Ancient wisdom

Have you read the Patanjali Yoga Sutras? These sutras or verses describe the mind and its states, the reasons for such states, the keys in attaining mastery over the mind in such clear, precise detail that you will be amazed that is not the product of extensive 21st century research but experiential insights written almost 4000 years ago.

There is a beautiful story about how the sutras were written. Lord Shiva (the destroyer of evil) was dancing and Lord Vishnu (the Protector of good) was watching. Adishesha or the thousand-headed serpent who is the Lord’s seat was watching how intense was his master’s concentration – he felt that Lord Vishnu (the Seer – one who sees) was completely absorbed with Lord Shiva (the Seen). When the Seer is one with the Seen the result is total concentration. This is what Lord Vishnu explained to Adishesha afterwards. Adishesha asked Lord Vishnu how every being could attain such concentration. Lord Vishnu then asked Adishesha to assume a human form and preach the method. Thus sage Patanjali was born.

Conquer Anger: Sutra 1.40 translated says ‘A calm, clear, inward flowing mind is the key to mastery over both the outer and the inner world’. (Translation courtesy: Yoga International) One way to have a calm mind is to overcome anger in whatever you do. Observe when you get angry next time and study its results and how long it takes to become calm again.

[From a Jan 2006 email sent to students]

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