[b]I, 13: tatra sthitau yatnah abhyasah
Of these two,
is the continuous struggle
to become firmly established
in the stable state
of the true Self.
I, 14: sa tu dirgha kala nairantarya satkara aseivitha drdha bhumih
is indeed firmly grounded
when it is pursued incessantly,
for a long time.[/b]
Continuous effort is required to progress from the vritti state to the nirodhah state. Swami Satchindananda emphasizes that this practice of abhyasa is 24/7…?it means you become eternally watchful, scrutinizing every thought, every word, every action.? (p19). Iyengar advises ?to practice intensely all the yogic principles, from yama to dhyana.? (p 59)
One?s practice of abhyasa should have three qualities or qualifications:
it must be practiced continuously not on & off
it must be practiced in ?all earnestness?. Swami Satchidananda explains that this means ?with full attention, with the entire application of your mind, and with full faith in your achievement.? (p 20). He points out that for worldly success, one is willing to work day and night, postponing eating and forgoing sleep. But what is one willing to do for spiritual success?
it must be for a long time. Swami Satchidananda underscores that Patanjali does not say for how long. He says we want to see the results of our practice immediately. However, we must persist regardless of the results. ?If you are (that) patient, your mind is settled and what you do will be more perfect. If you are unsettled and anxious to get the results, you are already disturbed; nothing done with that disturbed mind will have quality.?(p. 22)
Swami Shyam counsels us not to become discouraged or disheartened if we don?t achieve a stable practice immediately; the point is to persevere and success will follow. Iyengar offers advice for the opposite problem, of achieving success: ?success may inflate the sadhaka?s ego, and he should be careful not to become a victim of intellectual pride…? (p 60)
This sutra is especially meaningful to me. The one quality that i do have is persistence. But i have just been focusing on this aspect because I am successful with this. I also have the patience. However, i lack the full earnestness. Just recently, i was willing to forgo sleep to work continuously to finish my experiments. For sure, I have never done this for my practice. Rather, I usually shorten my practice so that I can sleep longer. And while I have patience with my spiritual practice, I definitely did not have it with my experiments…I so wanted to get the results that my mind had become agitated and unsettled. Hmmmmmmmmm. It is time to apply yogic principles to worldly pursuits and worldly earnestness to spiritual pursuits.
Iyengar, B.K.S., Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. New Delhi, India: Harper Collins Publications India. 1993
Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Buckingham, VA: Integral Yoga Publications. 2004
Swami Shyam, Patanjali Yog Darshan, India: International Meditation Institute, 2001, 3rd. edition.
Stiles, M., Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Boston, MA: Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. 2002