Yoga sutra 2.15
pariṇāma-tāpa-saṁskāra-duḥkhaiḥ guṇa-vṛtti-virodhāt-ca duḥkham-eva sarvaṁ vivekinaḥ
With discrimination and precise vision, the wise see the potential of suffering in all things, because of the painful nature of change, sorrow, bad habits and unrestrained activity of the guna-s
In this sutra, Patanjali presents the causes of suffering as follows:
Change – the only constant in life is change. It affects people, objects and the environment. The uncertainty brought about by such change can produce irritation, frustration and mental misery (pariṇāma duḥkha).
Bitter regret – over what you have done or not done in life. Your mind craves comfort, and you desire to repeat good past experiences and avoid the bad ones; suffering comes because of attachment/aversion these past experiences (tāpa duḥkha).
Mechanical action – a ‘herd like’ response, for example pushing you to act as per a stereotype (saṁskāra duḥkha).
Instability of the guna-s (Sutra 2.18 refers), that is to say the quality of perception. Their conflict (guṇa-vṛtti-virodhā) leads to bad reactions and chaos.
A wise person (viveki) rises above all this and contemplates the same, understanding human limitations and suffering in life.
Damian Cadman-Jones is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga™