Yoga Sutra 1 and 2 book 2

2nd Part Sutra 1 and the Bible research (originally published April 2008)

I began this study by looking up the words directly linked with Iyengar’s translations of the 1st Sutra itself.

The sutra in Sanskrit is: tahah svadhyaya, Isvara pranidhanani kriyayogah.
The first word tahah means “heat, burning, shining, ascetic devotion, a burning desire to reach perfection, that which burns all impurities, and self-discipline”(pg 108 Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali).
Svadhyaya means “self-study, reflection of ones own self-understanding, one self from the outer sheath, the body, inwards towards the inner self” (pg 108)
Isvara means “God, Lord of all” (pg 108)
paranidhanani means “ laying on, imposing, turning on, directing upon; profound religious meditation; surrender” (pg 108)
kriyayogah translates to “yoga of action” (108).

After reading many verses from the Bible again and again I was struck with one major difference between what the Bible teaches and what this Sutra emphasizes. This difference is within the Sanskrit word svadhyaya. In the Bible, I found nothing about self-study… nothing about reflecting or thinking about our own body or mind. I found many times the Bible telling us to have self-control, to study the gospel and to focus on God completely. Specifically, it says to not be self-seeking (Romans 2 7:8). I picked one verse from the Bible that sums up what God says about us looking for self-understanding; Proverbs 3: 5-8 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and shun evil; this will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

That difference aside the Bible says a lot about developing a burning desire for self-discipline (self-control). Jesus wants us to have a relationship with him more than anything; to know and trust him. Jesus also teaches about sharing his word and being too loving each other. When I looked up the English words associated with Iyengar’s translation of Tahah, paranidhanani, Isvara and kriyayogah the Bible spoke back.

As a Christain Tahah to me is Jesus. He is that which burns all imperfection, the one that is leading all of his followers to perfection (eternal life) and while we are sinning he continues to help us have more self-control. I found 1 John 3:3 which says “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” The hope this verse speaks about is the return of Christ when are taken to live eternally as the Children of God, which to me is the perfection I seek.

1 John 3:7 is the verse that summed up paranidhanani best. I understand it to say that Christians who truly believe in Jesus, who surrender to Jesus’ plan, do so by continuing to sin less and less. It says “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” To know him is my goal and I hope it is yours as well. Another great verse to support sutra 1 is 2 Chronicles 30: 18-19 which says “ May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets his heart seeking God the Lord, the God of his fathers.”

I feel blessed to have Jesus. It is a beautiful feeling to have someone besides myself helping me develop self-control. Without Him, I would be a lost cause. Can you relate? I hope that you are proud to live for God and as he says to live for each other, not for self. I have learned to lean on our Lord who is Isvara “God, Lord of all,” receive him fully through Jesus Christ, meditate on the gospel, and have the passion for Him and His word. Jesus said time and time again to spread the gospel and to live by his commands, this is kriyayogah, taking his word, living according to it to the best of our human abilities and sharing it. What more can action be?

I do not claim to be an expert on these matters, but I am compelled to engage you and learn from your thoughts as you may learn from mine. Thank you for reading my insights and blog. Here are my answers from the 2nd Part, Sutra 1 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the Bible research study questions I posted.

#1) To have purity and cleanse ourselves as children of Christ we have to believe in him with all our heart and study his gospel, by living life with a loving heart and self-control.

#2) The Bible said nothing about self-study, it says to take care of your body because it is lent to you by God and it is the temple of the Lord (1 Cor.6:19-20) But our main focus is studying and continuing to live purely and according to his word.

#3) Yes, totally the Bible and the Sutra say to completely surrender to God and trust him with all our lives. (Matt 6:25)

I have been studying and reading about Part 2 Sutra 2 for the past week. Since I am only a student of God I am taking my time to read and study each question to the best of my ability. I hope to have my answers posted next week to Sutra 2 questions, and have the next questions posted. Please fill this blog with your insights as they come to you. I hope that you are learning about and being filled with the wisdom of Jesus. Let Him speak through the pages of his mighty book and breathe knowledge into us. Thank you for reading my findings. I hope they inspire thought and desire for more research within you. God bless you and your family.