Yoga Sutra 18

Sutra 18

Nature, its three qualities, sattva, raja,s and tamas, and its evolutes, the elements, mind, senses of perception and organs of action, exist eternally to serve the seer, for enjoyment or emancipation.

The Bible and Sutra begin to shift focus here. The sutras begin to explain more about human nature and overcoming the flesh. While the Bible explains Gods relationship with humans while not focusing on human nature other than to state it is sinful by nature.

The sutras begin to explain more about human nature and overcoming the flesh. While the Bible explains Gods relationship with humans while not focusing on human nature other than to state it is sinful by nature.

After the fall of Adam and Eve, we all became sinners separated from God. God’s goal to be in a relationship with us is illustrated throughout the Bible. Yoga’s goal also is to have a relationship with him.
I believe as Christians studying yoga as a discipline this juncture is where yogis can become self-centered. Analyzing the human nature of sin, attachment, pain, pleasure, judgment etc… while trying to solve it ourselves is almost pointless. The Bible speaks of self-mastery as a must, and in doing so we as Christians are responsible to know the difference between earthly things and heavenly things and to choose the loving actions when living our lives. I believe this passage really outlines how God wants us to control behavior, yet not be self-focused in doing so. We do not overcome our earthly passions alone our sin dates back to generations long forgotten, today God’s grace and strength through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit at work within us, like you said before, is our tool to be in constant communion, which will help us not to fall into sin. (I have made the parts bold that I think really stand out for this sutra.)

Colossians 3:1-17 – So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these, the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things–anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal, there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all! As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

James 3:13–4:4 – Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there are envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. 4:1 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?

I agree that these virtues and attributes of nature Patabi Jois wrote about the senses, mind, intelligence and ego all contribute to sin. And when we master not listening to our desires and cravings but instead follow God’s commands to love, live in unity, be tender and humble of mind then we do reach emancipation from earthly living and are closer to God. He promises it too. Therefore I think Sutra 18 agrees with the Bible, but it is not our strength that can overcome this nature, but our focus on Christ. When we can see the outside world good and bad from the standpoint that we not of this world but of God’s Holy Body, we can enjoy life without being attached to it. I can see where the Bible is telling us this too.