Patanjali Yoga Sutra Knowledge Sheet 35
vitaraga = beyond cravings; vishayam = objects; va = or; chittam = mind
“That mind which is free from craving for objects blossoms fully.”
- Patanjali Yoga Sūtra 37
Keep your mind engaged in the thoughts of the enlightened. Now I tell you that your mind is also like water. In whichever cup you put water, the water assumes the shape of that cup.
In the same way, whatever thought you engage your mind in, your mind becomes like that. It develops all those qualities of that wherever you put it (your mind). So in the next sūtra, Patanjali says, vītarāgavishayamvāchittam.
Vītarāga: One who has gone beyond the cravings; one who is liberated from cravings. If you think of him or her, if you think of such a person, then your mind also gets those qualities. It begins to feel the peace, feel the quietness. You start assuming all those qualities and start developing those qualities within you. Most simple. Vītarāgavishayamvāchittam.
Our mind is like air, is energy, all permeating. Air does not have a location. It is not fixed somewhere. Vītarāgachitta is all-pervading. So that air, that cool breeze, that energy enters into your system.
Mind is also like ether. Your consciousness is ether, is all-pervading. Vītarāgavishayamvāchittam. Yet, you apply your rāga (cravings) and dwesha (aversions) even there. That is why it is said, Guru means enlightened person. Do not see him as a human being, as a person with likes and dislikes. Otherwise your mind goes towards what he likes or dislikes and you go over a big trip in your own mind with likes, dislikes, cravings and aversions, and then anger, all these things come.
Instead, you see consciousness as pure consciousness, as peace, as joy. Even if any thoughts come, likes and dislikes come, again do not struggle. “Oh I should not think like that, like this.” Just let go. Relax.
Vītarāgavishayamvāchttam. Very simple. Immediately you begin to draw that energy and you assume that form.
You should try this on yourself and experiment. Think of somebody who is very nasty and you start feeling all those nasty emotions inside. Have you experienced this? Think of somebody who is very jealous of you and then you will feel such uncomfortable sensations. Think of somebody who is into drugs and alcohol and who is very miserable and you will feel all these knots coming up in your body. Have you experienced this? Think of somebody who loves you very much and see how nice feelings come up in you. Isn’t it?
Vītarāgavishayamvāchittam. By putting your attention, your mind on the enlightened, your consciousness also becomes more and more alive and more filled with light.
That is why Jesus also said, “If you have to go to my father, you have to go through me. There is no other way”. It means that you have to go through the Master because the Master is a solid example. Because you have to pass your mind, go through your mind. And what can help your mind is the doorway. The door, with the vibrations, to go through the mind. Those vibrations, sensations manifest in that body where the chitta is vitarāga, is fully blossoming without any hindrance. Vītarāgavishayamvāchittam.
(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)