientific, realistic and positive way of life. Patanjali is held in very high esteem precisely for such highly scientific approach to life and its problems. Patanjali is not talking of going to some heaven or hell after death. He is talking of HOW TO LIVE ON EARTH IN THIS LIFE !


 drashtru drishyayoh 

samyogo heya hethuh

Ø  drashtru = the one who sees or experiences (usually with the five senses and mind)
Ø  drishyayoh = the object (to be) seen or experienced
Ø  samyogah = Meeting or Union
Ø  heya = the cause / thing to be avoided
Ø  hethuh =  the cause 

The external object or experience is called Drishyam or scenery. We see or experience the universe and all the things and beings in it with our five senses and the mind. So, the Universe is the Drishyam – that which is seen and experienced.

First, the drishyam must reach the gates of the body, namely the five physical sense organs. At that point, the external universe is the seen object and the five sense organs can be taken as the one who is seeing , or the seer.

From there, the nerve points take the impressions taken in by the sense organs. At this point, the impressions in the sense organs are the scenery and the nerve points act as the seer. The nerve points take them to the mind. In this process, the mind is the seer, and the impressions in the nerve points is the object or scenery.

Now, the mind, ego and Buddhi start acting on them in varieties of ways. There arises  in the mind different kinds of subtle impressions of the drishyam. The ultimate seer is the Purusha or the Real self – who sees through the Buddhi and mind.

All the sukha and duhkha are experienced by the ego and the manas (mind) – but it looks as if the Purusha is experiencing them – as his vision is blurred by all these impressions in the mind.

For all practical purposes, we stay in the ignorance created by the mind impressions and go through the cycles of sukha and duhkha. We stay at the Mind + Ego levels assuming our self as the mind + ego and suffer the sukha and duhkha.

When we look at the real cause of this cycle, we find that - the meeting of the Drisyam (seen or scenery) and Drasta (the seer) creates these problems in the Drasta. This is the cause of our cycle of sorrow and is the one to be avoided. We need clarity on Drisyam and Drasta – which follows in in subsequent verses.

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  1. Hi Vijaymohan garu,
    My name is Jyothi.
    Your blogs are pretty interesting and very informative, I have a few Questions, could you please provide me with your email address.
    Thank you,

  2. Thank You, Jyothi, for your interest. When you give your comments, they first come to my MAIL ADDRESS only.So, kindly Post even detailed comments here.There is no problem. They land in my Mail address only.

    If you want only answer for them - but not publishing your comments here - that also can be done.

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    Please continue reading and taking full benefit of the content here. AS you can see, there is a huge reservoir of wisdom in the ancient Indian writings. But, most of the time, we need the help of a Guru or detailed commentaries by Great Gurus to understand them.