Yoga Sutra 2 – book 2

The next few sutra’s focus on Patajali’s 5 afflictions.

When studying these afflictions, try to find how the Bible instructs us to overcome them.
From Sutra 2 I discovered that the 5 afflictions are much like our 7 deadly sins.
Now that we are aware of our sin nature, what do we do about it?

Part 2 Sutra 2 – my take (2008)

Part 2 Sutra 2 of Patajalis yoga sutra: Samadi bhavanarthah klesa tanukaranarthasca

According to Mr. Iyengar translates as follows. I break down each Sanskrit word separately, look them up in the Bible and then match common verses with the over all meaning of the Sutra. Sutra 2 is translated to mean “The practice of yoga reduces affliction and leads to samadhi.” I really enjoyed researching this sutra. Patanjali’s says we have to learn to reduce or even eliminate our afflictions, however through out the Bible God uses some afflictions to draw us ever closer to him.

Samadhi – absorption, much like profound meditation.

In my research, I did not find anyplace where the Bible says not to solely focus on God. In fact, with 1 Corinthians 7 it speaks about staying single rather than married to keep this single focus in verse 35 it says “ I am saying this for our own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” For God to put in his great book that it is better to be single and focused on him, than to be married and focused on your spouse, says that God wants all our attention on him… (absorption – profound meditation.) Bhavana- for bringing about

Arthah – contemplating with meaning and feeling, for the purpose of…
Through out the NIV Bible, I did not find the word contemplation used. God says simply to Love above all else (1 Cor. 13:3) Not to over analyze with our own minds but to learn from what life puts in front of us, through God’s eyes. When our God gives us suffering, pain, sorrow he does so in order to build our faith, to test us, giving us an opportunity to live like Jesus did and suffer as Jesus did. (1 Peter 2:19)

Klesa – translated to afflictions
To understand afflictions first I had to look up exactly what afflictions means to Patanjali, the next few sutras lay them out for us beautifully. So, for now, I will give only brief descriptions and a little bit about what I found the Bible said about each.

1) Ignorance: Patanjali’s is teaching about spiritual ignorance, which he considers a very deep affliction. God says to know his gospel. James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be give to him.” It does not say seek knowledge or wisdom anywhere but in the word of God. The Bible uses the word ignorant to explain people that do not know of God or speak ill of God. Let’s not be ignorant, keep studying the word.

2) Egoism: When someone is ignorant they also exude pride and arrogance which inflates their ego mind (the I AM ALL mind; a judgmental, labeling, thinking mind or as Beth Moore puts it the Babylonian mind) The ego is self-seeking at every level, and although I did not find anything about the ego specifically, God did lead me to Philippians 2:3 “ Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humanity consider others better than yourselves.” Yes, think not of yourself, think of others, love others.

3) Lust – Pleasure seeking, greed, cravings, the MORE attitude.

4) Malice: Pain, sorrow and ultimately hatred of others, yourself and the world: I believe 3 and 4 are best outlined together since they are so closely related in Gods word. Two years ago my pastor gave a series of sermons about the 7 deadly sins we need to over come they are lust, greed, pride, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Sound familiar to Patanjali’s afflictions of lust and malice, even within his definition of ego is pride. The 7 deadly sins Matthew talks about are in chapters 5-7 if you want to learn more about what the Bible says. Ultimately God says to love, to have self-control and to follow his word. I am beginning to think that to be self-aware may be to know my sin nature and take control of it, replacing sinful attitudes with Gods virtues and eliminating my natural sinful behaviors when faced with a challenge.

5) Attachment: to this material world, our bodies, self-preservation: Finally we have attachment Patanjali I believe is speaking mainly about our attachment to our bodies and our mortal lives. The Bible agrees with Patanjali do not be attached, for our flesh is going to be gone one day and our riches are too. Luke 17:33 says “who ever tries to keep his life will lose it and who ever loses his life will preserve it.” Likewise, Matthew 10:28 says: “Do not be attached to your body but your soul.”

Tanukaranar- for the purpose of thinning, reducing, making slender, fine: When it comes to thinning our or reducing our afflictions, I think God gives us two options. One is to know our sin nature and not give into it, have self-control, reduce our sinning and live good lives. The other type of suffering pain, sorrow, grief even death is part of our human experience and throughout the Bible God uses these emotions to build faith in his disciples. One example is 1 peter 1:6 “In this, you greatly rejoice (because we are saved though Jesus Christ) though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and my result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Another verse is 1 Peter 2:19 speaking of submission to rulers and masters. “ For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. ….Vs 21..To this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” Which is option 2 suffering is part of life, how we deal with it is another story. Knowing that God wants me to pray and accept my hardships, for humanities greater course makes me feel a lot better about the hardships I have and will face in my lifetime. How about you? Will you use those hard times to grow closer to God?

Thah is weakening, attenuating: The knowledge of what suffering we can overcome and which kind of suffering God uses to bring us closer to him really weakens their power over me. Life is ever changing and nothing but our relationship with Jesus will last forever: not our bodies, our money, friends or opinions, not a thing.

To sum it all up, Patanjali and the Bible line up on this sutra for the most part. The one difference is that some of our sufferings may be God’s way of drawing us ever closer to his kingdom. A gift to strengthen our faith, that suffering in Jesus name for Jesus I would not want to give up for the world. Draw me near oh Lord, fill my heart with love and understanding, and fill me with purpose. But the suffering I put into my own life by sinning is my responsibility to overcome myself and stop my sin nature from taking over. This is where I get to demonstrate I can be more like Jesus and less like someone who may be ignorant of his laws and virtues. If yoga can help me attain this clarity thank you God for the tool of yoga.