Here begins the authoritative instruction on Yoga.
Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively towards an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.
Then the ability to understand the object fully and correctly is apparent.
The ability to understand the object is simply replaced by the mind’s conception of that object or by a total lack of comprehension.
There are five activities of the mind. Each of them can be beneficial and each can cause problems.
The five activities are comprehension, misapprehension, imagination, deep sleep, and memory.
Comprehension is based on direct observation of the object, inference, and reference to reliable authorities.
Misapprehension is that comprehension that is taken to be correct until more favorable conditions reveal the actual nature of the object.
Imagination is the comprehension of an object based only on words and expressions, even though the object is absent.
Deep sleep is when the mind is overcome with heaviness and no other activities are present.
Memory is the mental retention of conscious experience.
The mind can reach the state of Yoga through practice and detachment.
Practice is basically the correct effort required to move toward reach and maintain the state of Yoga.
It is only when the correct practice is followed for a long time, without interruptions and with a quality of positive attitude and eagerness, that it can succeed.
At the highest level there is an absence of any cravings, either for the fulfillment of the sense or for extraordinary experience.
1.16 When an individual has achieved complete understanding of his true self, he will no longer be disturbed by the distracting influences within and around him.
1.17 Then the object is gradually understood fully. At first it is at a more superficial level. In time, comprehension becomes deeper. And finally it is total. There is pure joy in reaching such a depth of understanding. For then the individual is so much at one with the object that he is oblivious to his surroundings.
1.18 The usual mental disturbances are absent. However, memories of the past continue.
1.19 There will be some who are born in a state of Yoga. They need not practice or discipline themselves.
1.20 Through faith, which will give sufficient energy to achieve success against all odds, direction will be maintained. The realization of the goal of Yoga is a matter of time.
1.21 The more intense the faith and the effort, the closer the goal.
1.22 Inevitably the depth of faith varies with different individuals and at different times with the same individual. The results will reflect these variations.
1.23 Offering regular thoughts to Isvara with a feeling of submission to its power, surely enables the state of Yoga to be achieved.
1.24 Isvara is the Supreme Being whose actions are never based on misapprehension.
1.25 He knows everything there is to be known.
1.26 He is eternal. In fact he is the ultimate teacher. He is the source of guidance for all teachers: past, present and future.
1.27 In the way most appropriate to his qualities.
1.28 In order to relate to him it is necessary to regularly address him properly and reflect on his qualities.
1.29 The individual will in time perceive his true nature. He will not be disturbed by any interruptions that may arise in his journey to the state of Yoga.
1.30 There are nine types of interruptions to developing mental clarity: illness, mental stagnation doubts, lack of foresight, fatigue, overindulgence, illusions about one’s true state of mind, lack of perseverance, and regression. They are obstacles because they create mental disturbances and encourage distractions.
1.31 All these interruptions produce one or more of the following symptoms: mental discomfort, negative thinking, the inability to be at ease in different body postures, and difficulty in controlling one’s breath.
1.32 If one can select an appropriate means to steady the mind and practice this, whatever the provocations, the interruptions cannot take root.
1.33 In daily life we see people around who are happier than we are, people who are less happy. Some may be doing praiseworthy things and others causing problems. Whatever may be our usual attitude toward such people and their actions, if we can be pleased with others who are happier than ourselves, compassionate towards those who are unhappy, joyful with those doing praiseworthy things, and remain undisturbed by the errors of others, our mind will be very tranquil.
1.34 The practice of breathing exercise involving extend exhalation might be helpful.
1.35 By regular inquiry into the role of the senses we can reduce mental distortions.
1.36 When we inquire into the what life is and what keeps us alive, we may find some solace for our mental distractions.
1.37 when we are confronted with problems, the counsel of someone who has mastered similar problems can be a great help.
1.38 Inquiry into dreams and sleep and our experiences during or around these states can help to clarify some of our problems.
1.39 Any inquiry of interest can calm the mind.
1.40 When one reaches this state, nothing is beyond comprehension. The mind can follow and help understand the simple and the complex, the infinite and the infinitesimal, the perceptible and the imperceptible.
1.41 When the mind is free from distraction, it is possible for all the mental processes to be involved in the object of inquiry. As one remains in this state, gradually one becomes totally immersed in the object. The mind then, like a flawless diamond, reflects only the features of the object and nothing else.
1.42 Initially, because of our past experiences and ideas, our understanding of the object is distorted. Everything that has been heard, read, or felt may interfere with our perception.
1.43 When the direction of the mind toward the object is sustained, the ideas and memories of the past gradually recede, The mind becomes crystal clear and one with the object. At this moment there is no feeling of oneself. This is pure perception.
1.44 This process is possible with any type of object, at any level of perception, whether superficial and general or in-depth and specific.
1.45 Except that the mind cannot comprehend the very source of perception within us, its objects can be unlimited.
1.46 All these processes of directing the mind involve an object of inquiry.
1.47 Then the individual begins to truly know himself.
1.48 Then, what he sees and shares with others is free from error.
1.49 His knowledge is no longer based on memory or inference. It is spontaneous, direct, and at both a level and an intensity that is beyond the ordinary.
1.50 As this newly acquired quality of the mind gradually strengthens, it dominates the other mental tendencies that are based on misapprehensions.
1.51 The mind reaches a state when it has no impressions of any sort. It is open, clean, simply transparent.