One-pointed Mind is Joy

Patanjali Yoga Sutras - Knowledge Sheet 27

Contd. from knowledge sheet 26

Now, how to get rid of these obstacles? 

"Tatpratishedharthamekatattvabhyasaha''

tat = their; pratisheda = prevention; artham = for; eka = one; tattva = principle; abhyasaha = practice
"For their prevention, practice one principle."
- Patanjali Yoga Sūtra 32

To get rid of them just do one thing: beat the bush. Just go on beating it. Do just one thing, one-pointed attention in one thing. What happens when you keep doing one thing? Boredom comes, restlessness will surface. The restlessness and boredom take you to a peak that brings clarity. This is the only way out. Our mind is troubled because it is dwelling on duality. It has choice, so it is more confused, 'Should I do this? Should I not do that?' And it is jumping all round the place. This and that! And the mind is further divided. Divided mind is misery. And one-pointed mind is joy and all those moments when you have been very happy, if you would have noticed what happiness is, it is the mind becoming one whole. It becomes so total, so much together; then you have experienced joy in life, peace in life, bliss in life. Then you have experienced life itself totally. Duality and divided mind is the cause of fear and misery. There also if you do two things or too many things, it is not eka tattvābhyāsa. It is not one practice.

So what is the eka tattva?

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Attending to one principle: that one principle could be God, could be a matter, could be Guru, could be Self, could be anything! But eka tattva abhyāsa - practice one thing! Then you get over all these obstacles. All these nine obstacles can be gotten rid of only if there is a certain amount of calmness in the mind, subtleness in the mind. This can be done. Otherwise, even that does not seem to be possible. Isn't it? In one-pointedness there has to be a certain degree of calmness in the mind. You see that one principle in everybody. Oneself – myself is present in everybody. It is my Master that is present everywhere. There is nobody other than my Master; he is everything for me or God is everything for me. It is all me only. There is nothing other than this. Like this holding on to one principle and seeing that one principle in everything. This is the skill in life.

Our life is lived in the realm of multiplicity. In the world you live with many people and not everybody is the same. But how can you see the same thing in everybody? Nothing appears to be the same. No two people appear to be the same. But, here we are saying, see one thing in everyone, look and focus on that one principle. How is it possible? Then he said, "Okay I will give you one more sūtra."

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(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)