Today we're giving you the video for the all-important Sūtra 1.2. 

One of the big reveals of my new translation of the Yoga Sutra is that almost every existing translation gets this crucial sūtra wrong. This is because getting it right is not a matter of understanding the Sanskrit grammar, but rather of understanding the crucial fact that in Patañjali's time, the word yoga almost always referred to a state of being; the goal of the practice rather than the practice itself. It came to refer to the practice only by extension. 

This is a small difference that makes all the difference. The mistranslation of Sūtra 1.2 (as "Yoga is the stilling of the mental modifications" or "Yoga is the restriction of the fluctuations of the mind-stuff") for the last hundred years is probably the main reason that the general public thinks meditation means trying to clear your mind of all thoughts.

By the way, I'm not claiming to be the first to get it right; it's just that most people don't realize that in Sūtra 1.2, yoga is defined as the result of a process, not as the process. This makes a big difference to the whole text. 

What Patañjali is saying is this: do the various practices I'll present here (starting later in chapter one), and you will find the mind will spontaneously become still and tranquil more and more frequently in everyday life.

yours in unity,

Hareesh

 

These videos are from our flagship course, Yoga Sutra Illuminated. We will be sending out sample videos from the Recognition Sutras and the Heart Sutra courses in the next few days.