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Yoga Sutra 2.18

A little look at the second Yoga Sutra

Yoga sutra 2.18

prakākaśa-kriyā-sthiti-śīlaṁ bhūta-indriya-ātmakaṁ bhoga-apavarga-arthaṁ dṛśyam

The characteristics of the seeable are luminosity, activity and stability; it is made up of the basic elements and sense organs and its function is to serve “the seer” and help with spiritual transformation

The field of observation is the world (dṛśya) through your body (prakṛti), that is to say everything that you perceive. Its properties are the three guna-s or “quality of nature”:

  1. Sattva – the quality of revelation or “that which sheds light upon something” (prakākaśa)

  2. Rajas – the quality of activation or “that which causes progress” (kriyā)

  3. Tamas – the quality of inertia or disinterest or unattachment (sthiti)

(These guna-s not being in balance is the root cause of suffering in life).

The field of observation is two-fold:

  • Firstly, there are the five basic elements that make up the universe: space air fire water earth

  • Secondly, there are the eleven sense organs: hearing, touch, eyesight, taste, smell (the five organs of perception) and speech, grasping, motion, reproduction and elimination (the five organs of action) which are all controlled by your mind (the last sense organ).

Thus, the seeable/the field of observation is there in order for you to experience positive and negative things. Your problems and mistakes are your best teachers in life (provided you overcome them or learn from the same) and help with spiritual transformation.

Damian Cadman-Jones is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga™

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