May 15, 2021

Sutra 2.18: Life

Sadhana Pada: Yoga in Action (Experience the Now)

    2.18 Prakas kriya sthiti silam bhutendriyatmakam bhogapavargartham drsyam 
    • prakas = light / brilliance
    • kriya = action / practical
    • sthiti = stability / steadiness / undisturbed calmness
    • silam = having the nature of / character
    • bhuten = elements
    • indriya = the eleven senses (mind, five senses of perception, five organs of action)
    • atmakam = consisting of / being composed of
    • bhoga = enjoyment / experience
    • apavarga = liberation / freedom
    • artham = in order to / for the purpose of 
    • drsyam = seen / knowable 

Life is happening for you (or through you), not to you. If there's one thing this past year has taught us, it's that nothing is permanent. Everything changes and these changes can come slowly, or they can come suddenly without any warning. Especially when life is tough (which it will sometimes be), we tend to think that life is happening to us and is something we have to be on guard and react to.

But, what if life is actually happening for us? What would be possible if we viewed every experience in life as simply an experience that has something in it that we can learn?

Sutra 2.18 has two parts. First, it describes what the world around us, what we can see (including our physical selves), is made of. The simple version (without getting into Sanskrit terms just yet) is that the physical is made up of a continual interplay of light, action and stability. Once physical, it is manifested into the world through the elements and through the body as the senses.

The second part of this sutra says that the reason there is a physical in the first place is for the sake of our enjoyment and to lead us towards liberation (discovering our true nature). Think of it like a playground. We get to try out the various equipment, while at the same time enhancing, developing and discovering different skills. Sometimes it will be fun, sometimes we'll get thrown off the merry-go-round, but every time we'll learn something more about ourselves.

To implement this sutra, your challenge for this week is to simply live for the sake of living, do for the sake of doing and know that no matter the action or experience, more clarity and wisdom will come regardless of any results.        

Sutra 2.18 The seen has the nature of light, action and steadiness which manifest as 
the elements and the senses for the dual purpose of enjoyment and liberation.

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