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?
The universal disciplines, or social restraints, involve the practice of:
The internal disciplines, or observances, 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).
- 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.