Patanjali Yoga Sutras - Knowledge Sheet 12
As you all know, there are three gunas or qualities. They are sattva, rajas and tamas. Three gunas come into our life in cycles. When sattva comes, there is alertness, knowledge, interest and joy in everything. When rajo guna comes, more desires, selfishness, restlessness and sadness arise in us. When tamo guna comes, delusion, attachment, lack of knowledge, lethargy, all this comes. These three come in life, turn by turn. But one who is centered will watch, witness and just move through that very naturally, innocently, without being averse to it.
Skill in action is yoga
When aversion comes what happens? You are promoting it. Whatever you are averse to, you stay with it and whatever you crave for, you continue to crave for it. You allow the craving to continue. Without craving or aversion, moving through the guna is pure skill and that is yoga. It is said: ‘Yogaha karmasu kaushalam’ - the skill in action is yoga. Yoga itself means skill. Yoga is the skill to live life, skill to manage your mind, skill to deal with your emotions, skill to be with people, skill to be in love and not let love turn into hatred.
Everyone loves in this world. Everything loves, but that love does not stay too long as love. It immediately becomes hatred, almost immediately. But yoga is that skill, that preservative which maintains love as love throughout.
Question from the audience: Dear Guruji, if a habit is developed of separating oneself from everything in an artificial way, you will lose spontaneity, attunement with nature and will not be fully engaged in life by giving your 100 percent. How do you walk this tightrope? How do you know if you are too far from one side and the other?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Dispassion does not divide you. In fact, it connects you. It connects you to the present moment totally. When you are not dispassionate, you are linked to the past or future. So, you are not connected to the present. Therefore, you are more divided.
When your mind is hoping for something or when you regret the past, you are not with the moment. But when you are centered, you are in the moment. So, when you are eating, you can taste every bite. You can enjoy every bite. Every look, every sight is fresh and new. Your love is like the first love. You look at everything like it is the first time.
The answer continues in next post: Patanjali Knowledge Sheet 13.
(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)