Patanjali Yoga Sutra Knowledge Sheet 86
Contd. from knowledge sheet 85
“Tataha ksheyate prakashavaranam’’ (II Sutra 52)
tataha = then; ksheyate = broken; prakasha = light; avaransam = curtain.
“Then the curtain surrounding the light is broken.”
Breaking down the curtain around the light. You are light, but you do not know that because there is a thick curtain around it; an iron curtain around it. This thins down the curtain and makes it more transparent and you are able to see the light.
Everyone is a spark of light. Everyone is light. Life is light. Yet we live in such darkness. Why? This is because the light is covered. If your nature is joy, if your nature is bliss, then why is there suffering in the world? You have read it in the scriptures, you have heard people talking everywhere that life is bliss, life is ananda, life is joy. The experience of life is however, contrary. There is a problem everywhere. If you like something, there is a problem. If you do not like something, then also there is a problem. If you hate, of course there is a problem. If you love, even then there is a problem. You get more problems in love than in hatred. So there is a problem everywhere.
How come there is so much suffering? What to do? How to recognize that life is joy, as we have heard so much of it? That is where pranayama comes in. Through pranayama, the veil that covers the light gets lifted. The veil begins to get diminished. Tataha ksheyate prakasha avaranam.
Previously, Patanjali also mentions, “Prachchardana vidharaṇabhyam va praṇasya”. Retention and splitting of breath in a special manner. Changing the rhythm, cycles, root of the breath, changing the flow of breath is pranayama. Working in the dimension of the praṇa is what really praṇayama is. Ayama means dimension. Attending to that dimension in you which has been ignored from birth, the dimension of praṇa.
We worked on the body level through the asana. The next level is the subtle body, the pranic body.
To be continued.
(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)