[B]II, 6 drg darsana saktyoh ekmataiva asmita
Egoism is the
enmeshing function of the
mind as an instrument
as if it were
power of Consciousness. [/b]
Both Swami Shyam and Swami Satchidananda have beautiful discussions on this sutra that I would like to share with you.
Swami Shyam states ?The Seer within each being is Pure Consciousness, and the mind in which the seeing and knowing occurs is individual consciousness. These two, the Seer and the mind are really strangers to each other, but because of the influence of the avidya klaysh (klesha), they become mixed together, as sugar and water may be mixed. It is at this stage of mixture that the individual ego manifests, and the one within forgets that he is Pure Awareness and Truth, the real Self. Instead he knows himself as the mixture of Self and the mind. Thus he becomes the ?I? consciousness of an individual person and becomes ignorant. This ?I? consciousness resulting from the mixture of the Seer with the Sun is called asmitaa (egoism), the second klaysh, and it is the result of avidya, ignorance.? (p. 52)
Swami Satchidananda explains that ?The ego is a reflection of the true Self on the mind. The two appear to be the same, but one is the original, the other a reflected duplicate. The Self will always be falsely represented by the ego until our ignorance is removed. I often refer to these two ?I? ?s as the little ?i? and the capital ?I?. What is the difference? Just a small dot, a little blemish of ego. The capital ?I? is just one pure stroke, just as the highest truth is always simple and pure. What limits us and makes us little? Just the dot. Without the dot, we are always great, always the capital ?I?.
All the practices of Yoga are to remove that dot. How simple it is. All the difficulties and turmoil can be removed from our lives in no time just by taking away that spot. But preparation for that is what takes time. Many times we climb up only to slip down. Sometimes we get all the way to the top only to find we have forgotten to take along an eraser to wipe off the dot. So we have to come down again.? (p.89)
Where is that eraser ?
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.