Yoga Sutra 19

Sutra 19

The guna’s generate their characteristic division and energies in the seer their stages and distinguishable and non-distinguishable differentiable and not differentiable.

To really understand what the Sanskrit means and what this sutra maybe in relation to Christianity and the Bible I had to take it word for word. Iyengar explains “To release ourselves from the confines of nature, we have to be familiar with its geography and its divisions, and with how these are affected and changed by the guna’s (qualities of nature satva, rajas and tamas) so that we can understand the internal rules that govern nature in all its forms, however subtle.”

This sutra is also addressing the analysis of the progressive layers of manifestation from the most specific and distinguished to the undifferentiated and universal. I will try to cover all of this as I go through each Sanskrit word.

Before I break it Sanskrit word (with Iyengar’s definition) to compare to the Bible. It is important to understand that the Bible teaches about sanctification, becoming more like God. I think it is important to think of these stages less like stair steps and more like gifts, because only through faith can we know God and follow him.

Philippians 2:
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out[c] the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”

With this truth in mind, I will look at this sutra more closely.
Visesa: the art of distinguishing or discriminating, a state of being especial a mark

This I see as the Mark of being a Christian or the mark of the beast a way for us to see the things made of God and the things made of the flesh or the devil. Or this could be our commandment to love.

John 13:31-35

When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him,* God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.’

Avisesa: uniform, alike, without any difference, unspecified state.

To be uniform in Christ, to follow his commands to be part of this Holy Body of Christ. A body is without a difference, it is uniform, and worldwide. This maybe being a part of the Christian Church, the unified body of Christ.

Lingamatra: indicator, mark, sign, (chief mark or indication of prakrti, that is, the cosmic intelligence _mahat) phenomenal, directly apprehended, observed.

The indicator that sets a Christian apart from everyone else is the gift of God’s grace, the Holy Spirit that comes to us after we have confessed our sins and put our faith in Jesus or as some believe after baptism. Both the prayer of salvation and baptism are called to God to enter is Holy Church and act as a mark or a sign/statement to everyone else that you are committed to Jesus Christ and living by his teachings. The Holy Spirit itself is cosmic intelligence, our direct communication from God to us. For Christians that maybe Lingamatra. “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Alingani: without a mark, without a sign, non-primary matter, or unevolved matter, unknown and unknowable substance or thing as it is in itself, the nonmetal.
Without a mark may be non-believers. People that live by their own rules, not God’s commandments. To be lead by matter and material possessions, those people that are living for themselves or earthly belongings. Those who do not know scripture or God, maybe at the stage of alingani. Accepting that part of us, even as believers as long as we are living on earth is going to be drawn to self, drawn to matter help us love those who do not know better or are still unwilling to explore spirit for themselves.
Gunaparvani: changes in qualities.
Thinking about the stages this sutra suggested draws me to the stages of Christianity. From New believers and born again Christians, to Clergymen, pastors, and other holy men and women of our faith. Life is always changing, our walk with God is always growing, the only constant in God’s ways, our understanding of his ways deepens as we better understand how to control our earthly desires.

From breaking this sutra down, even though it is explaining how we have stages in our spiritual life. I believe as Christians we do have stages ones we can recognize outwardly and ones only God can see. So I believe this Sutra and the Christian walk do agree. I did not find any specific passages that express this in a concise manner, but you can read how a new believer walks into deeper faith with God and see for yourself. Maybe you have even experienced his Grace helping you grow in your own life.