This is pretty straight forward… There are five basic activities of the mind, and these may either lead to pain and anguish or not lead to pain and anguish. Klista means “affliction” and when “a” is placed at the front of a word, it negates the words meaning. So aklista means “not affliction.” The next sūtra (1.6) tells what the five activities of mind are.
This goes back to 1.2 when referring to the mind’s activities as “thought winds” and the effect that wind has over the reflective surface of a body of water. When the surface of the water has ripples in it, we can no loner see our TRUE reflection in the water. The trouble is that we assume what we see in the reflection of the water’s surface is who we are, when that is not an accurate snapshot of ourselves. As unrefined children (even in our 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, …90s, etc.), we have an inherent tendency to assume we are who we think ourselves to be. To become refined takes years of intentional self-work so that we may just begin to see our true natures and “know self.” Without this work, clarity is only a word people say, written on paper, or typed on a digital surface.
Keeping with the analogy from 1.2, when the winds of the mind (your mind) are completely still, it is at that time when the seer (you) is established in its own form, because you (who you really are and not who you “think” yourself to be) are able to see yourself clearly by the reflection cast back from the surface of the water. Since there are no winds blowing, there are no ripples in the surface of the water creating a perfect mirror so you can see yourself clearly without any distortions.
How often do you get caught up in your thoughts, believing what you think is true? Believing that who you think you are is your true self?
How many times have you come back around to realize that what you thought was true was not true at all?
I know I’ve been guilty as charged. Our own experience has shown us these lessons, all we have to do is pay attention and study the lessons Life provides for us. Life subjects us to great challenges because Life loves us and wants us to learn great lessons so we learn to let our greatness shine. Life is our greatest Teacher of all and our greatest advocate, we just have to step our study game up and be the “Star” students Life expects.
Your greatness is waiting… don’t make it wait too long.
May The Force be with you always!!! See YOU truly!
One way I like to think of the mind’s activities, or vṛttis, is as “thought winds“ (what you may have heard explained as mental fluctuations, modifications, patterning, etc...) If you imagine a lake or lagoon and the air is completely still, the surface of the water will also be still. As the winds pick up, ripples will begin to form on the surface of the water. As the winds become more blustery and turbulent, the choppier the surface of the water will be. When the air is completely still, the surface of the water is also still, which is when you’re able to see an accurate and undistorted mirror image of yourself, your TRUE reflection. When the surface of the water is rippled it’s impossible to see yourself accurately as you are.
The first chapter in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali is called the Samādhi Pāda – the chapter on Samādhi (which I describe as "Profound Absorption into PERFECT WHOLENESS" when I write it with a capital "S" and profound absorption when written with a lower case "s" -- my own distinction). It’s in this chapter that Yoga and its characteristics are defined. This chapter also covers what the prerequisite objective toward attaining the ultimate goal of Yoga is, what gets in the way of Yoga, and what can be done about it.
The very first sūtra begins with atha, which literally translates as “now” and implies an auspicious beginning. Atha is not a term that is used lightly; it conveys that “we are getting down to some serious business, right NOW” and because we are not joking or playing around here, success is certainly eventual (how long just depends on the person, you).
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