[b]II, 4-5 THE FIVE KLESHAS ? AVIDYA
II, 4 avidya ksetram uttaresam prasupta tanu viccinna udaranam
II, 5 anitya asuci duhkha anatmasu nitya suci sukha atma khayatih avidya
is the fertile soil,
and, as a
They may exist in any state ?
or fully operative.
is the view
that the ephemeral,
the pain of suffering ?
that which is not the Self ?
and the True Self.[/b]
Swami Satchidananda uses very good examples to illustrate and explain the first sutra. The kleshas are dormant in a baby but they will surface as the baby matures. The kleshas are feeble in an advanced sadakha ? they are present but have become weak from disuse. The beginner sadakha experiences intermittent expression of the kleshas because they are temporarily ?pushed down by the constant practice of virtuous qualities such as love, truthfulness, discipline, cheerfulness, etc. If such is not careful to cultivate these qualities, the obstacles will immediately come to the surface.? (p. 85). And for the average person, the kleshas are fully operative. ?Every minute their minds are affected by the obstructions. They have no say over them because they are not exerting any force to control them.? (p,85)
He then provides the following example: ?Imagine there is a nice performance at a night club. A friend is going and he invites you to come. Let?s say you feel drawn to go, but finally decide ?i have seen hundreds of shows like that; what can I gain by another one ? No I?m going to a Raja Yoga lecture instead.? The obstacle is there but you overpower it. That is the ?intercepted? (intermittent) stage. If you continue with such discipline, the obstacle will sink to the bottom, but occasionally you?ll be reminded of it. ?Why shouldn?t I go to a nightclub >? a gentle trace will arise which you can easily overpower. ?No I?m not going.? It just comes to remind you, ?I?m still here.? That is the ?feeble? stage. In the case of the average people, the moment a night is thought of, both legs immediately go towards it, and the people simply follow. From there, they probably go to an adjoining bar and so on. In their case, the obstacle is sustained (fully operative).? (p. 86)
The second sutra defines ignorance. Swami Shyam explains that ?when a person is convinced that his body will not die, his mind will never deceive him, his senses will not fail him, and his intelligence will reveal the truth, one may take it for granted that he has succumbed to avidya klaysh. When a person thinks that his own body is pure and those of his wife and children are ever pure, but the bodies of others are not, again he has been overtaken by avidya klaysh. When a person yearns for joy through enjoyment of sense objects and exerts himself to possess those objects, and when he devotes his time, attention and energy to them and forget sense objects, no matter to what extent they are possessed and enjoyed, can never provide complete fulfillment, again treat it that avidya klaysh has possessed that person. When a person believes that his body, senses, mind, intellect, and ego are his real Self, even though they deceive him all the time and certainly do so ultimately, know that avidya kalys has completely overwhelmed him.? (p. 51)
Reflecting on earlier sutras, it seems to me that misconception, viparyayo (yoga sutras I,8 ) and imagination, vikalpa (ys I,9) are forms of ignorance, avidya. The practice of self study (ys II,1), the use of unmodified memory (ys I,11), and analysis will develop discrimination or pramana (ys I,7) and awaken the desire for true knowledge.
Swami Satchidananda. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Buckingham, VA: Integral Yoga Publications. 2004
Stiles, M. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Boston, MA: Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. 2002
Swami Shyam, Patanjali Yog Darshan, India: International Meditation Institute, 2001, 3rd. edition.