Sadhana Pada: Yoga in Action (Experience the Now)
- 2.15 Parinama tapa samskara dukhair guna vrtti virodhac ca duhkham eva sarvam vivekinah
- parinama = result of / consequence
- tapa = suffering / distress / torment
- samskara = false impressions / impressions of the past / mental impressions
- dukhair = misery / suffering / sorrow
- guna = attributes (rajas, tamas, sattva)
- vrtti = activity of the mind / modifications of the mind / fluctuations
- virodhac = conflict / contrast / resistance
- ca = and / also
- duhkham = anxiety / pain
- eva = even / only / as it is
- sarvam = all / everywhere
- vivekinah = the discerning one / one who discriminates
Life is suffering is the gist of this sutra. It goes on to give 3 specific reasons or causes of suffering - finding the harmonizing balance point in the middle of all of the polarizations that make up the world, memories of pain/suffering, and the constant push and pull between wanting what isn't yet and mourning what once was. Considering the times we're living through right now, hearing that life is suffering may not seem particularly useful or uplifting!
However, the insight that life is suffering can actually bring great wisdom. If we reflect deeply, we can come to see that what causes suffering is external. Suffering comes from our reaction to the outer world. But, the inner world . . . . . that is where we can find consistency, and calm and inner peace. Not sure if this is true? Think of a time when you were anxious, in pain or experienced distress. Then close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and draw the air into your centre (whether that is your heart, your core or anywhere in between).
That space in the centre, how did it feel? Did your being shift? For a brief moment could you feel at peace? THAT is your eternal self. The external world is in continual flux. It is impermanent and ever changing. But, the eternal self . . . . that is unchanging and ever present. The external world is an illusion. The internal world is truth which is why the "goal" of yoga is to travel in.
Your challenge for this week is to get in touch with your internal, unchanging, peaceful nature as much as you can. Maybe it's by drawing a few breaths into centre (like we did above) or maybe you have your own way of connecting to this place. I encourage you during these sometimes trying uncertain times to let go of the illusion of the external, just for a few moments, and tap into that place in the centre which is always ready to embrace and hold space for your unchanging, amazing essence.