Thoughts on The Yoga Sutra's

“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.”
-Hindu Prince Gautama SiSiddhartha

"Centuries ago, the man who was—no matter what his errors—the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge: A is A. A thing is itself. You have never grasped the meaning of his statement. I am here to complete it: Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

"At other times [the Self appears to] assume the forms of the mental modifications."
-The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda

In the womb we are pure and innocent. The second we are born we are attached with certain identifications. Identifiers like girl, boy, small, big, cute, are immediately placed upon us. As we grow consciousness forms and we begin to subscribe to these identifiers. As we grow from that, our consciousness shifts and we begin to identify ourselves as individuals. This is where ego is developed and we begin to separate ourselves from other based on how we identify with ourselves and the world. In the 4th Yoga Sutra, identification is questioned and deconstructed. The Sutra's ask us to question what we really are without our identifiers and tells us that "when [we] really understand that, [we] will see we are all the same."

"One Love." This is my mantra. I believe people are one. I believe in compassion and unconditional love for all. I try not to be selfish. I try not to hate. I try to think of others before myself. Sometimes all of this is very difficult, but this is how I feel truly happy in the world. After reading the Sutra's, the 4th kept coming back to me. It was the explanation of the loss of identification that made such an impact on me. Identification brings difference and acknowledging difference separates and closes us off. This Sutra is a great reminder that when we sit back and say we are this or that, we are just furthering ourselves from eachother and the divine. Of course it is good to love oneself, but it is a virtue to love all. If we lose the identifiers, then all we have is "I", which as the Sutra's describe is "pure" and "in that pure "I" there is no difference between you and me." The described "I" reflects the same way "one love" makes me feel: pure. Finding this "pure" state in all to me only brings happiness. I might be selfish and want to give love to everybody rather than a select few, but as the 5th Sutra states, "if you really want to be selfish, be selfish in the idea of retaining your peace." My peace is in love, and I have love for all.

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