Becoming established in our true nature

From the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali . . .

What prevents us from becoming one with our true nature?

An interpretation: The root obstructions, or afflictions, that prevent us from becoming established in our true nature are:
  • ignorance (avidya),
  • egotism (asmita),
  • attachment (raga),
  • dislike or hate (dvesha), and
  • clinging to live or fear of death (abhinivesha).

How can we overcome these afflictions and become one with our true nature?

An interpretation: A path to our true nature is to practice the 8 limbs of yoga:
  • universal disciplines or social restraints (the yamas),
  • internal disciplines or observances (the niyamas),
  • yoga postures (asana),
  • breath control (pranayama),
  • withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara)
  • concentration (dharana),
  • meditation (dhyana), and
  • perfect concentration or unity (samadhi).

How do we guide our personal behavior that we may achieve our true nature?

An interpretation:
The universal disciplines, or social restraints, involve the practice of:
  • non-violence or love for all (ahimsa),
  • truthfulness (satya),
  • non-stealing and non-judgment (asteya),
  • non-overindulgence (brahmacharya), and
  • non-possessiveness and non-greediness (aparigraha).
The internal disciplines, or observances, involve the practice of:
  • purity and cleanliness (shaucha),
  • contentment (santosha),
  • "burning" mental and physical discipline and intensity in spiritual practice (tapas),
  • continuous self improvement, study of the scriptures, and chanting of mantras (svadhyaya), and
  • surrender to the divine (ishvara-pranidhana).

We must become in our lives what we wish to experience in the world around us.

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