To purchase this book call 506-854-6991 or click below:
The Yoga Sutras of Maharisi Patanjali are the most concise formulation in
history of the mechanics of the growth of consciousness from the Waking
State to the highest degree of human consciousness, Unified Consciousness.
They present a systematic and complete understanding of the psychological,
emotional and physical transformations that occur as an individual
develops full enlightenment. This process of development is called
Ascension, or rising beyond the boundaries of ignorance.
Maharisi Patanjali was also known as Govinda Yogindra, the "The
Light-Filled King of the Yogis." He was commonly considered to be the
Teacher of the first Shankaracharya, who revitalized the knowledge of
Ascension some five centuries before the birth of Christ. Maharisi
Patanjali was a fully consciousness human being. Maharisi, literally means
"great sage." A rishi, a sage, is an individual who has Ascended to the
first stage of enlightenment, Perpetual Consciousness, which is
characterized by recognition that the inner Self is Infinite, not limited
by space, time or causation, one with the omnipresent One, the Creator of
All that Is.
A Maharisi is an individual who has Ascended to Unified Consciousness, in
which the inner experience of Infinite Awareness is also experienced
outside, as the essential Reality of everyone and everything. Patanjali
was established in this ultimate level of human consciousness. His text of
Yoga was designed to help anyone rise to this state of human perfection.
Sutras are very short and concise statements. Sutra literally means
"thread." The Yoga Sutras are the threads that together constitute the
tapestry of Yoga. Yoga comes from the root, yog, which means to join
together. So the Yoga Sutras are the threads that join together. Yoga is
the science of joining together the individual lower self with the
universal higher Self, the indivisible spark of God that resides within
everyone. Yoga is not a belief system or a religion nor even a philosophy
-- it is an extremely practical methodology for systemically expanding the
conscious mind. Said another way, Yoga is the Science for overcoming the
self-destructive and limiting beliefs and internal programs that keep
individual life bound to the experiences of the Waking State of
Consciousness -- the state in which life is alternately happy and sad,
loving and hating, healthy and sick -- in short, dual. Yoga provides a
systematic ladder for climbing beyond the often painful experiences of the
Waking State of duality into the state of non-changing Unified
Consciousness, a.k.a. full enlightenment.
This is not a mystical nor even a difficult or complicated process. Those
who have thought that Yoga was difficult and/or complicated were
doubtlessly basing their thinking on their personal experience, but that
level of experiencing is not the whole story of human life, as this text
will make clear. Perfection is within every human. Given this fact, it is
surprising that so very many have failed to realize this.
Part of the problem has been very faulty translations of the texts that
can serve in the development of consciousness. The Yoga Sutras are a prime
example. Properly understood, they provide a straight and broad path for
realization of the highest degree of human consciousness. Improperly
understood, they are at best useless and at worst quite damaging.
Without full enlightenment, the attempt to understand, translate or teach
the Yoga Sutras is doomed to inevitable and inglorious failure. The reason
for this is only partly found in the vast dissimilarity between Sanskrit
and our Western languages -- even the commentators on the sutras who wrote
in Sanskrit did a woefully poor job of understanding Patanjali's meaning.
The root cause of the perennial failure of the translators and
commentators has to be traced to the dissimilarity of the translators' and
commentators' level of consciousness with that of Patanjali. Even those
commentators who were experiencing a low level of enlightenment did not
much succeed in unraveling the knots of Patanjali's meaning. The greatest
of the authors and commentators of antiquity was Vyasa. But the commentary
attributed to him is deficient in several significant respects. It must be
that Vyasa did not actually write it and someone borrowed his name for it,
or else one of his later followers tried to embellish it and instead
The prime problem area of all the commentaries is in the interpretation of
key verses that make the practice of Yoga seem complicated or difficult or
suitable only for those that are renunciates -- those that have dedicated
their entire lives to being monks or nuns. With this as the standard
interpretation of this system of mental development, small wonder that
Yoga has been considered valueless by many in the West! Who wants to give
up all enjoyment of life to realize enlightenment? Give up enjoyment to
realize Infinite bliss? It even sounds absurd! Fortunately, it is absurd.
It is not necessary; it is actually easier to continue with a regular,
balanced life in the world and add the effortless and natural techniques
to Ascend from the Waking State and accomplish Union. The mind is quickly
absorbed by the experience of the Infinite when it has the use of valid
techniques for the growth of consciousness; it is never a laborious,
difficult or slow process.
When the world hears and understands this Teaching, all the age-old
problems which have seemed so intractable for centuries will melt away
with graceful and perfect solutions. There is no problem, mental,
emotional, physical, societal, or environmental that can withstand the
wholly beneficial power of Infinite Mind. When the world hears and
understands this Teaching, world peace will be assured for all ages to
come. When the world hears and understands this Teaching, global health
and happiness and progress will be achieved for all future time. May this
day come soon!
YOGA is the Science of Union. The union of what with what? The union of
the Waking State of Consciousness with its most expanded state. This fully
developed state is called enlightenment. There are four stages of this
development of higher consciousness; these are discussed in the four
quarters of the Yoga Sutras.
The first stage is called Ascendant Consciousness. Ascendant Consciousness
is the experience of the conscious mind settling down into its own
essential nature. The self of the Waking State, with its myriad of
contradictory and self-defeating thoughts and beliefs, is only a shadow of
the Self that lies within. The Self within is quite literally
indescribable (Christianity has done as well as possible by calling it,
"The peace which passeth understanding"
for it lies forever beyond the
power of any words to describe, beyond the ability of the mind even to
contemplate. It can, however, be experienced -- this is the purpose of the
Yoga Sutras, of Yoga in general, and specifically of the First Quarter of
the text. The experience of this transcendental Union is the topic of the
first fifty-one sutras.
(2) "The peace of God, which passeth
understanding..." Philippians 4:7. Cf., John 14:27.
The First Quarter of the Yoga Sutras describes Ascendant Consciousness.
Ascendant Consciousness is called satori in Japan, Samadhi in India, often
"the Fourth" in the ancient literature, the One or the Absolute or the
Transcendent or the Infinite or Unbounded Awareness or Pure Consciousness
in English. This experience is a fourth major state of consciousness,
distinct subjectively and physiologically from Waking, Sleeping and
Dreaming. In this text, we typically call it Ascendant Consciousness, for
it lies beyond the normal experience of the Waking State. The name is
irrelevant, the experience is everything.
To qualify as a distinct state of consciousness (unlike an altered state
of consciousness, such as one produced by hypnosis or biofeedback), the
physiological correlates must be significantly distinct and so must the
subjective experience. The Ascendant State of Consciousness is
characterized by expanded awareness and deeper rest than that of sleep --
the mind requires less energy to experience consciousness without thought;
this causes the body to settle down to deep relaxation. In that silence
and rest, stress dissolves.
The experience of the Ascendant is not enlightenment, but it is required
to grow into enlightenment. The Second Quarter of the Yoga Sutras defines
the first stage of enlightenment, Perpetual Consciousness; the Third
Quarter deals with the second stage, Exalted Consciousness; and the Fourth
Quarter describes the ultimate fulfillment of human evolution, Unified
The Yoga Sutras have been misinterpreted as the means to walk down the
path to enlightenment. They are not. They are a description of the nature
of enlightenment. Patanjali included no actual techniques of Ascension or
Yoga in this text. His descriptions of the mechanics of enlightenment are
so brilliant and clear, however, that many of the sutras have been widely
misunderstood as actually being the techniques themselves. One purpose of
this translation and commentary is to correct such unfortunate
misunderstandings. Attempting to move ahead in consciousness by taking the
Yoga Sutras as techniques for Ascension is impossible -- that would be
rather like attempting to build a working electrical system and wire a
house by reading a text on the nature of electricity.
Pada I. Sutra 1
Therefore the Science of Yoga begins and ends in the present moment.
Everything to be understood about the transformation of life from
suffering to permanent happiness, from failure to success, from ignorance
to enlightenment is to be found in the present instant of time. Life in
freedom is the result of learning to turn from the imperious demands of
our past experience. Nothing can be done for the past, it is over; nothing
can be done for the future, for it never comes; all that can be done is to
make the present Ideal. Then the future will take care of itself.
Perfection of the present instant is at once the goal and the means of the
Science of Union.
In this, the very first sutra, Patanjali describes the entire process of
the growth of consciousness from bondage and suffering to enlightenment.
With the grace of a consummate artist, he opens his sutras in a wholly
traditional manner that nevertheless contains in seed form the entire
story of the 195 sutras that follow. All the rest are a commentary on the
first three words: Now, Teaching, Yoga. But Patanjali is generous. In case
anyone fails to catch this (and we have to assume, since no other
commentator has mentioned the magnificence of the teaching in this first
sutra, that very few if any have caught this), he will elaborate in
The first word, Atha, is built up of A + th + a. "A" is the representation
of the Universal sound of creation, the cosmic hum, the Alpha and the
Omega of the West. It contains in the fullness of its silent vibration the
totality of all that is at this moment of time. "Th" is derived from Dha,
which means "bestow" or "give" or "compassion." The Universal wholeness of
"A" with compassion gives the totality of the Universe. And to what is it
given? Back to "A" again! The Wholeness gives itself to Wholeness, over
and over again, eternally. The Eternal Now is recreated from within its
own Self. Atha therefore describes the essence of the Ascendant: it is
universally expansive, it is ever new, it is eternally the same. "A" is
fullness; it moves from fullness to fullness by passing through fullness;
it recreates itself perfectly in itself. The Universal Force for Good of
the cosmos manifests itself in the Universal Force for Good in the
individual. The Universe is contained within and furthermore is given to
every spark of individuality. And all of this is contained, continually
new and ever-new, in the present instant of time, in the Now. All of this
and much, much more is hidden within the vibratory matrix of Patanjali's
first word, Atha.
"The Teaching of" translates anusashanam. Anu means "again" -- this is the
repeated sequence of experiencing the Now over and over again until it
becomes permanent. A wise Teacher repeats the lessons with great patience
and compassion until the student fully understands. Yoga or Ascending is a
process of gradually refining the perceiving mind and senses until
consciousness fully remembers its Infinite status. Anusasanam can also be
translated as "rules, royal decree or governor" -- the role of the Eternal
Now is to be forever in charge of the life, of the process of the growth
of consciousness, of Yoga, of the creation of Ascendant Consciousness.
By deriving the word a different way (from sham instead of from shas),
this first sutra could be translated, "The attitude of repeated Praise
creates Union with the Now." Praise is one of the fundamental tools of
Ascension. Another valid translation is, "Sitting in stillness again and
again creates Union with the Now." Stillness, sham, can also be
translated, "quietness, tranquillity, cessation." When the mind stills its
noisy activity, consciousness experiences the Now, which is eternal peace.
All activity ceases in that silence. By repeating this experience over and
over, the mind becomes habituated to the Silence and stays there
permanently, even in the midst of the most dynamic activity.
Which is the correct translation? They all are. The glory of this
discourse is that so many equally valid meanings can be found in a single
series of vibrations. The Yoga Sutras are a perfect expression of a fully
enlightened mind. Anyone who desires to free life from suffering need only
follow through on this wonderful, magical Teaching. All secrets of space
and time are open to those who sincerely ask; there are no limits to the
human other than those we artificially impose.
Life is meant for freedom, joy and continual progress. How is this to be
accomplished? By freeing our experiencing machinery from bondage to past
experience. Union with the universal Higher Self is easy to accomplish; it
is only necessary to turn the mind away from the noise of the internal
programming and experience the perpetual peace of the present instant,
already present within.
Force or effort is often included in the typical translation of this sutra
-- it is commonly said that Union is the result of repressing or
restraining the movements of the mind. This thinking betrays an
unfamiliarity with the natural condition of the mind. The natural
condition of the mind is silence. If you drop a handful of pebbles into a
still pool, the surface erupts in chaos. If you continually barrage
consciousness with the movements of thought, it will be impossible to see
what consciousness really is. But let the movements still -- even for an
instant! -- and consciousness recognizes its Union with its higher Self,
the omnipresent spark of Eternity that exists inside everyone, everywhere,
It must be emphasized that this sutra does not tell how to still the
movements of consciousness. Nor does it suggest that strenuous effort is
required. It is precisely the misinterpretation of sutras such as this one
that has led to the demise of the effectiveness of the Science of Yoga. If
we wish the mind to still, introduction of strain or effort will not serve
us. On the contrary, by trying to force the mind to calmness, we will
raise the physiological rate and tire the mind. Have you ever studied hard
for a test? It is tiring work. Stimulants such as caffeine will succeed
for only so long -- eventually the mind will be exhausted and impose
stillness -- but it will be the stillness of sleep, not the stillness of
What is required to still the mind is an object of attention that charms
the mind, thereby allowing it to settle down to more and more universal
and silent levels of functioning. This object could take any number of
possible forms, but the one universal requirement of the practice of
Ascension must be that it is increasingly effortless. If it is desirable
to still the mind, it is necessary to begin from where the mind is, active
in the midst of motion.
Systematically quieting down the mind is the purpose of the Science of
Yoga. It is not only natural, it is extremely easy. There are only three
requirements. There must be 1) a functioning nervous system, capable of
thought. There must also be 2) a suitable vehicle for the mind to follow
in this process of stilling, a vehicle which naturally and effortlessly
pulls the mind inward to ever deeper levels of silence, until even the
faintest level of activity is Ascended and the conscious mind experiences
its true form, the higher Self. And there also needs to be 3) competent
guidance to ensure the necessary feedback that verifies the correctness of
the practice. Thus it is extremely difficult for tapes or books to teach
techniques validly, for the third requirement is missing. Even if the
prospective student is proceeding completely correctly, how would he or
she would ever know without verification from a qualified instructor?
What happens if the movements of thought do still?
To talk to an Ishaya directly call 506-854-6991
To view the course schedule click here.
To purchase the ENLIGHTENMENT! book click the "Ad to Cart" button: